About Charlie Gilkey
If a mad scientist were to do a Freaky Friday experiment and cross an entrepreneur, Army officer, and philosopher, I'd be what popped out of the tube. I'd probably then help him figure out how to do it better. I'm weird that way.
Some people have a hard time understanding who I am because I seem to be a set of walking contradictions. I am philosophical yet pragmatic, compassionate yet disciplined, creative yet analytical, driven yet laid back, and happy but calm. These complexities come through in the content I share and in the different voices that sometimes show up, so if it throws you off, you wouldn't be the first to wonder what's going on.
I help people thrive by learning how to use their creativity and energy to better themselves, those around them, and the world at large.
While that seems fairly ambitious, the way we each do this is by continually making small steps in the right direction. At a certain point, we look up and a thousand miles are behind us. We build a better future step by step and day by day, and as it turns out, it's possible to enjoy the building of that future in the present.
Before I got into writing, thinking, coaching, and teaching about meaningful action back in 2007, I was teaching philosophy at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, while I was completing my Ph.D. in Philosophy) while simultaneously managing a career as a logistics officer in the Army National Guard. I'm happily married to Angela, a loving, beautiful, and brilliant woman.
Given that I learn by researching, experimenting, writing, teaching, and sharing, I decided to start helping other people become better at managing a whole bunch of stuff at once. While initially I made my situation worse (you know, starting a business on top of everything else that I had going on), in the long term, I figured out how to make my life easier and much more meaningful. It turns out that many of those same techniques will help you, too.
Fast-forward nearly a decade and I'm still at it. I love what I do and spend each day doing what I love; it's a blessing to have all of my random geekery seen and to be able to use it in a way that helps people finish their best work. I spend a lot of time advising people as they build better teams and ventures worth being in, which is the best puzzle I've ever found.
- I grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I'm multi-racial, in case you're trying to figure that out.
- I was a cheerleader in high school. Were it not for pictures on Facebook, I might not have told you.
- I'm an Eagle Scout, and since the ruling to end their ban on gay Scout leaders, I've been carving out the time to get involved again.
- I learned a lot of practical craft skills from my father, who was a general craftsman. I learned the hard way that just because I can build stuff doesn't mean I should.
- I attended the United States Military Academy at West Point but decided it wasn't for me. I had scholarships on hold and slid into undergraduate studies without missing much of a beat.
- My philosophical specialties are ethics and social/political philosophy. I've also done a lot of reading in American pragmatism, process thought, existentialism, classical philosophy, and Taoist philosophy. (Yes, I consider myself an incorrigible polymath and tinkerer.)
- I was a joint force logistics coordinator in the Army National Guard and exited as a Captain. I was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in '04–'05, and was a transportation platoon leader for one part of the tour and a plans officer for the other. It was one of the best and worst times of my life.
- Strengths from Strengths Finder: Strategic, Relator, Connectedness, Individualization, and Learner. Enneagram 9w8. ENTP, but pretty mid-line on all of them.
- I have a problem when it comes to books — as in, I buy far too many. I read anywhere from 5 to 15 books a month, mostly fiction, and digital reading just doesn't do it for me. Yet.
- I love matrices, analytics, flow charts, and diagrams. I'm one of those people who has to limit the amount of time I organize data or look at stats because it'll displace my doing the things that create the stats and data.
- I'm a self-taught singer-songwriter who plays acoustic guitar. My style is like a combination of Jack Johnson, Amos Lee, David Gray, Mat Kearney, Michael Franti, and Jason Mraz, with some Lupe Fiasco, Smashing Pumpkin, and Radiohead thrown in.
- I love tabletop and role-playing games. On the nerds-vs.-normal spectrum, I pass as a normal unless other game nerds are around, in which case I start failing my charisma checks.