Look around. Everything we can see was “built”.

Everything, literally, is part of a “built-world” — our systems, cities, clubs, groups, laws, relationships, processes, families, buildings, even our ideologies. All of it. Someone, or some-many, built these things. When they are built excellently, we fail to realize that they were built at all.

We assume that they just are.

Don’t be fooled. Every built thing was built with effort and intentionally behind it. Maybe it was done poorly, or in bad taste, or with malicious intent, but it was intentional. The builders, therefore, are shaping our reality.

So, maybe we can (and should) start to take notice to the people and things that build stuff.

MOST people are not builders (by choice). They are the users, the customers, the consumers — living in, experiencing, and using the things that others built. There’s no issue there, but it is worth differentiating the builders from the users.

Anyone can be a builder, but it’s a vast, often under-appreciated and difficult undertaking. Who do we want our builders to be? We may not even think about it.

Who do we elevate?
Importantly: who do we support with our dollars and consumer-power?
Who’s systems and ideas are we using?

Is it the kind-hearted, benevolent leaders? Is it those who seek craft mastery and excellence in their design? Is it those who wish to build better functional systems and processes? The leaders? The entrepreneurs?

Or, do we not even realize who our builders are? We likely don’t know them, unless they’re a hippo crossing the street.

The built-minded are who we ought to aspire to — The intentional, driven, unheralded, often misunderstood, and maybe even criticized, DOERS of our world.

Maybe one day we’ll choose to be more intentional about our work when we realize that we too can build things, IF WE WANT. Maybe we’ll join the game and stop shouting from the sidelines. Or at least, maybe we’ll just stop shouting. After all, it’s more enjoyable to be a user, and the beauty in all of this is that we have the option to live comfortably without the effort of needing to build.

We can contribute to the design of the human-web, or not.

If we do decide to build, and we do GREAT WORK, then maybe we too will go unnoticed, and get criticized, and just have to live with the fact that building is pure, thankless effort.

As for those doers that don’t ask our permission to make our lives better, I DO WANT TO SAY THANK YOU. We live in your houses, sleep in your beds, and eat the food out of your fridge. The least we can do is stave off our anger when the lawn isn’t mowed on time.

I have re-written this section countless times. This is the crisis of our generation, defining one's self in an 'about me' box knowing that 95% of our peers will log that as 'who we are' without ever speaking to us, because reading the long-version is just too cumbersome for our over-crowded, busy lives. // In short: I'm a polymath with a hyperactive mind, curious about and fascinated by the complexities of, basically, everything. I'm firmly committed to living a life of "areté"—omnipresent excellence, and my mottos are 'making the best of this life' (Mt. Botl), and "Do it now or forever wish you had". // I had a 'famed' basketball stint (captaining the 2014 Mercer team that upset Duke in NCAA Tourney + winning a Nat'l Title as a coach). I quit the sports industry all-together, cold turkey, soon after. I had an existential crisis with 'glory' and 'meaning' and other challenging thoughts revolving around how many hours (90+/week) I was spending trying to 'win games'. // Since 2017, I've been in pursuit of several entrepreneurial ideas and am educating myself on a few new areas of focus. The following is a condensed list of the countless curiosities and industries that I've explored, worked in, or studied the last 3 years (of which I will need to choose 1-3 of to focus on sooner than later). Writing, Podcasting, Teaching—Adjunct College Professor, Public Speaking + Workshops, Building & Construction, Sustainable Real Estate Development—Industrial + Urban Repurposing in particular, Negotiation, Marketing—Branding/design/communications, Woodwork, Gardening, Permaculture-based farming and homesteading, Psychology, Industrial Engineering—Process Improvement + UX consulting, Project Management, Renewable Energy, & Executive Coaching for (select) clients focusing on leadership, personal brand + career development, health habits, productivity, networking, and communication skills. Yes, all of it, and since I sleep minimally, and my mind races like an ostrich all day and night, I know a fair bit about each of those topics. I have an obsession with learning. I'm always looking to connect and have conversations with folks, so, hit me up. I hope my work brings you joy, value, a challenge, or a ripe perspective. Much love, Jakob

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