I'm a New Yorker. I live in Brooklyn, at walking distance to/from Manhattan. I love the energy, community, and drive of my city - where nothing is out of reach and the leaders of art and innovation are ordinary denizens of the coffee shop. I can't imagine doing without phenomenal journalism, Broadway, world-class tradecraft, and superb global cuisine. I travel a lot and, like 52% of New Yorkers, I'm a transplant, but New York is the only place I've ever truly called home. Frankly, I can't see myself anywhere but a port city at the 42nd parallel or above.
I collect and tell stories. I'm fascinated by how the structure of stories has evolved and yet remained largely unchanged since man came down from the trees and lived in caves. I taught myself the art of the cocktail story, continually experiment with fiction, hack out the occasional short film, and routinely violate the boundary between entrepreneurship and art. In Forbes, I collated, wrote and retold stories of business outliers living the experimental life. In The Corporate Story™ blog, as a Digital Ecologist®, I compare the efforts of commercial organizations (organisms that endlessly fascinate me) to connect with audiences through brand stories. I consume a hell of a lot of film and Sorkin-quality TV (e.g I dig David E. Kelley). I inhale vintage breakthrough moments in storytelling like film noir, TV serials like Combat, and the tough, candid films of the 1970s. I listen to the radio dramas of the Jazz Age through about 1984. I read hard-boiled fiction and anything by Stephen King.
The most valuable thing I own is my independence. I was once the student of academia, the corporate employee, the religious protege. Then I shoved the degrees in a drawer, retired my resume, hoisted my own flag, and started building things. I became a serial entrepreneur with multiple businesses. The only life I've ever known how to live is one of freedom. The most powerful definition of success I have is that I love my life. I wouldn't do anything else–just more of it. I lead several practice areas and I'm an agile practitioner.
MUSIC, MOVEMENT, & THOUGHT
I study music, dance (Latin and Ballroom), and martial arts. I hike, walk, or work out every day. I travel the world, ride subways, read continually, explore, reason, ponder, and inevitably teach. I'm a showman with zero stage fright; toss me a mic and give me a crowd, and I'm perfectly comfortable with no script. I was a digital native before there were digital natives. I have a rescue dog and no regard for breeds or pedigree. I'm a graduate of Landmark Education and a veteran of BNI. I'm politically apolitical, religiously Eastern Orthodox, philosophically a skeptic, and prefer not to discuss any of it in mixed company. I drink Brooklyn Brown Ale, Aged Tequila Margaritas, Mojitos made with nine pounds of mint and aged sipping rums, 16-year-old Lagavulin neat, old wines, and Jameson Black Barrel. I listen to every genre of music that possesses roots, melody, and integrity (from prog rock to punk, Chet Baker to Muddy Waters, Brian Setzer to Joe Strummer, Sinatra to Towns Van Zandt, Snow Patrol to The Strokes) and I have little patience for posers.
There are a few lines of work I regard as "family business". My family consists, like most good ones do, of people that mutually help one another. The members of my family are there for me in particular ways—not the least of which is they help me be more human and they pray that I may receive mercy despite my faults. I am there for them in other ways, which I am privileged to undertake. My people range from ex-soldiers to Chinese immigrants to villagers in Africa to street orphans in Chennai. I have children all over the world. One such family group... Since 2007, I've had a positive relationship with Global Giving, a platform that permits me to fund small, lean, local charities that work DIRECTLY with a target constituency. I get routine FIELD REPORTS and an opportunity to reach people in the most direct manner possible. The process is efficient–eliminating the massive overhead that makes small donors feel ineffective. The Global Giving platform enables a substantive, direct impact. To that end, I introduce you to some of my kids.