Who’s Ed and What’s the Big Deal?
Hi, My name is Ed Smith and I’m the author here.
I’m actually a data scientist in my day job: I write predictive models for a website I believe in, but I’ve reflected, written and advised on personal growth my entire career.
Since I was young, I’ve always been fascinated with learning hard things:
What makes people not care?
Why do adults became a little less wondrous as they grow up?
How do I learn things faster and what is the most important thing to learn?
A Little History
First, I wanted to be a teacher. So, growing up, I studied all the things I thought I should know: what makes people not curious?, how to people learn, are people better at listening or visualizing? Why do some people seem to have less empathy? As an introvert, why do I get tired when I hang around other people too long?
So, instead of hanging out, I read, and wrote, and reflected. But, I realized I was really bad at what I was chasing. At the time, I was pursuing a music degree playing the french horn. But it seemed like EVERYONE was better at it than me.
I did not realize yet that it was simply that they had been practicing much, much longer than me. So, I decided to switch majors…to English.
But doing my english classes made me realize I had a decision before me: I could teach and dedicate myself (because I KNEW if I taught, I would do it with all of my heart) or continue on this path of doing something else.
So, I chose something else. Always having the idea in mind that I really like sharing things I learn and helping people.
But I really struggled finding a job.
After five months of looking, I landed a job in a call center for auto insurance in the service department. This was a time of discovery for me: I discovered “the choice” and it helped me survive. I really did not like the job honestly: people were always angry about their insurance rates and I felt bad since I felt that the company I worked for didn’t treat people well.
But I made the choice to learn as much from that job as I could and to help people as best I could. My main focus was answering the question, “Is it possible to do any job and like it regardless of the content? ” Could I make myself happy doing a job that most people would see as frustrating?
As Nationwide moved the call center out of Amarillo, Texas, I moved to AIG in their annuity call center.. I continued to teach myself Excel and Microsoft Office which one day earned me a promotion to analyst (I made “magic” buttons that made my coworkers faster at their jobs). From there, I started learning my new job and skills: SQL, VBA programming, and python.
This landed me a new job opportunity at a chain called Hastings. During all this time, I was fiendishly reading: averaging about 4 books a week and incrementally teaching myself new systems at work. The president of my company noticed my fast learning and promoted me to be his analyst. I continued this process of learning, helping people, and (eventually) getting promoted until I was the Manager of Analytics.
At that time, I decided I needed to go back to school. While I REALLY enjoy learning things on my own, I decided for a statistics foundation, it would be worth going to graduate school at Southern Methodist University.
Before I finished my company went bankrupt, I convinced a company to move me 2,200 miles to Seattle, Washington and here I am.
I decided it was time for me to give back. I’ve collected a bunch of knowledge over the years, but I really, really want to share it. I have always enjoyed writing and I think I can build this blog into a beautiful, vibrant community.
While I won’t promise to post every day, I will be posting content weekly. My sincere hope is that something I write brings value to your life in some way. My target is to change the lives of people and I’m targeting that with all my heart.
So, please, if you have thoughts or questions, don’t hesitate to contact me: I take feedback very seriously and would love to hear from you. If you really value the writing, consider donating or subscribing to my email list. My long term goal is to build this site into a community where like-minded people can grow and support each other.
Have a question? Content you’d like to see? Don’t hesitate, I welcome it!
So, what is a great work in progress anyways?
You. Yup, I believe we are all people growing, one action at a time. I want everyone to be aware of this and to shape their growth. The greatest choice you can make is that you have real control over who you want to be. I think if we truly believe and love ourselves that anything can be accomplished with enough rigor and strategy.