Fun fact: there’s a lot of information on the internet. For reals. You probably have a few favorite sites you like to consume from. It can become easy to just read words on a screen and forget that behind the words, it’s actually one person communicating to another.
Like a real person…no robots involved.
And since you’re a real person, and I claim to be one as well, I wanted you to know who I am. Some of the these things you may already know about me. You will probably also learn some things that surprise you.
But this is the real me. Here we go… 39 things you need to know about me.
- I’m 33 – In my 20s, people always told me I was older than I looked. Now though, people guess my age a little more accurately, so either I’m catching up or they are getting better. With each birthday, I also compare myself way too much to where other people my age are in life. I shouldn’t worry about it, but I do.
- I’m married to my high school sweetheart – I was a pretty big flirt as a teenager but thankfully, I found “the one” early in life. We started dating when I was a 15 year old freshman (she was a 17 year old junior…ahhh yeah :). At the time of this writing, we’ve been together over 18 years (dated 5, married 13). And if you’re doing the math, yes, I got married when I was 20. My wife is amazing. My best friend on the planet. We make a great team. And I’m still ridiculously crazy about her.
- My parents are divorced – When I was in middle school, my parents split up. At the time, it really messed with me. I didn’t really know any other parents who were divorced. My wife’s parents also split up while we were dating. Divorce sucks. My wife and I have a really good marriage, but the bottom line is that marriage is still really freakin hard.
- I have 3 daughters – As a guy, I actually really wanted a son. I’ve got a great relationship with my dad, so I was hoping to be able to have the same with my own son, but it didn’t happen. And actually, I couldn’t be happier. I have 3 amazingly awesome daughters (Sydnee – 8, Emilee 6, and Mylee 4) that are each unique and special in their own way. At this point, I don’t think I’d know what to do with a son. I’m having too much fun with my princesses.
- I worry about being a good dad – I lucked out in having great parents. I still have a wonderful relationship with both of them. But I really enjoy my work so I often fear I spend more time on it than I should and not enough time with my daughters.
- I’m the oldest of three – I have a younger brother and sister who are both super cool. We’re each very different and yet very similar in a lot of ways. My brother moved to New York City several years ago and has built a career in the tech space. He currently works for Buzzfeed and is crushing it. He is also gay. He came out several years ago and at the time, it really messed with me. I’ve come a long way though in learning to accept and love him for him. I have a younger sister who is a successful graphic designer (she designs literally all my stuff). She is super talented. She has a little girl (~6 months) named Penelope (we call her Poppi) who is adorable. I’ve got cool siblings.
- I went to Bible college (and part of me regrets it) – I always wanted to be a youth pastor, so Bible college was the next logical step. But to be honest, I was really involved in my church and felt like I learned a lot more there than sitting in a classroom. I do have a bachelor’s degree, but it has little to do with the work I’m doing now. As my own kids get older, I wrestle with the value of college.
- I used to be a youth pastor – My youth pastor had a big impact on my life, so I wanted to do the same. Working in a church though is actually really hard. I got a glimpse of how the sausage is made, and it’s not always pretty. However, my youth pastor experience (although not always positive) really helped shape what I do today.
- I’m a Christian – I grew up in church and being from the midwest, I’m in the heart of the Bible belt. I think my faith has evolved and grown over the years, but I still believe in Jesus and make an effort to follow Him with my life.
- I’m a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan – Growing up in Missouri, you pretty much are born a Cards fan. In 2011, I went to Game 7 with my dad to see them win the World Series. Huge life highlight. Here’s my reaction to watching Game 6 of that series…
- I can be a really big jerk sometimes – Generally I think I’m fairly nice. But sometimes I know I can be a jerk. Sometimes I blow people off or get frustrated at someone even though the issue may not be their fault. Ugh.
- I don’t drink – Like I mentioned, I grew up in a fairly conservative world, so drinking was always a bit taboo. But as an adult, although I’ve become a bit more tolerant of it, I’m just not a fan. I don’t like the taste, and it generally doesn’t have a positive affect on people. And it’s expensive, and I’m cheap.
- I’m frugal/thrifty/cheap – Even though we make a decent living, I’m still pretty frugal/thrifty/cheap. I hate wasting money. It was only recently that my wife and I started getting our own drinks at restaurants and not secretly sharing one. Baby steps people.
- I worry a lot about failing – I’m fairly confident in my abilities, but I also worry that at any moment it could all come crumbling down. I want to think my business is stable and secure, but I also feel like it’s a house of cards at times.
- I had an eBay business selling purses – Years ago my wife and I started dabbling in eBay and somehow started selling high end, name brand purses. We shipped things all over the world. It was pretty cool. At one time, I knew a lot about Coach handbags. Don’t judge.
- I spend too much time comparing myself to others – I want to be successful. I’m pretty motivated and driven. There’s no real metric to know if you’re doing good or not, so I often look to my left and right to see how I stack up against my peers. It’s not a fair measurement for them or me, but I still find myself doing it.
- I’ve been to 48 states but very little travel outside the US – Maine and South Carolina. Those are the two I’m missing. But for all the travel I’ve done, it’s limited to just North and Central America.
- I still get nervous before speaking – I get that question a lot. I’m usually nervous for the first few seconds. Those first few moments on stage tell me how the rest of the talk will go.
- I’m an introvert – I prefer being by myself. When I travel, I don’t want to interact with people. I keep my head down and headphones on. When I’m home, I’m almost always with family. I’m not really a social person.
- I’m not very compassionate – I generally think most issues in life are caused by our own decisions (both good and bad). Because of that, I know I’m not really sympathetic or compassionate to people. If you don’t like your life, then fix it. I should probably loosen up a bit on that stance.
- I can be arrogant – I have moments when I think I’m better than other people. It’s stupid and childish and dumb, but I still catch myself doing it sometimes.
- My wife and I are debt free – We had about $30k in debt when we got married. When we were in our early 20s, we finally got serious and intentional about our money and paid off all our debt in two years. Today, we still live on a budget and remain debt free (other than a mortgage on our house). Being debt free has allowed us more options and freedom in our life than just about anything else we’ve done.
- We homeschool our kids – At the time of this writing, this is our 2nd year doing the homeschool thing. Truthfully, my wife does 99% of it. I’m just the awkward PE teacher who flirts with the principal way too much. We started homeschooling so we could spend more time with our kids. We think the school system is pretty broken, and we could do just as good if not better. Homeschooling is a lot of work, but it’s been incredibly rewarding for our family.
- I keep a bucket list – I have a written bucket list that is currently at about 50 things I want to do before I die. I’ve accomplished about 11 of them so far. I know of 2 (maybe 3) more I’ll check off this year.
- I don’t enjoy writing – Writing doesn’t come easy to me. It’s a lot of work. But I see the value in it, so I try to do it. Writing helps me process and think things through.
- I like doing puzzles – I like the challenge of them. And I’m introverted, so this works well for me. You can see my Instagram feed for a bunch I’ve done.
- I’m not a workaholic, but I work a lot – There are days that it’s just work, but for the most part, I really enjoy what I do. I try to find a good balance between being a good husband and father but also hustling to provide a great life for my family. Somedays I do find that balance. Other days, I work way too much.
- I’ve done several endurance races – I’ve finished 2 marathons, 6 half marathons, and 4 triathlons. I’m not fast at all, but I like the sense of accomplishment. And they’re bucket list items.
- I know very little about investing – I like to think I’m fairly smart, but I know little about investing. I understand the general idea of how it works, but there’s a bunch of seemingly basic stuff I just don’t get.
- I don’t read as much as I should – I go through spurts where I may read a bunch and times I may read very little. Last year, I probably read 5 books. Less than a month into this year, I’ve already finished 2, so we’re on a good track now.
- I’ve had the same haircut since 3rd grade – My mom let me shave my head in elementary, and I’ve just always had that haircut. It’s so much simpler than having to fix my hair everyday. Plus, I don’t think I’ve ever paid for a haircut. Like literally ever. It’s always been done by my mom or my wife.
- I’m not real patient (I hate crowds and long lines) – When I get impatient, the jerk part of me likes to come out. Whether it be at an airport or amusement park, I hate crowds and long lines.
- I’m scared of snakes – I can tolerate spiders, but snakes creep me out.
- Politics are uninteresting to me – It’s all so dumb to me. I think what a few big wigs in Washington decide has little effect on my life, so I generally don’t pay much attention to it.
- I enjoy travel hacking – Between my wife and I, we have 51 different accounts for airline, hotel, and credit card reward points. Combined, we have over 2 million miles and points for travel. I told you I’m cheap.
- I want to have a model train set someday – I don’t know why, but I’ve always thought model train sets are so cool. I want to build one someday.
- I’m confident I’ll be successful – I’ve always felt like I would be successful. I don’t know if that’s confidence or arrogance or just being naive, but I really feel like if I just keep hustling and working hard, I’ll be successful.
- I eat way too much sugar – I’ve got a ridiculous sweet tooth. It’s not healthy. Sometimes I worry it’ll really affect me in life.
- I want you to like me – Like most, I’m a people pleaser. I want you to like me. I want you to be impressed by me. I want you to think I’m somebody. If I get 99 nice emails but one negative one, I’ll beat myself up over the one.
Alright, that’s enough confession for now. Maybe you can identify with some of those quirks and insecurities. Maybe they help you see you’re not alone.
So that’s me. What about you? I’d love to hear a fun, random fact about you. Leave it in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.