Share Your Story! (My thoughts at midnight)

Hey everyone!


Let’s start being real, being ourselves, and loving life.

Comment below!!



One thought on “Share Your Story! (My thoughts at midnight)

  1. Hey Tanner,

    Great video! I think it has very relevant timing, and I was actually thinking about this topic & my own journey the other day.

    You can probably already tell my borderline insane passion for the airline industry, which is something that dates back to before my pre-school days according to all the photos I drew as a 3-4 year old. I remember in elementary school, being cool with all the other kids (back in those days, generally every boy thought a pilot/working around planes was a cool job), but in middle school things started to change. Middle school was when everyone formed their cliques, and unfortunately for me my middle school didn’t have a clique for aviation obsessed students. I wouldn’t say I was ever bullied by anyone, but did feel distanced and awkward, and could tell people were referring to me as the “airplane/airline geek”.

    I was thinking about quieting my passion for aviation as I entered high school, but thankfully ended up not doing it. I randomly decided to write a letter to Colleen Barrett, the president of Southwest Airlines at the time, the summer before high school started and got a response back from her! Her assistant also put in a letter, where he drew comparisons between him at a younger age and myself. When I entered high school I was quiet about it at first, but then I joined DECA where I competed in travel & tourism related events, and got recognition for my success as a freshman. (going into how DECA has helped me is a discussion that could go on for days!) Anyways as a freshman I qualified for the DECA international competition, where Southwest Airlines happened to be a sponsor. I chatted up the SWA employees, and eventually wrote a letter back to the president of SWA. I was given the chance to write a blog post on Nuts About Southwest ( which was (and still is) a seriously cool opportunity! (Southwest opens up summer internship applications in a few weeks, and I think that referencing that their executive office invited me to write a blog post on their corporate blog as a freshman in high school should score me some bonus points in an interview!)

    Going back to when I started high school, there was another interesting event. At the beginning of my freshman year, our high school required that we make personal time capsules filled with an assortment of items (letters from friends we couldn’t read till we graduated, cool trends, list of favorite things, etc.). I talked to one of my friends (or I thought he was at the time) to write letters to each other that we would open and read when we graduate. After 4 years I finally was able to read the letter, and was shocked at what I was reading. It basically was a rant on how my obsession with the airline industry made him “ashamed to call me his friend” and referenced me as an “airline geek”.

    The reference to being an “airline geek” made me smile when seeing it in the letter at graduation. My sophomore year I started my first blog, titled… guessed it, “The Airline Geek”! (I started it almost a year and a half after my “friend” wrote the letter I didn’t see until the day of graduation). And the set of business cards I ordered a few months before graduation listed my title as a “Serial Entrepreneur, Social Media Strategist, and Self-Proclaimed Airline Geek”.

    In the time between my freshman and sophomore year I learned to embrace my “Airline Geekiness”, and joined networks to grow and learn more about the airline industry. I stayed in touch with my contacts at Southwest, and built relationships with other airline executives as well. (When I flew to Dallas last month to visit SWA’s HQ, the person I spent the day with was the assistant who included a note with the letter from the president, and I am about to book another trip to spend the day at another airline’s HQ with someone I started emailing my sophomore year)

    Once I started to embrace my inner airline-geek, things got a whole lot more fun for me, and I have been a whole lot happier. I am viewed as the expert on the airline industry in my community, and see a fun path and future in the industry.

    I read an article today on Aviation Week’s Magazine on the “Top 40 under 40 Airline Industry Leaders”, and I am now determined to be the youngest person to make that list. All of the people on that list were between 30-40, and I want to try and make it on that list before I reach 30, and am working with my mentors to create a plan to be on that list. (I even searched some of the people who made this year’s list and added them on LinkedIn and sent them messages already!)

    Anyways, great video! Your passion for what you do & helping others shines through! The advice you gave me on our phone call the other day was extremely helpful and valuable, and I am already starting to execute on it. I will keep you updated, and look forward to seeing the amazing things that you do!


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