Clearinity is a company founded on 5 guiding principles:
As such, I would be remiss to not start with Gratitude. This entry will only be about Gratitude, because without Gratitude, it becomes very easy to forget the important things in life.
NOTE: This blog entry will very much be “prose”, but not all the blog entries will be like that. I will be throwing in tons of tool tips, lots of “buyer beware” info, and some great discussions about future technology.
Despite flirting with a cliché to start, I have to appreciate my parents. Without them, I would not be here today (literally and figuratively!). I have to give my mother credit for my ability to communicate and my insatiable desire to learn. Without my father, I wouldn’t have been able to couple that with an entrepreneurial spirit, or my penchant for math and science. A few formative notions stand out here: my father employed me in Kindergarten to work for his surveying company. I remember learning the Pythagorean Theorem by third grade, because it actually applied to the work we did each day. My mother was always a social butterfly, and really helped me to understand the value of community and communication. Thanks Mom and Dad!
My parents started us on the ranch life when I was 4, but it really was where I learned the most about life. I grew up quickly as the oldest of three boys; I watched the cycles of life and death, and learned the value of sweat, blood, and tears. By age 18, we had raised dozens of bison, nearly one thousand chickens, several horses, a few dogs, many cats, and numerous reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids. Here, my most important entrepreneurial lesson was learned: Just because you work hard and do everything perfectly, doesn’t mean that everything will work out perfectly. Life gets gritty at times, but without that difficulty, we easily forget how superb the good times are.
Admittedly, I was a cantankerous high school student growing up in rural America. I always loved learning, but I never seemed to get enough while I was there. My extra energy was channeled into other activities like 4-H, basketball, football, track, and Matchwits (competitive nerd trivia – that’s right!). In my senior year of high school, I was awarded a Daniels Fund Scholarship, and my ACT scores landed me a spot at Colorado School of Mines.
At Colorado School of Mines, the tables turned and I was challenged to the point of near-failure. It took me all 4 years to pull my grades up from C’s to A’s and B’s, which really helped ground me. I graduated as a Chemical Engineer in 2013, armed to the teeth with understanding of “process” and new information about the physical world we live in.
The Fires of Entrepreneurship
Lastly, I have to appreciate the informal education I’ve received. The Daniels Fund had superb education on entrepreneurship and business ethics. Bill Daniels (who the Scholarship and Fund were named for) was a cable magnate who started his business from scratch, and is known internationally for his integrity in business. My favorite story was how he owned the Utah Stars, they fell on poor financial times, and went bankrupt, leaving hundreds of season ticket holders short on cash. Daniels wasn’t liable for anything, but felt so strongly that he repaid those ticket-holders a few years later and included eight percent yearly interest in the repayment.
I have also had the opportunity to attend two separate business bootcamps – Fullbridge and LAUNCH! Fullbridge taught me all about finance, valuation, and marketing in a 160-hour bootcamp. LAUNCH! was a superb overview of all aspects of business, and a huge networking opportunity.
Lastly, employment with some great businesses has taught me a lot. I’ve seen the internal workings of the 125+ year old Ball company (the Aerospace division, specifically), a 50+ year old oil and gas company, and several 7-years-and-under entrepreneurial startups. Shout out to my most recent employer – Catching Clouds! Now, here’s to a new start-up, and one I get to call my own: Clearinity!