Hi, I’m Sam Ochstein. Thanks for checking out my blog. I have an insatiable appetite for learning, I’m fascinated by the human condition and the complexities of life, and I’m passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. I plan on writing about some of that here.

What else? I love good coffee, craft beer, whiskey, and great conversations. And I think the better the coffee, beer, or whiskey, the better the conversations.

Jen and Amos hiking 

I work and write from the Midwest, where I live with my wife Jen and our lovable yellow lab Amos. We like to take walks and hike. In 2017 we walked the last 150 miles of the Camino de Santiago over 10 days. I got a tattoo in Santiago, Spain where we finished. We often say that I probably wouldn’t have any adventures if it wasn’t for her.

I’m a voracious reader across multiple genres like fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, philosophy of religion, business, and personal and professional development. Once upon a time I played guitar and wrote a few songs. Some of them weren’t too shabby. One day I’d like to pick that up again. Because, you know, playing the guitar is cool. Even if you’re not awesome at it. Which, I assure you, I’m not.

I’ve had a lot of different and interesting experiences in life. But one constant thread weaving its way through my journey has been writing.

I wrote dozens of stories as a kid and continued honing my writing skills through high school, college, and grad school. I was an English major when I first went to college, worked as a stringer reporter in the summers, and started my professional career as a journalist at age 21. It was a way to earn a living writing.

Selfie with students

When I was 30, I became an ordained minister and lead pastor. I wrote and delivered a public, educational, persuasive speech (otherwise known as a sermon) nearly every Sunday for 10 years. I also published some articles and book reviews along the way.

After that, I worked in customer service development for a global manufacturer for over a year. Basically, I designed and taught classes about how to be good people, have good conversations, and provide an exceptional customer experience. It was an incredibly formative experience for me and demonstrated that much of what I knew about working with people and human development and flourishing from vocational ministry transferred nicely into business contexts.

I’ve earned an MMin and MATS from Bethel College (Indiana) and am just a few classes shy of another master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA). Someday I’d like to get a PhD. I’ll let you know when I figure out in what.

Like that great philosopher Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame said, “Life’s a journey, not a destination.” I’m privileged to be alongside you on the journey. Thanks for reading.