I've been working on this post for a few days now, with little time to complete it. As some of you are aware via social media, I've moved my family from the beautiful green, cool, sometimes-rainy-but-almost-always-pleasant Pacific Northwest to the dry, mountainous, high-desert beauty of the Salt Lake valley. Thankfully, my job is global and flexible, and I have a great team who work all hours of the day and night, so there was no real impact from the move. I kept telling myself that there was value in me being situated physically near the Microsoft campus -- but the reality is that I talk to Microsoft people online every day, and see my closest connections at events around the world more than I ever did in Redmond. But really, all of that was secondary.
The real reason for the move was to take care of family. It needed to be done, and I feel blessed to be able to do it. I loved our house and property in Duvall, Washington, and will miss the many friends and associations built over the past 12 years. But I love my family more than those things, and so the decision to move was easy. All of the pains of selling a house, buying a new house, saying goodbye to some friends and meeting new people, and the rest of the mental trauma that comes with change is really just small stuff that is temporary. Family is all that matters. Everything else is secondary.
Of course, a move across states is always cause for some reflection. Looking back at the last decade, I was able to accomplish a lot of great things while in the Seattle area. Some of the work-related milestones include:
- Joining Microsoft at the beginning of what is now Office 365, and helping to deploy some of the earliest customers
- While at echoTechnology, helping to create and launch a SharePoint migration tool (Davinci) that included the market's first built-in pre-migration analysis capability
- Seeing echoTechnology acquired by Axceler
- Earning my first MVP award while at Axceler
- Earning an Inc 500 award with Axceler
- Helping to launch and run SharePoint Saturday events in Sacramento, San Ramon (East Bay), Silicon Valley, Bend, Redmond, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City, and providing help and support to many other locations
- Co-authoring a SharePoint 2010 book, and writing chapters for 3 more books
- Seeing Axceler acquired by Metalogix
- Launching the Seattle chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) with my good friend Jeff Shuey, and serving as its president for 3 years, and VP for a 4th year
- Easily surpassing 1,000,000 miles with all of my event travels. In 2013 alone I tracked over 320,000 miles, averaging 3 to 5 speaking events per month
- Helping build a new branch of South Africa-based GTconsult in a very competitive marketplace and leaving it cash-flow positive
- Joining the Puget Sound SharePoint User Group (PSSPUG) board for a year
- Keynoting events on 5 continents
- Making the Top 25 SharePoint/Office 365 Influencers list for the past 3 years in a row
- Joining a fast-growing Beezy team that I had been watching from afar for a couple years
- Beezy taking home the Best Office 365 Solution award at ESPC 2015
- Earning the #5 spot on the Top Office 365 and SharePoint Vendor Blogs
- Reaching the Top 10 in the Inbound Marketing Excellence Awards for 2015 and 2016 out of 25,000 companies
I thoroughly enjoy what I do, and I am looking forward to achieving some additional milestones while here in the Salt Lake City area for the next few years. Once my family is settled, I'm sure I'll get involved with many of the local activities. For starters, I have my first Utah SPUG meeting next week as a resident (I've presented there a couple times, and of course helped start the local SPS event a few years back), and also plan to plug myself into the local IAMCP chapter. Looking forward to it.
If you're in the vicinity, please drop me a line.