April 2024 Life Recap

Last updated: July 1, 2024

Highlights from April 2024 include: the solar eclipse in totality, my Tokyo Blind Date, a trip to Hawaii, seeing my nephew, my favorite public speaking gig ever, and several meetups.

Previously: March 2024, February 2024

Friend Times

I spent quality 1:1 time with Baron Ryan, Sam Corcos, David Kadavy, Caroline Konstar, Muji from hhhypergrowth, Matt Mullenweg, Codie Sanchez, Tynan, Blaine Anderson, Jeremy Mary, Marc Nathan, Topaz Adizes, Annalee, John Arrow, Shann Puri, David Kadavy, Lauren, my sister Emily, her husband Aaron, their baby boy Grayson, Andy Morgan, Todd Iceton, Jonathan Siegel, and Kevin Kelly.

Public Speaking

My best and busiest month for speaking in a LONG time.

High Schoolers

I was invited to speak to a group of high school sophomores in Austin, Texas on 1 April 2024.

This was such a good challenge! The audience didn’t care much about any of my business stories or advice. They’re just too young and not thinking about business or even college. So I adjusted my talk to just play improv games and do icebreaker activities. It was a lot of fun. I like speaking challenges.

Nick Gray’s key take-aways

  • Check in with your audience. At one point I asked: “What do y’all remember from your last business speaker?” When they could not remember anything, I realized I needed to change my entire strategy.
  • Just have fun. I pivoted to just doing some icebreakers and improv games. We used my Instagram Explore icebreaker, which I previously used during my visit to Wake Forest University.

Matt Mullenweg Birthday

I gave a 5-minute speech at Matt Mullenweg’s birthday party. My talk was primarily about my new Travel Gear article, but weaved in was an homage to Matt’s “What’s In My Bag” posts.

Of all my speaking engagements, I was the most nervous about this one! I think I was nervous because I didn’t know the audience. And because I wanted to do a good job so Matt’s friends would like me.

I think I did a good job. A few people remarked afterwards that I looked and sounded very comfortable on stage. That’s a very nice compliment to hear as a speaker.

Nick Gray’s key take-aways

  • Practice practice practice. This was a new speech that I’ve never given before. So I rehearsed my talk for several different friends. That practice plus their feedback helped me give a better speech.
  • Ask for what you want. I really wanted to be a featured speaker at this event. So I pitched myself and promised I’d do a good job. I would not have been chosen had I not spoked up.
  • Thanks to Clay Hebert for special feedback on my presentation. He’s VERY good.

Yelp Conference

I’ve been telling my close friends that this was my best and favorite paid corporate speaking gig EVER. I loved it so much. The audience was perfect. I got to have a lot of fun with them in a mix of tactics and jokes / roasting.

I wrote a diary entry about my experience speaking. Here’s an excerpt:

I led a workshop at the Yelp offices today in San Francisco. It was high pressure presenting to 70 employees.

I’ll tell you what we talked about, but first let me set the audience. These 70 people manage Yelp events for their VIP clients and Elite members.

So this is a room full of savvy event planners.

As I walk into the skyscraper lobby I am stressed and worried that I am unprepared. My Tokyo blind date post went viral last night and I didn’t sleep well.

Plus I didn’t rehearse my talk or the demo activities that I prepared as much as I wanted. I’m worried they will know this and be mad that I am unprepared.

But here I am now getting my identification checked by security.

I take a breath in the elevator. Their offices are nice…

CONTINUED ON MY TWITTER POST

Nick Gray’s key take-aways

  • Friends Newsletter FTW! I got this speaking gig because Holly found one of my YouTube videos. Then she subscribed to my Friends Newsletter. And then decided to invite me to speak to her team after getting a few of my emails.
  • Yelp is awesome. I met so many smart, savvy Yelp employees. These are VERY good event planners who do epic shit. I was impressed with everyone I met there.
  • Confidence is key. This sounds so cheesy. But I feel extremely confident in my subject matter and I believe people can sense that. I know how to host one specific type of event (a happy hour for 15-20 people). And I felt confident enough to make jokes and have fun with the audience.

Adventures

I did a few incredible adventures in April…

Total Solar Eclipse

It was an incredible life highlight to see a solar eclipse in totality. I was absolutely awed to my core by this magical, mystical view. Wow, I am just remembering it again now as I write this… it was such a special experience.

I don’t want to say much publicly in order to respect my friend who invited me. The gist is that we traveled to a perfectly clear area, with zero cloud cover, in order to experience the maximum amount of totality.

It was an ancient, otherworldly experience that I will remember forever. If my friend who invited me happens to read this: thank you again. It was a Top 20 life memory.

Hawaii Trip

I spent a few days in Hawaii and it was epic! My sister Emily and her husband Aaron were near Honolulu, so I decided to fly out and see them after my Yelp talk in San Francisco.

Living with them at a condo near the beach for a few days was nice. Every morning we’d go on a long walk along the beach bays and sometimes jump in to swim and look for fish. It was special to spend time with the baby, too, even though at four months he’s probably too young to remember me.

Then I flew to the town of Hilo on the Big Island to see my friend Tynan and his wife Min. We bought an apartment in Hilo a few years ago. See my list of restaurant recommendations in Hilo here, although I probably need to update it.

I made two short videos while I was in Hilo that turned out well:

Tynan and I did a bit of snorkeling in Hilo which is always fun for me. The water in Hawaii is no joke: waves, currents, brackish mixed water from the fresh springs. You have to stay sharp and it is not easy and calm like in the Caribbean.

Tokyo Blind Date

I’ve written a lot about this publicly already, so I’ll just link to the collection of my diary entries.

What is absolutely wild is that I posted about the date right before bed on Tuesday, April 16th, 2024. Then it sort of took over my life for the next 2+ weeks. Even the 17th, 18th, and 19th were so hectic with screening applicants so that I could pick someone by that Friday evening.

Someday I’ll write more about this, but for now I’ll just say: It was even better than described.

See the full blog post for my collection of live notes.

Surf Machine Buyout

My friend Tynan and I did a buyout of the surf machine at Kalahari Indoor Waterpark one night in April.

We thought that two solid hours between us would give us plenty of time to learn new tricks and get comfortable on the boards. However, after merely 50 minutes of back-and-forth rides, we were both exhausted and ready to quit.

Unfortunately we both also got injured due to taking some severe wipeouts. I took one particular wipeout on the standup board – I was trying to make a little jump, and the board just flew out from under me, causing me to slam down on my back. It gave me mild whiplash and required some physical therapy afterwards. Next time I’ll be much more careful and limit my attempts at Tony Hawk-level tricks on water.

Hosted Events and Meetups

I hosted 4 little meetups in April: David Kadavy, Shaan Puri in Austin, 1M+ Creators in Austin, and Tokyo Meetup.

The Tokyo meetup was funny: I announced it only the day prior. And all these great people showed up who were following our blind date adventure online. It was so cool to feel like we had friends in a city on the other side of the world.

Other Stuff

“Get in rooms where you dream day is their average Tuesday.”
Surround yourself with the best, via Codie Sanchez

Conclusion

April was a banner month for me personally. Filled with travel and good friends and events.

My goal in sharing these posts is… well I guess I’m still figuring that out. I can tell you now that looking back, I feel so thankful and grateful for all these adventures and friends.

If you want to go to Tokyo sometime, read my list of Tokyo tips and tricks.

If you’re planning to visit the Big Island of Hawaii, see my Hilo Hawaii recs here.

If you found this interesting, please leave a comment below or send me an email. I love reading messages from people. These posts take me a lot of time and I never know if anyone finds them interesting.

Previously: March 2024, February 2024

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4 thoughts on “April 2024 Life Recap”

  1. I am growing addicted to your content. Thank you for making my days a bit brighter. Because of you, this introvert made a friend. Hoping your new beginning Tokyo date blossoms into a meaningful connection for both of you… and frankly content for me! Keep doing you, you is awesome!

    Reply
    • Thank you Juel and congrats on making a new friend! I appreciate you reading my Tokyo Blind Date post – it was a pretty magical adventure. I’ll post another update for my May 2024 life update here.

      Reply

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