On a Personal Note…

It is the day before New Years Eve and I’m sitting here watching these stocks grind into the close like they’re working for tips.

The office is empty, the phone is silent and it’s a great time to reflect on 2010 – one of the most important years of my life.

When 2010 began, I was in a bad work situation and in a professional rut that seemed impossible to climb out of.  I was 40 pounds overweight, attending way too many happy hours on weeknights and just generally going through a dark phase, even if I didn’t realize the extent of it at that time.  Writing the blog became more about escapism than anything else at a certain point during those short, cold days.

And then the Spring came and with it, my personal and professional renaissance:

♣ My daughter turned 4 and began calling me “Josh” instead of “Dad” – which is hilarious and awesome.  She’s going to be unstoppable.

♣ I met one of my idols in the investing business (thanks to my friend Howard and StockTwits) and was offered a job at his shop, one of the hottest asset management firms in the country.

♣ I removed myself from a horrendous place of business and left all the baggage behind in one fell swoop.  I took almost every single client with me and learned a great deal about loyalty and who I could count on when it really mattered.

♣ My son turned 1 but he now eats like he’s 17.  Can’t wait to watch him sack quarterbacks and crush fastballs.

♣ I dropped my retail brokerage business entirely and went completely fee-based.  I decided I would never sell anyone anything ever again; instead, I’d be paid only for my ongoing help and advice with zero conflicts – nothing between myself and the success of my clients.

But making that leap this summer after years of dreaming about it almost killed me.

A week before Labor Day, the stress and the strain of coordination and the enormous work of tracking down and submitting forms and tracking assets landed me in the hospital.  I had an NG tube up my nose and into my intestines as my digestive system had completely shut down.  I spent a week not eating or drinking, being fed fluids through an IV.  The thirst was way more painful than the hunger – at night I had morphine-tinged dreams of waterskiing across oceans of Gatorade and standing beneath waterfalls with my mouth open.  Don’t ask.

And then I was better – physically and mentally.  Restored but also transformed somehow .  Hungry, and not for food.

Upon my release, I decided that I was done fuckin’ around.  I was determined to get healthy, get my clients’ accounts in perfect condition for the last half of the year and beyond and to take my blogging/commentating to the next level.  And immediately, from the moment I made that decision, everything happened – my own Forbes blog, the Wall Street Journal gig, the video appearances, the TV appearances, the book offers and more.  Work doesn’t feel like work anymore, even when it’s challenging.  I feel taller, and lighter, than I have in years.

And don’t even get me started on all the new friends I’ve made this year!  One of them, James Altucher, was partly the inspiration for this post.  If you guys aren’t reading the stuff he’s doing on his new site, you have no idea how much brilliance and intimacy you’re missing – advice, market wisdom and anecdotes that will blow you away.

I have absolutely no idea what 2011 will bring, but I know that I’m headed into it in much better shape than I began 2010 on almost every level.  Thanks to you all for taking the journey with me this year, tune in tomorrow for an incredible treat!

http://about.me/joshuamorganbrown

Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.

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