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Forty Four

​I used to do these birthday lists, you can see them all here: Forty, Thirty Nine, Thirty Eight, Thirty Seven, Thirty Six, Thirty Five and Thirty Four. I stopped at 40 and haven’t yet had the desire to make any more. There was a lot of learning that happened between those years of 34-40 but this year, 2020 contained more learnings than all those previous years combined. The difficultly of life in general, was put to the test with a pandemic, an election year and the dismantling of a religion that I used to find comforting in the challenges that life brings.

I changed jobs, I was actually fired for the first time in my life—I couldn’t tell you why, but I was. A blessing in disguise, take that back, blessing isn’t a big enough word. It was a miracle. What I do now, and why I do it, has given me new breath for learning, growing, leading and most of all devoting myself to a mission and a vision that will literally change the world, one child at a time. If you’re looking for me in 10 years, you’ll be able to find me at Brave Care.

In addition to changing jobs, I jumped functions from design to product. I started at Brave Care as the Creative Director, but have since moved over to the product side as Head of Product. I never considered product in the past, but my passion for delivering exceptional products has come to the forefront in the past few years—another lesson learned and path I am following.

Speaking of paths one that I have been traveling down more recently is consuming all I can about how to empower people and teams to do amazing work. If that doesn’t make me feel old, I don’t know what will. Who thinks about this stuff? Well, evidently I do now. And I love it. Two books that have really been stoking (see what I did there) my fire have been Trillion Dollar Coach by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle and Empowered by Marty Cagan. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface and plan on writing and sharing a lot more about what I’m learning here on this blog.

Speaking of the blog, it’s back. I used to run Es Bueno on Tumblr which worked great for what it was. But as I wanted to get more into writing and sharing what I was learning, I knew I had to bring it under my own roof so to speak. I knew it would be time consuming and tedious, so I waited until I felt the motivation to do the work. This is the result of that. I learned CSS Grid while building this—which is amazing. I also focused on speed and accessibility and am really proud of the high score the site has in Google Lighthouse. There are likely still some bugs sitting around, don’t hesitate to let me know if you find some.

I wanted this blog to be about 3 things: lifting up others, sharing the rad things others are doing and giving me a space to talk about things I love, namely music, design and product. I hope you like it. Actually, it doesn’t matter. I’m doing this for me. Which brings me full circle back to my birthday lists. Today as I tick another year off, instead of sharing 44 things that I learned this year, I’m just going to share one: be kind to one another.

Article Credit

  1. Author: Noah Stokes
  2. Date Published: January 11, 2021

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May this website be a balm upon you.


I’ve always been interested in the idea of paying forward what knowledge I have—share with others what others have shared with me. I think it’s not only important, but it’s our job as veterans in this industry to set the next generation of leaders up for success.

If this resonates with you, and you want to meet with me, grab some time on my calendar and we can chat.