Leadership, Legacy, Life

So… 2017.

You were a doozy of a year, in so many ways.

Overall, I can’t say I’m necessarily sad to see you go, though I will also recognize with gratitude all the wonderful things you delivered.

First, a look back on the goals I set nearly 525,600 minutes ago…


My goals for 2017, and a reflection on each:

1) Re-start yoga practice—average at least 1x/week

Weeeelll, turns out 1x/week was overly audacious. Across the year, I did a little better than 1x/month on average, sadly—though I will suggest that Yoga On The Rocks should count for at least double, right? *Photo I took below* (Quite an experience.)

That said, if I choose to live according to the “There are no excuses or reasons—there are only priorities” quote from last year’s reflection, I do believe I prioritized the most important things throughout the year (more to come on that).

And that said, I am also completely aware that the pace I kept this year without a sustainable exercise practice is deeply unsustainable and does not create the kind of healthy life I want to live, so adjustments truly need to be made.

2) Get take-home pay to pre-merger level by end of year

I’ve learned so much in the last three years of being a 50% co-owner in a pair of companies. One of those things is just how much commitment and energy it takes to maintain consistency salary levels for a whole group of people instead of just one person.

If you haven’t ever made this transition in your business (from solo-preneur to business owner), I realize what I’m saying probably seems like a completely boneheaded notion—of course that would be a big deal, duh!—stated by Captain Obvious (me). But for whatever reason, I didn’t truly comprehend the total impact of this shift until this last year. As a solo-preneur, I got quite used to the roller coaster of that life with its big paydays and long famines, and when you’re only covering your own livelihood, once you develop good habits around saving money in good times, the waves are reasonably easy to ride. But the moment you take on other people’s’ livelihoods (and I’m not talking about 1099 contractors, but people who primarily depend on the company you own to do things like eat and pay their rent), the game really does change. Again, I probably should have figured this out much faster, but I get it now, deep in my bones.

All that to say, I didn’t strive to raise my salary this year but chose to prioritize other things, including investing in building what I believe will be my business for the foreseeable future: Strengthscope here in the U.S.

3) Continue to grow network in Denver (24 new kick-ass connections by end of year)

I do believe I accomplished this (even with a concrete number, this one is still a bit hard to track/measure). I met SO many wonderful Colorado folks this last year. I continue to be blown away by the kindness, authenticity, and down-to-earth-ness of the people I meet here!

The whole Strengthscope team is SO excited to continue building our network in, influence on, and service to this amazing city in 2018.

4) Average 1 airplane/month, only traveling for things ONLY I can do

I definitely need to re-write this goal. For the most part I believe I accomplished this, but I don’t say that with any kind of satisfaction, as my travel in the second half of 2017 quite nearly did me in, physically/mentally/emotionally.

It turns out the statement “Things ONLY I can do” is slippery in a deeply sinister way, as it’s far too easy to rationalize as “true” in order to justify doing the activity at hand.

5) 25k Twitter followers by end of year

I didn’t quite make this goal, but I did make a respectable leap to ~20,500 followers. http://twitter.com/joshallan

6) Post a new original article on a blog or other media outlet 1x/week

I averaged about 1x/month for almost the first six months and then… well, the last half of 2017 just totally kicked my arse.

7) Release audiobook of Igniting the Invisible Tribe

Yes! Finally got this out—a huge thank you to my friend Jim Seybert for absolutely killing it on the narration (so good!). Here’s a link if you’d like to check it out: http://bit.ly/invisible-tribe-audible

8) Have Dynamizer™ in production and for sale publicly

After multiple years of side-hustle on this project, my partners and I finally released Dynamizer™ into the world! I’m immensely proud of it, and hope it will get out into the world in a big way in 2018, so it can start helping kids everywhere understand what makes them energized and amazing. http://thedynamizer.com

Accomplishments & fun things from 2017:

  • My wife and I continued our DCPA membership for Broadway-themed musical productions, and saw the following shows: Fun Home, An American In Paris, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, Frozen, Something Rotten, and Waitress
  • For our anniversary, the wife and I also took a trip to NYC (first trip sans-kids!) and saw 1984, Dear Evan Hanson, and Come From Away on Broadway (it was a pretty good year for theater)
  • We saw the fabulously-funky Amos Lee with the Colorado Symphony at Red Rocks—and yes, everything about that is exactly as magical as it sounds
  • Got a last-minute summer vacation to Michigan, which I always love; if you haven’t been there in the summer, please go
  • Did a karaoke date night in a private room in RiNo with some new Denver friends (SO FUN!)
  • Went to Anderson Farm and a local apple orchard with the kiddos (these may not sound dramatic, but this stuff is like freaking Disneyland for tiny humans)
  • Women’s March —I’m terribly sad I didn’t get to actually be out on the streets, but I do consider myself to have been a part of it as I “took one for the team” to be home with the kiddos so my wife could join, and I am SO glad she did… the power of that experience still resonates with me, and I was just following it via social media!
  • Had a chance to work with my wife — we were able to hire her company to work with us on our branding/messaging/story, and not only were they an enormous help, but I think it gave her a chance to experience what I do in a new way, which was really special for me
  • Hosted the first inaugural Rework CEO Summit in Boulder — the first gathering that exists solely to create a community for leaders of self-managed companies
  • Spoke at: 3to5 Leadership Forum, USC, ICF-LA, ATD, Startup Iceland, Vanguard’s Creating Healthy Organizations Conference, OD Network, Denver Startup Week, Insights Conference, APWA’s Imagination To Innovation Conference, the Global Strengthscope Practitioner Conference, and the OC Expanded Learning Summit (where we officially launched Dynamizer™)
  • Traveled to Los Angeles (a couple times), Atlanta, Iceland, Orange County (a couple times), NYC (a couple times), San Diego, Michigan, Eastern Washington state, London, Vermont, Tokyo, and Kansas City… and the vast majority of this happened in the second half of the year
  • Helped reboot CULTURE LABx in Denver — if you happen to be in Denver please join us; we have some REALLY cool things planned for 2018
  • Potty-trained the littlest kiddo
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving with our adopted family (dear friends) here in Colorado
  • Hosted both sets of grandparents in our home over the holidays (so wonderful!)
  • Added 37 revolutionary Practitioners to the Strengthscope tribe (woo!)
  • Made HUGE updates to the Strengthscope business plan here in the U.S. — much more to come on this throughout 2018!
  • Despite my barren blog, I did manage to publish a few things that I felt were pretty important to write:

Goals For 2018:

  1. Regular yoga practice—average at least 2x/month
  2. Travel half as much as I did last year
  3. Write majority of Book #2 (goal of publishing release = 2019)
  4. Post a new original article on a blog or other media outlet 2x/month
  5. Host another Rework CEO Summit
  6. Book 3 paid keynote talks at my full speaking fee
  7. Add 100 certified Strengthscope® partners to the tribe


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