My name is Travis.
This is the way I want to see the world.
But the past and the future need a reckoning.
In the beginning, the world was fresh and bright, albeit dreary in western Pennsylvania.
I found words early on and felt the power of good writing. My sister taught me to be kind to others.
I wrestled kids for trophies and authority in the unspoken tanks of youth society. I wrestled with the structure and control of school, parents, conformity. The future was not set, it could be created.
SCHOOL AND CITY HALL
Campaigns and state legislature
It started early with “organizing” – first in my high school and then on campus. I entered the world of campaigns and canvassing, talking to people where they live about what they need. There was far more to learn outside of school. I joined and even started new campaigns for bold ideas. There were brilliant minds and potential all around me, feeding and teaching me. I even began to hear my words echo in others and thought of running for office myself one day. It become clear: policy was where the real impact lies. When Martin Heinrich (pictured) was an Albuquerque city counselor, I came to work for him on policy.
In the fast-paced NM Legislature, I was trusted in a powerful position as lobbyist and liaison, moving House Bills through the Senate, finding sponsors and learning to speak policy. New Mexico holds tremendous power at the national level thanks to the legacies and persistence of our politicians. Congressman Tom Udall was a civil rights leader who supported my ACLU Group’s efforts on UNM campus to oppose the Patriot Act. When he ran for US Senate, I was hired and assigned to campaign across all of eastern New Mexico. Politics became my frame for seeing the world as adaptable, changeable, fixable. With the right message strategy and philosophy – the future was open to become anyone’s compelling vision.
Udall and Heinrich became the two United States Senators for New Mexico. I’m grateful to have been some, front-line part of their journeys. New Mexico is a dynamic state. Political scientists come from all over the world to study our bubbling, melting pot of people. Years among farmers and ranchers, the descendants of original Spanish families, the artists and politicos, – my time in field politics reaffirmed my faith in real, face-to-face community dialogue. It’s how we connect and understand each other. It’s where humanist policy is born. Politics is everywhere, so I began to explore the re-explore world of technology, and saw the potential and freedom of bold new ideas applied.
Gordon Ramsey loved us
Through creative connections, I put our system in front of the producers of kitchen nightmares. She showed it to Gordon Ramsey, who gave us huge airtime in exchange for helping save the businesses he was turning around on the show with our system. Taking orders at the table with iPhones and iPads makes for good tv too. Our name and sales popped.
We went international and so did I
8As we grew interest from abroad poured into our inboxes. We were in 82 countries and 4,000 locations by 2014. Our resellers translated and programmed menus and portals for our software to be understood in their countries. I discovered Asia and was overwhelmed by the potentials overseas opportunities and why we had not gone sooner!
A serial entrepreneur – aka unemployable
Building a data directory in SE Asia
In my travels, i saw the need for payments – for merchants to be paid for the goods they made and sold. In Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, – it was near impossible for the small players to play. Then the real problem a new need was revealed: there was no business data. There were no listings. A city like Bangkok had leapfrogged the land line and the phonebook. You couldn’t find anything; shops had no way to be found. Google gave up years ago. We went to work and founded Uteeni, a complete directory with a full consumer app. I applied canvassing strategy from politics and built a harvester program to pay local people to collect data in person, verify it, and then handoff a full profile to the business itself to keep updated.
It was a huge, ambitious play, – and we set the standard of how a business should be represented. I was back and forth to the US, and then full-time on the ground over three years.
Prepare, pitch, switch, repeat
It’s hard to say no when you can see the possibilities in each new technology and team. I wanted to help everyone, everywhere – make things happen.
Too many timezones, too many startups
The frantic sprint, proving I could do it all, build it all, keep all these teams and visions together. I hit true burnout and was forced to reset.
Between my consulting business, multiple US startups and moves abroad – it was too much. Things were not happening fast enough; i was not effective enough. I was learning less, too operative to think deep and clear. I missed rest and reading and philosophy.
Digital nomad, re-enchanted
I returned to the land of enchantment, found a new balance and a new purpose. My experience and travels enabled me to see the bigger purpose. I chose to re-base,plant my feet more often, look ahead into the horizon and the future. I would travel with a new perspective, and use what I learned to build the next philosophy and technology from New Mexico.
It took a few years to find my optimal role as a strategist and advisor. Pride in being the operator, the chief, the omne in charge of everything slowly faded. I found how powerful, objective approaches and prompts will discover the next great model, or product strategy, or philosophy. I must read constantly, be active and vigilant to observe and understand, speak to truth and listen for whats real. New Mexico is where i find space to think deeply and create new things. I am a CEO whisperer, a practical philosopher, and strategic futurist. It actually works. What a journey. What a space and time to be alive and involved on the edges of the techno-human world
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