Bigger, faster, stronger. That’s all that has been on my mind lately. Not really in that order, and not really those adjectives, but something along those lines. My bigger, faster, stronger goes more like; hustle, tech, adventure. In 2014 and beyond I will be focusing much more on these three words.

I never considered myself as a stagnant or complacent person, but i’ve just decided to kick it into high gear/the next level. I’m not trying to be an average Joe, pun intended, but someone great. I want to build awesome things with friends, new and old. I want to take crazy adventures around the world, and I want to do it on my terms. I’ve been reading way too many blogs about people doing these exact things, and the time has come; why not me?

Hustle

I’m trying to hustle more.

Hustle is that nitty and gritty that does not show up in the stat book. It’s the Joakim Noah’s and Brian Chesky’s of the world. People who exhaust every resource possible to get the job done, and when they have done that, they find new and creative solutions.

This year i’ve made it a goal of mine to make an extra $10,000 outside of my 9-5. How do I plan to reach that goal? A hell of a lot of hustle. Thankfully i’m off to a decent start, having already completed about 15% of that goal thanks to Airbnb, WordPress clients, graphic design clients, and even a random modeling gig for a new apartment complex in Chicago.

PS. If ya know anyone in need of my skills, let me know : ) 

I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by a few guys that know how to hustle the shit out of life. Joel Runyon, Mark Lawrence, and Jeremy Smith.

Joel Runyon was one of the first guys of his kind that I met / started following. A self made, semi internet famous guy, who is living the dream out in San Diego as we speak, because Chicago was too damn cold. Long story short, Joel was laid-off at UPS, and instead of finding an in-between job until the next big one, he said, “screw that”, and thus began www.impossiblehq.com. I highly recommend following his blog if you are looking to kick-start your life.

Mark & Jeremy, the co-founders of SpotHero, started a very successful and thriving start-up on the foundations of hustling. No, they had no idea what the hell they were doing, but they knew how to hustle. They knew how to surround themselves with the right people, and learn the skills they needed to keep making the next day more successful than the last. Today I am very proud to say I am a part of their team, and will be for years to come.

Tech

I’m continuing to be a sponge, and I am on the way to becoming a “T-Shaped Digital Marketer”

I’m not sure where I first heard/read about this term, but as soon as I did I could tell I was on my way. The great thing about start-up work is that you have to wear a lot of hats. With a small team, you have to learn a wide variety of skills, but not necessarily become the expert on every topic. After time you can start to develop one area more than others, and this is essentially what a t-shaped marketer is. Someone who has knowledge in a wide variety of topics, but thrives in a select few. Check out this graph from the guys over at MOZ.


t shaped web marketer

I can’t echo it enough, but I have really fallen into a great place with SpotHero. One of Chicago’s leading start-ups, I have learned more than I could have imagined when I first took the gig almost a year and a half ago. It’s safe to say I have drank the start-up Kool-Aid, and it couldn’t taste sweeter.

I’m excited to continue my accelerated learning style at SpotHero, and take what I learn here onto bigger and better things down the road. While I have learned so much, I still acknowledge there is so much more to learn. This is only the beginning.

Adventure

tel aviv beachTraveling, exploring, projects, classes, LIFE, whatever the adventure is, I want more!

Traveling is one of my passions, but it’s just one style of adventure. I want to start thinking of adventure not in the number of many miles to my next destination, but with every day life. An adventure to a new neighborhood, and adventure taking a new dance or art class, an adventure trying a new restaurant, I want more adventure in my life!

Once you start shifting your mindset, and making more things an adventure, you will be surprised at how many new things you try. Life is about experiences, and experiencing new and interesting things with the people you love. So, grab somebody you love, and take them on an adventure.

Joe 2.0 is nothing really new or Earth shattering, it’s just putting it down on paper and holding myself accountable. Well, this is me putting it down on paper, and I have faith that I will hold myself accountable. It’s been a great adventure for the past 24 years, and I can’t wait for what life has in store for me down the road.

Adventure on people…adventure on.

P.S. Shouts to Justin Barbin for the featured image. If anyone is looking for a photographer in Chicago, I highly recommend him.