“Hi there, it’s been a while. What’s new?”

It’s the biggest ice breaker.  A conversation starter.  A question we’ve all been at the giving and receiving end of – likely more times than we’ve really desired to give or receive the answer to.  But I just so happen to find myself at a time where I welcome this question with an enthusiastic answer…

“Hi there, it’s been a while. What’s new?”


Yes — Everything is new. So allow me to begin by saying that my elementary-school self wouldn’t have really understood what it would mean to be a risk-taker, and if he were able to grasp that idea, it wouldn’t have been an adjective used to describe his vision of his future self.  That’s not to say I wasn’t an ambitious child but I was very comfortable in my own corner of the world — Within a region I was born in and raised in and thrived in for more than three decades.

Today I find myself in a new job, in a new industry, in a new city, and in a new state. And I’m not talking about crossing a state line from Buffalo to Erie. I recently moved from the greater Rochester area of upstate New York to downtown Dallas, Texas.

Why you may ask?  I was ready to take a risk.

I was ready to open my mind and learn more about myself and the world around me. I was ready for a new adventure.  And I am going to stop you before you even consider the expression “mid-life crisis” in your head.  At least I surely hope it’s not.  HOPEFULLY it’s a third-life or at most .375-life event.

But I’d hardly use the word “crisis.” My wife and I were just blessed with our firstborn son who just marked his 11th week of life. (What’s new, you continue to ask?). I find myself to have become more and more of a risk-taker, though I’d say my risks are fairly well calculated and optimized to present the best opportunities possible for my family.

I am able to calculate these risky decisions by empowering myself with knowledge — By continuously learning more about myself and my surroundings. Our biggest catalyst for the big move was to be near family, and so that my son would be able to grow up alongside his cousins.  That required (and still requires) an endless amount of research around my new world. The final piece of the puzzle was making the right connection with a company I could closely align my values with.

Well just about a month ago, I was granted an opportunity to enter a company where family is one of their four core values.  Family, integrity, creativity, and innovation.  And just two weeks ago I found myself in a new industry with bare bones knowledge of how it operated and only my technical skills and my knowledge of digital marketing to bring to the table. Two weeks into the mix and what, you may ask, can I tell you about my new company? TrainUp.com is a career training marketplace that strives to empower growth and professional development.

Seems like the perfect fit.

Learning more and becoming empowered by knowledge is the key to calculating risk in your lives. TrainUp.com is all about growing personally and professionally. And I feel as if I have a wealth of knowledge and opportunity at my fingertips within my new role.  It’s a multi-faceted industry, and I only found that out prior to my start because my new boss allowed me the opportunity to attend an industry learning expo in Las Vegas. (…I’d never been to Vegas before).  I had no idea what this industry encompassed.  I still have hardly skimmed the surface.

But now I know much more than I knew two weeks ago, and I have to tell you that I am fascinated by what I’ve come to learn of this industry.  There are training providers and there are training seekers.  There are learning management systems and there are training management systems. The resources and tools are out there. And I got a glimpse of how the future of this industry is going to connect those dots, as well as the role that TrainUp.com is going to play within it.

I have spearheaded and overseen marketing initiatives for a myriad of companies and industries: college entertainment, performing arts events, casino relations & hospitality and, most recently, a craft brewery.  The differences are significant, and never once have I entered a job with prior experience in its field.  I have only been successful because of my eagerness to learn and ability to quickly adapt to new surroundings.  I’ve worked with great teams; I’ve worked with amazing teams; I’ve worked with really bad teams. I’ve learned something from each of them. My new team at TrainUp.com has evidently embraced the same values I do, as illustrated by their knowledge, expertise, hospitality, and willingness to teach.

…I think this risk is going to pay off.  My name is Bill, and I look forward to getting to know you: the TrainUp.com Voices audience.

(Just don’t ask where my NFL allegiance remains).