2015 Year in Review – Goals Are Important

2015 In Review

It got lengthy, so my review of 2015 is at the bottom – but let’s summarize to say, I effectively completed 3 of 5 goals with some caveats.  I also completed… NONE of my bucket list.  At least none of the planned bucket list items.  Of the 9 bucket list items, I may have loosely filled one.  My career and priorities took a shift in 2015, which did leave less time and focus for recreational bucket-list items (there goes that whole “Balance” convo).  As far as balance goes, I’ll side with NYC’s most connected CEO, Hank Greenberg.  Feel free to read through Four Block’s Twitter feed for reference.

Also – in an effort to ensure I am writing, and thoroughly thinking through my goals and bucket list for 2016, I am only going to review 2015 in this post.  I’ll be sure to follow up with a list of Goals and a Bucket List for 2016 to which you can hold me accountable.

Unplanned Accomplishments in 2015

Sunset AheadIt is important to make goals – even at the risk of setting goals you fail to accomplish.  It can only do two things.  First, it sets you up with a small dose of ambition & focus to accomplish something.  Second, after measuring what was/wasn’t accomplished you can take a look at how your ACTIONS have demonstrated your priorities and how well that lines up with what you verbalize (New managers should really take note and think about that last line – because your direct reports certainly will).

There are many goals and bucket list items that I did not accomplish in 2015.  I did find that my aspiration to obtain them had an impact on making other – unpredicted accomplishments.  Here are some of mine that I don’t reference in my review:

  • Built a Bar height Table using with reclaimed wood. It was fun, although I wouldn’t call it a “large wooden furniture piece”.  I did get to work with epoxy for the first time.
  • Bought Road Bike – Started cycling (lightly). I never thought I would, but cycling has been a great addition for me, and my family.  It allows me to burn a couple calories while ensuring my kids stay active.  It’s a personal development activity, and can also be a family activity.
  • Public Speaking events. It may not sound humble, but I get SUCH a thrill doing speaking events.
    • SVA NatCon 2015 – Lucky enough to be on the Campus Culture Panel with Michael Stack of the SVA and MOH recipient Kyle Carpenter, all while in front of 1200 amazing Veterans.
    • Tri-State National Diversity Council – it was an inaugural event, and I was able to speak as the keynote on Diversity and Veterans.
    • UCONN EBV – Networking for Veterans. This was similar to the role I fill now, but such a humbling experience to be asked to teach “Networking for Veterans” at the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans at the University of Connecticut.
  • Christmas Presents for Kids.  A misnomer, but a big deal.  Not a big deal to get them presents, but to actually know what they are interested in and if the presents would be enjoyed.  Learning how to be present as a Dad and Husband is something I have to actively work on.  When gift time comes, my wife sends me a list of ideas for herself (at my request) and she lets me know what “we” got the kids for Christmas.  This year, I was much more active in identifying appropriate gifts.  With 9 of our 11 years of marriage taking place while I was in the military, I wasn’t held accountable for being present.  So I guess that’s part of the transition process.

2015 Bucket List (in review):

I did not buy a small fishing boat – but that was a matter of priorities.  Instead, we spent the money on house renovations.  It increased the value of our home, and gave me something to do that required craftsmanship.  I’ve completed all of our home renovations, personally.

I also did not build a large wooden furniture item.  I did however, refinish our kitchen cabinets where I gained experience with more miter saw work and trim-detailing.

For the remaining list of my failed bucket list items – take a look at 2014’s Review and 2015 goals here.

2015 Goals:

Record & Complete One full Song (INCOMPLETE)  Well, that’s the short way to say it – I just didn’t get this done.  To be honest, I think I probably spent less than 20 hours TOTAL, in the entire year, working on any sort of musical production (unless singing while driving counts…?).  This was a goal that was carried over from 2015 as well… this may be a sign, that I have not actively made it a priority.  I won’t be carrying this goal into 2016.

Return to a Committed Philanthropic Role (with Transitioning Veterans) (COMPLETE) Well – I nailed this, and further out of the park than I could have imagined.  As of April 2015, I didn’t just return to a volunteer role – I left “Wall Street” and took on the role as Program Director for Four Block Foundation in New York City.  It’s a 501(c)3 organization that (if I may say so myself) is the premier organization changing the Veteran narrative and increasing the success of transitioning Veterans entering corporate America.  Make no mistake about it, Four Block is effecting the lives of many Veterans, and is influencing the future of our nation’s business leaders.

Run the Spartan Trifecta 2015, Tough Mudder 2015 x2 (INCOMPLETE)  Peaks and valleys, right?  I only ranTough Mudder Wall - Cropped one Spartan race, and that was a Sprint – no big challenge there.  I also only ran Tough Mudder once – compared to my “x2” goal.  With my move to Four Block I was able to make a fund-raising event of the Tough Mudder – and I will be looking forward to doing so again in 2016, so keep an eye out!

Confirm Education and Professional Value Building Plan (COMPLETE* with caveats). NYU Subway Well, my move to Four Block has done a lot.  It’s made me feel the most satisfaction with my career that I have had since taking off the uniform.  In a way, it’s what a friend and incredibly ambitious and inspiring fellow Veteran once coined as “getting my ‘give a damn’ back”.  Having a sense of purpose is like consuming the energy drink that Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster all wish they could develop.  It’s a surge of “get’r dun” that flows through you.  But to address the goal – I’ve began my MBA at NYU Stern, I’ve actively sought responsibility at Four Block that takes me OUT of my comfort zone as a professional- and I am seeing responsibility and empowerment to complete my role as a regional/city director that is far more encompassing than I had in my previous role (and I enjoyed my previous role – but it just doesn’t compare).

Get promoted and/or apply to AND Take on an advanced role (COMPLETE* with a twist).  Well, I’ll leave the nuances where they belong – but in order to see the promotion, growth, development and load of responsibilities that come with it – I moved externally.  As a career coach and advisor, sometimes that is the move to make.  We have ambitious goals at Four Block – which I fully intend to promote.  Looking at our stake-holders, they deserve nothing less.


Happy New Year – and Keep Achieving!

What We Don’t Admit About Purpose

We don't often see "Purpose", but immediate or in long term, it's effects are remarkable.
We don’t often see “Purpose”, but immediate or in long term, it’s effects are remarkable.

Purpose is a funny thing.  People say it a lot; we hear it a lot; we reference it a lot… But I’d argue we don’t understand the effects of “purpose” a lot.

If we are lucky, our goals will align with our stated purpose.  When that is true, good things happen… actually, GREAT things happen.  We don’t often state our purpose, and I bet many of you reading this couldn’t give me your purpose this very instant.

Still thinking about it?  YOUR purpose.  Not your company mission statement; not your professional goals; not your health goals.  What’s your purpose?

It’s hard to say it, even after identifying it.  Why?  Because you become very vulnerable when you admit to your purpose.  There is a natural defensiveness in us all – to not allow ourselves to be “vulnerable”. It’s a survival instinct.  Stephen Covey is world known for conflict resolution – what’s at the base of, The 3rd Alternative?  Purpose.  Get past the superficial and get to what really matters for all parties, and there is almost always a 3rd, and better, alternative.

What have you done lately to identify your purpose?  Reflect lately?  I mean truly reflect.  Not brag at yourself for accomplishments, or complain about those “other things” that keep getting in the way of what’s “yours” – but reflect.

For me, I think it’s a huge question that I don’t know if I can answer.  But, I’ve figured out how to identify short-term purpose.  They’re called, “goals”.  You can endure anything if you have a purpose to do so.  Nobody I’ve ever spoke to would go to Boot Camp or Officer Candidate School if it didn’t result in becoming a military service member.  I didn’t go to Boot Camp for fun – I went to become a Marine. I didn’t go to OCS and trade my “rockers” for “butterbars” because I wanted to be a “Boot” again and enjoyed PT and getting yelled at; I wanted to be an Infantry Officer and lead Marines at the ultimate test of leadership – the world has ever known.

Take a look at what you do each day, and answer yourself:  Does this fulfill my purpose?

– Damien

Four Block Alum’ Organizes Veteran Awareness March through Manhattan

Four Block alumni organizes Ruck March
Gene Wu (Left), Four Block Alumnus, Vet Hack Founder and Event Organizer pictured with fellow NYU Alumni.

Four Block Alumni Organizes Veteran Suicide Awareness Event in NYC

Published on Oct 12, 2015 posted by Damien Bertolo

New York City, NY – On Sunday, October 11th, hundreds of people walked through the streets of New York City wearing heavy packs, “silkies” shorts, and flags. They were participating in the 2nd Annual VETHack Ruck March to End Veteran Suicide and were joined by many veterans organizations, including Four Block, Team Rubicon, Team Red White And Blue, The Mission Continues, GoRuck, and the Bob Woodruff Foundation…

– See more at: http://fourblock.org/alumni-organizes-nyc-event/#sthash.mddu7r2D.dpuf

Craftsmen of Their Careers

Happy to share my latest – as written for the organization I am a part of – Four Block!  Give it a look – and if it raises questions, give our page a visit!  FourBlock.org.

That’s the difference with Four Block–they don’t merely give out tools for veterans to stare at; they teach veterans how to use those tools.

Source: Craftsmen of Their Careers

Donald Trump: Anchor of the Republican Party

This is just a quick “Anchor” I drew on MS Word – I’ve tried to pick as neutral colors as possible – it is just an anchor made with MS Word art.

I may share opinion pieces on LifebyDamien.com – but I do refrain from taking a political position.  If I may have disappointed you by breaking that rule, just continue reading and find out why this is about Marketing.  I am not nearly involved in Politics enough to make any political analysis of any given candidate.  But I can tell you why Donald Trump is the Anchor of the Republican Party – and his effect is already established.

The “Anchoring Effect” in marketing describes the effect of manipulating consumers/buyers decision making by presenting them with a new “anchor” or baseline to make their decisions when deciding to purchase or act.  This can be better explained in the Inc.com article published in January 2014.  Let me set an example, first read the following two statements:

  • Statement One: I paid $800 for my roundtrip plane tickets to L.A. (from NYC) last month.
  • Statement Two: I am looking for tickets to make my next trip – they are looking expensive.

How much do you think tickets are selling for?  Odds are, if you didn’t go to a booking site before answering, you assumed the tickets are more than $800.  If I’m an airline marketer, I’m also hoping you’ll find that a price that you’ll accept to paying.  When looking up info on the anchoring effect, I find most writers also referencing this great TED Talk by Dan Ariely – he is able to speak through the examples well.

Donald Trump, be it through choice, intent, or not – is making statement one.  Donald Trump has already made a case, that is followed enough to effect the decision making of voters – particularly those who will not vote for him.  Let’s set some assumptions for the sake of making this easier to explain:

  • the extreme Democratic position as the “Far Left” and the extreme Republican party as the “Far Right”
  • the point at where both parties meet is the “Moderate Middle”
  • Democratic Presidential candidates are somewhere on the “Left” and Republican candidates are somewhere on the “Right”.

Speaking from a Marketing perspective, Donald Trump has established a newly visible point of reference… effectively making the “Far Right” even further to the right, than before his campaign.  If the Republican Party stays its position in the “Right”, then the moderate middle is then pulled to the right to some extent… closer to the (hat is now considered) “moderate” republicans.  Think of it similar to the average or “mean” of a data sample being skewed due to an extreme value.

Without an Extreme Right, or polarizing candidate like Donald Trump – the “extreme” boundaries are held by the Republican Party.  I am not advocating any candidate, but I thought seeing this, somewhat hidden, example of the Anchoring Effect was too interesting to not mention.

A New Mission: The Four Block Foundation

Be it Passover, Easter, or just the change of season – the Vernal Equinox and arrival of spring mark the vivacious new chapter in the New Year.  After the tumultuous shift into the New Year has occurred (If you are in the Northeast, you are particularly familiar with this year’s tumultuous “transition”) and now all look to the fruits to come – if they haven’t already arrived.  What better time to mark my own turn into a new chapter?

This week, I begin my new mission – or should I say new role in a continued mission – at The Four Block Foundation.  I will be closing a chapter where I served as a Campus Recruiter and leading voice in the company’s Veteran Initiative Committee at the world’s largest Insurance Company – AIG.  I accomplished quite a bit while at AIG, and I hope to still help them accomplish some of their goals that coincide with our goals at Four Block.

To AIG I say:  Thank you for the time and ability for me to continue developing myself while having a mission and contributing to value for something other than myself.

To Four Block: Thank you for inviting me in. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the team!

As I write this – I can’t help but think that in my move to Four Block, I’ve managed to directly address two of my 2015 Goals in one!  I will have a great involvement in Four Block (which if you have read, is not a new organization to me) AND I will be taking on an advanced role with more responsibility.  The ability for me to take on a role that is quite accurately a ‘passion project’ is incredibly humbling.

The role will be incredibly exciting, challenging, demanding and – rewarding!  As the Director of Programs in New York City, I will have the opportunity to work with some of the most: well-trained, ambitious and determined Student Veterans that the region has.  On top of that, I will have the privilege of being a part of their development.  At an operational level, I will have the opportunity to be a part of Four Block growing, and developing more relationships, more offerings, and more opportunities for Four Block students and the organizations that support them.

At a tactical level – I will have a new routine and a new balance of priorities.  It may sound simple or even silly, but I look forward to my new schedule allowing me to get to the gym in the AM, or go running, or complete an Insanity/T25/#Spartan30/WOD workout without having to get up before 5 am!  I might be a Vet, but I’ve never enjoyed getting up early – if it wasn’t for the excitement of getting to jump out of a perfectly fine aircraft over the gorgeously green fields of Alabama, I would have REALLY struggled at jump school.

I am very excited to share this time and new chapter with you.  Here’s to jumping into a new chapter, and to earning the fruits to come!

Why Aren’t More Veterans Killing themselves?

When I heard the statistic that 22 Veterans were committing suicide a day I was shocked at the number.  It is clearly too many.  But then… the more I’ve experienced life after the uniform, life as a Vet, I wonder how it is so few.

I try to keep things positive, and be a common voice for many.  But this time, this is just raw honesty – for better or worse.  Every day I ask myself if I will ever be worth something the way I was when I was  a Marine.  The one place I felt like I fit in, and I had a purpose worth sacrificing for, I will never be able to go back to.  But I also lose hope every day that I will ever find a place to fit in like that ever again.  So now what?  Does that make me spoiled?  Maybe.

Now – maybe I’m tainted, maybe I have too high of expectations of people, or maybe I’m just broken.  I have lost my ability to cope with persons in positions of leadership who fail to lead; People in the world who will sacrifice others for their own gain.  I can’t stand to see people in positions of leadership being falsely led to believe they are leaders – but just aren’t.  But worse, that they have been placed in that position and NOBODY has given them an honest education, expectations, or development on/with leadership skills.  So – is it really that person’s fault?

I was drafting my next post to be about the leadership failures within the NYPD, highlighted some of the tragedies that happened at the hands of the NYPD officers.  The cliff-note:  There is leadership at the top, and cadets get leadership training during the academy – but nobody is qualifying the leadership between the very beginning, and the very top.  And that lost leadership is costing NYPD their own lives, the lives of NYPD Families, and the lives of those whom they are sworn to protect.

I can type until my fingers bleed, I can speak at college campuses until my face is blue and my voice is shot.  But the situation is not going to resolve.  It is not going to resolve for me, and I am still lost.  I’m still left wondering where, if I’ll find my place of value – and that hope diminishes daily.

Every day I look at my accomplishments since I’ve been a “Veteran”, and every day I am not happy with them.  To some others, they may see some as actual accomplishments.  But, I’ve lived beyond that – and to me, I question if I am meeting the minimum requirements.

It’s true, and I’ve poured countless hours of my own time, my work time, and the time of others I’ve asked to help me – to figure out why the population doesn’t understand Veterans.  They don’t, and won’t.  But – maybe the bigger fix is correcting how Veterans don’t understand the rest of the world.  Before the 9/11 attacks 13 years ago, only 3% of the U.S. population was made up of Military Veterans.  Currently that population has increased to 10-12%.  It is expected to move back closer to the 3-4% mark after we move beyond a post-conflict era.  So – why should we work on educating the 90% + population for the sake of the less than 10%?  Maybe because the 10% have been enlightened in a way the 90% haven’t, and that enlightenment came at a cost that the 10% bare on behalf of the 100%.  I can only think back to the book, “The Giver”, and the strife that was brought to the one chosen to be the “Giver”.  Maybe not all of us can handle being enlightened, and still live among those who are not.  Maybe that is why the “Giver” lives a life of an outcast, and away from those who will never have the capacity to know.

The problem is – even though their cost, the cost of the 10%, was at the benefit of the 90% – those who stand to lose the most in all of this confusion, are the “Givers”… the 10%.

#22adayistoomany – but I can only wonder how it isn’t so many more.

My Career Path is “Speed” and I’m Sandra Bullock

It’s no secret that in today’s global economy, if you are not improving you are losing.  So if nothing else, you must be moving forward or in the general direction you aspire to go.

When guiding discussions about establishing “SMART” goals for students, transitioning Vets, or professionals I like to use the GPS analogy…  When using a gps, you must input the address in order to get directions to your destination.  With all the technology in the world, you still can’t arrive at your destination without identifying it.  Well, I’d like to add that – you don’t have the luxury of delaying your decision of where to go.  Actually, you HAVE to be driving… in some direction…At some speed until you can decide on a destination.

So… what happens when you are behind the wheel of a bus, that can’t slow down and you have no destination?  Well Sandra, stopping is not an option.  Thus, the title of this post… and what happens now?  What for those who have identified that you “don’t know what you want to be when you grow up” but have a career started?  You can’t stop the bus, but if you don’t identify your destination soon, you may be traveling in the opposite, or at least wrong, direction until you do.

Typically I like to propose a feasible solution or recommendation each time I highlight a conflict or hurdle.  This time, I don’t have one… or at least not a good one.  You might want to find your Keanu Reeves, a mentor, or an outside perspective that can help you get on course – before things blow up.

Afraid of Missing Out


So, I think I have finally figured it out – I’m afraid they aren’t going to wait for me!  Who are “they” (Maybe “they” should be my readers, and I could use my fear of them not waiting for me as motivation to post more consistently, and more often)?

They – are opportunities.  As I fight my required yet despised daily ritual, going to bed (I like to be up at night, but the rest of the world requires me to be up during the day) I realize that I am not good at keeping a routine.  Actually, I am always telling myself that I need to do many things more “consistently”.  But, I never do.  More importantly I realize that, I can never keep to strict routines, because I am afraid that by committing to a routine I will miss out on an opportunity!  What if I neglect passing opportunities because I’m too drilled into maintaining my routine?

Time is not waiting for me, and this is not the world that would allow me to miss out on an opportunity… can anyone afford to turn away when opportunity knocks? 

In business planning, you always have to calculate the “opportunity cost” of investing in something new, or just moving forward with a plan.  The amount is measured, for analysis reasons, by estimating the single most impactful opportunity you would lose out on by making your choice.  THE SINGLE most, not all the potential opportunities – just the single most.  This opportunity cost is often, if not always, mutually exclusive from what you will gain from the choice or option you pursue.  Unfortunately, I’ve never been good at only assuming or measuring just one, identifiable, most-impactful opportunity – and I’ve never liked that I have to miss out on it.  I’ll take that cake, and a napkin – because I’m eating it too!

I like to take these realizations and turn them into a question or challenge for myself.  So, this time I see two focus points: 1. I need to learn how to keep “routine” tasks exciting so that I don’t actually feel like I’m in a routine (and thus not blind to our distracted from passing opportunities).  2. I need to ensure I am giving full attention to whatever I am doing, and not allow myself to get distracted by fear that I might have mis-allocated my time.

My Greatest Fear; Now my Greatest Motivation

Final Blog Post of 2013

2013 in Review – 2014 Goals

So, let’s take a look at 2013 so we can be set with a plan for 2014.  A lot has gone on this year for me personally and professionally of which a few points I’d like to highlight.  One of the things I am adamant about is having goals and objectives.  Not just dreams, but actionable plans to continue growing.  2014 will be a crucial year for me as I identify goals and objectives – mostly due to the happenings of 2013 and some realizations I’ve had to come to during that time.

Deltas Walking

Before I start my recap – I’d like to confess to my greatest fear; a very realistic fear that has influenced, for better and worse, my actions and motivation in 2013.  However, I am grateful for realizing it and I am happy to share it with you as it will be integral to setting my 2014 goals.  On my 28th birthday, in 2012 I spent my very last day wearing my Uniform as a U.S. Marine.  In the year that ensued I began to realize my greatest, most debilitating fear yet:  At 28 years old, I have already lived through the most rewarding, fulfilling, and greatest part of my life.  Now what?  Lucky for me I was able to recognize that fear, and come to realize that MANY Military Veterans have feared the same after beginning their transition back into civilian life.
So – 2013.  It was a busy year!

–          January 2013.  I left my less-than-successful career in Real Estate to develop a Veterans Recruitment Division for a New York City based staffing agency.  I didn’t know much about agency recruiting at all, but I knew about being a Veteran (which seemed to be the unique and valuable asset I provided).  I caught on pretty quick, and with a little luck – entered into a new career field.

–          March 2013. I was introduced to the civilian world’s lack of job security as the Staffing agency downsized by half, and my position along with my Veteran project were ended, on the spot and without warning.

–          March 2013. I became an independent consultant working directly for the New York Stock Exchange providing National Talent Acquisition work.  Perhaps the best kept secret was that my time at the NYSE provided far more value to me than I could have ever provided to them.

NYSE Euronext celebrates 2nd Annual Veteran Associates Program
NYSE Euronext celebrates 2nd Annual Veteran Associates Program

–          March 2013 – Sept 2013.  Eventually I started working full-time for the NYSE, as a Talent Acquisition Associate and a Veteran Associate as a part of their amazing Veteran Associate Program.  I worked directly for the man who became the most integral and influential person in my transition to the “civilian world”.  I was able to work additionally on Veteran efforts at the NYSE and in outreach of the NYSE to other companies such as AIG and Bloomberg, along with many additional partnerships.

AIG_NYU Networking

–          October 2013. HUGE MONTH.  After recognizing my desire to continue and develop my career in Talent Acquisition, I was referred to, interviewed for, and offered a role in Talent Acquisition at AIG.  Needless to say – I took it and am working diligently with my team’s objectives and additionally to build an official Military Veteran recruitment and retention strategy with partnerships across the corporation.  I also took on a role as a Mentor and Guest instructor for the FourBlock Foundation’s Career Development course for Veterans.  I provided resume review and assistance, and instructed on personal branding and goal setting.  I am not sure who gained more from the experience, myself or the students!

Back to my fear – It is now a motivation.  I may have lived through my most rewarding and impactful portion of my life… to date.  That just means the bar has been set, and now I have to set goals and objectives that will allow me to live a life that only grows and progresses.  For 2014 here is my “Bucket List” along with objectives and goals that will help me to reach new levels.

Goal:  Begin my MBA at NYU

–          Objective 1: Study for GMAT

–          Objective 2: Complete GMAT with a score above 650

–          Objective 3: Apply to NYU Stern School of Business Part-Time (3 year) MBA Program by the May 15th deadline

Goal:  Meet face to face with my company’s CEO, Robert Benmosche

–          Objective 1: Have a reason to meet with him (Official Veteran Program at AIG).  Meaning, he has to be aware of the work being done on the topic.  Which means, the work has to be solid, and provide value.

–          Objective 2: Complete planning and execution of a series of Veteran Initiatives in collaboration with Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Business Lines, and Diversity & Inclusion at AIG.  (I cannot make public statements about everything just yet).

Goal:  Travel Outside of the Continental U.S.

–          Objective 1: Obtain a Passport. (I’ve never had one, but just submitted my application last week!)

–          Objective 2: Complete a work related travel event outside of the U.S. (Likely to happen if I go to an event in one of our Canadian offices).

–          Objective 3: Go on an out of the country trip for FUN!  More specifically, a spontaneous location in the Caribbean, as my wife and I will be celebrating our TENTH Anniversary this Spring!  I think at least a 2-3 night trip is feasible.  Any LifebyDamien fans with connections or recommendations – please speak up! J

Goal: Write, Produce, Record and Master a complete song.Home Production

–          Objective 1:  Learn to play at least 2 complete songs on the guitar

–          Objective 2:  Obtain an intermediate-hobbyist level of expertise with ProTools and the MIDI equipment I currently have

–          Objective 2:  Upgrade my computer to handle the additional work-load.

Goal: Buy a House (Either single-family to live in, or Multi-Family to live in and begin a rental income investment)

–          Objective 1:  Build savings to cover all up-front costs (Will be using VA Loan)

–          Objective 2:  Identify investable markets (we have some areas picked out, but the idea of a multi-family unit within the city is a new development).

Goal: Begin Writing a Book

–          Objective 1:  Identify WHAT?!  I have had this idea for a long while, and I have been very creative in trying to identify a topic.  I’ve really considered all sorts of angles, so ideas are welcomed.  So far, I’ve considered:

  • Memoir of my military career
  • Memoir of my transition process with a focus on the psychology involved
  • Taking all of my LifebyDamien articles and tying them together
  • Erotic Fiction (sex sells right?)
  • Personal Branding for those who don’t know personal branding
  • Any sort of random e-book to test the waters

–          Objective 2:  Start writing

–          Objective 3:  Get someone to read an initial manuscript

–          Objective 4:  Include writing courses as part of my MBA curriculum/electives

There are more I am sure, but not sure how to articulate.  But to wrap up, here are some ideas I am considering, that are more “Bucket List” items – that if any fans are considering also, perhaps we can go in on a joint venture?

  1. Skydiving (Have jumped with a static-line in U.S. Army Airborne school, but never free-fall)
  2. Scuba Diving (Never have)
  3. Family Cabin trip to the mountains, fishing, hiking, etc
  4. Family Trip to Florida (undecided whether to make it a road-trip or fly)
  5. Knicks Game and Madison Square Garden
  6. Nets Game at Barclay’s
  7. Yankees Game
  8. Jets or Giants game at MetLife Stadium

Well – in 2013 I’ve taken my fear and turned it into motivation.  What are you doing for 2014?