I was a geek before being a geek was cool.

I can’t remember my first words, but I’m sure I spoke them with a wicked Boston accent because I grew up in Dorchester (pronounced: dwor-CHESS-tah), Massachusetts. Sunburned by the moon on a cloudy night, at 12 I was an 89-pound befreckled redhead who was too small to be good at sports. An allowance enabled me to purchase a glossy pamphlet that explained the secrets to solving the Rubix Cube and studied it religiously. The fount of knowledge came in handy in 7th Grade when Weymouth South Junior High School hosted its inaugural Rubix Cube Contest. All the nerds lined up at white 4X10 cafeteria room tables with multicolored cubic brainteasers in front of us. Seeking to better our chances, Jim Crezetty and I agreed to split the prize if either of us was victorious.

I won. My hardworking Italian mother was proud of the accomplishment, and she wouldn’t let me split the prize with the other Jim. “No,” she shouted. “That’s YOUR money. You won that!” I used the $10 gift certificate to buy the album “Give the People What They Want” by English rock group, The Kinks. They were cool. And, I gave the other Jim $5 cash because I didn’t want to let him down. It’s important to honor your obligations. Do what you’ll say you’ll do. It’s equally important to know how to get the best bang for your buck.

As a professional, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to helping people increase their salaries and improve career prospects by recognizing their own self-worth. I also help companies communicate the value of their products via technology and social media. My first job doing tech support gave me a base of problem solving and technical skills, while my second job as the third employee at a startup gave me a driving entrepreneurial spirit. Both of these would prove extremely valuable assets.

By the way? I’m a lifelong athlete in love with pick-up football, soccer, and hockey as soon as the ice freezes. I’ve met and shook Larry Bird’s hand. Born in the same hospital as Ted Kennedy. Watched Red Sox at home with my dad during the summers. The very first time I went to Fenway, I still remember the grass was the greenest green I’d ever seen in my life.

After a three-year stint as a Producer at ESPN.com in Seattle, my friend Cheryl—a colleague at our New York office—assured me, “You will LOVE New York!” I took pause, asking, “OK. But does a box of cereal REALLY cost $6 there?”

On Monday, September 10, 2001, I was in New York City scouting a new apartment and then signed a 2-year lease for a studio loft with a spiral staircase on 58th and 9th in a neighborhood called Hell’s Kitchen. The next day, my world change along with everyone else’s, albeit for different reasons. Call me naive or stupid or brave, I had decided to move to New York, and nothing was going to change my mind. The strength I saw in the people over the next year resonated with me. I was now one of them.

More that a decade later, New York still seems like the only place in the world that can match my optimism and energy level. If your work ethic is genuine and your passion is real, the city will reward you with access to world-class media, publishers, and universities, and like-minded people to help you along the way. And while it is necessary to escape sometimes to pursue other passions — entertaining nieces and nephews, mountain biking epic trails, exploring foreign countries, driving the perfect twisty road — it always welcomes you back.

What’s your story? What are you worth? If you want to learn how to negotiate your salary, I can teach you how to do that. If you want a passionate, energetic speaker to educate your group, I’m your man. If you want to learn about pursuing your ideal career and lifestyle, I can show you how. Let me know how I can help you.