Too Late/Too Soon: The Team.

When do you know that it’s time? The seventh in a month of posts about how I learned to stop worrying, buck up and do the work.

A year ago this month, I called up Jordan Hickey and told him I wanted him to be my editor at It was a strange conversation. It came a little out of the blue.

But I knew I wanted it to be Jordan. We’d known each other going back to our freshman year at college. I knew he was the guy for this project.

Here’s the conversation we’d had in March 2011, when I was stuck with

Jordan: how about you? — grant proposals coming along?
me: meh, kind of mired in the dip right now
me: that point where i’m getting frustrated and considering the ‘what if this doesnt work out’ part
Jordan: have you heard back from any places?
me: i mean, i’ve been rejected plenty
me: that doesnt really bother me
me: the funny thing is, im getting plenty of positive feedback from reporters and journalism people
me: i just need a bit more success with the foundations and such
Jordan: hmm
Jordan: i really do hope you keep with it, man — i was always really impressed by everything stry did
me: thanks, man
me: appreciated
me: i mean, im still here working on it
me: i still think it has a ton of potential
me: so we’ll see what happens

Jordan had stuck with the project since the beginning. That meant a lot to me.

And it meant even more when he decided to quit his job and come work with me in Springfield, MO.

And with Jordan on board, the team really started to fill out. Sarah signed on, then Roman, then Zach, then Bari. And some amazing people agreed to help us: The Library in Springfield, MO; Dave and his newspapers in the Ozarks; Jason and his political website in St. Louis. And the guys at Sparkbox in Dayton. had always been a project built for a larger team.

It just took two years to actually put together the team.

But with them, it’s amazing what we got done in a summer. We launched an amazing website. We told amazing stories. We put on a live town hall. We pumped out some eBooks.

Something as big as demanded an awesome team. I needed them, and I’m so thankful for them. They made that Springfield project something fantastic. I could not have done that alone, and I would not want to try something that big without a team just as great as them.

I cannot believe, looking back, that I had the nerve to even try it alone. I can’t believe I was that dumb. I can’t believe I made it as far as I did alone.

I wouldn’t do it alone again. Something like is better shared.