Late this afternoon, I walked around an empty conference room and began to piece together the many moments in my life where I had walked around similar conference rooms. A crisp blue shirt and orange paisley tie combo, sitting across the table being interviewed by a future business partner. Dozens upon dozens of hours spent interviewing applicants for a previous project. Hostile negotiations that were resolved with thousands of dollars and a drink at the bar.

The door shuts. The doors all shut at some point. Behind closed doors the gloves come off, the masquerade ends, and the real man behind the mask is shown for who he is.

No way to say it nicely, so I’ll spit it out. I’ve lost my passion. I don’t know where or when it happened but I lost it. TripleSkinny has been a real blessing, but I do not want to be designing websites for the rest of my life. I’ve gotten so good at it that I’ve reached the peak of performance for where I want to take the company. I could easily scale the company up with a fleet of sales, design, and coding staff that could make truly awesome work. However, TripleSkinny has always been an extension of myself; never meant to be replicated or grown beyond my reach.

However, that isn’t what this is all about. My life has slipped from where it once was to the point where it now is. There was a time where I was a hungry young man who chased ideas and dreams with a raw passion that could often be confused with stupidity; stupidity that was often seen as raw passion.

“Aaron, what do you want?” echoing words from my mentor, Nate. “You’ve said nice words, but you haven’t answered my question.” was often the second thing he said, after I fumbled through a poorly-constructed answer of my expectations from life.

In many ways, I feel as if my life no longer makes a difference on others, or in general. Harsh words? Possibly. Truth? Absolutely. I miss the days where I could positively reach out to high school students and inspire them to think outside of their situations. I miss the days where I could sit in a church and believe everything the preacher said without questioning it. I miss the days where I’d wake up at 5 in the morning because I was hungry, hungry for the opportunities that life was presenting and sleep simply didn’t sound too appealing when compared to opportunity that was knocking.

Reality often kicks in the teeth of those who dream big.

Smile, son.

It’s quite hard to feel like a success when I think about the fact that my father had a company with 40+ employees when he was roughly my age. At my age, he also had a father.

No, this isn’t the rant of a pissed-off young hipster who never lived up to his fathers expectations and takes it out by occupying Wall Street. This is the wake up call that my life has been hitting “snooze” to for far, far too long. I knew it to be true but would quiet it when every paycheck, purchase, or moment of temporary bliss. And it’s time to stop drowning out reality and start dominating it, rather than being another person that never becomes anything more than a future meal for worms six feet under.

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