Every year for the last decade I’ve shared what I called my “Thanksgiving Shout Out.” A list of 10 (or so) people who I was especially grateful for that year, it became one of my favorite traditions.
This year, I’m breaking from that tradition slightly because things are a little different.
When I log in to Twitter these days, I almost always see something in my feed from people like Peter Landsman from Lift Blog or Stuart Winchester from Storm Skiing Journal. These folks are so passionate, they put so much time toward their brands, they follow everything, read everything, are right on top of everything when it happens.
They are…like I was 10 years ago.
Let’s face it. The Gregg writing this post is not the same Gregg that wrote a post every weekday for 5 years. It’s not the same Gregg that pulled thousands of resort social media data points every night for 8 years. The Gregg that built an entire analytics platform on top of his blog. The Gregg that spent anniversaries and birthdays and holidays in airports.
So, what happened to that Gregg?
That’s a great question. I wish I had a neat, tidy little answer, but I don’t. Maybe I will one day. But if I attempted to be my own therapist for a minute, I’d say it’s probably a combination of a few things.
First, I’m done climbing the ladder. I am literally as high as I ever want to go in my career. It took me quite a few years to realize it (and another couple to embrace it) but I have no interest in being a CMO, GM, CEO, etc. These are absolutely worthy goals for some but these roles simply doesn’t align with what I am good at, what I enjoy, and what I tend to need for a healthy work/life balance.
In other words, SlopeFillers started as a way to get my foot in the door and, the more I hustled on it, the more doors is opened. Today, the doors that SlopeFillers was on course to open aren’t the doors I’m aiming for.
The Gregg of 10 years ago would have worried that working half-time for a month to explore Vermont could hurt his career trajectory.
Second, I’m being more honest with myself. I have written 1,911 posts on this blog. I’ve written about the best resort marketers in the game and the greatest campaigns our industry has seen in recent years. Yet soon after I joined Ryan Solutions back in 2011 I was faced with an odd irony: my goal was to become a resort marketer, but my path is a software marketer and, frankly, I’m better at the software stuff.
In other words, somewhere along the way I realized that spending more time on SlopeFillers doesn’t help me get better at the skills and knowledge around what actually puts food on the table.
The Gregg of 10 years ago would have been writing blog posts in the evening instead of building that teardrop he’d always dreamed of.
Third, there are more important things. I’m not much younger than my mom was when she had her first round of almost-deadly cancer. My kids are now 6 and 8, ages that are incredibly fun and moving quickly. And I’ve realized that, as a white/human/father/man, making sense of Killington’s video strategy isn’t as important as making sense of who I am in this world.
In other words, SlopeFillers is a great thing, but with so many hours in the day there are greater things in the world I really need to wrap my head around and that takes time and focus and energy.
The Gregg of 10 years ago may have worried about what he’d miss being off grid for a week instead of realizing how good it was for him.
I fully recognize this is not a very inspiring message. These days, it’s all about the sacrifice, the hustle, and putting in the work that other people won’t. SlopeFillers was that brand once, but it’s not anymore.
Which is why I’m so incredibly grateful for the continued support for so many of you.
SlopeFillers may not be the 5-days-a-week firehose of insights and stats and analysis that it used to be. It may never be that again. But it’s the best I can make it right now and I appreciate the understanding from those of you who have followed this journey for so long and are okay with the sporadic, sometimes brief, collection of insights and trends that it now is.
And with that, I’m going to do what I used to not: check out for the week.
If you need me, I’ll be somewhere in the Uinta mountains tromping through the snow with my family on the hunt for a (sorta) perfect Christmas tree…just like we did last year…and the year before that…
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