Back in March of 2014, I was reading a bunch of articles on running my own business, specifically launching my own physical products. My good pal Ed Fox (aka The Champ) of Media Boomtown turned me on to a blog post talking about what five things you need to consider before diving in. It was focused starting a business in general, but the information within was very well written, clear and concise. That post was on the blog Art of Manliness.

I really enjoyed this post and I bookmarked the home page to recall later and explore more. Like almost all of my bookmarks, I forgot about it until something unintentionally comes up that takes me back to one of those sources. That’s what happened with me and Art of Manliness. At this point in time in my life, I was reading a lot of different articles on the professional stuff in life, like finance, public speaking, and career maneuvering and business ethics. Design, technology and coding articles were on overload for me. So as I was searching for interesting posts and blogs to read, Art of Manliness kept coming up. I began to read posts about personal finance, shaving techniques (and conversely beard growing practices), Wardrobe intelligence and personal stories of ethics, virtue, and morality.

The Art of Manliness is a mission driven blog that seeks to equip men to lead happier, fuller and more meaningful lives through stronger relationships, building confidence, and imparting high ethics and acumen. They honestly said it best with this one line from their origin story.

“Ultimately, the Art of Manliness aims to encourage our readers to be better husbands, fathers, brothers, citizens — a new generation of great men.”

Bret and Kate McKay started Art of Manliness in 2008 and it quickly caught on with men. Unlike the majority of men’s magazines and interest sites, Art of Manliness distinguished itself as a site dedicated to improving a man’s life as a whole. The topics written on the site are thoughtful and routinely explore facets of being a good man that usually isn’t broached in common discourse. Take for instance a post by Marcus Brotherton about how men deal with a miscarriage. I am not a father yet and therefore I cannot fully appreciate and understand how a man can go through this ordeal, but what I gain from reading this article a deeper sense of understanding and empathy. There is a lot of focus and resources on how women can cope with miscarriage, but literature and information for men is typically harder to come by. Why I think this article is so meaningful is that there is no downplay of emotions, from Marcus’s experience and his wife’s. Marcus gave such poignantly honest advice that can truly help men cope with such a heart-breaking event. The articles’ comments were pouring with personal stories of men who also experienced this in their lives. It was one of the most touching and profoundly sad events that have been shared with me. This one post taught me a lot on what it means to be a good man.

On a lighter side, Bret McKay’s recent post on upping your coffee game was informative and engaging. I learned a great deal about what makes a great cup of coffee and several different methods of brewing. The article was informative and fun while maintaining a strong thread of quality running through the entire post. Because of that post, I gained a deeper appreciation for my morning routine and actually tried buttered coffee…that’s awesome pick-me-up.

As you can tell from the breadth of topics, there is that one underlying current of quality and mission to help men become better that pervades all their offerings, whether in their podcast, the blog posts or in their video series. Frivolity is mixed with meaning, heady information is delivered with care and understanding, abstract topics on emotion and purpose in life are handled with thoughtfulness and open possibilities.

The Art of Manliness has established itself as a brand whose commitment to quality is equal to none in its domain. The consistency of their message and how they communicate through their mediums harkens the core of what it means to a good man and resonates across their communication avenues. Through their nostalgic imagery and design, delivered by the prowess and skills of contributor and illustrator Ted Slampyak, they conjure up the vision of the manly physique ready to throw down, maybe not always for fisticuffs, but to take on what keeps us from being the men whom we truly want to be.

Nowadays, Art of Manliness has been become part of my daily reading. From a personal perspective, it has helped me grow as person. From a professional standpoint, it has changed my perspective on my own beliefs for the better and helped me become less ignorant about topics. From standpoint of brand messaging, I admire their dedication to quality and standards as they continue their honing their vision to help make men better husbands, fathers, brothers, and citizens.

February 13, 2015

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