22, wow. Despite how young that sounds, I feel really old. Each year, I ask myself “am I better person now than I was a year ago?” and the answer, as far as I’m concerned, has always been yes. I’ve had this blog for a while. 6 years, 5 months and 6 days to be exact. That’s a long time to be writing. The benefit of writing and writing publicly is not only for the introspection, but also to better appreciate how much I’ve grown and of course other people can appreciate how much I’ve grown too. I’ve come a far way from this, this and this. There’s even more – go check out my archives; they go all the way back to June 4, 2006 when I was 16 years old. Laughs are on me.
It really is amazing how much I’ve grown, how so much has changed, but how so much has remained the same. My opinions on certain things have changed radically while others have virtually remained the same. I sometimes ( hesitantly) go through my blog archives and look at some of the things I wrote years ago. I cover my face at some of the things I’ve written because of how embarrassed I am about some of the things I wrote and I smile at others because of how principled, head strong and proud I’ve always been. I’ve always been an opinionated person especially about topics like education, religion, politics, sexuality etc. Some posts have been so controversial that I’ve ended up hiding or deleting them as a result, many of which in retrospect I’m not so proud of and I don’t think my age was an excuse.
I’ve erred like any other human being. I’ve made bad decisions, I’ve hurt people and I’ve said hurtful things and it’s easy to misunderstand me if you’ve never spoken to or interacted with me extensively.
Life has changed a lot for me in the past year and I daresay that 2012 has been the best year of my life. I really have grown a lot in a short period of time.
In 2011 I tweeted:
2012 is going to be an AMAAAAZING year.
— Gordonswaby (@Gordonswaby) December 18, 2011
And an amazing year it was. I crossed off another thing from my list of life goals ( I call it my life wireframe). I think a large part of being an entrepreneur is having confidence. You have to to envision it before you say it (out loud or type it) and you have to believe it before you do it. I believe in myself and my my ability to work hard and accomplish the goals I set for myself. We’re all great in our own way and it’s a shame that many people (especially people I know) don’t see greatness that they posses.
On March 15, 2012, I launched EduFocal, my technology/education startup at the Jamaica Pegasus (pictures here) with the help of my girlfriend , my parents, Paul Allen, Shane Shipston and many, many, many other people. I won’t write at length about EduFocal here because it deserves a post of its own. Running a company has been hard, but gratifying and totally worth it. I’ve made a lot of great decisions, but I’ve also made many mistakes, each time learning from them. 2012 was about starting, 2013 will be about growth, not only for my company, but also me. I don’t fight my battles alone, I have an amazing board (Peter Levy (CEO, BCIC), Wayne Robinson (Founder/Principal, Quality Academics), Lloyd Swaby (my father), Grace Lindo (Associate, Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co.), Chad Cunningham (CEO/Founder, Jamdeal.com) and Maxwell Jardim (Director, Rainforest Seafoods).
Personally, I have a lot of support from my girlfriend, family and friends.
My year is really ending on a high note when on November 29 I will collect an award for being selected as one of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica 50UnderFifty awardees. I really am honored to be selected with so many other amazing Jamaicans.
2012 was amazing, 2013 is going to be even better. Let’s go!