What Did Your Life Look Like 1 Year After College?


Here were the two most intimate parts of my life. My office and my home circa Fall/Winter 2016. As you can see, clearly there was no separation. There was also a depleting bank account, typically overcome by late-night optimism, and inspiration, and caffeine. 

And similar to my life today, an extremely messy home desk.

If you’ve been to Athens, Georgia, my apartment was right next to Cali N Titos. 

Screen Shot 2020-08-05 at 8.46.34 PM.png

Context: This picture was taken with Marshall Mosher, CEO of Vestigo, while we were building our makeshift office. Really, everyone and everything in my life felt “makeshift” at the time.

This period was one of the most confusing periods of my life. 

I knew the path I was on but felt so lost in the process. I believed so much in what I was doing, but I didn’t know how to articulate it.

I was known around Athens, GA as ‘this guy with a glorified blog,’ but still not fully understood– makeshift. 

And, I was taking all these actions trying to understand why I was doing them in those moments, but still having a hard time figuring out how it was all going to add up one day to something bigger, something more meaningful, something more cohesive that I could use to build a foundation of my life on top of to harness my dreams.

It was also in this period where I used my strengths to break through doors I should have never been able to open. I gained “free consulting and mentorship” because everyone wants to help the broke startup founder who cares and will help in return. 

Jim O’Neil

It was in this period, where I started using the digital media to put my path together and identify what I needed to do long term. Four years ago, I saw what was possible today, and have made a beeline dash to fulfill the vision I had years ago.

With that said, these early years, or years of figuring it out, whether right after graduation, or in your mid-30s after a career change, are the most pivotal moments to take a step back, take actions that aren’t super clear on the path, and realize it will all work out in the end. They’re the time to take the steps for you that will help you long term, the time to invest in yourself, and the time to get clear on WHY even if you don’t know HOW and WHAT … yet. 

In the Fall of 2016, my roommate at the time and one of the first people who helped me build a website, Michael Gargiulo, asked me if I wanted to go to the Hubspot conference in Boston. At the time, content was very top of mind for me as I was building a platform with hundreds of authentic and raw stories — but I didn’t know how to distribute them and create “inbound” in the way I needed to in order to scale the platform.

The conference was superb, even with 10,000+ people, it still provide a chance for intimate moments, meeting people like Seth Godin, and going to very focused breakout sessions.

On the last day, at the very last event I went too, I stayed back in the room until everyone left to speak with Jim O’Neil, who was part of the Founding Team at Hubspot. Jim not only said hello to me, but he stayed back for 30-45 minutes answering all my questions. I felt like the only person in the room. He probably had a hundred other things to be doing in that moment, but for whatever reason, he listened intently, and gave me his card, email, and said I could follow up.

Fast forward a few years later, Jim recently came on the podcast and shared with me about how he got his career started, how he developed the work ethic he has today, and everything he is working on with his new venture funded company SaaSWorks

Hope you can tune in.


What Skills Should You Be Learning As A Young Professional?

Along the journey after college, one of the skills that I’ve had to learn fast and early is self-awareness and emotional intelligence. While you could say those are critical skills at any stage of life, I’m a firm believer they are very important to develop early on in order to succeed in life on your own terms. We checked in with our Pathfinding Community members to learn about what they thought were the most important skills to learn as a young professional. To see what they said, check out our latest article, The 5 Pathfinding Survival Skills To Stand Out After College.

Case Kenny: One Perspective Away from Developing a Critical Skill Set

Case Kenny is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PRSUIT, and host of the renowned personal development podcast New Mindset, Who DisI’m clearly not the only one who has found it life changing; it’s ranked within Apple Podcasts’ top 100. The show’s key differentiator is breaking down the abstract and often overwhelming concept of personal growth into bite-sized and achievable action items you can pragmatically integrate into your life. 

John Eades: One Risk Away From A Successful Partnership 

John Eades is the CEO of Learn Loft, a leadership development company he designed to forward the vision of enabling business professionals to become true leaders. I’m immensely inspired by how he truly epitomizes what it means to be a leader.

Resources: Newsletter 33

Disruption Learnings from Self-Publishing a Book and Going to Burning Man

This newsletter emphasized the necessity of sacrificing discomfort for growth. What better way to experience that than placing yourself in the middle of the desert? Charlene Li’s Burning Man journey taught her the value of structured-disruption as a catalyst for growth. For the past two decades, Charlene has been helping leaders thrive through disruption. She is also a New York Times bestselling author of six books and a renowned speaker.

How is Language Leading The Fight Against COVID-19?

Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor – Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD, highlights how global “leaders are using the language of war to rally people in a fight against COVID-19.” A further look into Gianpiero’s article explains how war language and metaphors are used all the time in business by executives and leadership teams– which is problematic.

Why All Leaders Need To Be In Touch With Their Emotional Intelligence

Christopher Connors is an Author, Executive Coach and Speaker who helps leaders increase their emotional intelligence, prioritize goals and build thriving organizations. Chris’ latest book, Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader: A Guide to Cultivating Effective Leadership and Organizations discusses why emotional intelligence is paramount in good leadership.

Events: Newsletter 33

The Pathfinding Community we run on behalf of BW Missions is hosting Rich Keller, who really builds impressive brand architectures for our clients is sharing about why having a “One Word” really matters. Rich has been one of the most influential people in my life the past year, and excited to share his expertise with you.

If you’d like to join the event, apply to join the Pathfinding Community, and we’ll onboard you and send you details from there.

Not all who wander are lost.”

 J.R.R. Tolkien

During the holidays a few years ago, my stepmom gave me a shirt that said this quote. It really stuck with me because while I really did feel “lost”, I knew the direction I was heading and understood why, but from the outside looking in, that was hard to see. Continuing forward with the self belief was one of the most beneficial things. I started to look at my life as a set of foundations to connect together, to make the path more clear. While wandering, I was really just trying to build in different areas for a better outcome in the end. 

The Pathfinder
Catherine Kushan

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