Christmas Letter 2021


As I sit to write this on Christmas Eve, it's 49 degrees and raining here in Colorado. Welcome moisture after an extremely warm and dry Autumn. Christmas Day also has some rain in the forecast, but we still haven't had our first proper snow. 

I'm grateful for another year in which I had the joy of trying new things, meeting new people, and finding fun ways to spend time, despite the ongoing challenge we all face with a virus running rampant. I'm lucky to have had only a mild case, which with my health history I count a miracle. I feel lucky to have done all the things I did this year and lucky is one of the best feelings I know.

I'm particularly grateful for my family and their well-being. Bodhi is a high school soph this year and he continues to be a source of pride and lightheartedness. He received an academic letter for achieving and holding a 3.5 or higher GPA his freshman year, and he just finished his first semester of sophomore year with a 3.65. He is on the Principal's Advisory Committee as a student representative and he was selected to go to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs for a statewide conference of student leaders. He continues to be a bright light, even with all the teen stuff he's been through. I forgot to mention that he's now taller than both of his parents and he's taken up golf this year.

Monica has created some amazing new avenues of helping her clients with nutrition, good food, and the GAPS Diet. She started a Facebook group called Ask the GAPS Chef that has grown and become an active community where she can share her knowledge and experience. She's also tackled the challenge of offering live cooking classes online with her Meat Stock Mondays series. She also finished a two-year study this year that qualified her to be ordained as a Sufi minister. She's looking forward to returning more actively to in-person teaching.

Vinnie the Yorkie is a constant fountain of love and play. He still thinks that the times we all sit down to watch a program together are an invitation to play fetch. I'm delighted that he still loves taking 2-3 long walks a day and that he wants me to be his walker. This is my main source of exercise.

I feel fortunate that I've had some incredible work opportunities this year. The year started with an announcement that I'd been selected as Consultant of the Year for Larimer-LovelandSBDC - an honor that means a lot to a guy whose fellow consultants bring a stellar amount of experience to our clients. In 2021 I provided business planning and marketing strategy support to a few dozen businesses in our county. I also was invited to participate and contribute to the PIVOT Jumpstart program through the Department of Business Entrepreneurship at Colorado State University. I've enjoyed the ongoing opportunity to serve this organization through their mastermind sessions. 

Most of my private client work has been in two areas this year - career transition, and marketing and sales strategy. The excitement and anticipation I feel as my clients discover and activate their gifts and dreams is better than opening presents. This year was full of exceptional accomplishments on their part and that is my greatest reward. Some of the projects we completed together: 

  • website updates and redesign
  • rebranding
  • social media strategy and content creation
  • online course design and creation
  • building and launching YouTube channels
  • starting and launching podcasts
  • book launch strategy
  • fundraising presentation development
  • producing live online video events
  • interactive website experiences
A few things stand out as my most enjoyable work contributions this year. At the top of the list was learning how to design and use quiz software in a number of creative ways as marketing, sales, and service tools. I'm excited to add this skill to my list of ways I can serve my clients. I also created a short consultant training module for the Colorado SBDC website to teach consultants how to quickly and accurately identify their clients' core business problems. The third of my top work projects this year was the creation and launch of my latest podcast series, Your Own Best Company. I originally envisioned the podcast to be for people like me who love to work alone, but it's become something more than that. I love the depth of the conversations there, and the level of expertise of my guests inspires me all the time. If you haven't listened, please do. Episodes are posted here on my main website,

Finally, it was wonderful to return to a few live, in-person teaching and speaking events this year. I wrote and offered a couple of new classes for the SBDC that I'll also be working into my own series next year. 2022 is already exciting me. I will be returning to offering a monthly half day workshop on a variety of skills and processes to benefit creative solopreneurs and small businesses. I'll also be starting some new group coaching programs, something I haven't done since 2015. The Audience Workshop will return in its new format next year, and I'll be adding a low cost/no cost marketing mastermind and a group program for people in their first year of business. I'll also continue to offer individual coaching as well.

Some of you may also be curious about what's happening with my music activity. While I keep saying I'm retiring, I keep getting proven wrong. The best musical highlight of 2021 has been that there was more live, in-person music this year. After a full year of not playing live gigs, Paul Chet returned to playing gigs, and our band has a new name, The Henrys. It was great fun to be reunited with these guys. Playing with them continues to be one of the most fulfilling musical experiences of my life. I also had a few solo gigs this year that brought together some of my most loyal listeners, one of the most memorable was the Songwriter in the Round show hosted by my friend, Liz Barnez at the Magic Rat in Fort Collins. I'm still hosting the Artist 2 Artist house concert series for Museum of Art Fort Collins, too. This year, we featured John Magnie, Keahi Ewa, and Dave Beegle. Great shows all!

My musical year was capped with a few performances that I'll hold dear. For his Christmas shows this year, Vi Wickam brought together some great players and singers including two that I've wanted to play with for years. Back in 2012, I had the pleasure of having Steve Amedee play and sing on one of my song demos that we recorded at John Magnie's place. Ever since then I've hoped to have opportunities to play live with him. He was the drummer for the Christmas shows and it was as amazing as I'd imagined it would be.

The other person on the Christmas shows I've hoped to play with for a long time was the Singer/Songwriter Laureate of Colorado, Wendy Woo. Some of you know that one of my favorite musical activities is harmony singing. Singing harmony with Wendy is a joyful thing, and if I were presented with the opportunity to do it again, I would never ever mention the word retirement with regard to music again. I also discovered that she has a magical ability to change normal, everyday guitar picks she borrows into spectacular Woo picks.

I have some other musical surprises coming in 2022 that I'll be working on. Stay tuned for an announcement in May. I appreciate you all very much and I wish you the best of holiday seasons and a year ahead with more joy than heartache, lots of creativity, and the will to be hopeful and optimistic in spite of the way the world shows up. Much love to all!


PS I'm leaving you these two collaborations I did with my friend, Lynn Kincanon for the Winter poetry gatherings for local poets in December. Enjoy!