Rolling into 2016, I am shaking up everything.
2015 was a great year for me and my family. I had some extremely fulfilling experiences, like:
- The birth of my daughter (our first child)
- Making more money on the side in a year than I did in my first salaried IT job
- Working on some really interesting projects with really great people
But as great as it was, I’ve been itching to make a change in a number of ways. I’ve been looking to shake up my career, my online presence, and the way I do life in general. So, without further ado…
I launched VirtAdmin.com a few years ago as a personal outlet – a place to stash my findings so I could refer back to them later. I had NO. CLUE. what was in store for me because I started that blog. It didn’t get huge and now I party with Bieber, and it didn’t get acquired by a huge media site and I’m writing this to you from a beach somewhere. However, I got countless opportunities thanks to relationships that little website helped me form. I would venture to say that running virtadmin.com is the best single decision I’ve made for my career to date, and at the time I started it, I could never have guessed that. I’m really not wise enough to have seen that; I got lucky.
At the time I launched the site, Virt(ualization) Admin(istrator) was a reasonably accurate description of the sort of thing I was into, and accurately reflected the content of the site. After half a decade, when the virtualization craze ended (you know it has ended, right?) I found myself in a pickle. I built a brand around a technology that, although it is integral to the data center, is not that hot and interesting anymore. I can’t pivot, because you can’t go writing about gardening on virtadmin.com. It just doesn’t make sense.
I want the freedom to write about whatever I want to write about. I’m well aware that the cardinal sin of successful blogging is to have too broad of a focus. Fortunately, for reasons you’ll understand soon, I no longer need to blog “successfully.” I’m going to blog because I want to. So VirtAdmin is being decommissioned, and my blog is moving to jdgreen.io. I plan to continue writing about all the technology things that interest me, just as I always have. But I also plan to write about other things that interest me in life, like nutrition, biology, and faith.
I’m taking the lead on this one from my friend Stephen Foskett, who uses his blog to write about whatever the heck he wants, and he doesn’t care who reads it. Because of that, the content is better, and more true to who he is. That’s what I want – content that is true to who I am. He also doesn’t monitor metrics on the site, because that might influence his behavior. I like that position, so I don’t plan to have any clue who reads this blog, or how much traffic I get from a given post.
Now, writing content about technology is very important to me. So I wouldn’t just be ditching my platform if I didn’t have an alternative. But oh, do I have an alternative!
Hello ActualTech Media
I’ve got to be honest; I’m a terrible employee. Not in the sense you may be thinking, like the kind who shows up late, watches Netflix while pretending to do work, and doesn’t make more coffee after they polish off the pot. I’m a terrible employee in the sense that employees fit into boxes (better known as “job descriptions”). And everywhere I’ve ever worked, despite my best efforts to contribute outside the proverbial box, I’ve been shut down. By trade, I’ve always a Smarty Geek. I turn knobs, and build stuff. And my job description from HR matches that role.
The problem is that I find business leadership extremely interesting. And when I get passionate about something, I want to sell it. Social media, marketing, and analytics really intrigue me. As an employee, I can’t contribute towards these objectives while still primarily being a Geek. If I wanted to market, for example, I’d have to quit my job and get a new one as a marketer, or transfer to the marketing department.
This problem is exactly why I decided that in 2016, it was time for me to take on a new challenge that is boundless. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to partner up with the fantastic people at ActualTech Media – names you may know, like Scott D. Lowe (@otherscottlowe), David Davis (@davidmdavis), and Geordie Carswell (@geordiecarswell). They’ve built an amazing team over the last few years, and are delivering amazing results. Just take a look at what they accomplished in 2015!
I’ve been working with the ATM team on a contract basis for almost a year now, and it’s been nothing short of awesome. And joining them as my full-time pursuit by partnering together will allow me to escape the employee box. I know I can’t be all things to all people, and I’ll be the first to highlight my weaknesses. But I’m extremely excited to be able to use any and every skill set I possess to move a company forward. Regardless of whether I came or not, 2016 was going to be a huge year for ATM. But since I decided to come along for the ride, I can’t wait to be a part of that.
I did a neat little interview for the announcement on the ActualTech Media website. If you’re curious to know more about why I made the move, that interview can be found here.
I said I was shaking up everything. Two items isn’t everything, so here’s just a sampling of other things I’m changing in 2016.
- I’m disassembling my chair. I recently finished reading Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It and I am now terrified of my chair. I already have a motorized standing desk and have been moving back and forth between standing and sitting. In 2016, I’m going to break it so that it’s stuck in Up position.
- I’m going to spend money on food like it’s fueling my health and performance. I’ve become really passionate over the last year about how nutrition affects performance. By learning about food, biology, and how what I’m putting in my body affects me, I’ve been able to lose almost 40 pounds and kick way more butt. It’s also so exciting that I really enjoy sharing. No one wants unsolicited advice about their health and nutrition, so I don’t generally bring it up. But if this interests you, let’s talk! I’ll share the simple, no-gimmick changes that I made that have me feeling awesome and performing my best.
- My family is moving to Wisconsin. We’ve been living in my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, but after having our first kid, my wife is desperate to be back by her family near the Milwaukee area. I’m game for a little adventure, so by summer time we’ll be relocating. Who is in the Milwaukee or Madison area that I need to meet up with? We’ll be living right between the two. I would love and be extremely grateful for any introductions or connections in the area, as I’m not going to know anyone.
- I’m going to spend as much time as possible with my family. I spent the last half of 2015 working A LOT due to a regular job and a bunch of side work at the same time. That was for a quantified, agreed upon burst of time, and now that it’s over, I’m looking forward to re-introducing myself to my wife and daughter. We’re going to have a lot of fun in 2016!
I need to cut this off, but in short, thanks everyone for everything. If you’re reading this, you mean a lot to me, and I appreciate you being with me on this journey.