Painful Authenticity: 15 Things I Kinda Wish You Didn’t Know About Me



I spend a lot of time motivating myself and trying to stay positive. This is the side I show to the world.  But, it’s not the whole story. Behind the scenes I’m just a guy with a ton of insecurities trying to live a life I can be proud of and my kids can look up to.


Because when you show who you really are to someone else, it often encourages them to be themselves as well. And sadly, in a world of false images and representations, many people have never gotten the chance to be uniquely who they actually are. – Scott Dinsmore


The things I’m telling you today are things I usually try to hide. I was more than a little nervous pressing the publish button on this post. All I ask is you be yourself in return. Do me a favor, share something about yourself in the comments.  Authenticity is a huge part of really connecting with other people. Hopefully this will allow you to feel a little more comfortable about sharing who you are with our community. Here we go…


Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.                    – H. Jackson Brown


15 Honest Stories, Fears, and Facts I Kinda Wish You Didn’t Know About Me.


1. I struggle with discipline.

I have so many ideas in my head and I’m constantly trying to balance the time I spend on each endeavor. I end up losing focus on some things and then they fall off my radar. Finishing what I start is becoming more and more important to me and I’m learning to tap into the grit I wish I’d had years ago. This is why I’m very public about my goals. It helps hold me accountable.

2. I have a huge fear of never being truly great at anything.

I’m 33 years old. There are so many people younger than me that seem to be  light-years ahead of me on the success meter. I feel like with so much opportunity in the world, I should have found a way by now to really do something awesome.

3. I lived in a mobile home for most of my life.

I grew up in the woods in Alabama in a mobile home until I was 17. I had hard working, loving parents and I was proud of the life they made for us. After my time in the Army, my wife and I bought a trailer of our own and lived there for 7 more years to save money. There’s some stigma attached to mobile home life but I’m not bashful about it. I’m from Alabama, that’s what we do. That house allowed my wife to stay home with our kiddos,  allowed us to really be financially effective, and I’d do it again.

4. I clam up when talking to groups of 3 or more and I hate it.

I spend each week talking to many new people about anything in the world, but if you put me in a group setting, I will clam up every time. Something about my personality keeps me quiet in a group and it drives me crazy. I even do this at family reunions.  I know I have missed a lot of opportunities because of it and I am always working to break out of the silence and be more involved with the group.

5. I’m a science nerd.

A few years ago I started a year long journey of diving into all sorts of science and it changed my views on the world. I’m fascinated with biology, evolution, the space-time continuum, and everything to do with the vastness of space. It’s the reason why my biggest goal in life is to buy a ticket on Virgin Galactic for $250,000 and see our tiny globe from out there. Knowing just how small and alone we are has some strange inspirational effect on me. Additionally, Carl Sagan is the man.

6. I don’t like walking in crosswalks.

It’s extremely awkward for me to walk or run in the city. I do it all the time but I can’t get over the weird feeling I get passing in front of 20 cars that are all absolutely staring you down and judging your every move. The truth is, most of them are probably snap chatting their girlfriends and don’t even see me there.

7. I can easily talk to anyone but I struggle making long term connections.

I get out of my comfort zone each day and talk to lots of people. I have a stack of business cards that I gathered just last week. A regional director from a Wall Street firm, somebody else’s name and email written on one of my cards, and a startup lawyer from Alabama. I love people and I quickly find common ground. I just don’t know what to do with them once I have a contact. I’d love to change this habit and build a stronger network for friendships and business.

8. I’m afraid of heights.

I’m a pilot at my day job and I often hear people say that they could never fly because of their fear of heights. The funny thing is, I’m scared of heights too! It’s not a joke.  If I’m on the 8th floor of the Hilton in Nashville looking down at the lobby, it’s paralyzing. I overcome this fear with my ability to trust cool equipment to a fault. Be it a plane, a rappelling harness, or a parachute. There’s something about fancy, expensive equipment that makes me feel in control.

Afraid of Heights

9. I didn’t learn to budget money until I was almost 30 years old.

If there’s one thing I could go back and tell the younger version of me, it would be to get on a budget. I used to spend every penny I made between paydays and wonder why I never got ahead. Thank goodness my wife stumbled onto Dave Ramsey and we got a real education about how to get our act together. I’m so thankful to my wife for taking the lead on this one and changing our bad habits. Sure, we still screw up sometimes, but living with a budget will change the way you think about money and take an enormous amount of stress out of your life.  Some lessons get passed down and some are a self-discovery. I’m just glad we made it into the game.

10. When I wrestled in high school, I lost more than I won.

Tall, skinny, awkward and trying to find my place. I found myself on the high school wrestling team. I was one of those guys that wanted to be doing something but didn’t devote a lot of extra time to the sport. I went to practice but never went to the gym to get strong. I couldn’t keep up with the guys that played sports year round.  I had some big wins, but mostly, I helped the other players with their records and learned moves that would pay large dividends after I joined the Army and started working out.

11. I ballroom dance to “Unforgettable” with my 4 month old little girl every week.

If the neighbors could see inside my house, they’d see a dad with teary eyes and a tiny little girl drooling everywhere dancing all around the place. It’s my special time with her each week and I try to make it count.
Daddy's Girl

12. I can’t stand to see someone stuck doing something that makes them miserable.

There’s a middle age lady that I see in Newark all the time. She’s been doing the same job for several years and she’s miserable. Instead of making any type of effort to change her situation, she comes in everyday with the saddest look in the world. It breaks my heart. So maybe she has missed some opportunities in life. Maybe, it’s too late for her to be on the Olympic gymnastics team. But, she could nearly take over the world with the time she has left if she would just get started and she’d be  much happier on her journey. Call me crazy but being stuck in life is only in your mind.


People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of. – Paulo Coelho


13. I was a vegetarian for a year.

In late 2010 my wife and I both became vegetarian’s. I did it for many reasons, mainly out of compassion for the animals. For that entire year I ate more beans that you can imagine and probably saved $5,000 on groceries. I’m no longer a vegetarian but I have a huge soft spot for those that are and I sympathize with their reasons for taking a stand. I find the more often you can stand on both sides of an argument, the easier it is to remember that we are all just humans trying to find our way.


14. When I’m on a long run and alone in the woods, I pump my fist in the air like a boss.

I’ve been a trail runner for several years now. I love it. Unlike the treadmill, I get to really move through the world and it’s constantly changing. Rocks, trees, bridges, animals, oh look the suns coming up and then…a great song will come on an I end up pumping my fists in the air feeling like a king. Afterwards, I look around and make sure there were no witnesses and get back to business.


Trail Running


15. I can sing almost every word to “Whoop (there it is)!”

I can’t decide if this is my greatest accomplishment or the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever put out there. I do know that when my son hears his mom and dad singing a duo of this, he is as confused as we are about what it means and what we should do about it.


I have no idea how you will react to this list. 

It’s scary exposing yourself to the world. I’m sure there’s a lot I’m forgetting to tell you that will come out later, but this is me. It’s the person I really want to be for you. I hope you’ll continue to accept me for who I am and I hope you’ll hold yourself to the same standard. Be honestly and unapologetically you.

Now please join me and share something no one knows about you in the comments.

Thank you very much for your support. Have an amazing week!



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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15 thoughts on “Painful Authenticity: 15 Things I Kinda Wish You Didn’t Know About Me

  1. Your honesty is truly refreshing. There is something very admirable about someone willing to take the leap and just be open and honest. We spend so much time trying to fit in and making everyone happy that we lose sight of who we truly are, and when we learn to face our own unique individualities, we can finally embrace peace. I am learning, mostly through difficult situations, that peace is all around us, and we simply have to embrace it. Sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by so much chaos that I will go insane, or sometimes I wonder if I already am insane, but I’m learning to be still, wait upon the Lord, and enjoy the calmness in the midst of my personal storms. Deep breaths….happy thoughts…..This too shall pass…..

    • And when it passes, you’ll look back and say, wow, that was awesome! If you’re insane Kathy, then I’m right there with you. I’m so inspired by you and your hustle. Talk about juggling, I think you have the record right now for most pokers in the fire. I’m convinced it will all pay off. Thank you so much for your support.

  2. I love this post!! FYI in relation to number 14, I do the same thing…on the treadmill…in the gym. “Holding Out for a Hero” requires it. :-).

    In addition it’s a great thing to dance with your little girl.

    Also my favorite (and hardest hitting) quote from your post is:
    “But, she could nearly take over the world with the time she has left if she would just get started and she’d be much happier on her journey. ”
    Great stuff, thank for being so open and vulnerable.

    • Troy, thank you so much for commenting. I love that song. I just added it to my running playlist. We’ll see what happens! Haha. I heard a quote about kids- “One day you will pick up your kid and put them down and that will be the last time you ever do it.” I’m trying to soak it up while I can. Thanks for highlighting the quote, that’s a huge insight for me. Have a great week my friend.

  3. I love this! I think we need more of this. Authenticity. Real. Honesty. I need to work on my own list. I share no. 9 with you. All the “I wish I had’s…and trying to ignore how much money would be in retirement account if I had only…” But better late than never, right?

    • Camilla, Thank you for your comment and kind words. I really loved your post on building your dreams. It is so true. And about number 9, definitely better late than never. I look forward to reading your list.:-)

  4. I love your honesty and I think your list is awesome. One of the hardest things I had to admit was that I was a CPA and had a tremendous amount of debt. We all have things we wish people didn’t know about us but sharing your story with the world helps others have the courage to be themselves.

    • Kristin, thank you! I’m glad to see some of the financial “gurus” catering to high school students now. I think it’s going to make a big difference for a lot of people. Thanks again!

  5. I love this! The focus of my blog is this same concept. Thank you for your authenticity and for allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Here’s one of mine; I’ve wanted to be a “writer” my whole life, and now that I’m trying, I’ve found out that there is so much I don’t know, and I’m scared I’ll never get figured out. I’m terrified that if I can’t become a “writer”, my whole life will be wasted, and that I won’t find another dream., and that I’ll probably spend the rest of my days drinking vodka from a ladle out of my bathtub (which I know is preposterous because of course it would be tequila).