Welcome to the best end-of-year newsletter ever!  Why?  Because ordinarily this is when everyone starts telling you to think about next year, to make resolutions and figure out how to improve.  But I don’t want to do that, because “make resolutions for next year” is code for “quietly admit the sad failure of your current existence.”  And I don’t think you’re a sad failure.  At worst you’re a happy failure, or a sad success.  But I’m willing to bet that you’re actually a happy success, in more ways than you even realize.

So, to end this year properly, I’m going to share with you the 3 most awesome and hilarious things that happened to me this year.  They won’t help you do your job better, but they should amuse the crap out of you, and I think you deserve some mindless entertainment.  Besides, with any luck they’ll remind you that your year has been way more entertaining than you sometimes remember.

Ready to see how weird the world really is?  Here we go!

#1 – I Became the Most Ethical Person Alive!  Back in March one of my clients contracted me to write and film a video series on ethics (you can see some of that series HERE if you’re interested).  Ethics training is usually about as entertaining as an old pickle, but we had a ton of fun with it.  In that series I styled myself as “The Most Ethical Person Alive,” and my clients printed up a certificate that said so and gave it to me when we were finished.  It’s framed and on my wall now, which means it’s official.  And in case you doubt me, you should ask yourself how you know for certain that all those diplomas on your doctor’s wall weren’t just made on Photoshop.  Enjoy your next check-up!

#2 – I Learned That I Was a Dangerous Outlaw!  This one happened a couple weeks ago, and I’m still laughing about it.  Our Director of Marketing, Amanda Maurer (who is awesome and wonderful and in some of our videos, by the way), occasionally trolls the Internet to find out who’s talking about us.  And that’s how she was able to tell me a couple weeks ago that Jeff Havens is also the name of the main character in a new novel called “Return of the Outlaw”.  You can read the entire book description here, but in case you don’t bother, here’s how it starts:  “Jeff Havens is not a man who hunts trouble, but he doesn’t back away from it either, and the ruthless outlaws who have stolen everything he ever cared about and made him a wanted man are about to find that out.”  It’s hysterical, if for no other reason than that Jeff Havens is the crappiest name for a dangerous outlaw I have ever heard of.  That’s like saying, “The Mob might think it knows a thing or two about fear, but it’s about to learn the real meaning of the word when it decides to face off against Tommy Tubbles.”

#3 – I Performed for Bankers in a Giant Blue Mohawk! – In September I presented to First National Bank, which probably isn’t helpful information since I think there are 354 banks named “First National Bank.”  Anyway, they were doing a day of all-staff training and wanted to make it fun, so they encouraged people to dress up in whatever crazy outfit they could think of.  There were a lot of headbands and leg warmers, a couple cross-dressers, and 7 or 8 people wearing giant mustaches in honor of one of their managers, who was going to have his Tom-Selleck-esque mustache of 30 years shaved off in front of everyone as a reward for the bank hitting its sales targets.  And then there was me, trying to talk about communication and change management while wearing a giant blue mohawk.  It was a ton a fun, and I hereby promise that if you hire me, I will wear whatever you tell me to wear.  No holds barred.  Just be warned: if you think I’m bluffing, you just might be in for a fun surprise at your next conference.  J

So that’s my list, folks.  I hope you spend a couple minutes today compiling your own and reminding yourself that it’s been an amazing year.  And I’m pretty sure 2014 is going to be an even more hilarious one.  We’ve got a lot of things planned to help make sure that happens for you.  Have a great holiday, and we’ll see you next year!

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