LEARNER. SEEKER. DOER. HACKER.
For five decades I’ve chased after my dreams. At my core, I love nothing more than the spark of a new idea brought to fruition. Especially if that idea requires deep immersion. I’ve devoted my life to many such pursuits.
I've had an eclectic career and an atypical, somewhat nomadic life. I've lived in 23 places.
Below are some life highlights.
In my youth I was a guitarist playing the clubs on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles in a rock band called NixNix.
Later, I sang and played guitar in a cover band called Fifty-Fifty at a massive rock bar in Cancun Mexico for three years.
These days I call myself a recovering musician. I still play the piano and guitar, but barely enough to be competent.
In my late 20s I became a music engineer and sound designer for film and television. I worked on over 300 projects in Los Angeles, Europe, and Japan, including some you're likely familiar with, like Toy Story and Pocahontas.
My team won an Emmy, for our work on the Oliver Stone film, Assassinated: The Last Days of Kennedy and King.
My last job in that industry was on the TV show Family Guy. I was the character voice engineer and editor on seasons 2 and 3.
When the internet emerged in the mid 1990s I began designing stuff for the web. I would eventually start a creative agency that designed websites for the entertainment industry.
That lead me to become a software developer and start a tech company. I taught myself programming and wrote a software application that would become the foundation of a very successful company.
In the world of tech I’m best known as the creator of ExpressionEngine CMS. I also created CodeIgniter, an early and influential software development framework that is still used today. You can see a few of my personal projects on my Github page.
At some point during all that tech nerdery I became a photographer. There is a video called How to Master Anything In One Year on my YouTube channel that explores my approach to learning, using my photography as an example.
I’m also a Jiu Jitsu blackbelt under Professor Roy Dean. Of all my accomplishments, I’m proudest of this one because it required the most dedication and perseverance. Took me 15 years. Made harder by the fact that I started pretty late in life.
I would go on to start my own Jiu Jitsu school in Wyoming and The Art Of Skill channel on YouTube. You can watch my journey to blackbelt in this short movie called No Mercy for Old Men.
I would eventually sell my school to my senior brown belt in order to pursue opportunities to travel and teach.
Life has blessed me with some wonderful successes and some terrible failures too. I know what it’s like to have everything, then lose it all, including my company and marriage, and start over with only a car full of possessions.
Sometimes reinvention is desired, sometime it gets thrust upon you after getting punched in the face and knocked down. Either way, you must heed its call, pick yourself up, and get back after it.
Most of our battles are battles of the mind. Master your mind and you can master anything.