Above Par

This time last year I was saying ‘So Long 2010‘ with an air of the unknown and a wariness of the uncertain.

Life had changed rather dramatically and – as alive as I felt, as invigorating the sense of endless possibility was – I didn’t know what would happen next. And, truth be told, I continued not knowing for most of the year.

Today however? I am above par.

_________________________________________

Imagine tumbling through darkness:

You’ve slipped from a mountainside and a blizzard roars up and around as you desperately flail and fall through the cold, black nothing.

In that never-ending gloom, in that deafening storm, peaceful acceptance eventually takes over and calm reigns throughout.

Do you feel it?

The ground is far, far away. The air on your face is a blanket of ice smothering your face as it burns… Yet it somehow refreshes; filling your lungs forcefully as further still you cascade through the bleak unknown.

In that tranquil nothingness, thoughts spark and race through your mind, freshly cut to rage, rage against the dying of the light. Upwards, around you, chinksΒ  of sunlight break through and, in that moment, in that quiet deathly moment, your hands shoot out and cling and claw – like grappling hooks – at the rocks around.

You catch one, two.. three… and pull.

_________________________________________

My light has shone, my hooks have been launched and at last I’m climbing.
Better yet, I’m climbing higher than I’ve ever been before.

And the view is breathtaking.

The Alps - Sept 3rd

Happy New Year friends and readers, I wish you all the very best for 2012 and everything wonderful that it brings.

As a certain chap said to me recently: it’s going to be epic.

So long 2010

LIke Minds Summit, Feb 2010

– Image via Scott Gould

For the first time, in a long time, I find myself standing at the precipice of a New Year, staring out at a blank canvas.

It’s exhilarating.

It scares the living hell out of me, it makes my blood pump hard and my brain can’t work and adrenaline floods my insides whenever I even begin to pause and think about it… and it aches, oh my God it aches. But.. it… is…Β  exhilarating. I feel alive. The possibilities now are endless.

This –

I am a snow globe.
Shake me.
Let the blizzard roar.
This is what I was made for.

The peace. The intensity. The calm in the storm. The beauty of the fall. The peace.

Come on 2011, take your best shot….

.

.

I’m ready for you.

..

//

.

– – –

This is where things get really…

At the turn of last year, a friend of mine, Tarek Esber put virtual pen to digital paper and wrote about the phrase that he wanted to see most of in 2009.

That phrase was #Awesome09

Basically, this meant that when or if something particularly awesome happened in 2009, you would celebrate it wildly and shout about it, much.

As Tarek himself put it back in February:

“Now more than ever people need to hear good news, something positive to connect with. So I am asking everyone to share all the Awesome that comes their way in 2009 with their communities.

Anything that that has made you smile, that has given you hope, that inspired you or that you just thought was pretty damn cool. Share it all, the small Wins and the big ones.”

This we did.
Much.

So much so in fact, a few of us even considered throwing an unconference together – so that we could all share in the Awesome.Β  Alas, time constraints meant that it was never meant to be. However, at least we know what we need for next time…

Speaking of next time. What of 2010?

Well, back in October when I first joined 1000heads, I struck up a conversation with one of my colleagues about the whole ‘what’s going to happen after awesome09?’ thing and decided that next year (and by that obviously I mean this year), would be about the interesting.

Said colleague – step forward Mr Dale – was already working on something similar and thus, Interes10 was born.

“During 2009, when anyone asked ‘What did you do yesterday?’ more often than not, I didn’t have a good answer. So during 2010, I’ve resolved to do something interesting every single day (except Mondays, you got to have some breathing space).”

He didn’t embrace Awesome09 with the same vigour as the rest of us it would seem but anyway…

This is his mission, this is my mission and if you want, it can be your mission too. Robbie’s still building the blog out to include tag searches across different mediums etc but…

Be it through blogs, tweets, photos or vids – if it was something interesting and you did it this year, tag it up with #Interes10 and join the movement.

The future’s bright.
The future’s interes10.

My life in transit

Hey, how you doin’?

Happy New Year and all that… πŸ™‚

Yes yes, I know, we’re very nearly into the second month of 2009 and here I am with my first post of the year… Took my time huh?

Well as you know, things with me are always moving…

– Photo by Benjamin Ellis

I mean, saying ‘I travelled a bit’ last year would somewhat of an understatement, wouldn’t you agree?
Jeez…

Speaking of last year: To those of you who followed me through 2008, thank you.
A lot went on that I didn’t write about and a lot went on that I did.

The trip to Helsinki being an obvious highlight… πŸ™‚

However, in the space in between, a lot went on that was only half-written about. At the time of writing I currently have around fifteen or so semi-drafted posts that I’m yet to finish and/or publish.

Each and every one of them I intend to finish, and soon.

So forgive me if, on occasion, my topics leap back and forth in time…
I want to try and cover off everything. The next post for example, is going to be a big one…

As a great man once said:

“Yup…
…life moves pretty fast.
If you don’t stop and look around once in a while…
…you could miss it.”

So without further a do…

Let’s go!

πŸ™‚

What a Beautiful Day

September 10th, 2008.
08:24

One year, to the day that I started my employment with a little company called SpinVox and… Wow, what a journey it has been so far…

The view you see before you is the view that I have right now, as I type this post from the departure lounge of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 1, (looks familiar huh?). As you know some time ago I got ‘the call‘ and lo and thusly I am on my way to Finland.

But we’ll come back to that…

What I want to talk about, if you’ll indulge me for a moment, is the amazing journey that I’ve been over the past year. Personally, professionally and of course geographically.

Working backwards, I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been so well travelled, (although quite how you can be less travelled I don’t know – heh), with my work so far taking me to such places Barcelona (beautiful) San Francisco – twice (one of my favourite places in the world and a potential base for me the future for certain), Las Vegas (ugh)… and, as we speak, Helsinki.

There of course being no rest for the wicked, straight after this trip I’m headed out to New York then onto Las Vegas once again and by the looks of things Frankfurt too before the year is out.

I used to mock my friends when they used to get the work trips abroad, accusing them of ‘going on a jolly’ and basically being a bunch of work-shy sun-seekers. But guys, if you’re reading this, I take it back. I now know… It’s relentless! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it – wouldn’t change it for the world in fact. But jeeez… talk about taking it out of you! This time round I’ve prepared. Both physically and mentally.

Bring. It. On. πŸ™‚

Which dovetails nicely back into the professional part of my journey. So, as I said, one year ago I joined SpinVox. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready for whatever they had to throw at me.
Having initially secured the interview after being told by a recruitment agent that I was ‘definitely a SpinVox person’ I was taken onboard to apply some ‘Digital Native’ thinking, if you will, to an already rock solid proposition…

Six weeks later I was on a flight to San Francisco after launching Social Networks through SpinVox.

Awesome.

I’ll never forget rocking up to my first CTIA in torn jeans, flip flops and my now trademark MASSIVE white sunglasses adorned across my brow and being told almost immediately:

“Oh, you’re ‘The Web Guy’. You’ve got the look for sure.”

HA!

You’ll be pleased to know that I’ve since smartened up my act somewhat (although the Sunny Gs remain) and I’m now ‘The Social Media Guy’.
Which kind of, in a sense, further demonstrates the journey: Starting with Social Networks through SpinVox, then getting Big Talk (the SpinVox Blog) off the ground, working on and around the digital propositions…
All of which meant that in February of this year I was part of the team that flew out to Barcelona to represent the big SV at Mobile World Congress (MWC – previously known as 3GSM).

This is when my entire world changed.

Suddenly, almost overnight, there was this paradigm shift in how I saw the industry around me… and it was changing. Mobile is my first love and always will be, but in Barcelona the power of Social Media and what it actually means really hit home.

Walking the floor at MWC, finally meeting some of the big names in blogging face to face… Shall I list them?

Nah. If you’re reading this and I shook your hand in Barcelona, then I’m talking about You πŸ™‚

I was saying; Meeting you guys and gals face to face made me understand the enormous sense of community that lives and breathes in this new world of ours… and the enormity doesn’t just stop there either, it also applies to the immense importance that we place on this community as well.

We, you, me, them, us… We are right here, right now. Carving out and pioneering a new digital age for our children to grow up into. What you think and say about this whole space will define how the rest of the world interacts with their digital media for the next 10-20yrs, if not more.

Social Media ‘happened’ (for me at least) this year; I’m going to be able to look back and say ‘Yep, I was there’ …well, you were there too. It’s happening Right Now.

And listen, without getting ranty, understand this – what I said up there – is paramount to any and every business today. It really is.

Arriving back from Spain after the conference finished, with the support of my boss, I got to work on a Social Media Strategy doc that, with the help from the team, would define how SV as a business and as a brand would operate in this space… and so far, it’s playing out nicely.

So yeah, we’ll see on that one shall we? πŸ™‚

Building that thing up and playing it out through the year as we have has been an awesome experience. Learnings on the way of course – some things took a while, some things took off straight away and some things you just can’t predict..

Hence the journey I guess. But I tell you one thing, in this job I don’t think I have ever been happier.

And in fear of being a complete link-monkey, ‘not ever being happier’ leads me quite perfectly into the “Personally” part of this little trilogy.

A few of you reading this may follow me on Twitter or even chat to me on Jaiku, in which case you know that most of the time I am of quite a cheery disposition and I take pride in the fact that I truly enjoy life to the fullest. Now I’m not big on sharing personal stuff online.
Not at all.

Gotta keep something back, y’know?

But anyway – the fact of the matter is, right now, for the first time in a long time I am happy.
Truly and utterly.

And I love it.

Thanks to you guys, for all of your kind words, support and just general awesomeness over the past year.
I’m looking forward to the next one with immense relish and I’m rubbing my hands with glee…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Bring. It. On.

πŸ˜€

Thanks for reading…

Oh yeah – and there was that small matter of being in Finland.
Guess it’ll have to wait until my next post, (tomorrow – promise).

πŸ˜‰

P.S. It’s taken me all day to get this post up, I’m now in Helsinki and a very happy Whatley indeed.

September 10th, 2008.
20:49