2014… wow, what a roller coaster.
Reflecting on your successes, milestones, goals and failures is one of the many keys to future success. It allows you to take time to see what you did right, and where you went wrong. To hold yourself accountable for mistakes and setbacks, and celebrate the victories. My 2014 was a massive success… and an utter failure all at the same time. But in the end, it was a learning process that sets me up for a life changing 2015.
Lets reflect back…
My January kicked off with a New Years to be remembered. Ringing in the New Year with a couple of my best buds, Ryan and Spencer, was a good sign. It was one hell of a party, and my best NYE to date. I knew it was going to be one hell of a year in 2014… man was I right!
January Overview: I began 2014 living in Phoenix, Arizona and working for my brother Trevor’s online company, OnCarrot.com. Athletes Brand was still my second priority. January was one of the best months of my life, and a month I’ll always remember. I found the girl that’d I’d spend the next year with, and took 4 laps at Charlottes famed Charlotte Motor Speedway with Danica Patrick at the wheel. You can read about that experience here: The Big Leap with GoDaddy.
January Lessons: If you commit and put what you want out into the universe, the universe has a crazy way to make your wishes come true.
January Highlights: Erin, Riding in a race car with Danica Patrick, Being given the opportunity to change my life by GoDaddy.
February Overview: January spilled into February… Oh, February… February was nuts. As part of a Super Bowl contest with GoDaddy, I was on national commercials, tv shows such as Good Morning America, news networks, radio stations, newspapers and more. It was a month of no sleep, sacrifice, but at the same time, a lot of fun. This month kickstarted the next year in a big way. I didn’t win the contest, (congrats Jamie McDonald) but I did walk away with a great relationship with a great company in GoDaddy, and enough exposure to take my dream of Athletes Brand to the next level, and some new great friends. Most of all… this month made me realize how amazing my friends and family are. The people who made it a priority everyday to vote for me, bug their friends on social media to vote, sent encouraging texts and calls, helped host a voting party and those that showed up to it, and those that pulled some big strings to help me out have changed my life forever. They’ve made me realize how good of people I have in my close network. They also made me realize that I should undoubtedly pursue my dreams, and now I want to find success for them. So, again, thank you to all of you who supported me in February, and continue to support me and my efforts today. I’m in debt to each and every one of you.
February Lessons: Have a plan. I went into the contest with no true plan to get votes. I just used social media. When doing anything in life, always have a plan for how you will reach your goal.
February Highlights: GoDaddy Contest, Met my new good buddies Alex Mundy and Jamie McDonald, Really got to understand how powerful and great my friends and family are to me.
March Overview: March was Spring Training, and a new home. I moved to Scottsdale in March, and spent the next month shmoozing with big leaguers, and building the network of athletes on Athletes Brand. Went to some incredible parties with celebrities I never dreamed I’d be hanging out with, and watched more baseball games than I thought possible. The momentum from the GoDaddy contest in February was alive in March, but unfortunately I became overwhelmed a bit about halfway through the month. I had a lot of fun. I tried to please everyone though, so it took from my own time to take advantage of February’s success. March which should have been the month that funded my company with a spike in sales, ended up being one of my slower months in 2014 as far as sales go. I focused on networking, expanding, and all sorts of areas that in the end were sidetracks from where I should have been focusing… sales. I lost the February momentum. But not all was lost. I gained new athletes on the brand, and new relationships which would end up becoming great connections later in the year. All in all, March was a fun, tiring, but memorable month following 2 months that I’ll remember forever.
March Lessons: Focus on sales as a company and your current goals. Don’t stray from your plan to do things that won’t get you to your goals.
March Highlights: Spring Training, Partnership with Not For Sale Foundation, Created a plan for raising more money for the charities.
April/May Overview: April I was back on track with my brothers company, OnCarrot.com. I’d work from 10am-5pm, then 10pm-2am everyday. My girlfriend was huge with helping me keep my sanity and forcing me to take breaks and to even eat. I owe a lot to her and can never repay her for all she’s done for me. I’d probably have gone crazy by now without her. I’d find myself going full days without even eating a meal because I felt like I was too busy. In the end though, I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t too busy… I was too unorganized. I have a lot more on my plate today, but still find time for the gym and meals, and even drinks with friends. In April, I didn’t know how to be organized though, and found myself drained, overwhelmed, and in reality I wasn’t getting much accomplished for the hours I was putting into my work. This lasted through May.
April/May Lessons: Find organization in my life so I can be more productive. Create a planner, and plan my days and what I need to get done in advance and focus on those tasks first. Don’t get sidetracked!
April/May Highlights: Speaking at Mazama and Bonanza High Schools in my hometown. Saw the bands Journey and Steve Miller Band live.
June Overview: June was a hiccup. I had a lot of fun, as I have been all year, and played a lot of golf for my getaways… but I began to take on too much once again, and became sidetracked which eventually ruined my goals for 2014. I decided to take on a project that had absolutely nothing to do with any of my 2014 goals. A project I had zero experience in. A project that was 100% selfish in the sense that I wanted to do it because I personally didn’t want to lose a baseball stadium I grew up with. I started a full fledged, 18 band music festival and beer festival in a rural area in Oregon. This devoured my next 3 months of my life, and set me back so far with my goals, and my company that I had to restart come November. I lost every bit of momentum the GoDaddy contest brought me now. I spent all day, everyday from the end of June-September working in this music festival. Sales fell flat for Athletes Brand, I became useless at the company that was paying my bills, and I had to make sacrifices that hurt my personal life. The music festival wouldn’t have made me any money, it had nothing to do with my current goals, and I didn’t realize the setback it would eventually cause. June was the kickstart to a disastrous speed bump to what was a documentary worthy year.
June Lessons: Learn from your past mistakes, document them, and don’t make them again. Don’t take on projects that will effect your life in a deeply negative manner, even if it is for something you’re passionate about.
June Highlights: I learned how to build a music festival.
July Overview: Come July I had decided that I had too much on my plate, and I needed to take a chance and put my back against the wall. It was 1 step I needed to make. I stepped away from my safety net of a guaranteed paycheck at OnCarrot.com and left my job there to go full time in Athletes Brand. Unfortunately, even after that I had no time for Athletes Brand. I still had this music festival to do to save my childhood baseball stadium from closure. July became overwhelming once again, and I again took on another project. I decided to start a baseball camp as well because I was asked to. However, I got to go to San Diego with Erin and her family for 4th of July and jet ski for the first time!
July Lessons: Learn to say no. I had a notion that I had to please everyone and that I could do it all. July was the beginning of a massive lesson over the next couple of months. Don’t stray from your goals, and learn to say no.
July Highlights: I quit my job to pursue my dream job. Started a music festival to save Kiger Stadium. San Diego for 4th of July.
August Overview: My birthday month. Started it off in Arizona where Erin and I spent my birthday at a pretty kick ass resort. With the music festival planning in full swing in Oregon, I decided that I had to be on the ground there in order for it to happen without any major issues. So, I moved from my great life in Arizona, back to my hometown in Oregon and lived with my parents to build the music festival. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means. I had to leave my girlfriend, leave my new friends, and once again move from a life I had begun to create for the 5th time in as many years. Had a pretty cool road trip with my dad back from Arizona too. However, August was again, a big learning experience. And, it was also the first month on my own trying to make a living off of my own company.
August Lessons: Don’t rely on others, or expect others to be as passionate about you. When making a decision, make sure you can handle it even if others don’t get involved.
August Highlights: Birthday. Moved to Oregon. Nearly fully funded the music and beer festivals.
September Overview: September was a whirlwind of highs and lows. Excitement that I had 18 bands and 13 breweries coming to the music festival in my hometown of Klamath Falls… and lows of knowing that there are people out there who care more about making unnecessary money than a piece of history. I had to make the tough decision to cancel the music festival because 1 person was unwilling to negotiate a contract that everyone involved with the music festival was unaware of. This made it so instead of raising money for the stadium, we actually would have been losing thousands of dollars and giving it to somebody from out of town because that’s what a contract stated and he was sticking to it. However, the music festival was a massive learning experience, and I hope it lit a fire under the people of Klamath Falls to know they can do anything there they want. September was also awesome because I got to be a part in putting on the best baseball camp my hometown has ever seen at Kiger Stadium.
September Lessons: Always get things in writing when money is involved. Don’t underestimate the power of a small town. Learn to forgive and wish well on people who do you and others wrong rather than to wish negative things on that person.
September Highlights: Fully funded a music festival in 3 months. Fully booked a music festival in 3 months. Erin came to Oregon to visit and camp for the first time! I went and visited her in Phoenix. Started working with Trilogy Athletes. Ran a baseball camp in my hometown for the first time.
October Overview: October was my family vacation month which was much needed! AND also Erin’s birthday! This month I finally got my first real break from the last 4 months of festival craziness. I used this month to reevaluate the past 7 months and get my life, and my goals back on track. I started it in Phoenix, and ended it on my first Halloween with my family since I was little. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I got to spend real time with my whole family this month. Erin and I went to Vegas for her birthday and saw Beatles Love and Britney Spears, and my family and I went to the Oregon coast!
October Lessons: Sometimes it’s good to take a step back, reevaluate life, and re-plan your future.
October Highlights: Las Vegas and FAMILY.
November Overview: My goals are now back on track, and STRONG. November I used to really get serious about my future, and pick and choose what I needed to cut out of my life, and keep in my life. I finally learned to say “no”. November I used to gear up for December’s crazy month, and get the future of my company geared up for 2015. The big trip I took was to Portland to visit my buddy Tyler, and attend a sports industry event, and get to know the city a bit. I was considering Portland as a potential home for years to come and headquarters for my company so I went and experienced it a bit. Love the city. But still not sure at this point if it’s right for my company and what I want to accomplish.
November Lessons: Experience something to see if it’s the right decision before you commit to it.
November Highlights: Got to see one of my best friends for a week.
December Overview: My craziest month since Spring Training! My life is officially back on track this month and setup toward my goals. 2014 was a much needed year of major highs, and major lows… but so far I’ve been able to finish the year with a bang. I spent 2 of the best weeks of the year in Arizona with Erin, planning the Super Bowl party we’re having down there, and working on some big projects for 2015. I got to visit the Biodome (aka Biosphere), attend a Christmas play, and enjoy myself with somebody I love. Straight from Arizona, I jetted off to Los Angeles to help another buddy raise money for a charity he’s deeply passionate about, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Here I met a few more athletes that want to be a part of my company and raise money for their own charities, and also rebounded from the major losses I had from the music festival. During this time, I went home to the biggest sales week in my companies history after being featured on multiple websites for the top gifts for men this year. I sold hundreds of bars of soap, hundreds of shirts, and sold out of every accessory in our store. After an amazing trip to Arizona, I came home to 2 all nighters of packaging and shipping product to get it to people before Christmas. I’ll finish the month planning for January, which will be the first time I’ve fully launched the company with new shirts, full marketing, and an event of a lifetime come Super Bowl weekend to really show how serious Athletes Brand is about helping make this world a better place.
December Lessons: Be ready for the unexpected, and never stop smiling because life is beautiful.
December Highlights: Spending time with Erin. Product featured on coolmaterial.com. Barnyard Wiffleball Invitational. Committed to a Super Bowl party with some great companies to raise money for charity.
Conclusion of 2014
First off, I’d like to thank a lot of people for making 2014 what it was, and in no particular order.
- Erin, thank you for always being there and going through the years best and worst times. I’ll always love ya and be forever grateful for having had the chance to spend 2014 with you. I know I put you through a ton of stress, but thanks for bearing with me through it. You were the best thing to happen to me in 2014, and 2014 was one hell of a year for me.
- My brother Trevor, thanks for all of the life lessons, and believing in me and encouraging me. Without you, I’d probably be chasing baseball still and never would have gotten to meet the people this year I got the pleasure to meet and do the things this year I got to do.
- Ryan Skorupka, thanks for just being around man. You became one of my good buddies this year and have done a lot to help me with my goals. Glad I got to get to know ya!
- Alex Mundy, thanks for believing in me man. You’ve gone above and beyond reaching out to people and putting yourself out there for me even when you didn’t even know who I was. You’re a class act and glad to have ya as a friend now.
- Mitch Canham, big thanks for connecting further and it was great to finally get to hang out and get to know each other this year. Big things to come man and I’m looking forward to seeing all that you accomplish!
- Everyone who voted in February, thank you. I’m still amazed so many people supported me and so many people went out of there way for me. I never thought in a million years that many people would have had support and rallied behind me and my dreams. Thank you!
- John Anderle, man thank you! You’ve believed in my vision since day 1 and have been one hell of a friend, colleague and artist for me. I’m truly grateful and can’t wait to repay you ten fold for everything! It will happen!
- Kamrin Nielsen, big thanks for all of the help you’ve given me with photography and video man. You’ve put in a ton of work simply to help me out and get some exposure. I’ll do anything that I can to get your art out to the world man. I’ve always got your back and love how passionate you are!
- Colby Villa, man thank you for the opportunities you keep bringing my way with GoDaddy. The only reason I was in the GoDaddy contest was you, and that really opened up the doors for me. You’re a great friend man and a big part of everything I accomplished in 2014.
- To the customers of Athletes Brand and athletes on the brand… thank you for believing in my vision, and being a part of the brand. So many of you do so much to spread the word and help grow this company. I’m committing to you in 2015. Your work this year will pay off. I promise.
- To all of my closest friends old and new, you know who you are, thanks for dealing with me while my mind and focus has been elsewhere. This year I have been all business and little play for the first time. That will change. I’ve realized that I have really neglected those that are my true best of friends, and 2015 I’ll be putting God, Family/Friends and business in that order.
- Mom and Dad… Thank you. This year was no different than the past 25 years of my life with you. You still support me just the same as you always have which is over the top. You still help me when you know I need it, and even when I don, and are always there for me. Thank you so much for everything. There’s too much to list here.
- To my family such as my grandparents, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, brothers, sisters in law, cousins and more… thanks for continuing to support me even though I’m always away and thanks for simply being the best family imaginable.
- And to everyone else who I’ve missed here, it’s not because I’m not thankful for you, it’s because I simply can’t name everyone… THANK YOU! You know who you are, thank you so much for your continuous support, sacrifice, friendship and encouragement. So many people played a vital role in my life this past year. There’s so many people I wish I could bring together and thank. So thank you everyone, now lets kick some ass in 2015!!!
Come January, I’ll be posting my years goals on here so everyone can hold me accountable when they see I haven’t reached a goal. I’m really putting my back to the wall next year, and committing to the lifestyle I dream of, but haven’t yet truly implemented. Embrace the good and bad in 2014. Be thankful for the great experiences you’ve had, and thankful for the blessings of people in your life this year. Man I can’t wait to compare 2014’s year in review to 2015’s!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!