Am I the smartest person I know?

I can not tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question. Sarcastically of course.

But, I’d like to answer it seriously. No. Not even close. In fact, I generally take the approach that someone might be immensely smarter than I am. That isn’t to say that I freely give of my respect of someone’s intelligence.

Let’s put it this way. If I stumble across someone’s site, I generally go into the site with an open mind to that person’s opinion on whatever subject matter I’m going there to read. If there opinion on that subject is eye-opening, knowledgeable, profound, or simply well-said – my respect for their opinion is earned right then and there. However, if someone consistently says, writes, or does “stupid” things, my default respect for that person declines right along with that consistency.

I’m also incredibly turned off by people speaking above their pay grade. Ok, ok, so I make $2 an hour – that isn’t exactly what I mean. I do not like people speaking about something which they have no expertise to do so. I think I’ve documented my thoughts on that matter quite well. But suffice to say, if you try to speak authoritatively on a topic that you know little about, chances are my respect for your intelligence will begin to diminish rapidly.

So, who do I know that is really smart? Tons of people. I try to surround myself with people I think are incredibly intelligent. Paul Scrivens and Mike Rundle are my two partners in crime with 9rules. With of these gentlemen’s intellect I hold in very high regard. Chris Fehnel, Mike Stickel, and Josue Salazar are three guys that I would have never asked to join TUG.n if I didn’t respect their intelligence. Mike Bigus, Brian Muha, Chris Kurutz, Myron Semack, Isaac Foster, Robert Naismith, William Fleming are ex-coworkers and bosses who I hold in very high regard. Their experience over the years has helped me to mold my own visions and opinions on various matters of programming, business, and family. There are also several people at my “Church” who I feel were instrumental in my current view on my world, my religion, and my goals. There is no way you will effect me so profoundly unless I respect you – and I respect them.

My wife Eliza’s emotions, impressions, and ability to think clearly when I can not, continually push my respect to a higher level with each day that passes in our relationship. She continues to surprise me with how she handles herself, how she humbles herself, and how she deals with me and the responsibilities that surround that. She is an inspiration for sure.

If I were to name everyone I thought was smarter than me, this entry would literally never be pushed live. So to answer the question again; No, I’m not the smartest person I know. But I hope one day, to be one someone’s list of people they respect.