Every footfall has led me to places I never expected to be when I was weed-whipping at my home-town golf course after graduating from college. I did not start out with the intention of establishing my own business; you can rest assured that my high school guidance counselor would be equally surprised.
Ours is a deeply frustrating, often times infuriating, constantly changing, absurdly competitive, pathetically cliquish, and highly rewarding industry. And I am very proud to call myself a creative professional. Self-employment is not a business for the faint of heart; it requires a determination and work ethic impossible to quantify and more impossible to teach. Either you have what it takes to succeed on your own or you don't.
The most amazing truth about our business is that it is a constant learning process. Every day brings a new challenge that has the potential to open up your mind to new ways of thinking. Every challenge has the potential to lead you to the proverbial "big idea". Every idea presents an opportunity for growth - not just in your professional life but in your personal life as well.
Along the way, I've had the privilege to meet and work with some remarkable people, some unremarkable people, as well as a handful of complete assholes. I have a tremendous respect for my colleagues and a deep gratitude for my clients, without whom 16toads wouldn't exist. But I am most grateful for the people who choose to call me a friend.
Every decision in life is circumspect. I can honestly say, despite those few "what ifs" lingering in the rear view mirror, that I wouldn't change anything about my life. I'm neither as rich nor as famous as I once thought I wanted to be; I no longer care.
I'm just enjoying the ride.