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The End of Chapter Four

by Nate St. Pierre on August 24, 2014

I’ve had simultaneous jobs nonstop for over 20 years, ever since I was 14 years old. Sometimes part-time, sometimes full-time, sometimes a full-time day job plus full-time projects on the side. When I look back on my work history, it breaks up pretty evenly into (roughly) five-year chapters. And this summer I’m calling the end of Chapter Four.

A brief history:

Chapter One: Just a Kid (1992 – 1999)
– Grandpa’s Shop (janitor, office worker, install tech)
– US Air Force (communications, data)
– University of Denver (Language dept., Genetics dept., Residence dept.)
– US Census (census taker)
– Ekuk, Alaska (fish cannery worker)
– Freelance (technical writing, publishing)

Chapter Two: Transition to Adulthood (1999 – 2004)
– Geniusfind (founder, first side project)
– LandAmerica Financial Group (title insurance, Marketing dept.)

Chapter Three: Learning to Lead (2004 – 2009)
– Direct Supply (web developer, web team leader)
– Freelance (web design)

Chapter Four: Change the World (2009 – 2014)
– Freelance (web marketing consultant, web design)
– ItStartsWith.Us (founder)
– Love Bomb (founder)
– Love Drop (co-founder)
– Kuapay (director of marketing)
– Digital Ad Brokers (co-founder)
– Take Our Stuff (founder)
– GiveForward (director of communications)

Chapter Five: ??? (2014 – 2019)
– Freelance (digital marketing consultant, contract work)
– Nate’s Team (founder)
– ???

Chapters Three and Four (the past 10 years) have felt like a whirlwind of education. In Chapter Three, I learned how business works and how to be a leader. In Chapter Four, I applied those skills to the philanthropy realm (in my area of expertise, the Internet), and I learned how the world really works, and how to build successful projects.

I spent a ton of time helping others in Chapter Four, and I’m immensely proud of what I was able to accomplish. Millions of lives changed for the better, and millions of dollars raised for people who needed it. I was getting tired and burned out towards the end, though, trying to give back so much and support myself and my kids at the same time. So, with the end of my GiveForward career this summer, I’m calling the complete end of Chapter Four. It’s been an amazing journey. 🙂

Now I’m starting out on Chapter Five, which is pretty exciting. I don’t know exactly what this one will be yet (at least not that I’m willing to put down on paper), though I do have a good idea of the general direction. I know that it’s time to start taking care of myself a little bit better, and stop giving first to everyone else. You may think that sounds selfish, and that’s okay. I’ve spent the past five years giving until I dropped, and I’ve paid the price, both literally and figuratively. And that’s fine, that’s okay. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m proud of my work. Philanthropy will always be a part of my life in some way, I know that much.

Right now it’s time to start making some money and having some fun . . . not blow-cash-in-Vegas fun, but the kind of fun that comes from building successful projects that let my creative personality shine through at the same time. You’ll see a slight change in focus around here in Chapter Five, but don’t worry, I still have the same heart.

I’m sure many of you will continue the story along with me, and for that I thank you.

  • Big Mike

    Nate, what inspires me most about you is your endless compassion. This article was a wonderful insight into your journey, but the point that resonated with me most was this one: “I know that it’s time to start taking care of myself a little bit better, and stop giving first to everyone else. You may think that sounds selfish, and that’s okay.”
    I’d like to offer you a definition I find useful every day of my life:
    “Compassion means growing stronger to be of ever greater benefit to others; Altruism means spending oneself for the benefit of others.”
    It’s the compassion of people like you, rather than altruism, that truly changes the world, because compassion makes benevolence a renewable resource rather than a finite one.

  • Beth

    Rock on, Nate. Looking forward to seeing what comes next. 🙂

  • EmilyHornburg

    You’re not selfish at all. You’re actually probably one of the least selfish people I know. Nothing is wrong is taking time for you

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