Reflecting on One Year at New Story

Earlier this year, I was on a conference call overlooking a vast lake in El Salvador. Thinking about my family, colleagues, and friendships, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. While I’ve worked hard, I’d be remiss and naive to attribute a great year to my own efforts.

I joined the New Story team in the summer of 2016 as Senior Software Engineer and Chief Technology Officer. While continuing to run Polar Notion full-time and a baby on the way, I knew I was in for a challenge. Beyond the extra hours, it was the weight of another team leaning on my judgement and insight to make short and long term decisions.

The last 12 months have pushed and stretched me beyond what I previously thought possible. I’ve had failures and set backs, but thoughtful, forward momentum continues to build. As I reflect, this time has been marked with many healthy realizations.

Support is Essential

August 2016 marked the birth of our beautiful little girl. Without a supporting spouse, any hope of juggling these two jobs would have been crippling. Whether attending to travel schedules, being a sounding board, or allowing time for regular Saturday work sessions, it’s obvious that Megan deserves more credit than my work ethic, programming skills, or MacBook Pro.

At Polar Notion, I’m honored to have a friend and business partner who balances my weaknesses and indulges my wild eccentricities. Josh provides a steadfast resolve that I often lack, but would surely fail without. Prior to accepting the position at New Story last year, he challenged me to “not let anything come at the cost of what’s most important”. This sound perspective has prompted me to unplug during off hours and be fully present with family each evening.

Discomfort is a Companion

Sports and exercise introduced me to discomfort as an acquaintance. We crossed paths from time to time, but only for fleeting moments.

Today, discomfort and I are companions. Early mornings, exercise, training, problem solving, and personal growth is unending. It’s beautifully exhausting and invigorating. Instead of avoiding uncomfortable moments I’ve been forced to lean into them.

There is no growth without discomfort and tension, and I love growth.

Discipline Equals Freedom

Our minds our incredible search engines. It’s amazing how much free time is available in our schedule if we merely look for it. In the last year, my social media usage, Netflix consumption, and sleepy morning have taken a massive hit. Further increasing my personal discipline has provided freedom to do more of what I love and what fuels my passion.

I’m chronically disconnected but pursuing more of what matters most.

This year has been a blessing. I’m humbled to have shared it with such remarkable people.