Category Archives: About Jamie

Why King Moonracer is My Hero

Most people recognize King Moonracer immediately from the Rankin and Bass Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He is the flying lion who lives in a castle. He is the King of the Island of Misfit Toys.

King Moonracer is also my hero. Let me tell you why.

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As King of the Island of Misfit Toys, King Moonracer flies around the world each night and gathers up all unwanted toys. He gives them a home on his island. He shares his love with the toys others would just cast aside.

When King Moonracer is forced to reject Rudolph, Hermi, and Yukon Cornelius’ request to remain on the Island of Misfit toys, you can see that it pains him to do so. You can sense his internal struggle.

After all, King Moonracer is not a toy. He is the ultimate misfit, a flying lion who wears a tiny crown.

But unlike the all the other misfits on the island, no one laughs at King Moonracer. No one calls him ridiculous. They are awed by the majesty of his presence. He is alone in the world. Yet, he seems so content and focused. He is driven by a sense of responsibility to his mission.

This is why I love King Moonracer. This is why I say King Moonracer is a lifestyle choice. Some people laugh at this. They should because it’s meant to be funny, but at the same time it means something more.

When I say that King Moonracer is a lifestyle choice, I’m saying it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be driven by a sense of purpose that perhaps few understand. I’m saying it’s okay to believe as only a child can believe. It’s okay to have a flying lion as your personal hero.

One could certainly do a lot worse.

King Moonracer is a Lifestyle Choice

I used to have King Moonracer as my profile picture on LinkedIn. I told myself that I was doing this because I was proud of King Moonracer, but really I was afraid to use my own picture. Over time, I learned to put myself out there and be who I am without fear. I learned to laugh at myself and to be at peace with my own shortcomings.

It wasn’t that long ago that I changed my profile picture to my own. It was a happy day. I’d just written a post on How Not to Write about overcoming fears of being anonymous. I’d been blogging for eight years but always under a pseudonym. Now I was stepping out into the light.

Most people who know me might wonder how on earth that I, Jamie Grove, could be afraid of anything, let alone putting my face out there. I’m an outgoing person, always ready with a smile because I am genuinely happy to be alive. I sit in front of the cafe in summertime with my bare feet propped up on a chair. I love life. But this only proves that fear can strike anyone, even those who seem the most confident. The question is what do you do with that fear? Do you allow it to consume you, or do you press on?

After that post went up, HNTW sort of went from an obscure place where I spoke mostly to myself and a handful of friends, into an experiment in connecting with people. It is still growing, but I can say that it is a wonderful little community of writers. I share with these writers my thoughts and struggles, my triumphs and failures. Together we overcome the fear that is so prevalent in the world of would-be writers.

As much as I owe to my love of King Moonracer, I don’t believe HNTW would have grown had I stayed behind the lion’s mask. I’m proud to display him on Twitter though, and I think he’ll stay there for a long time. He’s a lifestyle choice to be sure.

One could certainly do a lot worse.


Who are your heroes and why? Please share in the comments!

What’s Next, Jamie?

When I first told my wife that I planned to submit a proposal to reorganize my business, she looked concerned. When I told her I didn’t include a box for myself on the org chart, she wanted to know if I’d lost my mind. This seems reasonable. I mean, isn’t this the worst economy in, well, ever?

Maybe the outside world isn’t going to view this as the most brilliant stroke of the pen, but I had my reasons…

The Plot So Far…

To begin with, I ran an entrepreneurial business within a business. We grew like most eCommerce businesses: huge leaps, year after year. There are a number of factors, but to make it simple let’s just say that we reached the point in scope and scale where it made sense to fold our operation in with the core business.

Writing the plan was exciting and fulfilling. This was the day we’d worked toward for years. It was bittersweet as well since I loved working with my team and we were very successful.

When most people are ready to submit a proposal like this, they take a deep breath. Exhale slowly… And then they hit the delete button.

Part of me (a rather frightened part) really wanted to hit that delete button, but instead I hit send. Of course, I was afraid. I spent years working for the company, building a record of achievement. I have a family to support. I have a child who has cancer. Anyone who tells you that they proposed changes like this and weren’t afraid to do so is either lying or insane.

Now, I’ve written this post several times. The last version went into all sorts of detail about the process of shaping the plan, and while I’m sure that kind of insight is valuable to prospective clients or employers, I’m not going into that sort of minutiae.

Besides, what would we have to talk about later?

No, instead of focusing on what happened, it’s enough to say that I did what was best for the company and it’s time for everyone to focus on the future.

So Really, What’s Next?

At the moment, I’m helping the company make the big transition. But now that I’m on the other side of this change, I find myself with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue my life’s passion… And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

My “What’s Next” is simple: I’m embracing writing with open arms.

Some people know that I write. Some people know I’ve written two novels, piles of stories, millions of words all told. Some people know that I run a little website called How Not to Write.

If you don’t know, now you do.

In addition to fiction, I have two non-fiction works tied to eCommerce and web in process. Sign up for the site emails and you’ll get an announcement as soon as they are available. Who knows, you might even get a copy for free. :)

Oh, and I’m Still an eCommerce Guru

By the way, I’m not abandoning my knowledge. How could I? I love the web and eCommerce. I love technology. I’m just shifting what I do and how I do it.

If you’re an eCommerce colleague dropping in, this is your chance to get a seasoned eCommerce executive on your team, a pro who can help you fix what’s wrong or help you develop a plan to take your business to the next level. Take a look at What Jamie Can Do For You to find out more.

If you don’t know me, let’s get introduced

Thank You

I realize this isn’t a typical “I just got laid off” message, but then I’m not your typical person.

Those of you who realize this will probably be the first to drop me a line. Those of you who don’t will probably wonder why you kept reading all the way to the end (if you did). That’s OK. I don’t expect everyone to understand, but I do want to thank you for taking the time to read this post.

This is a time of dramatic change for all of us. I’m thankful to have such great people in my life. I’m looking forward to what’s next and I hope your life is filled with good times.

Have fun! I know I will! :)


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