“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” — Lao Tzu
This year has undoubtedly been a year of more change than any other in my entire life. From top to bottom, everything has shifted and been made new. Much of it has felt like starting from scratch, yet, undoubtedly, there was a firm foundation already laid upon which I could build.
(“Build” was my 2018 Word of the Year - you can read more about that HERE.)
Building is an interesting experience because the builders are always more proud of the result than anyone who sees the final product. (Similarly, I will be the one who appreciates this blog post more than those who end up reading it.)
Only those who spent the sweat equity, who overcame the inevitable obstacles, and who persisted to completion day-by-day, month-by-month, and year-by-year, only they will be able to fully appreciate the end result and all that went into it’s existence.
Year In Review
Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest changes in my life this past year:
After coming to the decision that it was time to pivot into a new career path, I started thinking through how to make this shift successfully. One of the things I knew I wanted to do was to create a new personal brand that I could transfer my existing community toward. This was the birth of Thane Marcus. Several months of imagining, designing, planning, and building went into that transition, as well as all the fun logistical aspects of creating a new entity / business (sarcasm). This was not a small task, but I was grateful to get the year started on the right foot with the newly unveiled Thane Marcus leading the charge.
(I’m also grateful to have a good designer to hire - much love to the homie Josiah Zimmerman for making me/my brand look good.)
Becoming a Coach
Knowing that golf gifted me with a lot of discipline, a deep knowledge base in human optimization, and the practical tools for creating a vision and carrying it out, I wanted to use these skills and apply it to others in their life and work. While ideas are great, it always comes down to the actions that either enforce or disprove the concepts. For the first five months of 2018 I worked on building my coaching practice by providing free services to half a dozen friends or connections I had. This helped shape and create the systems I use, while clarifying the value I bring, and ultimately it has been the foundation for my continued work with individuals today.
(To learn more / schedule an intro call - click HERE)
Building a Portfolio
In the fall of 2017, God opened the door for me to be a part of an agency in LA called SLU (Sports + Lifestyle Unlimited). I was excited for the opportunity but was starting from scratch in regards to modeling and commercial work. This meant spending a lot of time as well as money to start building out a portfolio that would generate leads and auditions for work within this sector of “the Industry”. Alongside the portfolio, I have also been getting in my reps on the audition-front, going to 30-40 different auditions throughout the year.
Taking the Leap into Entrepreneurship
I knew that if I was going to be fully committed to what I was building, I had to take the leap of faith into becoming fully self-employed. This took the form of starting my first small business - Collaboration Coffee - a portable espresso bar for events and weddings. Through the help of many people, and several months of work, I was able to get the business off the ground and begin learning about all the layers and facets that come with being a business owner, providing great experience to add more value with my coaching clients.
Executing on a Book Launch
With a year’s worth of work under my belt, I knew that it was time to see this book project through to completion. So, after looking into the agent and publisher route, I decided on the path of self-publishing with a hybrid publishing/printing company called Printopya. This led to a 3-4 month process of finalizing all the details and seeing it through to finished product. This was an incredibly growing experience and I couldn’t have done it without all the support through friends and family along the way. Being able to get the book into people’s hands the past few months and hearing their feedback has been the most fulfilling reward after the 18-month project that this book was.
(To buy a signed copy of: From Here to There, click HERE)
Launching a Speaking Career
Writing a book forces you to take a deep dive into whatever the subject matter is that you're writing about. With my book being all about pursuing individual mastery and the process of personal development, I began to see the opportunity to share these concepts on a broader level. This led to developing several different keynotes and workshops to help facilitate growth, self-awareness, and discipline in others through sharing information about the path ahead that empowers them to take ownership of their lives and never settle for less than they are capable of. Excited for much more speaking to come in 2019.
(To see more of my speaking topics and schedule, click HERE)
Snagging a Best-Seller
Reading Ryan Holiday’s book: Perennial Seller, helped me understand that any book is only as good as you sell it. Regardless of how good you think it is, it’s only made useful by getting it into the hands of people who can read it. This understanding helped me put all of my focus and energy into making the book launch as successful as I could. From doing over 40 podcast interviews on my Podcast Book-Tour (see the interviews that have released HERE), to having a book signing event at The Last Bookstore here in LA, to earning a #1 Amazon Best-Seller in three different categories — I couldn’t have done this without all of your support and encouragement! It’s truly humbling to look back and see.
Moving to a New Body
No this is not a physical body, but rather a church body. I had been feeling God nudge me the past few years to start looking for a new church to call home, and in the spring of 2018 the time had finally come to take action on God’s prodding. This led to starting the church-visit process which ended in finding and landing on Legacy City Church in Studio City, CA. The entire process was really all about following God’s lead, and He made it crystal clear that Legacy was where He wanted me to be. Nine months later I can confidently say that direction has been affirmed 100-fold!
Creating a New Community
With moving to a new church, I also felt called to start and lead a Young Adults group in light of the ways God has created and equipped me throughout my life thus far. Five to six months later, this small seed has turned into a full-blown community with UNITED — a Young Adults group for 20s and 30s — going strong as ever after four months of gathering together around God’s Word and His people. I’ve been blown away by all that has come from that community and cannot wait to continue watching God work through our new family!
Moving to a New Home
Going into this year I knew it was time to finally make the migration out of Santa Clarita and into LA. It had been a goal of mine for quite some time and finally, in August, after several months of searching and viewing, that goal became a reality and I shifted my life to a townhome in Glendale, CA with two new roommates. This was the closing of a chapter and the beginning of something new. It has been such an exciting and rewarding experience (along with all the annoying and challenging things that always come with moving, of course), and can’t wait to see where God leads next.
One of my favorite quotes about change is from George Leonard who said:
“Resistance is proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is a favorable or unfavorable one.”
This year, the speed and size of the changes continued to ramp up throughout the year. As both factors increased, so did my capacity to handle and embrace that very change, allowing me to inwardly thrive in a time that would have likely crippled me in the past.
I so appreciate this time to sit down and reflect on all that has happened in a single year, a year of building. Gretchen Rubin said that: “The days are long but the years are short,” and this is such an experienced truth for me this past year.
The day-to-day grind is one that can feel overwhelming, burdensome, stagnant, and directionless at times. Yet, if we can remain patient, persistent, and focused on what’s set before us, those daily baby steps that are fought for eventually end up in a substantial amount of distance traveled and ground gained.
Patience, persistence, focus, discipline. Those are the necessary ingredients for successful building.
I am thankful for 2018, a year spent learning the lived-reality of each of those things.
… brick by brick.