ADventure Man: The Power of Curiosity

I’m an entrepreneur, a traveler, and a collector of strange and cool s#*t (like my Querkywriter mechanical keyboard). Business is what I know and love, but one day my natural gumption and severe curiosity got the best of me. I was itching to shake things up a bit in my own career and explore an area that had always enthralled the creative side of my brain — advertising — where art meets business. It didn’t help that I was deeply consumed in a Mad Men frenzy at the time. I’ve owned a dive shop in Roatán, helped recovery efforts in Phuket, and I regularly invent weird mechanical things (that work…sort of). Why wouldn’t I start an ad agency? So, I did. In Houston. Sweaty, hot, humid, culturally diverse Houston. And yet, the best place to be in the ad industry right now, if you ask me. It was perfect.

I quickly learned if I wanted to survive in this high-stakes, light speed of an industry, I needed an A-Team as eccentric as I was. Like right away. I reached out to some old contacts, pulled some strings, and made it happen. My small but uber-efficient team was solid, and my clients where flexible. Very flexible. I remember when my creative team and I would drive around the corner before client meetings to appear as if we had just arrived from another very important meeting (fake it ’til you make it, right?). It worked, and it was fun. Really fun. Clients believed in my enthusiasm to ignite change within their businesses and had that fresh-faced look of being ready to conquer the world. I loved that look — it was exhilarating. That’s the same look that still inspires me to agitate the status quo, push beyond my own limitations, and act on the curiosities that make life a thrilling adventure.

After finally becoming my own Mad Men character, I’ve found that exploring your curiosities is essential to activating life’s next big adventure. Here are a few of my own adventures and humbling highlights birthed from curiosity and gutsiness:

  • I designed and collaborated on an LED lighting system for the advancement of sustainable coral and marine reproduction. Many public aquariums and companies, such as the Philips Hue Lighting System, use similar technology. Yep­, I had app-controlled lighting in 2011.
  • I helped build an award-winning development in Ohio to create safe living areas near newly developed lake channels. This area became well known for its wildlife and fishing and was recently featured on HGTV’s segment, “Island Life: Coming Home to Indian Lake.”
  • I spent several months redeveloping a bar at an orphanage in Guatemala (bar + friendly tourists = lots of fundraising).
  • I’m a certified technical diver and trained heavily in water rescue. I had the honor of rescuing a father and son trapped in a distant rip tide on a small island near Phuket.
  • I’ve lived on, owned, and operated a small cattle ranch in Texas (hence my amazing sombrero-wearing abilities).

Similar to “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” (wink, wink) the idea is to relentlessly pursue your curiosities with enthusiasm and wholehearted confidence. They have the potential to lead you down the most fulfilling career path and life you never saw coming.

Oh, and as for the agency— I named it amagazi — with a small ‘a.’ The name came from one too many toasts when amazing slurred itself into amagazi. Turns out, it was the best happy accident to come out of the bar that night. Salute!