Hi! I'm Rick.

Hey every(one)! My name's Rick Allen and this is my first ever blog post! As such I want to take some time to introduce myself as well as my intention behind starting this blog. So, let's get started.

At time of writing, I'm a near-thirties something entrepreneur and full-time worker with primary expertise in business development and full-stack software engineering. I've lived in Wisconsin all my life (go Packers), and am currently located in the city of Milwaukee where I attended the school of engineering (MSOE). Post my 2011 graduation, I started a company called RokkinCat with a few great friends (Nick, Jason, and Josh) also from MSOE with the purpose of bootstrapping ourselves out of our day jobs while also providing high-quality product focussed engineering skills for startups and enterprises. I've since moved on from that endeavor after 5 years with numerous and incredibly valuable skills and life lessons learned.

Today, I'm a full-time employee at a large fortune 100 financial planning company, Northwestern Mutual (also located in downtown Milwaukee). Additionally, I run a side consultancy (RA Consulting) on my free time which offers full-stack product development and business consulting services. Outside of staying busy with my career and side-hustle, I'm also deeply passionate about health and fitness (mental and physical), working towards financial freedom, continual learning both deeply in areas I'm familiar with and areas I'm relatively new to, being creative through software development, spending time with my amazing girlfriend (Chelsey) and all of our friends, and lastly sharing my learnings with others to help empower them with new approaches for moving forward with their goals.

It's time to get uncomfortable

And so that brings me to why I've decided to start writing this blog: writing is something that puts me out of my comfort zone in a good way. I'm challenging my old stories about who I am and what I'm "good" at. Writing a blog has always been an aspiration of mine but also something that I've never acted on due to my anxieties about how "good" I'd be at writing or that what I'd write about would be interesting or valuable or qualified or expert enough to be shared. What will people think?! How will they judge me?! Why do those fears even matter? It's time for me to break through those myths!

I'll be using this blog as a tool for breaking down a personal fear and, more importantly to me, as a forum to discuss growth strategies for life, business, and product development. I want to spread my learnings to as many people as possible in an unfiltered, meaningful, and authentic way. If I can achieve both of these ongoing goals then this will, in my mind, have been a fantastic success. After all, why not challenge myself to break a false fear while also helping others grow and move closer to their goals? That would be quite the win-win!

So to that end, I want to thank you for reading this starter post. I'm incredibly excited (and admittedly a bit nervous) to start writing and sharing my experiences. I sincerely hope you find value from my learnings and that they may be applied to your life and goals! Let's do this!