Chapter 2011: New Challenges & Realizations

by Travis Ketchum · 6 comments

It is that time of year where most people in the world decide to make a  new years resolution, generally in an almost off the cuff way such as “I would like to be in better shape”, or “I would like to quit smoking”. The problem with this is that they are often fleeting internal half-truths that 99% people know they can’t (or don’t REALLY REALLY want to) follow through with. The problem with this is that most of us think of these resolutions in the way of “it would be nice if (I could stop smoking)” instead of the more realistic and motivating “If I don’t (stop smoking) this year I am going to die”.

For me new years is a very reflective time since my birthday falls on December 30th (New Years Eve, Eve) and it offers up an opportunity to really take a step back and see where my current trajectory is headed in life, and see if that parallels with the core values I have for myself and with what I want to accomplish before I am buried 6ft under. That may be a somewhat dark way to look at it but the reality is that we are only here for a blink of an eye and it is incredibly important to me that the day I am no longer here that people’s lives have been affected in a positive way due to things I have set in motion.

Year-End Checkup

So now that the year 2010 is officially behind us, what do I currently have going on in my life that were significant and/or have just started that are going to change my life in dramatic ways?

Graduated from WSU, moved to Seattle

The first major lifestyle change in my life this past year was graduating from Washington State University, this marks the first time I have been at a point where I really don’t know if I will ever be in a traditional school setting again as a student. WSU certainly delivered a rounded “college experience” and for anyone who has gone to school there, we will all bleed a little Crimson for the rest of our lives. It simply can not be helped.

Moving to Seattle was also somewhat abrupt but has been a great experience so far. I live in a nice building that is safe and reasonably located to my priorities. While the move to Seattle specifically was for the job at Apex Learning (more on that in a second), it has been an extremely beneficial experience in general.

Apex Learning –

In October I was hired at Apex for my first “real job” on paper after getting my degree. Apex builds, sells and supports digital curriculum for 9-12th grade institutions. My position with this is officially titled an “Associate Account Manager” but has proven to be a beneficial asset in terms of getting some quality time with (and even breaking it for 20 minutes hehe) and to work in a return sales capacity. While this isn’t extremely correlated to what I want to do career wise, they make a good product, provide a good service and both the company as well as myself benefit from the relationship by making a difference.

(40 hours/week)

MyBigGive –

The age old “hobby” of mine has rolled over it’s 1 year mark, which shortly there after called for a major face-lift, back-end overhaul and doing as much revenue for charity within 3 weeks as it had done in the preceding 365 days. I feel like we finally have a grip on what customers are looking to get out of a platform like this and are busily building out the feature set (at a much faster rate than before) and are in talks with some pretty huge partners that I think you are going to enjoy hearing about if they come to fruition.

(20 hours/week)

Free SEO Report –

This is a particularly exciting (and incredibly recent) opportunity that I have been included in on. Ironically I wrote a review of this service about a week ago as part of a contest to win an iPad but was hired the next day for business development instead (who says blogging can’t pay?!). I have been brought on for business development and to work closely with the properties owners Shoemoney Media Group, primarily with Jeremy Schoemaker and Tigh Buckles. I am very excited about the possibilities with this property and seeing what spending as many hours as I can with this talented team to shake things up in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  arena.

(20 hours/week)

The College Startup –

Here is an area I admit I haven’t paid nearly enough attention to, and that as a lot to do with the major changes above. I have put some time and money into trying to make TCS easier to read and while my content has been sparse I hope at least a few of you found it useful. If any of you can think of things you would to see from this blog in the future (more regular posts for instance?) please feel free to let me know in the comments, and if you are interested in doing a guest post please just e-mail me at contact [at] mybiggive [dot] com

(5 hours/week)

Total 2011 weekly work hour projection: 85 hours/week

Personal Life

I haven’t blended my personal life into this blog very many times because it has been primarily for people interested in what kind of shenanigans I am getting into business wise and my thoughts in general about high-level business trends. However, with this many projects in the fire I wanted to address it really quickly.

As cliche as it is, I would really like to get into better physical condition. This doesn’t mean I am looking to run a marathon (even at my peak, I have never wanted to run more than I have to). However, I would like to return to about 3 years ago composition wise. I have been reading Tim Ferris’s new book during the holidays and I am quite intrigued by his methods. I will be reporting back on the results if they are anything worth noting. Having physical health is a direct correlation to mental health, and with the kind of schedule I plan on having for 2011 that is going to be more important now than ever.

What can you reflect on about 2010 as we land feet first into 2011?

About Travis Ketchum
A smart ass marketer who doesn't take no for an answer and always questions the status quo. Connect with me on Google+. Convinced yet? Get more tips and great content 100% free.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew J. Gay January 2, 2011 at 10:05 PM


Sounds like you are going to be a busy man this year, good for you! Happy New Year, I am sure your 2011 is going to rock… I’ll be there. lol


Travis Ketchum January 2, 2011 at 10:19 PM

I think 2011 will be my most challenging year yet, but I couldn’t be happier that it is. With each new set of challenges come new opportunities, experiences and ways to make myself a better person.


Traci January 3, 2011 at 6:24 AM

Sounds like a great year ahead — I, too, am committed to making the time to be in better shape. That’s the key – in my world, and it sounds like yours – MAKE time.



Travis Ketchum January 3, 2011 at 6:59 AM

That is often the only way you can get something done – to make time. Many people complain of not having enough time for their supposed “true wants/needs” but they have time to watch 8-12 hours of television per week.


Elizabeth January 9, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Just reread this post because I liked it so much. Its awesome to see your year in review and it makes me take a look at mine. Hopefully 2011 will have a ton in store for me as well!


Travis Ketchum January 9, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Thanks Elizabeth, glad you liked it. I think 2011 will be an interesting year for most people due to life, economy and political factors. I hope you find what makes you reach the highest level of happiness, whatever factors that may be based on.


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