Jay Shirley

Striving to be a man of gallantry and taste

October Challenge

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November 1st already! October was a blitz it seemed. My challenge for October was to meet someone new, which meant an introduction of some sort, scheduling a call or meetup and then… well, I allowed myself an out for no-shows. Good thing, or I would have failed this challenge.

In a nutshell, success!

I sent quite a few emails and other messages out, some replied but most didn’t. Of those who replied, most people were interested in hopping on a hangout or Skype. I even had some in person conversations, created by watching what other people were up to and sometimes just asking for introductions.

I upped the ante a little bit, and declared that I must also have a very specific question to ask of them. It may be help, advice or satisfying some curiosity. This gave the entire process a lot more meaning.

I met, or at least spoke with, a total of 7 new people in October.

The point of these challenges is to help me refine or develop a new skill. This one definitely delivered. Some of my previous apprehension about just sending an email is gone now. I feel more comfortable talking to people and also thinking about how I could help them or a question I’d like to ask.

More importantly I’m actually more invested in looking at the people behind the work that intrigues me. I’m admittedly very bad at thinking of the human side of things, but I’ve really enjoyed this little bit of outreach. I’m still an introvert and find it fatiguing to be social; what changed is that I’ve really began enjoying the experience.

Some details

The first person totally amped me up for success. I spoke with Andrew Tarvin over at Humor That Works, specifically about his Quality Day System. Given my work with daily tracking this was right up my alley. Andrew was great, a lot of fun to talk with and I enjoyed my time.

Week 2 was my no show. Last minute cancellation, but that’s ok. I made a connection, got it on my calendar and was available. These failures are great learning experiences, too. Especially in the context of not being discouraged. After the no-show, I set out to identify other people to chat with.

Week 3 was geeking out with the absolutely stellar Peter Cook. He’s an awesome d3 developer and we’re using some of his components. We spoke about the fears and concerns in the Open Source world and how to navigate them. I can’t say enough great things about Peter, but it may just be because he’s British and as a crass American, they’re all just so damned charming.

Week 4 shifted things around a lot. Rather than hiding behind the comforts of my computer I ventured out into the real world. Las Vegas was hosting the Tech Cocktail Celebrate event, which meant that a lot of interesting and awesome folks were coming out. I ventured out into the real world and met up with as many as I could. Here I met some awesome folks from QuickLeft and Keen.IO.