Life’s little moments of success can pass us by so easily. If we don’t track the things we’re proud of, we lose track of how far we’ve come. Steve Kamb’s Epic Quest of Awesome inspired me to build my own Epic Life Quest. I keep track of achievements, and after five significant ones, I level up.
In the last level, I focused a lot on passive income: building training that I could sell, and then getting that educational material out to as many people as possible. That paid off in this level because the passive income gave me more time to focus on other areas of the business – and some fun.
Here’s what I accomplished in this level:
- Visit Poland. When I saw @AaronBertrand‘s photographs of his Poland trip, I decided I had to go. SQLDay 2017 in Wroclaw was great! Completed May 2017.
- Half-point: Ride in the upper deck of a 747. I don’t count this as a full experience point, but I’ve always wanted to do it, and I wanted to mark the achievement here so I could remember it when I looked back. I usually fly United, and they don’t use 747s, so I had to take a Lufthansa FRA-MCO flight to do it. Completed May 2017.
- Visit the Isle of Man. Famous stateside for the bonkers TT motorcycle race which produces terrifying crashes and kills riders every year, this beautiful island was way, way, way more beautiful than I’d expected. I rode most of the race course (in a taxi, not a bike), and I’m totally going back. If, heaven forbid, Erika passes away before I do, I’m moving here. It had that much of an effect on me. Completed September 2017.
- Set the PASS Summit pre-con attendance record. The Microsoft SQL Server industry holds a big annual conference in Seattle, and I’ve helped teach pre-con classes there before. My Expert Performance Tuning pre-con with Erik Darling broke the sales record more than a month before the event, and PASS couldn’t fit any more seats in. Completed October 2017.
- Half-point: Get code into a Microsoft product. When Microsoft announced SQL Operations Studio, their new open-source cross-platform SSMS-type tool, the execution plans looked awfully familiar. Turns out one of the open source projects they’re using is HTML-Query-Plan, an open source project that Brent Ozar Unlimited sponsors – because we use it for PasteThePlan! So awesome – because that means we might actually be able to get the PasteThePlan icons in there as a theme, heh heh heh…
Sell $500K of training in one month. Our Black Friday sale has done really well over time, and this year I want to see if I can cross that big round number. Update: so close, yet so far: our Black Friday sales hit $439K. That’s more than double our prior record, but not the big round number goal I was aiming for, so no Epic Life Quest points here.
- Sell out 2 pre-cons at the same conference. When our SQLBits 2018 pre-con sold out, Erik suggested something I’d never heard of before in our industry: why not run the exact same pre-con again a second day? It’s kinda like how musicians will add a second date when that one sells out. The Bits crew agreed, and we sold that one out too! Completed January 2018.
My achievements will slow down a little in Q1 due to a vacation trip to Germany, SQLBits in London, and several online training classes. I’ll make some more progress in Q2, but then our Chicago lease is up at the end of May, and we’re looking (again) at moving to San Diego. These winter storms make that decision a whole lot easier.