I'm obsessed with experiences. You can buy stuff, you can collect things, but what tells your story and fills your life is a collection of experiences. That's it. Some may think that view is depressing, but I find it vividly freeing and am a hardline existentialist and Taoist.
I’m a born and raised San Diegan. Although I’ve been to more than 60 countries, I will always have a base in San Diego.
When I was 19, I graduated from UCLA in two years rather than the usual four. The University of Pittsburgh took on a dare or otherwise thought a teenager would do well with graduate students typically twice her age, and I graduated with an MBA as the school’s youngest graduate to date. At 21, I knew my “formal” education was done, which meant I could get onto the real stuff.
In 2006, I ran my first marathon and came back to San Diego to start working on a TV show and first company, BAM Communications, while working at NBC 7/39. I was fired from NBC and had my show airing by the following week on the competing network, the Fox network.
I produced and hosted a few more TV shows and won an Emmy in 2011. I loved business more than interviewing people who did business, as I knew at that point my curiosity was in building companies, not just talking about them. Thus, I put down the camera stuff to pursue my companies full force.
Today, BAM Communications represents barrier breaking brands in tech verticals, and thankfully, I have a whole team to deal with the demands of our startups. In 2011, I started Bite San Diego, which became San Diego’s top rated and largest food tour company in the county and sold it in 2016. I ran a 50 mile ultramarathon in 2017 which I do not recommend. That shit was crazy.
But maybe I'm crazy. I run every day, I get up at 5am most days, and I don’t use the word “should.” (That word even sounds bad, doesn't it?) I read the Economist weekly, about three or four books monthly, and listen to podcasts by This American Life, Savage Love, and The Moth. I love storytelling and believe the power of media shapes the world. I think kids are untainted versions of adults before a lot of us get messed up. I’m an ENTJ, that’s “The Executive” in Myers Briggs talk. I relish every experience I can grip onto and whichever won’t physically damage me.
My 4 guiding principles in life:
1) Experience is everything. Live by design, not by default.
2) Relationships enhance experiences: Make ‘em count. (I manage my top friends even on a spreadsheet, so I don't miss a catch up, birthday, etc.)
3) Nothing is personal. (This is from the 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.)
4) "Ruthlessly compete with your own best self," as Friedrich Nietzsche said. (A similar saying from Chinese scripture: "Because she compete with no one, no one competes with her.")