This year, more than any other, I found mentors. I sought out people who represent qualities I admire, strive for and struggle to achieve.
This year, I set my sights on learning everything I could from them.
This year, I learned more from the people around me.
People like Myke Hurley, who works so hard to hone his craft.
Aaron Mahnke who has cultivated so many skills and talents.
Brett Terpstra who creates and ships in the face of distractibility.
Patrick Rhone who is just so damn thoughtful.
David Sparks who makes doing it all seem possible.
Stephen Hackett who shares difficult things with grace and ease.
Shawn Blanc who shows that, with intent, you can find success on your own terms.
Matt Alexander who doesn’t shy from his opinions, no matter how controversial.
Brett Kelly who is just so frigging good at being himself.
Andrew Carroll who makes success not only seem simple, but doable.
C.J. Chilvers who trusts in his beliefs, but can hear the alternative.
Gabe Weatherhead who cares deeply about the right things, and is damn funny.
Yuvi Zalkow who pushes through self-doubt and makes something beautiful out of it.
Nick Wynja who is just annoyingly impressive.
Justin Lancy who doesn’t fear the change needed to accomplish his goals.
Gini Dietrich who gives and sacrifices greatly to do great things.
Jason Rehmus who shows that it’s not always the loudest of us that have the strongest point of view.
Randy Murray who does the work and pushes us all to do the same.
And, much as I hate to admit it, Mike Vardy who takes risks, but makes smart choices (and puts up with me, which is no easy feat).
This year, I didn’t try to learn from afar. I worked hard to get up close. I attempted (often in vain) to play at their level. To be their peer and, in many cases, to be their friend.
This year, I didn’t just spend time on the Internet, I invested in the people who work there and attempted to work along side them.
This year, I’m proud of what I created and what I learned. I’m proud of what I did and who I continue to become. I’m proud of the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned. And most of all, I’m thankful to those that helped me along the way, on the web, at work and most of all, at home.
This year was a great one. And next year, well, next year I’m going to keep doing everything in my power to make it even better.
How was this year for you? What did you do that you’re proud of and more importantly, what are you going to do to ensure that next year is even better?