Your Mountain Is Waiting

In the summer of 2016, I left my job at IBM to embark on a new career in clean energy. Before I began the transition into this new industry, I decided to spend a month organizing some stories and life advice I had collected for my sons. One month turned into four. The note organizing project expanded to become a full-blown book. While it took a lot more time, I was able to give my children a truly special Christmas gift that year. Each of my boys received a hardcover copy of The Nussey Principles for a Life Well Lived.

The four-month process of writing the book was a lot more than brainstorming and authoring. It was an opportunity to reach out to old friends and mentors to get their stories, perspectives, and advice. A handful of them generously shared their time and read through drafts as the book evolved. Several liked it a lot. And, to my surprise, several liked it so much they urged me to publish it. So, I decided to share it with the world.

But then life happened. My other book project, Freeing Energy, kicked into high gear. I traveled to China and Africa and all over the US as I sought out the smartest and most visionary thinkers on clean energy. As 2017 drew to a close, I met an amazing scientist with breakthrough ideas on solar power. We began to lay the groundwork for a company we would launch in early 2018, Solar Inventions. With so much of my energy on, well, energy, publishing the Nussey Principles lost some momentum. Fortunately, I had begun collaborating with a professional author and book expert, Stuart Horwitz and his firm Book Architecture, so the project continued to evolve, even as I was dividing my focus.

In early spring of 2018, my friend Mike Hettwer approached me. Mike has been a good friend for decades and will always give me the tough feedback that others shy away from. He said, “You know how you can count on me to be your toughest and most honest critic? Well, listen to me carefully because I’m going to tell you something I don’t say very often. Your book is really good. I mean it. When you gave me a copy to read, you told me not to share it. But I did. A few friends were wrestling with some tough questions so I made copies for them. They seriously loved it. You need to put this book on the market. Just get it out there.” So that’s what I’ve decided to do.

Watch out Amazon – here we come!

With Stuart’s help, the Nussey Principles has evolved into something new and hopefully more engaging for the broader world. It has a narrative flow, a richer set of metaphors, and a revised set of quotations that frame the stories and insights. The book has narrowed its focus towards building personal missions and creating deeper rewards beyond just money and titles. Because it was written for my boys, it still speaks a bit to its original audience, what the book publishing industry calls “young adults.” But, it’s been expanded to address a broader set of people, across all ages.

We are putting the finishing touches on the book and preparing to launch it in a few months. Thanks to Molly for her great work on the cover. Thanks to 1106 Design for their interior design and layout. Thanks to Annika for her help on the website ( and Facebook page ( Thanks to Justin for coming up with the idea for the title. Thanks to Stuart for all his writing, advice and project management. But more than anyone else, I want to thank my wife, Melinda. Without her endless support as designer, bookkeeper, critic, organizer, and super-editor, the book would still be a collection of notes and stories.

As the book nears publication in early 2019, its emphasis on forging a mission have been unexpectedly relevant and helpful in my own journey. As I leave behind a great career in software and technology and embark into the brave new world of energy, the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson come to mind, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

I’d love to let you know as the book is becoming available. If you’re interested, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to provide your name and email.

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