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I write in hope that my thoughts become clear.

BrandWriter is the studio of Brian Thompson. Freelance Creative Director and Copywriter.

All the right pieces but no box

Brian Thompson

Each year on my birthday, I write my goals for the coming year. 43 will be a jigsaw puzzle. Everything has to come together to make the big picture beautiful. 

1. Make my wife feel special every day. 

Well, at the very least appreciated. We're great partners. But I'm not always a good husband. Doing the dishes or getting the girls dressed doesn't mean much if I snap at her or forget to ask about her day. So I'm going to put our relationship first. I'm going to be patient. Listen. And scratch her back before she asks.  

2. Don't lose my cool with the girls. 

I don't want them to remember the scary Dad who yells and storms off. They love the silly Dad who wears tiaras and gets dirty doing art projects. The Dad who listens and helps. Be that Dad all the time. 

3. Keep a good exercise and sleep routine. 

I stay up way too late one night and fall asleep in the middle of a bedtime story the next. When I do finally get in bed, I only roll over to sleep after my phone smacks me in the face. 
So I'm going to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up 20 minutes early to exercise. (And no more endlessly scrolling through my social streams in bed.)

4. Rock my new job.

I wanted more responsibility. So after 15 years of working for advertising agencies, I made the leap to the client side. Going into the holidays, I need to hire a new agency, restructure my team and rebrand the company. Be careful what you wish for. 

5. Become a serial entrepreneur. 

I need to hire someone to help grow LasersMakeItAwesome.com. And I've asked some friends to help me launch 100ofakind.com - and whatever project we dream up next.

6. Help make #CMsummit16 awesome. 

Outside of my family, CreativeMornings/Austin is the most fulfilling thing I've ever been a part of. We just won the pitch to host the second summit for organizers from over 130 chapters around the world. Part conference. Part workshops. All party.
The first summit in Brooklyn last year changed my outlook on what is possible to accomplish in life. We have until next Fall to figure out how we're going to top it. 

I've been sharing my birthday goals since I turned 39. You can review how I've grown here

42 was a roller coaster

Brian Thompson

The past year was action-packed and a bit scary at times. Full of ups and downs. Which is pretty much how I did on the goals I set on my birthday last year: 

4. Make the leap from "side projects" to "side business."  Less dreaming. More scheming.

I've built LasersMakeItAwesome.com into a bona fide, money making, side business.
I think it has so much potential, that I quit my ad agency job to make more time for it. But I took another day job that made me miserable – and the business has only chugged along thanks to a few regular clients and word of mouth referrals. 
The last three months have been better. I took a new job that has reenergized me (made the leap to the client side.) But with a new challenge comes new stress. 

3. Take my wife out on a date once every month. We always say we need more date nights, but never make it a priority. Till now. 

I stopped counting how many months we missed. We've actually gone out more this month than we did the rest of the year combined. I don't always give Brooke the support or respect she needs and deserves. Our relationship isn't where either of us want it to be. We're tired, overwhelmed, but trying our best. 

2. Give my girls the structure and support they need to thrive. We're all happier when we stick to a good daily routine. 

The phrase we use is "let's do good teamwork." And eighty percent of the time, we get it right. Our daughters are truly good kids. But sometimes, Evan doesn't want to put on her shoes when we're running late or Ayla refuses to get ready for bed when I still have work to do… and I lose it. Yelling makes it worse and I have to walk away. 
Luckily, the family consensus is that I’m a great Dad. But it doesn't always feel that way. 

1. Take better care of myself, so I have enough energy to take care of this list. 

Most mornings, I make a smoothie instead stopping for powered doughnuts or a greasy, egg and cheese biscuit. And when my back started bothering me again, my doctor recommended a few exercises. But when the pain stopped, so did my motivation. For a few months, I took a daily walk to cope with the job I hated. Now, the only exercise I get is walking Evan to kindergarten (which is pretty great.)

So 42 was a heck of a ride. I'm sure this year will be too – but maybe a few less loop-the-loops please.

Take a risk

Brian Thompson

6 months ago, I signed a 3-year lease on a laser engraving machine - with no clue if I’d be able to make the payments. Today, I paid it off in full. 

Do something that shoves you out of your comfort zone.
This is my thing: LasersMakeItAwesome.com.

AllMyLifeForSale back on eBay

Brian Thompson

Artist John Freyer is selling his possessions on eBay to raise money for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. 

I got married wearing this old thing.. me... an ironic hipster? Or just a poor gradute student who could only afford $1 drafts? #FiftyFifty2016.

Break Up Watch. #FiftyFifty2016.

You can check out his current eBay auctions here. Winner bidders have the option of choosing a signed 8X10 print of the item instead of the item itself.

The project is a continuation of a previous work – in 2000, John sold the entire contents of his apartment on eBay. AllMyForSale.com (and the resulting book) "explored our relationship to the objects around us, their role in the concept of identity, as well as the emerging commercial systems of the Internet." 

I was so inspired by the project, that I asked John's permission to repeat the experiment. AllMyLifeForSale.net was the first crazy thing I did on the internet. 

Good on ya John.

I bought this from Brian Thompson when he sold his life on Ebay. He was the 3rd person to do it after me. I think he said he stole it from the Indiana University Dining Hall. #FiftyFifty2016

 

 

 

 

42 is the secret to life, the universe, and everything

Brian Thompson

Here are my goals for my forty-second year.

4. Make the leap from "side projects" to "side business."  Less dreaming. More scheming.

3. Take my wife out on a date once every month. We always say we need more date nights, but never make it a priority. Till now. 

2. Give my girls the structure and support they need to thrive. We're all happier when we stick to a good daily routine. 

1. Take better care of myself, so I have enough energy to take care of this list. 

(I started publicly posting my goals every year when I turned 39. You can also look back at 40 and 41.)