I wrote the following for a book I contributed to recently. Presenting these words to my parents was truly a gratifying experience. The following has also been appended to the About page. –My best.

John Erik Metcalf “Put yourself in their shoes.” “Do you understand why you shouldn’t do that?” “Remember the Golden Rule?” These are phrases that punctuated my upbringing. An only child, I grew up in the hill country north of San Antonio, Texas. I was homeschooled until eighth grade, when I chose to enroll in public school.

My parents, moderate conservatives, both work primarily from home – teaching me there was a natural fit. Their approach was similar to the Montessori Method. I’d focus on one subject as long as I wished, sometimes weeks, when I became uninterested I’d move to another. The computer, first a Tandy 1000, was incorporated into many of my lessons. I wasn’t allowed to play games much, so I’d recode them, then “test ‘em out.”

I recall running errands as a family; my father would proclaim “Let’s be Encouragers today.” Encouragers was a name conferred upon us by a neighbor years ago, it’s an exercise my parents have always taught: inspire others with confidence wherever you are. A practice I strive to carry on today.

Public school was interesting, I learned about “clicks” for the first time and how I wasn’t wired for standardized testing. Whilst it was far from the most productive time in my life, I learned how to navigate within my contemporaries. In high school I began looking at school as a game, to thrive I had to understand the game better than the other players. I’ve felt the same social status game played within two corporations I worked at – I left as fast as I could.

I bounced around a lot my first few years at The University of Texas, looking for a degree with the right curriculum and meta-framework. Starting in economics, then computer science, then business, I ended with a BS in advertising. Blending elements of creativity, synthetic thinking and sociology, this degree plan was an ideal fit for my thought process.

In 2003, after my sophomore year, I started a consulting company. Helping small businesses and nonprofits use technology to create an efficient work environment is what I do best. Economically and collaboratively, open source and Web 2.0 applications are transforming the workplace. I love to be the one to make it happen.

Today, along with wrapping up school and consulting part-time, I prefer to spend my days following the latest social entrepreneurs, internet trends, and Austin bike trails. I will continue to follow the example my parents have set for me and apply the concepts they have instilled in me to new facets of experience.

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