Tommy Acierno

About

Me in 10 Seconds

Personal Development Evangelist, (Reluctant) Leader, Aspiring Identity Minimalist, Curious Learner, Enthusiastic Teacher, Shifting to My Inner Knower.

Me in a Couple Minutes

My past is a collection of unique experiences just like yours.

These experiences have created beliefs in my mind - some limiting, some expansive, and others are simply neutral.

Some of the more limiting beliefs I've held are...

Some of the more expansive beliefs are...

Because of these beliefs (and many thousands more), I've been fortunate to experience wonderful success in my life, relationships, and career. I've also experienced great change, reluctance, and grief.

I've been able to work in places I only dreamed of, such as Google.

I've been invited to lead, speak, teach, and grow products, people, and organizations.

I've had my heart broken wide open after I poured my being into an identity and then lost that identity due to external circumstances.

I've had the deepest and most meaningful conversations (particularly thanks to my coach training).

I've been inspired countless times by the tremendous ideas, philosophies, approaches, and creations of others.

I derive energy and joy from pondering the possibility of greater potential and opportunity in a given situation, as well as creating original and novel ideas and solutions.

I'm obsessed with human potential, mastery, and lifelong learning. Nearly all the books on my bookshelf are about living, wisdom, energy, mastery, leadership, and love.

My innate curiosity and wonder has helped me to learn many facets about life, love, and possibility. And this approach has organically created great success throughout my career.

Leadership opportunities have been seeking me out since High School (starting with Drum Major of my marching band my Junior and Senior year). Each time, I think I'm not ready. And each time it brings out the very best in me and those I'm partnering with.

I've realized that the team and environment that I surround myself with has a big impact on the value and contribution that I, in turn, bring to the team.

When I'm passionate about what I'm doing and who I'm working with, I'm an unstoppable force of inspiration, goofy professionalism, and deep presence.

Because I have such a wondrous nature, I connect and relate with just about anyone. I'm just as comfortable connecting with board members and executives as I am with software engineers or college students.

The specific experiences behind all of these insights are listed in the Timeline of Impactful Milestones listed below.

Timeline of Impactful Milestones

Baking, Ukulele, and Simplicity

I love simplicity. Specifically, simplicity that can be arranged into countless options. Many years ago, I got into artisanal bread making. It grew to a point where I was selling bread at one of the most popular farmer's markets in Colorado (Boulder Farmers Market). What I loved about the process was how simple and ancient it felt. Making bread from scratch feels like communing with our oldest ancestors. For those who don't know, artisanal bread is made with just three ingredients: flour, water, and salt. There's no "commercial yeast" because you don't need it – yeast naturally thrives inside flour and air. So by combining flour and water, you build a "starter" (also called a "chef" or "Mother"). With that starter, you can make bread. The flavors are rich and complex. The crumb (inner part of bread) is soft and spongy. For a time, I was even milling my own flour from wheat berries to get as ancient as possible.

If you want to get started making your own artisan naturally leavened bread, I recommend Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. There's a revised version to the original that's out, but the cover alone looks too complicated. Get the original book released in 2010 - Good Reads). And if you just want the recipe for their famous Country Boule, Chad shared it with the New York Times.

In a very similar way, I fell in love with playing ukulele. Traditionally, string instruments have been tricky for me. But as soon as you reduce the string count from six to four and put fewer frets on the fret board, suddenly it all clicked. You can play so much music with an ukulele. And no matter what you play, it sounds pleasant and uplifting.

Music

If you read about my love of ukulele, you may also guess that I love music and being a musician. I've been playing since I was 10 years old. I started on trumpet in 5th grade (I actually wanted to play trombone, but the music advisor said that my arms were too short!). I sounded like a dying cow, but still managed to perform a solo of "Silent Night" during the 5th grade holiday concert. It was rough, but I did it. And so started my love for performing.

In High School, I was accepted into the jazz band my Freshman year (a rare honor). I also performed in the marching band and in school musicals within the pit. For a small period of time, I played with a professional all-brass band called Rocky Mountain Brassworks. I even got to play the national anthem for a Colorado Rockies game.

Later in High School, we took one saxophone player, the rhythm section, and myself to create another jazz band called Jackpot Charlie. We played at various coffee houses and parties around the area. We released one album.

In 2018, I picked up the ukulele (after a friend plopped it into my lap and taught me the three chords to Someone To Lava - I was hooked!). And in 2022 I took the leap into electric guitar and hired a music teacher. Yes, electric guitar goes outside my simplicity mantra - it's a very complicated instrument - but it's so versatile, I couldn't resist.

I have no plans to perform anything live any time soon, but I wouldn't be opposed to it either. We'll see how things shake out.

My latest inspiration into music comes from a quirky genre called "Chiptune" – music that's made to sound similar to the 8-bit video games of the 80's. I talk about this and even have some music available to play that I arranged in this article.

A Few Photos of Me

aciern.ooo/about

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