Welcome to My Blog


I'm a writer, inbound marketing expert, Mavs fan, travel enthusiast, and coffee addict. I help people get found online and work from the local coffee shop when I'm not at home. Read more about me and my adventures here!


The Prince of Poyais

A day before Christmas in 1786, Gregor MacGregor was born to Daniel MacGregor and Ann Austin, a Scottish family living in Stirlingshire, Scotland. Not much is known of Gregor’s early life, but it is known that at the age of 16, in 1803, he joined the British Army and served as an infantryman in the 57th Foot regiment. The next two years saw Gregor rising to the rank of lieutenant and marrying an admiral’s daughter by the name of Mary Bowater.

Less than 10 years later his wife Mary was dead and MacGregor had assumed the title of Colonel, calling himself Sir Gregor MacGregor, and falsely claiming to have succeeded to the chieftainship of the clan Gregor. Thus began a lifetime of exaggerations, schemes, and claiming to be something he wasn’t.

After selling his small Scottish estate, MacGregor sailed for South America and wasted no time in becoming involved in local affairs. Upon his arrival in Caracas, MacGregor talked General Francisco de Miranda, the Commander in Chief of the new Venezuelan Republic’s army, into appointing him to colonel. Quickly after, MacGregor became a brigadier-general, thanks to a series of skirmishes that saw him the victor. Next he  traveled south  to New Granada, now present-day Columbia, where he joined the liberation forces of General Antonio Nariño.

It was during this time that MacGregor became known as a braggart, with one local official writing of him, “I am sick and tired of this bluffer, or Quixote, or the devil knows what. This man can hardly serve us in New Grenada without heaping ten thousand embarrassments upon us.”

By the Spring of 1816 he had moved on to the neighboring island of Haiti with his new wife, Josefa, where Simon Bolivar was raising a new army. In April, MacGregor sailed with Bolivar back to Venezuela. Their forces were ultimately split up, with MacGregor’s forces being forced to retreat, fighting all the way. MacGregor earned deserved acclaim during this difficult, month-long campaign, making this likely the high point of his military adventures, which were otherwise clouded with varying amounts of error, incompetency, and great exaggeration on his part.

In 1820 MacGregor returned to London and announced that he had been created Cacique, highest authority or prince, of the Principality of Poyais, an independent nation located on the Bay of Honduras. MacGregor spoke of the native Chieftain King George Frederic Augustus I granting him the territory of Poyais, a 76,000 mile area of fertile land and untapped resources. The picture he painted has of a vast, beautiful land filled to the brim with opportunity and in need of English settlers and investors.

London’s high society welcomed MacGregor into their numbers as if he was one of their own, none too shocking though, considering MacGregor painted himself with many lies. By 1822 MacGregor was selling land rights for the Principality of Poyais for 3 shillings and up to 4 shillings per acre (a worker’s weekly wage during this time was roughly 1 shilling). By October of that year, MacGregor secured a £200,000, on behalf of the Poyais government, in the form of 2,000 bearer bonds worth £100 each; however, no dividend was ever paid and the bonds became unsaleable. Though the “Republic of Poyais” offered the bondholders land in exchange for these obligations, the offer was accepted by none of them.

That same year, the Sketch of the Mosquito Shore, including the Territory of Poyais, a pamphlet supposedly written by Captain Thomas Strangeways, was published. Describing Poyais in beautiful terms, it spoke of immense profits one could gain from the country’s great resources. Existing infrastructure, untapped gold and silver mines, and large areas of land with fertile soil was also part of the offering that Poyais gave those who were lucky enough to invest in it.

By January of 1823, two ships had left for the Poyais, each carrying 120 would-be-settlers as well as enough provisions for a year. Little to anyone’s knowledge at the time, they were sailing not to riches, but to jungles. The settlers of both ships, who ultimately found each other, only encountered untouched jungles, American hermits, and the ruins of a previous attempt at settlement more than a century old.

After several efforts to locate Poyais, and finally seek help, 180 of the 240 would-be-settlers died during the ordeal. The survivors who did not remain in the Americas (specifically, in Belize where many were rescued) began their journey back to London on August 1, 1823. Fewer than 50 made it back. Upon their arrival, city papers published their story.

Shockingly, though, some survivors failed to label MacGregor as the culprit. One survivor, James Hastie, published a book labeling Gregor’s advisers and publicists as having spread false information. Another survivor, Major Richardson, also an old comrade of MacGregor, sued the papers for libel. Despite the attention though, MacGregor had already left for Paris by October of 1823.

In Paris, France, MacGregor was back to his shady dealings and contacted a trading organization, commissioning it to solicit more Poyasian settlers and investors, this time from France. By August, after having conducted similar attempts at generating interest in Poyais, MacGregor published a new constitution of Poyais, changing it into a republic and with himself as the head of state. On August 18, 1825 Gregor issued a £300,000 loan with 2.5% interest, through the London bank of Thomas Jenkins & Company – the bond was in reality, probably never issued. At the same time, settlers were recruited to by the shares of the company and sail there aboard la Nouvelle Nuestrie.

French officials began noticing that a large number of their people were obtaining passports in order to travel to a country that they had never heard of, and seized la Nouvelle Neustrie vessel located in Le Havre. The would-be immigrants to the “beautiful land filled with opportunity” demanded an investigation, and

MacGregor was finally found and apprehended on December 7th, 1825. MacGregor as well as two others were accused of fraud. Unbelievably though, after two trials, MacGregor was acquitted in 1826. He then returned to London and continued selling watered-down versions of his old schemes. These schemes and various ones like them lasted until 1839, when MacGregor moved to Venezuela, received that country’s citizenship, and a pension as a general who fought for its independence.

MacGregor died in Caracas on December 4, 1845. Today, according to The Economist, the area that MacGregor spoke of as being a land of opportunity, is an undeveloped strip of land – essentially, valueless.

During his lifetime, MacGregor left in his wake scores of people who believed his many schemes, believed his many false stories, believed what he was selling; but they ended up with nothing to show for their belief.

Every great idea comes with a great story, but from that point onward great ideas either develop into successes or are found to have the facade of greatness but with nothing of value behind them.

Ambition can either see you selling an undeveloped strip of land or offering something of value up to the world. You can be successful at both, but only one has the longevity and worth that will pay for itself eventually. A glider can only take you so far until you run out of thermals to carry you forward, but taking the time to build an engine takes you much farther. Are you after the fish, or the method of catching them?

There are no shortcuts. Muhammad Ali once said, “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your live as a champion.'” You can either spend your life searching for junk to sell or pay the brain bill, develop your brand, and live your life as a champion.

The War Against Creativity

Kurt Vonnegut Quote

Creating is hard. It’s choosing to go to the point of no return and to commit to creating something new, unseen, not yet in existence, and something that will more than likely fail. Not creating is even harder though, it’s the choice of putting your curiosity in a prison and throwing away the key. At first it’s missed, but over time it becomes easier to forget the absence and go on in normalcy, following the trends and working to forget there was ever an option to chase curiosity in the first place.

There’s a war against creativity. From an early age we’re taught to put away the crayons and to conform. To stop coloring outside the lines, to stop making up stories, and to start following the rules. We’re taught this is the path to success.

Creating seems to be outlawed, and you can see the evidence everywhere. It’s very easy to conform. The thought of going against the norm is strange to most people. Creative people that have bought into the normalcy must wait to be picked in order to create, and once they are, they must color inside the lines that someone else has already drawn. They wait for the system to choose them, passing the ability to initiate off to someone else.

Initiating, like creating, is hard. There’s pain in it, and fear too. The fear of rejection, of isolation and loneliness, and the fear of failure. It’s easy to see why avoiding the fear and pain of failure is the norm when it’s what has been taught since day one.

The war against creativity isn’t conforming vs. not conforming, it’s the effort at making you think that failure is actually a bad thing.


It’s 2015 and hoverboards still aren’t here. Neither are flying cars, self-lacing shoes, Jaws 19, and as a kicker, the Cubs are still awful. But hey, that’s ok, at least the last one was expected.

2015 is the year that Marty McFly arrives in the future, October 21, 2015 to be exact. And although hoverboards were shown extensively in his version of 2015, the real deal has yet to arrive in our own 2015. Only recently have people started working towards creating a hoverboard, and what they have, is nothing like Marty’s board.

There is never a reason to wait for a reason to innovate. People who wait to innovate are like those waiting for 2015 as an excuse to start creating hoverboards, or self-lacing shoes, or trying to find talented players to put on the Cubs.

In Waiting

The illusion many have is that without a push or a reason to innovate, failure is right around the corner, waiting. The innovators are the ones that scratch their own itch, solve their own problem, and embrace their own failures. They’re the kids that don’t wait for a push to send them on their sled down the hill.

In a commencement address to the 2014 graduating class of Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, comedian Jim Carrey spoke on the fear of failure:

My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.

Ideas are perishable. And like ideas, goals and dreams that sit in waiting, untouched, can never be real unless action is taken to make them that way.

Don’t wait for someone to tell you its okay to create your own hoverboard. Go ahead and do it.


Tolkein Quote

To most of the world, the average person is just another page in a book, read once and forgotten. Sad but ordinary. There’s a secret though, and only a few realize that they can burn the book altogether and write a story of their own. This is where creation begins.

Chapter 1

If we’re all just pages in a book don’t you want to be the reason a new chapter begins? Why not start something crazy? or something daring? The services we rely upon, the products we use, and the brands we trust were forged by people who decided to write their own story and start their own chapter. Chase them, not everyone else.

The chapter-starters are all people who bucked the system. Mark Cuban slept on the floor and couch of his friends’ apartments trying to make it in Dallas and save money while he learned as much as he could about computers. Cuban would later sell two companies: MicroSolutions for $6 million and another, Broadcast.com, for $5.7 billion.  In an interview, Cuban said, “When I was poor and sleeping on the floor I was having fun.”

Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard chasing an idea that he lived and breathed every waking moment. Zuckerberg said in an interview, “I remember really vividly, you know, having pizza with my friends a day or two after—I opened up the first version of Facebook at the time I thought, ‘You know, someone needs to build a service like this for the world.’ But I just never thought that we’d be the ones to help do it. And I think a lot of what it comes down to is we just cared more.”

The people who deviated from the norm are likely to be the people we remember the most. There’s a theme here, one that speaks to the ingredient found in successful people:  they chase their goals, breathe them in during every waking moment, and are relentless in doing whatever it takes to capture them. They are the author of their own story.

The Road Less Traveled

Your deviation from the main road, from whoever’s book you’ve been existing in, doesn’t have to be sudden or extreme. This is where most people burn out, they see a goal and jump off of the cliff to get to it without realizing there was a cliff there to begin with.

Those who’ve found great success, the Cubans and Zuckerburgs of the world, work day and night, living and breathing their dream in order to build and create their own path, and write their own chapter.

Chasing the Light of Yesterday



On most clear nights between the Pegasus and Cassiopeia constellations lives the light of a trillion suns. This light must travel 2.5 million years in order to reach the Earth, giving a glimpse into the past if we only choose to look up and search for it. This group of stars, now called the Andromeda Galaxy, has been hovering over Earth for silent millennia, waiting to be recognized.

Astronomers from long ago looked upon the Andromeda and thought it a celestial cloud.  Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi wrote about Andromeda in 964, calling it a small cloud. For centuries it was included in star maps, even before the advent of the telescope in the 17th century. It wasn’t until 1925 when Edwin Hubble correctly identified the Andromeda as a galaxy entirely separate from our own, instead of a cluster of stars held within our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Chasing the Light of Yesterday

Our own light can appear to the world as easily as the stars appear to us in the night sky. It can be just as easy to miss though. If the world doesn’t know we’re there, or know where to look for our story, we’re invisible and become just another dot scattered in the sky. Only when we focus our light – our goals, dreams, passions – forward with purpose, can we shine and be found and admired.

Perspective is everything. If the Andromeda Galaxy appeared to the naked eye as it does to a large telescope, it would be six moons wide in our night sky, a small space for a galaxy that contains an estimated 1 trillion stars. What’s more amazing is that the galaxy we see is 2.5 million years old, as the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years away from Earth. Perspective gives us balance, and helps us know what should hold our focus, and what shouldn’t.

You could spend your life looking in the direction you think is forward, doing what you think is dreaming, and working towards what you believe to be your goals, only to ultimately find yourself stationary during the whole affair. Life moves fast and the ideas within us are fluid. Move with them. Don’t be stationary. Let yourself live and let your ideas shine everywhere.

The light from Andromeda left its source long before you or I were ever a thought in the world. Two and a half million years later,  only those who search for Andromeda see its light or ever truly appreciate its significance. For centuries, the greatest minds looked through their naked eye at this faraway celestial body, thinking it merely a part of our own galaxy.

Only recently, in the grand scope of our history, has the truth come. And now we realize that we are but small granules of sand in an ocean of stars. We’re made of carbon, of the very stardust that sends pure light two and a half million years to our Earth, only to beg to make it to our searching eyes. Our Creator intended us to be explorers, to live for the light of yesterday but chase the light of tomorrow.

Our lives are meant to be lived as explorers today, not as people chasing yesterday. If you’re stuck, there are inspirations everywhere you look – stand outside on clear night, and let the ancient light of a trillion stars wash over you.


Alex Honnold

“Alex Honnold reenacting his rope-less free climb of the 2,500 ft. Northwest Face of Half Dome (5.12), Yosemite National Park, California, USA. Alex’s ascent is arguably the hardest free solo done to date in Yosemite.”
AlexHonnold.com Via National Geographic

I’ve lived with depression the majority of my post-college graduation life. It’s debilitating and it really sucks. It’s not something I talk about to practically anyone, which makes this article a sort of letter, I suppose. But that’s ok, depression is just a thing in my life, it’s just a weight. That’s it. Like any psychological weight in life, it seems to be attached at the ankle, trying to keep me from moving forward, trying to sink me, drown me. But these are just threats from an invisible and unrealistic enemy. And that’s not the end of my story.

We all have our own weights in our lives, our own leg irons that promise, beg for, defeat. They promise to sink us, to keep us back, to prevent us from even being. To stop us from living. But the only way you realize you have a psychological leg weight bringing you down is if you keep looking down, the only reality in which the weight controls you is if you keep making sure it’s there. Once you ignore it, you can begin to live again. Then the sun shines brighter and life sings to you once again.Continue Reading

The Self-Powered Life

The Ancient Polynesians navigated the Pacific using the sun and the stars as their compass. Their journeys took them to places across thousands of miles, from Hawaii to New Zealand and New Zealand to Easter Island, within an area encompassing 10 million square miles, now known as the Polynesian Triangle.

These ancient navigators, exploring and settling the Polynesian Triangle between 3000BC and 1000BC, set their eyes forward and upward, using the stars as their guide and the horizon as their goal. Entire villages traveled great distances in Polynesian double-hulled canoes, setting out to find new islands and lands.

No ship guides itself. There must always be a captain to decide where it goes. But each ship, regardless of the number of people who man it, are reliant on the winds, engines, and masts that power it.

Life is challenging. But life is only captained by its owner. Each life must steer itself.  The road less traveled is worth the risk, though, and the misfits who are brave enough to journey there have great stories to tell. Stories of adventure and fortune, of risk and failure – and of life.

The Art of Being Remarkable

Nobody plans on having a boring life, but once you realize you’ve gone down that path, you can feel overwhelmed by the dull and mundane events of your life that make you feel like you’re barely able to keep your head above water. It becomes easier and easier to close the door to whatever exploration is calling you, to whatever your dreams are, and continue on the uninspiring path that truly offers nothing remarkable.

Being remarkable is about the journey. It’s what you see along the way and the people you meet. The journey makes the destination worth it. It’s true that people make the world spin around, but the dreamers are what make the world worth exploring. Realize that you can be one; find them and join them.

‘A Handcrafted Event for Artists, Troublemakers, and General Riffraff ‘

On the last weekend of May in 2014 I found myself among a fantastic number of dreamers in sunny Fargo, North Dakota for a conference that can only be described as A Handcrafted Event for Artists, Troublemakers, and General Riffraff. It was a weekend dedicated to those who seek creativity out as if it were a money tree. That weekend, I was one of several hundred people from all walks of life that are doing amazing things across the globe, and I felt at home.

This year’s Misfit conference was the second one in as many years put on by Misfit Inc., a company headed by my good friends AJ and Melissa Leon, along with many other cool people. A fair number of attendees had gone to the previous year’s Misfit Con, and each one of them spoke of the magic that occurred there. I was pumped to say the least.

AJ and Melissa

My bizarre journey to Fargo, of all places, began a year before the plane even left the tarmac. I was first introduced to AJ Leon in 2013 through his Kickstarter campaign that aimed to fund his book, The Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit. My dad is the one who sent me the link and asked me to check out the Kickstarter video – it looked interesting and I did.

AJ’s Kickstarter video caught me completely off guard. Here was a guy who had “made it” and had everything but an actual contract to a very rich and wealthy future. AJ had left a comfy six-figure job in Manhattan for an unknown and uncertain life. He had decided that he wanted to change the world, explore, and do something remarkable and different with his life. Fourteen months later he had started his own successful business with his wife (Misfit Inc.), was exploring the world, and was doing life fulfilling things. This was right up my alley.

His journey has taken him from Manhattan to places all around the world. With his wife and team of Misfits, AJ has built a windmill in Africa, promoted the value of Shakespeare around the world, inspired millions, and created a place for misfits around the world to come together and be wonderfully eccentric.

As a gift to me, my dad purchased one of the options on the Kickstarter campaign that would have AJ hand delivering his new book to me in person once it was completed. I immediately began devouring his blog, (aj-leon.com/pursuitofeverything/), and ate up everything he had to say about life, the world, and everything in between. His outlook was an injection of inspiration that gave my dream of writing and working for myself wings.

Later that year my dad and I met AJ and his wife Melissa during SXSW. We shared coffee and stories of self-starting adventure. This year we all met again during SXSW 2014, where AJ delivered his completed book to me.

Misfit Con 2014

Misfit Con is described as A Handcrafted Event for Artists, Troublemakers, and General Riffraff. If you haven’t yet met me then you should know that description fits me, not perfectly, but close enough. It’s a great description of an event, certainly, but there’s not much else you can do to prepare for what actually happens. There’s not a real way to describe it beyond those words. It’s magical.

The night before the plane was scheduled to depart I didn’t sleep a wink. The first leg of the journey that took me to O’Hare felt like it went by in a second. The second, and much shorter leg felt twice as long as the previous 3 hour plane ride. Before I landed in Fargo I finished reading Srinivas Rao’s book, The Art of Being Unmistakable, which set the mood for the conference. Little did I know Srinivas would be attending as well as speaking, and I would get a chance to meet him and speak with him.

Landing in Fargo was an experience. Firstly, there was no one else waiting for a shuttle, car, or friend pickup. I was it. The people who exited the plane with me quietly walked to a small parking lot where they left in their own vehicles. After more than 30 minutes my Hilton hotel shuttle arrived and picked me, and only me, up. I made it to the hotel a short time later in time for the informal Misfit meetup that Thursday evening at a local museum.

That evening was special. I met friends there who I still connect with today: friends from Austin, friends from Canada, the US, and all over the world. It was the perfect introduction to what would be an incredible weekend.

I awoke the next day refreshed, eager, and very anxious. If you’ve ever been to Fargo then you’ll know how special it’s small, quaint downtown can be. Though small, it’s a very chill and welcoming atmosphere. Large enough to have the unique things that make a city special, but small enough that walking about it will have you running into friends and meeting new people. Downtown Fargo that Friday morning just before 8am was inhabited by few people. I didn’t recognize anyone from the night before but I suspected we were all Misfits there for the conference. There was an electricity in the air that was begging to be consumed and shared.

I left my hotel early enough to stop and get coffee at the local shop, named Atomic Coffee, next door to where we were instructed to meet. There was a group of people talking animatedly by the door, they seemed too spirited to be simply having coffee before an 8am job, so I knew I had found the Misfits. I grabbed my coffee – something black and strong, from what I can remember – and headed over.

We finished our coffee, and walked next door to begin the weekend. Then everything changed.

Find Your Fargo

This is where I stop telling my Fargo story, it’s a beautiful experience and memory to me, but it wouldn’t make sense to you unless you were there.  There aren’t enough words to describe what happens next in my own, unique Fargo story.

Choosing to be different, to be creative and challenge your status quo is the first step off of the beaten path. But one step doesn’t get you there. Being around many people who are all journeying to and on the road less traveled is the inspiration everyone deserves to have.

The motivation my fellow Misfits and I gained there is invaluable. Each of us began the journey to Fargo seeking to alleviate a pressure to create and perform, looking to find out what makes others tick and why they create such beautiful masterpieces. Each of us left from Fargo with a sense of community and a reason why – a reason why to create, why to love, and why to continue embracing our own uniqueness.

Find your own Fargo, your own tribe of Misfits. Find your group then go create value in your own world. I found mine. I’m a Misfit and it’s awesome. Being a Misfit is hard, and at times it doesn’t make sense. The only solution is to discover what makes you tick and search for the magic that makes things click in your life. Find your own Fargo, and hold onto it as if it were a precious jewel, because I found mine and I guard the memories dearly.

Create your own lightning storm that powers your own life and lets you guide your own ship to wherever you see fit.

Your Self-Powered Life

Our society is obsessed with people who’ve decided to steer the rudder of their own ship – the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates’ of the world, our favorite writers and authors, people like Mark Cuban, bands who don’t have to have a day job, and countless others who inspire our inner creativity.

But it’s not something you have to only look at or dream about. The self-powered life is entirely possible. It’s an adventure that allows your soul to speak to the world in a spectacular way.

Many people lose the reason why they love to create. It’s either ironed out in school, or lost in the mindlessness of the cubicle. This creative drive escapes them slowly as they continue to deny and ignore its existence, slowly pulling them through a bleak and hopeless road atop a cliffside thats just begging to be explored. Being a misfit is not always, if ever, easy, but life favors the bold and only those who challenge the cliffside will ever know it’s there.

As soon as you lose sight of why you create, anything you try and bring into the world will be void of that special magic that only you can add to it. Learn to live, drift, and sail in your own ocean and your sunsets can only grow in beauty.

Yes, being a misfit can be difficult, but it’s worth it. Take your ideas to the edge of the cliff and step off of it and see where life and your parachute can take you.