• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Putting A Spotlight On The Country Exec In 2021

Putting A Spotlight On The Country Exec In 2021

Last month I wrote a post reflecting on 2020 and focusing on the many positive’s life has to offer, even during these trying times. I’d like my last post for the year to dig a little bit into what’s in store for the country exec blog in 2021. The quick and easy answer is much of the same. I’ve enjoyed building and running countryexec.com, and I find writing to be therapeutic on a personal level. The original premise of the site was to help others, I never would have guessed it would wind up helping me just as much if not more. 

Being the public servant that I am, it gives me a strong sense of fulfillment to think what I put out to the world may reach someone and really help them in a meaningful capacity. Nothing would make me happier if someone out there gained the positive reassurance they needed to get moving in a new direction because they read this very blog. I would be thrilled and dearly hope that is the case. I assure you that will never change. With that in mind let’s put a spotlight on the country exec in 2021. 

The Country Executive

You all only know what I put out to the world. Here’s the truth about the ole’ country exec. At the end of the day, I’m a normal, laid back, genuine guy. I write like I talk, and when I talk, I mean what I say. If I say I’m going to do something, then I do it. Same goes for if I write it. I have to because I’m wired that way. I’m old school and I’m Texan. It eats at me if I don’t. I’ve learned that about myself over the years, as a result I take a lot of pride in my conviction and personal accountability.

My mindset and overlying being is reflective of those basic tenets of my life. Being who I am has served me well over the years. It helped me figure out what I wanted in life and got me to where I wanted to be. No sense in changing that now. I wouldn’t want to. There’s peace in discovering who you are and living the existence of your choosing. Thankfully for me, that just means a little bit of elbow room from the neighbors with a nice view of nature and watching the occasional critter running across my property. Simplistic elegance, that is my bliss.

What You Will See

Countryexec.com is a direct reflection of me, what I have experienced, and what may be on my mind or happening at the time. As I indicated in my first post back in April, the original premise of the site was to share insights learned navigating a world foreign to me as a young man. I wasn’t concerned about falling on my face so to speak. I figured I’d benefit from the experience of creating the website. I’ve been working in technology for 24 years, logically it made sense and I wanted to try it. I enjoy challenges and learning something new. I’m an old dog that can learn new tricks.

In retrospect I’m glad I took the plunge. There’s a lot more in store for the country exec blog in 2021. It cost me a few hundred dollars to host the site and all, but I’ve genuinely enjoyed the experience. I don’t regret it one bit. I love my routines. I’m fairly ridiculous in that sense. I enjoy the grind in life, and it’s a grind of sorts to get a new article written along with all the other associated tasks even though there’s no monetary benefit for me to do it. Any bloggers out there know what I mean. You get what you put in. If I didn’t enjoy it there would be no point for me to commit the time. Time is our most precious commodity in life, so you know it must mean something to me!

 It’s Real

That’s how you can be rest assured what I put out there is real. I gain nothing other than the feeling I receive when I try to put positive vibes out to the world. It’s why I’ve spent 20 years working in government and only 4 working for private companies. What I do on a day-to-day basis has to mean something or it’s not a sustainable path forward for me.

My career and journey in life has taken me to some incredibly wonderful places. Regardless of where I temporarily called home, I have never not been that guy from East Texas. Boots, accent, and all. In 2020 I became The Country Executive to the world, and I love being an advocate for all that it stands for. You couldn’t change that about me if you tried. The future for this country exec blog in 2021 is bright!

What You Won’t See

Ads, you won’t see them on my site. I don’t like them, and the bottom line is I’m not doing this for money. I don’t believe I get enough traffic to derive any value from putting ads on the site anyway. Even if the traffic does grow significantly someone would have to be pretty slick to talk me into it. As I’ve reiterated many times over, I am about as hardheaded as they come so good luck with that.

That’s not to say I won’t experiment with monetization of the country exec blog in 2021. I’m receptive to affiliate links if it makes sense, caveat being I must believe in and support the product and company. That’s the beauty of living a comfortable existence of my choosing. I’m not obligated to do anything I don’t want to do. If you ever see me promoting something on the website or social media, you can be rest assured I am a fan of whatever that might be.

Social Media

Awhile back someone mentioned monetizing the social media outlets for countryexec.com. I haven’t educated myself on what that would entail so I won’t discount it yet, but again, it has to make sense per who I am and what I want the site to be for all. I’m curious about this one though because the Facebook page for the site has taken off more than I thought it would. I just surpassed 750 followers this week. That blows my mind. I know in the grand scheme of things it’s a drop in the bucket, but I’m still surprised and think it’s unbelievable cool that many people are interested in the country exec premise.

I had tweeted exactly once in my life prior to 2020. A coworker told me a few years back that Twitter was a great platform to use when you have a problem with a company. Sure enough Spectrum was giving me the runaround in 2018 and I put them on Twitter blast. It worked. My problem was resolved almost immediately. It’s ridiculous to me that I had to go to that length to get them to resolve my issue, but the power of social media is for real. Go figure. So I have a country exec Twitter handle here, and I use it to share posts, rural images that inspire me, and so on. I enjoy interacting on the platform. Give me a follow if you’re cut from the same cloth.

I also created a Pinterest account and started to use it for the first time in support of the site. If you’d like to throw me a little Pinterest love the page can be found here. I believe social media will be a strong component for the country exec blog in 2021.

Public Speaking

In January I participated in my first public speaking event with another gentlemen (with a PHD no less) on cybersecurity. It was fun. I never considered myself an expert in my field. My mind just doesn’t work like that. Make no mistake I know I am good at what I do, but it wasn’t until this past year that so many folks became interested in what I had to say. I didn’t change, I’m the same guy I’ve always been. Odd how life works. Maybe I have a larger platform today due to my title, that’s about the only reason I can think of as to why people were all of the sudden interested in me. I mean I’m a cool guy and all but still…. 🙂

Fast forward a few months and I participated in a couple of virtual learning sessions, one on cybersecurity and the other on a new technology product I tested in my work environment. I was asked to speak at another event late in the year, but the timing didn’t work for my schedule.

It’s crazy for me to think people are interested in what I have to say. It makes me laugh to consider what the audience may think when I get up to speak. I know what I sound like, and I know what I look like. Those two things do not always coincide with professionalism in my career field. Never judge a book by its cover. If you saw or spoke to me on the street, you’d likely never know I do what I do for a living. I suspect I’ll do a little more of this in 2021. That whole being an advocate for the amazing stuff happening in rural America resonates with me. I am Mr. Country IT after all!


I had an article published in Gov CIO Outlook magazine, and a story on me published in Toggle magazine. Both are primarily online media outlets, but I asked and did receive the print version of both articles. Gov CIO Outlook reached out again and there’s another article coming out soon on how rural America is addressing cybersecurity. Evidently, they like what we do out here in the country.

Something I’m looking forward to in 2021 is writing for GovLoop.com as a featured contributor. It’s been a hoot going back and forth with their managing editor Nicole, I think we’re going to have some fun and it will be a win for win all the way around. I can tell already they’re going to like yours truly country style. Stay tuned to my social media handles for more info, that’ll kick off early in 2021.

Another neat thing that came from 2020 is that as of a few months back when you Google country leadership blog,” countryexec.com is the first site that pops up in the results. Admittedly I struggle with search engine optimization (SEO). I do like the fact I’ve done something right in the eyes of Google. I’ll take little victories wherever I can find them! Part of this whole country exec thing is educational for me. I look forward to learning more about SEO in 2021. Domain authority, image optimization, backlinks, there’s a lot more than I ever realized that goes into running a successful website. For the bloggers out there that have mastered this stuff, you have my admiration!

More Goodness Coming Out Of The Country

The hits kept coming in 2020. I won a “Best of Texas” award in July and my organization won IT Innovation of the Year from StateScoop magazine in December. I was invited to be a board member for the state organization of IT professionals in Texas. For good measure I am also cochair of the cybersecurity committee for the state agency on Texas public power. I truly cannot believe all the positive things that happened for me and my organization this year.

Much of my staff graduated from the local high school. I reached out to the school in the spring about recognizing their accomplishments and surprisingly the ISD honored all of them as distinguished graduates. That was the neatest thing! I love the part of my job that gets people recognized for the good things they do. I will always try to get my staff and organization the positive vibes they deserve. Not saying we’ll win every time, but we’re certainly going to keep trying in 2021.

A little side note to this is that I told the City Manager that hired me we’d put the organization on the map. Almost three years in I like to think we’ve been exceedingly successful in doing so. You would not believe the amount of positivity coming out of our rural Texas city. We very much punch above our weight class in the grand scheme of things and I love it! This place is all kinds of awesome.

Bring It On 2021

2020 was a tough year no doubt. Oddly, on a personal level it was also my most successful year to date. Go figure. Speaking from the perspective of society I hope 2021 is a more positive experience across the board. I know a lot of people were hurting out there which puts all this into perspective for me. I’d trade every good thing that happened for me professionally in 2020 if it meant the pandemic never happened, nobody lost a loved one, lost a job, or suffered in any capacity.

2021 will be better. It has to be. I may be wrong, but it feels like as a society there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I certainly hope so. I’m just going to do what I always do as a professional and for the country exec blog in 2021. Keep my head down and keep pushing forward. It’s the only way I know how to operate. Seize the bull by the horns. I’d recommend everyone do the same. You win the race by putting one foot in front of the other. Let’s do this together. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourselves and the ones you love.  

9 thoughts on “Putting A Spotlight On The Country Exec In 2021

    • Author gravatar

      Great post! I don’t think I’ve run across your blog before, but I look forward to reading more from you. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2021.

    • Author gravatar

      Happy New Year!! It is great that you’ve enjoyed building your blog. The name is very wholesome. It is always nice to see those in tech blogging and sharing everyday thoughts. Pretty cool that you got to talk about cybersecurity in a public forum. Congratulations on all of your achievements!

      • Author gravatar

        Happy New Year to you and yours Nancy! We share a kinship in cybersecurity, I look forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for your career and blog. Anyone reading I highly encourage you to swing by https://mdrnminimalists.com/ and give Nancy’s blog a looksie, it’s excellent! Thank you for reading!

    • Author gravatar

      750 followers on Facebook is 100% an achievement, I think it’s the platform where it’s hardest to grow!

      Katie | katieemmabeauty.com

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you so much Katie, I’ll take those small victories wherever I can get them! Considering the FB page came about months after the site went live it’s motivating to know the blogs message hits home with some folks. I definitely enjoy interacting as well, winner winner chicken dinner I say! Best of luck to you and your endeavors in 2021, I’ll be pulling for you! Thank you for reading.

    • Author gravatar

      What a superb article written straight from the heart. Congrats on your award in 2020 & Wishing You All The Best In 2021 – From Robert On Vancouver Island in BC Canada!🥂

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you so much Robert. Shame on you for making me jealous of all your amazing travel! Anyone looking to read (and see) some incredible travel tips I highly recommend checking out Robert’s website https://gr8traveltips.com/. Best of luck to you moving forward sir!

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