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The Path to Happiness – Stay Grounded Podcast

The Path to Happiness – Stay Grounded Podcast

Recently I was able to sit down with an incredible entrepreneur and owner of JavaPresse Coffee, Raj Jana, for his “Stay Grounded” Podcast. What I loved most was that we didn’t discuss the normal story stuff.

Raj’s podcast is focussed on happiness and what it takes to be happy. I would never claim to be an expert when it comes to happiness. Heck, I struggle most days to remember that I am happy. But this interview reminded me of what does make me happy and what I do to regain alignment with happiness.

I’m not sure of the title “Walking Away from Millions” as I’m not claiming I ever walked away from millions but hey, the podcast has to sell tickets — and everything else is spot on.

I do share my story in a way that I haven’t before and some of the things I do in my morning routine as well as what I do in the pursuit of happiness.


First Descents Ball 2017 – Stories That Inspire

First Descents Ball 2017 – Stories That Inspire

Note: This post was supposed to publish in early April. For no good reason, it didn’t.  However, the message is timeless or at least has a shelf life of 2 months.


“Life Changing Experience”

It’s a phrase overused and often delivered with little meaning.  I know I’m guilty of saying “that speaker I saw, life changing” or “that cool entrepreneur conference I went to, definitely life changing, bro.” Well maybe not the “bro” part but the point is, we overuse the phrase.

On April 1, 2017 I was lucky to attend the First Descents Ball in Beaver Creek, CO.

First Descents mission states: First Descents provides life-changing outdoor ventures for young adults (age 18-39) impacted by cancer.  When I first became aware of FD (as called by their raving community of participants, donors, and supporters) I was shocked to learn that young adults are the most underserved demographic fighting cancer.

When you stop and think about it, it makes sense though. If you’re a younger person you typically have your birth family, their support, and resources to help you through this tough time.  If you’re an older adult you also have built your own family, figured out some big things in life, are more likely to have a home, stable job, etc.

But when you’re 18-39 is when you’re just figuring things out. It’s when you’re trying to start a career, move out of the home you grew up in, start paying off those student loans, and building a life for yourself.

This is what makes the First Descents mission so meaningful.  They are helping young adults through a particularly rough illness during what is a particularly challenging time in life.

Sitting in the ballroom at the FD Ball everyone was dressed as you might for any typical fundraiser. With one exception – it was a hat party.  I proudly wore my loud orange and yellow Draplin Designs hat along with a suit and some Simple shoes. Sometimes you just have to express yourself.

While the food was tasty and the cocktails were flowing, what really stood out to me were the stories.  FD participant after participant took the stage to share their own personal story and how attending a FD program led to a life-changing experience.  Stories of self worth, stories of self empowerment, stories of finally belonging, stories of finding their tribe, stories of beating this damn disease and stories of losing the fight. Every story was truly “life” changing.

As a lover of stories, one thing I noticed was the power of each and every story and the impact it had on the audience. The stories were all about FD but none were the same. Each story was personal and moving. Each story vulnerable and authentic.  Whether it was a story told by a FD participant, staff member, or long time supporters – every story moved me personally. Touched my heart.  Inspired me to take more action.  Changed my life.  As I looked around the room I could see that everyone else felt the same way.  Everyone felt empathy. Everyone felt alive. And sometimes everyone felt sad.

And isn’t that the magic of a truly life changing experience or story? It not only changes the life of the person that experiences it or tells it, it changes the life of those who hear it as well.

Personally, I feel as if their tag line or positioning “Out Living It” could be my own personal tag line. It’s what I strive for. It’s what keeps me going.

We should all be “Out Living It”.  Telling our story.  Changing Lives.

I know that for me, the First Descents Ball and Program is a life changing experience.  I always find it remarkable that whenever you try to give you usually end up receiving so much more.  Thank you to First Descents for including me and my wife. For doing what you do. And for finding a way to blend the magical healing power of adventure with a fight that affects us all.

*Disclosure: My wife and I support First Descents and their programs with dollars and our time but they are not clients.  WILDSTORY does not have a working relationship with First Descents although we’d love to!  One of my major goals of 2017 was to spend more time with First Descents and I’m psyched to be volunteering at one of their programs in August.  I will make sure to write a follow up post to that experience.

If you’re interested in getting involved or learning more with First Descents click HERE.

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Experiencing CineChef at Boulder International Film Festival

Experiencing CineChef at Boulder International Film Festival

The Boulder International Film Festival was an incredible event to experience and be a part of! Boulder’s scenic backdrop is the perfect location to enjoy films and food. Among the countless films and events BIFF held, my favorite was attending CineCHEF. In the last four years I have spent living in Boulder, CO, I have been able to eat some delicious food, but the food at CineCHEF tops it all.

The event paired some of the most prestigious and delicious restaurants in Boulder with Francis Ford Coppola wine and some of the best beers Boulder has to offer. Luckily, I had enough time to eat and drink to my heart’s content. I had one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life – an edible chocolate bowl filled with chocolate mousse! My chocolate craving had been satisfied. I followed up dessert with a mini cheeseburger topped with an olive.

The location of the event, Rembrandt Yard, was beautiful! Right in the heart of downtown Boulder, the building has a glass floor and a balcony with breathtaking views of the Flatirons. As the evening continued, I had yummy tacos and more chocolate mousse – I just couldn’t get enough! As the event came to a close, I felt full and happy. CineCHEF was a great kick off to my experience at the Boulder International Film Festival.

A CU Student’s Perspective on Boulder Film & Culinary Event

A CU Student’s Perspective on Boulder Film & Culinary Event

I had a wonderful experience interning with WildStory PR, and getting the opportunity to work on The Boulder International Film Festival. It was awesome to really get the full experience from learning about the event, to reaching out to news outlets and spreading the word, and finally, getting to attend the event myself. I also loved that, as an intern, I felt that my work was truly important. I never even had to make copies or go on coffee runs!

During the festival, I got the chance to attend the CineCHEF event, where some of Boulder’s top chefs created dishes themed off of popular movies. It was really fun to get the chance to hang out with the other interns, relax, and eat some delicious food. While there were a lot of dishes that were out of my comfort zone, such as scallops made with Orange Crush, there were also amazing ones such as chocolate mousse and big juicy cheeseburgers.

Overall, I had a blast and learned a lot about the public relations field and learned valuable skills I will take with me into the future.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit, but something is holding you back from jumping in and starting your own business?  Organizing the development of a starting a new business can be a very risky and overwhelming venture, and it’s not uncommon to second guess yourself.  In order to be sure about making that first leap, here are 10 questions to ask yourself before committing to an entrepreurial lifestyle and starting your own business.