January 27, 2015
Reflecting on 2014: The Year in Review

It’s a brand new year and while I don’t base my goal setting on the calendar, I do take time to reflect on the past year.What did I do? What did I complete? What did I let slip that I really wanted to finish and why isn’t it done? How do I get better not only in the next year but in the next day? How can I make marginal progress towards a larger end goal?

Football & NFL Dreams


In late 2013 to early 2014, I trained tirelessly for 5 months to get back into football shape and into the best shape of my life.

The goal was to make it into a training camp somewhere so I could take my abilities and put them up against other pro-hopefuls & veterans that were looking stake their claim in the NFL.

I attended an NFL Regional Combine March 29th, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN and felt like I had a great performance but ended up not hearing back from any teams and therefore didn’t receive any invitations to camps.

Football is still my first passion and my NFL dreams haven't seemed to come together for me yet, but... more on that later.

Heartbreak & Loss

In July of 2014, my family and I lost our mother suddenly.

I can still remember it like it was yesterday, the way I found out, the way I felt, the way my face hurt.

I was fortunate enough to speak with her earlier that morning. I always made a point to call her, my dad and my grandmother whenever I would travel to/from the gym.

My suggestion to you is to always make the call to loved ones. Whether it’s only a minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, whatever it is, do it. E

ven if you only have a minute, it’s better to have talked and cut the conversation short than to never make the call. Talk about the small things and the big things and above all let them know how you feel.

If you love your parents (or anyone) and you haven’t said it in a long time, say it.

Traveling & Living Your Dreams


My wife and I had dreams of traveling and experiencing new things since we were younger.

It seemed like everything came together at the right time. When my mother passed away, I found myself questioning everything. Should we even move at all? It would mean losing more time away from family & friends and that was hard because I still found myself wishing that I could have spent more time with my mother. I know she was so excited for us to move so I didn’t think we should let that be the deciding factor to make us stay in WI.

On October 1st, 2014 we used our 1-way tickets to move my wife & I, along with our dog Keona, and 4 suit cases to Hawaii. Everything else was packed in storage back in Green Bay, awaiting our unknown return.

We’ve experienced so many great things in the past 4 months since we’ve been here, but being away from family & friends is still tough.

Although the distance from everyone else is hard, my wife and I’s relationship has grown stronger.

We spend a lot more time together exploring, reading, talking, working out together. It’s been a blessing to see her so happy in her elements and have the ability to go to the ocean every day.

Design & Work

Startup Weekend Green Bay

In February, I helped plan and took part in my first Startup Weekend (photo above by Jacob Miller). Our team, Steady (Kris, Brian & myself), didn’t place but we had a blast building and hustling all weekend. We haven’t launched yet but we’re still getting some press inquiries and signups here and there.

In August, I started working at CCI Systems and coincidentally work with some close friends from around the Green Bay area, whom I get to talk to everyday, which has been a big plus.

In September, I designed my first iOS app with the intention of developing it myself. Collisio is an iOS app that helps you make better decisions. Often times we humans make decisions and rationalize things based on how we feel rather than the longer-term impact.In late November, I took part in Startup Weekend Honolulu and we built Snacks (http://snacksapp.co).

We’ve received ~400 beta signups so far and are looking to launch with a micro-learning pivot and make smaller, more specific applications focused on users learning in a specific vertical or space.

I also launched this personal site, averbs.com.

I’ve always had nothing more than a holder page with social links for my personal site, but I really wanted to start writing more and work on becoming a better communicator.

Conquering Fears & Leisure

I started conquering my fears of the ocean as soon as we got here, although I had an immediate run-in with an eel.

I’ve been in ~30 ft deep water snorkeling. But I am still a little weary to go snorkeling in the open ocean which I’m working up to so hopefully Lauren and I can swim with wild spinner dolphins off the coast of honolulu.

Since we go to the beach so much, I’ve started reading a LOT more. It’s really relaxing and I love learning new things.

In the last 3 months of 2014, I read 6 books.

I’m looking to carry that throughout 2015 and read 2 books / month. I have about 21 of them already picked out and am open to any recommendations for the rest.

I’m focusing on reading non-fiction and watching fiction.

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My Brother, his Wife & My Dad all made the long trip to Hawaii for the Holidays! They arrived Christmas Eve and stay through the beginning of January. We took a lot of videos with the GoPro and I'll be compiling the trip in a video recap post.

In Summary

To summarize 2014, here’s a post I made on New Years Eve.

2014 has been a year of Aloha. A year of both Aloha goodbyes and Aloha hellos. A year of final ticks and a year of doing things that make us tick.

My wish for myself, my family and my friends in 2015 is that you always do what you’re passionate about and never let circumstances or worry get you down.

Neither failure nor success is permanent - so take it all in stride and realize things only stay the same if you let them.

If you want to be happy, be! Always keep learning, love more & worry less.

Hard work pays off and it’s not about what you get but who you become in the process.

Cheers! Much Love & Aloha in 2015!