This is news. Probably surprising news in many ways. It surprised me.
Here it is.
I am moving back to Montana next year.
So is IdeaMensch.
And so is Otto.
It’s not quite decided yet in what function, but one thing that is for certain is that I’ll be teaching at the University. There are other opportunities that will uncover themselves in the coming months. And of course, we will continue to grow IdeaMensch out of our Missoula headquarters.
Here is the backstory.
I came to America as a sixteen year old kid. I thought I’d be surfing on a beach, yet instead I ended up moving pipes on a ranch. In a small town. In Montana.
And I fell in love with the state. Its mountains, its rivers but mostly its people. I’ve never met more friendly, more down-to-earth people than Montanans. They made me feel so welcomed, I decided to extend what was supposed to be one year of high school exchange and try to stay in America for good – much to the unliking of my mother.
I went to college in Missoula, which only confirmed my sentiments about the place.
Unfortunately upon graduation there weren’t too many opportunities for me to continue growing. So I left.
Seattle, LA, Portland, LA, Europe and LA again were my stops. I did a lot of wandering. I spent ten amazing years in Advertising. With the exception of my time in Portland, I always sort of felt out of place. In my mind it was a sacrifice I needed to make in order to grow professionally. To this day I believe that to be true.
My time at WONGDOODY and R2C Group helped me develop an actual skill set other than my broken accent and ridiculously good looks. I couldn’t be more grateful for Ben, Pat, Tim and Michelle for believing in me and for giving me the opportunities I had.
It was an amazing ride, yet I was never quite satisfied with the impact I was making. Nor did I ever grow accustomed to LA. Which is what led me to IdeaMensch and which is what led me to this crazy road trip.
This spring, I stopped being successful and started making a real impact.
It has been the most rewarding journey of my life.
Now I am at the tail end of a 48-state road trip. At the end of this sucker, I will have been to every state with the exception of Alaska.
I have a pretty good idea of what’s out there now.
After having seen all that, I happen to believe there to be two places that are made for me.
Montana and Oregon.
And if you had asked me three months ago, I would have told you that I’d probably be moving to Portland next year, especially since I already have a condo there, great friends and my red scooter (which I promise to pick up on the way Ryan). I love Portland, always will and probably will come back at some point.
But Montana called me.
There are various reasons.
Various situations where I can make a real impact on a place that I love – surrounding both the University and the local startup scene.
It just feels right.
So I am going to do it. What the heck.
There are many things to do before I leave.
I need to find someone to rent my room in Santa Monica.
I need to talk Otto into separating from Spencer.
I need to find someone who will help Gregory.
I will have to say goodbye (which by the way is always just temporary) to the many amazing friends I made in LA.
But I am going back to the place I fell in love with when I first came to America.
Back to Montana.
Get your waders on.