It's Been A While…

It’s remarkable how fast life changes. In the past few months, I’ve been through so much! I feel like the last time I wrote, I was naive. I know I’ll look back to this moment in the future and have the same thoughts. We’re constantly growing and evolving. This is a quick update of what’s been going on in my life lately!

Here’s a little month by month break down for you guys!

May through July– I had an internship in Fairfield, Iowa at a leading hybrid financial solutions firm. I met so many awesome people! Most importantly, I gained a lot of perspective and self-awareness. I learned so much about myself, my values were realigned, and my definition of success was redefined. One of my favorite memories from my internship was using my love of coffee to meet other people. Many people were super intrigued by my pour-over coffee set up, so I’d make them a cup of coffee in exchange for a conversation. Not only did I meet more people, but I forced myself to get out of my shell and hone my communication skills. 

Another big learning experience for me was working in a team with individuals who had conflicting working and learning styles. I am very much a dive right in and figure it out as I go type of guy. The three others were very analytical and calculated. At first, I felt resentment towards them. Even though neither they nor I did anything wrong, I just felt like something was off. After reflecting to get some perspective, I realized that we work differently. At times things felt slow and like we were making no progress. If we defined the project with their working style, we were making tons of progress. If we used mine, we were making none. As much as It bothered me, I took a step back and trusted their process. After realizing that we worked differently, we worked better as a team. We were able to delegate parts and use our strengths. That made working on our projects so much easier. I gained so much insight on leadership, teamwork, and communication during my summer.

August– I kicked off August by visiting my sister and her boyfriend in Georgia with my family. We had an awesome time! I highly recommend checking out the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta!

When I got back, I had a few weeks before school was back in session. I decided I needed to do something big!

After contemplating my strengths, I had the idea to host a private LinkedIn workshop. I spent a lot of time creating the content, finding a venue, marketing the event, and putting it all together. It was a major learning opportunity for me. This event sparked another opportunity to speak and present at Iowa Wesleyan University on the same topic of leveraging LinkedIn into meaningful and impactful relationships.

After all of this, I moved back to school. Going back to school started a bit of a rut for me. I just lacked emotional energy and drive. This is very uncomfortable for me, but the key to getting out of this was having faith that things will turn out fine.

September through November- I got admitted into UNI’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center as a Premier Affiliate Tenant. Through that opportunity, I place 3rd in the Founder’s category at the CEO Pitch Competition as part of the Cedar Valley’s Start-Up Week. 

At the JPEC, I met one of my current business partners. Corey Behrens and I started a podcast called The Extraction. It’s a niche podcast focused on specialty coffee; a shared passion of Corey and I. We eventually want to start our own roaster.

I’ve attended a few awesome events this semester! The Iowa College Entrepreneurs Event, Arete Live and The Summit Presented by Montgomery Companies were all amazing! I have pages upon pages of notes from these events!

In Pi Sigma Epsilon, a marketing and sales organization I’m a part of, I was honored to be elected Vice President of Professional Development. I’m looking forward to helping all of our members reach their personal and professional goals!

Although my focus and priorities have shifted, I’m still growing…just in other areas of my life. Relationships have been a primary focus for me. My fitness, financial, and business parts of my life have taken a bit of a toll, but I’m still advancing in life. My goal is to recapture the lost progress in my life. I need to go back to the simple habits that make me successful and lean into them. Burnout and ruts happen, but its how you respond to them that matters.

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