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It’s Time to Make the Doughnuts

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It’s Time to Make the Doughnuts

It’s here. The next wave in my life and that of my family’s is here. It’s HERE!!! HA! I am so proud to announce that as of next week, I’ve accepted a new position as the vice president of product management at Lijit Networks…right here in downtown Boulder Colorado. Yes, my commute will be an unbelievable bike path from my house right to downtown. When I say it’s time to make the doughnuts, anyone from the East Coast will appreciate this old Dunkin’ Donuts commercial and what it came to symbolize for us working families…especially my dad and what he taught me about supporting your family and the need to get up at the crotch of dawn, inspire others even though you’re worked, and get home to your family when the day’s done. His antics of trying to drive his Mazda up our snowy hill in Connecticut, in an attempt to get to the train station for his 1.5 hour commute to NYC (each way…every day), are legendary and are the real-life example of a man who’s going to make the doughnuts. All for us, his family. Now, I’m back on it again. I’m ready to make the doughnuts.

I want to take the time to decompose everything below mainly so I remember this period of my life. Kind of get into the way this all came to be…the state of my head…the hazy vision of the future…etc But in sum, I’m right at the beginning of this beautiful trail and have no idea where it’s going to take me…take us…but it’s too enticing to pass up and I know that there will be plenty of hills to climb on. But that’s all part of the challenge, right?

On Recent History

You ever go to an amazing concert and when you leave the venue, your ears are still ringing…sometimes for a day or two afterwards? Well, this was the state of my head from about April 1st of this year after my former employer and I said adios to one another. 12+ years of pushing to build product and make the people believe in it was a rush of highs and lows. It made my head ring when I thought of all the years put in, all the places seen, all the products launched. I needed a break….desperately wanted it….and made it happen. I kept flicking dominoes to ensure that this was the case and I would not get complacent. But even when you get what you want, if you’re like me, you fear a bit. It’s funny that way. The future. Will I be able to push at the same levels I once was able to? Am I smart enough? Do I have what it takes again to do this? All of those feelings and more. But of all the advice I got, one thing rang true: “take time to think and when that’s done you'll go forward. Any sooner and you’ll go sideways.” Thanks T.

On Patience and Timing

Believe in what you’ve established behind you. If you have not totally messed with the Universe, she’ll take care of you. My instinct is to just GO! GO! GO! But for some reason, I just needed to remain calm as I knew I could get Elvis back in the building….but needed to wait for the right timing. It’s just not a great feeling when you are a husband and daddy and you are the one left standing in the game of musical chairs. Exploring what you want in life, vetting it and not yielding from your vision is the only way to live regardless of circumstance. Practicing patience to believe we could realize our vision of raising our family here in Boulder and for me personally, building something absolutely rad with phenomenal people was all I wanted. Not too much to ask, right? Ha. Patience. It’s like asking a fish not to swim for a while. It took everything.

On Belief

When you call my mom’s house, her answering machine still says “Thanks for calling, leave a message…and remember to keep the faith!”Beeeep! That’s what my pops always used to say. And I can’t yield from that either. When my mind thrashed to extremities that I was failing me and my family, I’d simply say on some of those lonely rides: Keep the faith Greg, just keep the faith. Or if religion is not your thing, just recall that scene from Star Wars: Stay on target! You just have to believe in your vision and what you want in this life and that the Imperial TIE fighters won’t nuke your tailpipe. It’s all the same. Just believe and don’t flail about woe-is-me-ing. That’s too easy. Get on it. And now.

On the Unbroken Chain

Bikes could unite us all. I mean it! Ha! But in all seriousness, this new episode of my life is yet again related to and attributed to bikes. I once wrote about the chain of inter-related episodes that linked my life together…one stage after the next…all due to bikes. Meeting The WK through Boulder Cycle Sport and having him rub his chin and say: “So what did you do in the software industry again?” started it all. And that was nearly 6 months ago. There are no accidents and it proved yet again that the purity of the bike and how it unites like minded folks is something to believe in.

On the Next Wave

You. Me. Our mutual friends. Those we’ve yet to meet and understand and share mutual interests. It’s the ‘trusted social graph’ and is the way forward towards semantically making sense of this thing we have now call the “internet”. The web is merely piping…electronic plumbing if you will…and no one’s yet been able to service the reality of what it is really meant for: Connecting real people and their real lives as we rush towards visually and textually describing and documenting our personal growth all on the internet. Lijit is on a path forward to realizing this goal and I am honored to play a part in shaping product and technology to make it easier for all of us to inter-relate, amongst many other exciting opportunities the underpinning technology has to offer the interwebs. 

On You

You can f-ing DO ANYTING YOU WANT. Anything! All that shit above is rhetoric above unless you absolutely, positively have faith in yourself…and the right amount of fear to spark it. It’s motivating to me, especially the unbelievable amount of private emails this site gets…all asking the same questions. And not about bikes or tubulars or white sex shoes most of the time, but about the day to day stresses that cause major fissures to our real lives. Similar lives whether you’re that single-speeder in Toronto or that gal in SF or a lawyer in Diegem, Belgium. It’s all the same! We clearly want to do the right things in this one shot we get. I’m indebted to those emails of back pats I receive when I boo-hoo on my site and conversely, those I’ve tried to electronically send back to those that ask the real questions. We’re in this shit together and my choice to document this stuff on this blog is my choice. Doesn't have to be yours. Just know I’m a trusted ear as you’ve proven to me with your trusted eyes and dedication to reading what is often my drivel.

Now, it’s time. Go and make the doughnuts YOU want to make.

Reader Comments (12)

And, now the wood flooring installation guy will not ask you what you do for a living. The indignity!!!! Anyhows, congrats.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric P

Congratulations! I've been following your experience from layoffs to hiring and I wish you all the best. You DO know how to celebrate life and I've enjoyed reading about your journey.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

Congrats Greg! Will be watching! Envious about the commute!

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDavid I.

Congrats Greg! Why doesn't this surprise me? LOL...

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKim

Congrats, buddy! Livin' the dream...

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjohn g

You did it dude..! I am so happy for you - not to mention jealous of your commute. Going thru what you did a year ago, believe me I can relate. Good on you. thinks I need to buy you a beer or 3. rock.

June 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdoug

Congrats on the new gig! I have to say, this was a really inspiring entry. I'm at a certain point in my career life where things feel stagnant. This isn't a good feeling. People are constantly telling me I should just be happy I have a job. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful that I have an income, but I'm not sure I should be "thankful" for the status quo. I want to strive to better myself, to grow. It's nice to see there are like minded folks out there... Thanks for the inspiration, sometimes that's all it takes!

July 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commentergary

Gary: go make some of yer own doughnuts! But in all seriousness, push if you want to push and it'll all be for the exact purpose that was meant to be. Just drill it!

July 1, 2009 | Registered CommenterGreg Keller

Greg, this is a fantastic post. It makes me want to fist pump in exuberance! We're really excited to have you at the office (now everyday instead of your excitable visits) ! Congratulations and all of us at Lijit are really looking forward to the next steps. Cheers!

July 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGrace Boyle

Killer Keller.
Rock and Roll Brother. Rock and Roll.

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKleinroq

T minus 18 hours to start. LIGHT IT UP my man!!!

July 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWalter

I'm just recently started reading your blog, and was going back through the archives and found this article. I have to commend you, this post was one of the best posts I've read in a long time. Almost brought tears to my eyes as I, like many others, are flagellating around trying to find out who we really are and how we define ourselves, especially in the professional realm. Thanks for the connection, and enjoy the commute. I'm just on the other side of a little bit jealous.

Keep the rubber side down...


August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris

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