It’s official. Amy and I are Wisconsinites again.

We’re grateful for the 9 years we spent living next to the Rocky Mountains. Colorado gave us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. But, all good things must come to end and it was time to say good bye.

Why did we decide to move from Colorado back to Wisconsin?

In this episode you’ll learn why. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from our 1,000 mile journey back to the Upper Midwest.



Video Transcript:
This transcript was auto-generated. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.

We’re excited to become full time Wisconsinites again. And the lessons I’m taking away so far from our move is that, you know, when it comes to friends, it comes to family… Life’s too short. And as Jesse Metzler says, life is about experiences, not years.

Hey. Welcome back to bullpen sessions. My name is Andy NEARY and this is episode 238.

Now, today, this isn’t going to be your typical podcast. Yes, I am recording. This is this is not a replay, but we’re going to go off the typical beaten path today because I am just going to shoot it straight from the heart. There is no marketing lesson in today’s solo episode. I want to talk about a very personal topic, which is why we just moved back to Wisconsin, and my goal with today’s episode is to share three reasons they all happen.

To start with. I am a play on words, guys. So you’re going to learn those three F’s. But I want to talk about why we decided to move back to Wisconsin because I’m recording this on Monday, May 29th, Memorial Day. So a big shout out to all the veterans out there who are possibly tuning in. It is your sacrifice that gives us the opportunity to do what we do every day, the freedom to sit in my parent’s backyard and enjoy a beautiful afternoon here on Memorial Day because you have given us that freedom.

So thank you. And today may not be the most video friendly podcast episode I’ve ever done, but I do have the beauty of my mother’s back yard behind me as we’re spending a couple of days before we move into our place full time here in Wisconsin. And so, yeah, today is actually day one for Amy and I, being full time Wisconsinites once again.

And I wanted to use today’s podcast to talk about why we move back. Now, you’ll notice I’m keeping it very optimistic, telling you why we moved back, not why we moved away from Colorado. But I wanted to approach this topic because I’ve had a lot of peers tell me over the last few weeks they’ve they’ve asked, why are you moving away from Colorado?

And they’re surprised that we would make the decision, move back to Wisconsin. I think part of it is because people just think Wisconsin being this cold, frigid place in the winter. But man, I got to tell you, in the summertime, it’s one of the most beautiful places you could be in this country. And so, yeah, I just want to talk about three the three reasons why we decided to move back.

There’s there’s other reasons, but these three really stood out. So let me just quickly bring you up to speed. Early February, Amy and I decide that we are going to spend another year in Colorado. I’m growing my business. She’s grown hers, and we needed some certainty and some stability. So we had made the decision that we were going to spend another year in Colorado with the plan of getting back to Wisconsin in 2024, and then all of a sudden come late March or early April.

Amy, really had the feel or the pull that we needed to get back now, and she just wanted to get back home. She is from South central Wisconsin. I’m from South central Wisconsin. We grew up about 40 miles apart, didn’t know each other until we were adults. But we both grew up in this part of the country and part of the state, and so she wanted to get back.

So lesson two months later, we packed everything up. And over the weekend here, Memorial Day weekend, we drove back to Wisconsin. So why did we decide to move back to Wisconsin? Well, let me start with the first house that’s family might be the most obvious one, but all of our family is here in Wisconsin. When we made the decision to move to Colorado, we were moving a thousand miles away from our family.

My parents, fortunately, are still both alive. My sister lives in outside of Milwaukee. Amy’s mother is in the Madison area. Her brother’s in the Madison area. So everybody is back here. And and we really felt that pull over the last nine years of spending our life in Colorado that we wanted to get back, especially since pandemic. We wanted to get back and be around family.

But here’s what really drove this message home for me. A couple of years ago, I was listening to a podcast between Jesse Tyler and Tom Bellew, and Jesse was getting interviewed. If you’re unfamiliar with who Jesse, it’s there is He is a very, very successful entrepreneur in his own right, but he’s probably better known as Sara Blakely’s husband, Sara Blakely, of Spanx fame.

And on the interview, Tom was talking to Jesse about living your life and your experiences and not years. And Jesse shared such an amazing analogy that literally slapped me in the face. He looked at Tom as Tom’s and is talking about what it’s like to chase goals, chase dreams, And Jesse kind of stopped him and said, you know, you really got to think of living life in experiences and not years.

And Jesse it’s there as Tom, he said, How old are your parents? Tom says 70 years old. He said, Where do they live? State of Washington. Well, Tom lives in Los Angeles. Jesse said, Well, how many times a year do you get to see him? Tom said, One, two, three said, All right, well, let’s imagine your parents lived to be the average age of an American, 80 years old.

They lived ten more years and we’ll split the difference. You see your parents twice a year. You think you have ten more years left with your parents if they live to be 80. But you don’t. You only get to see them twice a year. You only have 20 experience races with them left and Thomas Law. But listening, I can tell you as somebody listen to that podcast, it was as if Jesse had some words punched me in the gut because I realized with my parents in their mid-seventies was Amy’s mom at her early seventies.

It is about experiences, not years. And that was one thing we really, really have come to learn over the last couple of years. Like I said, fortunately, my parents are healthy. Amy’s mom is healthy, but man, we still have some good years left, so it’s time to have some experience with our family. Don’t just let the years go by one at a time, because before you know it, it will be a decade later and you’ll be like, What did I do?

What happened? So family was definitely a massive reason we decided to move back here to Wisconsin. The second F was friends, and this one for me was was a struggle because when I moved to Colorado, I started. I had moved After getting hired by an insurance agency, Voca Bell in Longmont, Colorado. And when you moved to a new state where you don’t have any, I don’t have a close circle of friends.

It is very important that you proactively do what you have to do to create that circle of friends. And when I worked at Voca Bell, I had the friend. It was it was mainly on a professional level, but I had a circle of friends in the business world that I could play golf with, go out and have a drink with.

And I really felt that connection when I when I moved, when we moved out to Colorado and I went to work for Vogue Ballet, I had a lot of peers down in the Denver area, so it was easy to get out of Denver. But as I moved away from Vogue back in 2017, I took more remote jobs. And fast forward to today, I’ve got my business complete game consulting.

I work from home. All of my employees are remote and I really found myself struggling with friendships with community because I work from home by myself. All of my clients were spread out around the country. I actually don’t have any didn’t have any clients that were local to the Fort Collins, Colorado market outside of some people in my academies.

And I had not done a good job building that sense of friendship that’s close circle of friends or that close circle of community. In fact, all of my close friends today are spread out all over the country. And when we made the decision to come back and move back to Wisconsin, I realized this was an opportunity to rekindle some old friendship I had when we decided to make the move out to Colorado.

And it’ll be interesting how I react to that, how I interact with that, how I engage with that, because now that we’re moving back full time, I really had to have some deep conversations with myself about opening myself up to reengaging past friendships, because when Amy and I would come back to Wisconsin to visit family, you know, for three or four days, I was really hesitant to go out around town with my parents because I really just wanted to make it about spending time with my family.

And I really didn’t want to go out and run into people that I would know from the past because I was only here for a couple of days and I could kind of come in and out of Oconomowoc, the town I grew up in and the town we’re moving, we’ve moved back to kind of incognito. You know, when you’re in Colorado and you’re coming home to visit for a few days, you can kind of spend time hanging out at the parent’s house, right?

Keep it low key, maybe go out one night for dinner, but keep it incognito. Nobody, you know, sees you and you can get out of town, Right. Well, now that’s going to change, right? We’re here full time. So one thing I’ve really had to lean into as we have been preparing to come back, is starting to rekindle some old friendships.

And in doing so, I realized how poorly of a job I have done keeping those friendships up as we’ve lived in Colorado. And it’s you know, I’ve reached out to two old bosses of mine. I’ve reached out to some friends of mine I haven’t talked to in a few years. And my goal moving back here is to really rekindle some of those friendships, create that community I, I lacked in Colorado.

And I think that’s true for a lot of people, especially now in the virtual world we live in. And a lot of people work remote, a lot of people work from home or their own office. Even if they have a team. The team is virtual team is remote, and I think it’s hard for people to find that community, especially men.

And I know I struggled in Colorado. Colorado is a very transient market, very transient community. And I don’t know if any of my Colorado listeners would agree or disagree with me, but it was hard to establish a close circle of friendships when you live in Colorado. At least that was my experience. But I also give myself a failing grade for making the effort as well.

But here I’m excited to come back and reengage. In fact, one of the things I have I’ve written in my journal a couple of times over the last couple of weeks is, you know, when you go out to eat, somebody recognizes you from years ago, comes up and wants to talk, just engage, interact, lean into it instead of shying away from it because we’re here.

This is what I have to do to reestablish that community. Like I said, I have a lot of good friends all around the country, but it’s not quite like having those trusted friendships close to home. It really is. And I do believe geography matters because what it forces you to do when you have that community. Here’s the personal development lesson, is it forces you to kind of get out of your routine.

You know, one thing I really realized that I had been doing, you know, a lot in the last couple of years in Colorado is I was rigid with my routine. Now I’m a big proponent of routines. I think they are definitely a key aspect of success. But I was almost too rigid with mine, especially on Monday through Friday, and I really didn’t allow myself to get out and do things on the weeknights because I had to get ready for the next day.

I had to prepare my meals. The next day I had to do this, followed by this, followed by this. And and I really just didn’t give myself the chance to say fuck it, I want to go paddleboarding on a Tuesday night. I want to go grab a cocktail with a buddy. And then the last two years at Colorado, that didn’t happen.

And I’m excited getting coming back here where I’m going to have those opportunities as I rekindle friendships to get out of my comfort zone, get out of my routine, and and allow myself to disconnect more than I was in Colorado. I’m actually really excited about that. As hesitant and nervous as I was about it at the beginning, I’m actually super excited about it because I think the more I disconnect from building this business, which is really where the rigid habits come from and the rigid routines, I think the more passion and energy I’m going to bring to growing the business and, you know, that’s something I pride myself on.

Growing, running a complete game is, I believe my passion. Our passion as a team is the oxygen that allows this company to breathe. So I’m just excited to even bring more energy and optimism and passion to the business. And I’m excited to see what that’s going to do for us. But it comes back to getting out of my routine, creating that close circle of friendships that I have not had for a few years, especially local friendships that I’m really excited about.

So, you know, family and friends are two big reasons we decided to move back to Wisconsin. Now, the third f this what is one that might cause a little debate, but it’s something Amy and I have had a lot of conversations about, and I don’t want to tow the line or or toe the line too much on politics, but this isn’t so much politics as it is what is happening in our country today.

The last F is future. One of the reasons we moved back to Wisconsin is because of the future. What I mean when I say that it’s when we look at what’s happening today and I hope you and I can agree that we never thought we would be having the conversations we’re having today about the things we’re having, conversations about whether it’s food shortages, water shortages, just the polarization of society.

Right now, it’s it’s very extreme. And one of the things that really opened Amy Aimee’s and my eyes last summer is when we came back to Wisconsin, we did a one week road trip. And I remember we were driving from Madison after visiting her family and heading over to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where my family lives. And we were driving down a country highway and all we saw around us was cornfields.

And it hit us that, you know, if we ever do actually have a food shortage issue in this country, which let’s be honest, we’re not all that far off from where do we want to be? Do we want to be where food is already tough to get a hold of? Or do we want to be where food, water are plentiful?

And driving through those cornfields really opened our eyes like mad. There is still a ton of land here. There’s still a ton of of of of fields for planting. There is water everywhere in a crazy world we live in today. We decided we wanted to be somewhere where that is not going to be an issue. You know, living in a state like Colorado, as beautiful it is as it is with the Rocky Mountains, those issues are real issues, especially the water issue.

And we made that decision that, you know, as the future of where we’re headed as a society is so uncertain. You know, I believe there’s going to be beautiful things that come out the back side of it. But we’re going to go through some rough times here before we get to the backside. The beautiful back side. We’re going to we want to be somewhere where we don’t have to worry about those issues.

We want to be somewhere you can, quite frankly, buy a house at an affordable price where it just doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get up and live every day. And when we realized that with Scotts, an above family, above friendships provides us with that opportunity. The farmers markets buying local from the the the the farms and the ranches where you can get your beef and your meat and your chicken and your poultry, all that stuff.

We’d said, Hey, there’s a real practical reason to come back to Wisconsin. Not just an emotional reason to be around family and friends. There’s a practical reason to be proud to be living in this in this country, in this state. It has the weather patterns continue to change. You know, this whatever you think about global warming, I mean, winters here in Wisconsin tend to get more are getting more milder every single year, Summers are getting more pleasant, things are changing.

And so we really believe that the upper Midwest is going to continue being a more ideal place to live as we move into the future. And that includes the the bounty of food and water. We have here. And so and land and and so yeah, we made that decision that that was kind of the nail in the coffin for us from a practicality standpoint that when it came down to the cost of living, came down to access to food, access to water, access to land, it’s a pretty damn good place to be.

And so, yeah, that’s it. I don’t know if I just rambled for 18 minutes, but I wanted to really shoot it straight because I’ve had a lot of people ask me, Dude, why are you moving away from Colorado? You got the ball. It’s beautiful, it’s true. But there’s a lot of beauty in here in Wisconsin as well. There’s a lot of practical reasons, there’s a lot of emotional reasons and a lot of geographic reasons to to want to be moving back here.

Now, I’ll admit, come December, I may need a reason. I made a need to do a second episode and renegotiate what I’m saying today, especially from the weather perspective. But we’re excited. We’re excited to become full time Wisconsinites again. And the lessons I’m taking away so far from our move is that, you know, when it comes to friends, it comes to family.

Life’s too short and as Jesse Metzler says, life is about experiences, not years. And for me, that’s really where I’m going to try to improve as we settle in here back in Wisconsin, is really taking every day as an experience, being present, being where my feet are. And the last thing I’ll say, you know, about why we decided to move, maybe this could be the fourth that cattle categorize feelings.

I really realized working from home alone without a community and with Colorado, I had become I had this underlying angst, this underlying tension, this underlying intolerance that I had built over the last couple of years. And I really found myself at a place where I wasn’t as happy as I should be. I was definitely a lot less tolerant of people than I should be, and I hate to say this, but in general I started to describe myself as a generally grumpy person and I hated that.

And as we were driving, making a drive back from Colorado to Wisconsin, I remember telling Amy, I said, You know one thing, I’m going to be very interested in monitoring is will I become a generally happier person living back in Wisconsin now that I’m surrounded by family, community, friends. So that’s the one thing I’m going to be looking at the most is the one thing I’m going to ask you to hold me accountable to the most.

And I hope you took some lessons away from today. Like I said, I wanted to share why we moved back. We’ve had a lot of people ask and I hope you can take some nuggets I shared today at applying back to your life. Maybe it’s realizing you need to spend more time with your family. Maybe your parents are aging like mine are.

Maybe you need to build a better community. Maybe you need to get out of your routine that you’ve become so accustomed to. So yeah, I’m excited. I’m excited for what the future holds, and I hope you are the same for yourself. And man, next chapters ready to start tomorrow. We get right back at it with some coaching calls, but I do it as a Wisconsinite, no longer a Coloradoan.

And yeah, I wish you the best of the best of luck. Wish you a great weekend. You know what happens when create clarity, mix it with confidence. You go do unbelievable things and you become unstoppable. So go be amazing. They’ll be unstoppable. Thanks for listening and.