2010 – A Year of Learning, Growth, Transformation and Adventure

December 22, 2010

This year has been one of incredible learning, growth, and personal transformation along with a healthy dose of adventure.  It’s actually quite remarkable to me to look back on where I was a year ago and how much things have changed for the better.  I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on the year in the hope that it might provide some context for what I’ve been doing and how my life and my work has changed over the past 12 months.

Big things that happened:

Worked with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to develop their social media strategic plan for 2010-2011. Helped interview candidates for the new fulltime role of Online Community Builder for the ACFB.

Interviewed with multiple major agencies but finally decided that the work that I want to do will not be carried out inside an agency. Stopped interviewing and never looked back.

Realized that my loft is not more important than me living the life I want to live, and made the decision to sell it after 8 wonderful years of living here.

InspireManifested some kick ass clients and connected with amazing people that have given me a new take on rewarding work.Watched Jonathan Fields’ TEDx talk on fear and was totally blown away.

Took the leap to pursue what I knew was the right path for me and despite some cash flow concerns, followed through on my commitment to myself to attend the Horse + Man Experience at Vista Caballo.

Proceeded to have an epic adventure in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, which essentially bookended the experience at Vista Caballo.

Returned from my adventure in Colorado and New Mexico energized and ready to make a big impact on the world.

Became a Godfather to the most incredible little baby, Caelan Knox Leslie. He’s amazing!

Organized the Spirit of the Gulf Coast expedition in response to the BP oil spill, which is one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve ever had, and is arguably the most important work I have done in my life.

Joined The Hub Atlanta and met some of the most passionate people I’ve ever worked with in my life. Currently assisting The Hub in developing its social media presence and outreach strategy.

Attended Creating Irresistible Presence hosted by my friend Sarah Robinson, met an incredible group of women, and got to know things about myself that I had never imagined. Had a major breakthrough that strengthened my commitment to pursuing my dreams and the work I’m called to do.

Produced the public exhibition for Spirit of the Gulf Coast at Georgia Tech with an incredible team of people that have a shared desire to make a big difference in the world.

Attended Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity book signing event in Atlanta and registered to attend the World Domination Summit next June in Portland.

Gave a talk at the University of Georgia’s AdConnection – topic: Using Social Media to further Social Causes. Showed the documentary film for Spirit of the Gulf Coast during the talk.

Connected with John Marshall Roberts and began exploring the Igniting Inspiration e-learning curriculum.  Watched John’s TEDx talk on Empathy and was very moved by his message.

Signed on to help launch a new group buying service called DealSwarm, which is currently live in Atlanta and Austin with Seattle and Dayton in the pre-launch phase.

Co-hosted the 4th annual Stacks Lofts + Artists Tour at The Stacks Lofts. Displayed the Spirit of the Gulf Coast photo exhibit in my loft on the tour.

Next week, I leave for my last adventure of the year – a road trip to Northern Vermont. My cousin Whitney and me are going to hit the road and spend some time in a cabin near a lake in the woods, surrounded by incredible scenery.  I ordered a bunch of reading material for the trip, and I’m looking forward to sitting by a fire with some good books.

Speaking of reading material, here are some of the books that blew my mind in 2010:

  • The Power of Now
  • Presence
  • A New Earth
  • The Four Agreements
  • The Art of Non-Conformity
  • The 4 Hour Workweek
  • Think Big Manifesto
  • On The Road
  • The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

I am currently reading:

  • ReWork
  • Making Ideas Happen

And finally, these are some new books I just ordered that are on the ‘To read’ list:

  • Career Renegade
  • The Fifth Agreement
  • Igniting Inspiration
  • Crossing the Silly Bridge
  • The Hero With A Thousand Faces
  • 2012 – The Return of Quetzalcoatl
  • Do More Great Work

So, that’s a wrap for me.  If you’ve read this far, thank you. If you have a minute, please share some of what you’ve been up to in the comments.  I love hearing what other people are up to. Thanks again, and I hope you’ll stick around for what is sure to be an incredible 2011!

top: The Colorado Trail, June 2010
bottom: Grand Isle Louisiana, August 2010


  • Reply David Schendowich December 23, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What a great adventure! I hope to reconnect with you in the new year.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton December 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you so much, David! I'd love to catch up in January. Hope all is well with you.

  • Reply Anonymous December 23, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Truly an amazing year! Honored to have the opportunity to meet (and watch you transform) at CIP. I do hope I’ll be in PDX at World Domination Summit. Go forth and raise hell, dear one! 🙂

    Wishing you peace, joy, and awesome adventures in Vermont!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton December 23, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      Thank you Lori! CIP was an really important part of the process for me, and I can definitely point to some big turning points that occurred as a result of that experience. It was so great meeting you, and I definitely hope you'll make it out to WDS next Summer!

      In the meantime, have an awesome holiday. 🙂

  • Reply Brandon Sutton December 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you so much, David! I’d love to catch up in January. Hope all is well with you.

  • Reply Anonymous December 24, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I’m pumped to see what 2011 looks like for you man. I checked out that TED video and it really made me think. Of course it wasn’t a hard sell, I’m already a huge fan of TED talks. I’m gonna have to add some of those books to my list. I’ve already read some of them and they are great reads. I just finished Chris’s book last weekend… highly recommended.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton December 23, 2010 at 10:48 pm

      Thanks Nick! Which TED video did you like – Jonathan's or John's? They are both amazing.

      Literally, every book on the list above was incredible, and I have no doubt the ones on my 'to read' list are going to be stellar as well.

      The road to #WDS is going to be incredible. I'm in awe of what has already happened this year. It's amazing what we are capable of when we get still and figure out what we really want out of life.

      See you soon!

  • Reply Callahan Mcdonough December 24, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Amazing life and post Brandon ! Thank you for all the resources you shared in your post, generous. So glad we are in community together & look forward to co-creating CIP in 2011. Peace n’hugs.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton December 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

      Thank you so much Callahan! I'm very glad we met, and I'm looking forward to continuing this journey with you in 2011. And if you change your mind about coffee today, I'm heading over to Parish shortly. 🙂

  • Reply susanmdonegan December 24, 2010 at 8:40 am

    What a great year you had and I can't wait to hear what all you achieve in 2011! It was a pleasure to attend Sarah's CIP with you, I only wish we had an opportunity to get to know each other more while we were there. Merry, merry!

    • Reply Brandon Sutton December 24, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      Thank you Susan – it was indeed a great year! You can be sure that 2011 will be equally as exciting. 🙂 CIP was an incredible experience for me, and although some months have passed, there are times that I feel I’m back in that room with all of you. There will no doubt be many more opportunities to get to know each other better. Until then, have an awesome holiday! 🙂

  • Reply Shelly December 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    You have had aquite a year and I hope that next year is even better for you!

    I’m glad I got to meet you at CIP!

    Have a great trip to Vermont and I’ll ‘see’ you next year! 🙂


    • Reply Brandon Sutton January 4, 2011 at 1:18 am

      Thanks Shelly! I’m back from my incredible trip to Vermont (post coming soon), along with my (almost complete) digital vacation. I’m glad we met as well. I’m sure 2011 is going to be amazing for everyone that’s on this journey.

  • Reply The Words We Choose January 10, 2011 at 2:06 am

    […] is a cool applet that creates word clouds based on website content. In this case, it analyzed my 2010 recap […]

  • Reply chrisguillebeau January 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

    What an amazing year!

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