What is Your Exit Strategy?

Well, chronologically March 4th is the 4-year anniversary of this blog but since I have been persona non grata for close to a year it might be a stretch to think this post as an anniversary. However, it was interesting to go back and see what post numero uno (that’s Spanish if you want to look it up in Google translate) was about and what was on my mind at the time. If you are curious at all, here is that bad mofo (that’s French I think).

With writing like that the internet world must have suffered a significant setback when I left, huh?

What does any of this have to do with an exit strategy?

No kidding, right; looks like you are they guy who leaves through the back door without telling anyone goodbye.

The reality is, I am of the age that I should probably start putting some thought into this process instead of just walking out the door at work and expecting everything to just fall into place. Of course, that’s pretty much my MO, to just show up, so why should this be any different?

The truth is, my job is probably not different than most in that some days I am ready to walk out right now, no questions asked. Then there are other days where I feel I could easily do another 10. I am somewhere in between leaving right now and probably closer to 10, but then again I had a pretty kick ass start to this year so we will see how long that euphoria can carry me I suppose.

Part of the reason I am leaning more toward the 10 number is that my wife has already said I won’t be sitting around the house, and if she says it then it’s probably true and unless one of you want to take me in I better just keep showing up at the office.

Looking back

When I reminisce and reflect on my life the easy thing for me to do is to break it down in 10 year increments. 10 years is not a long time, but to put it in perspective I remember how much I enjoyed my 10 year old birthday party with my friends and only 10 years later I was celebrating my 20th with Uncle Sam in the woods at Ft Benning, Georgia.

During that 10 year stretch not only did we move away from the home town I grew up in, my parents divorced and I came of age I suppose.

As much as we take comfort in the routine at times, life is all about change, and a lot can happen in just 10 short years.

In the 4 years since I took the pledge and became active in the social arena there has been quite of bit of change. There have been some consistent Steady Eddie’s but then there have been more who just became tired and threw in the towel like me. It’s just online it’s more visible to all.

Every journey can be a learning process and would like to think I smelled the roses along this journey as much as I could. My circle of friends certainly expanded.

Looking forward

What does the future hold in store? Who the heck knows and when you listen to what is going on in the world around us it can be certainly scary at times. But I usually just compartmentalize it and put it on the back burner because it’s all out of my control anyway.

What I can do though, is to sit down and map out what I would like to see the next 10 years look like for me. Not only financially, but what in the heck I am going to be doing with myself to keep it interesting and fun (I’m still very big on fun).

Fortunately at work we have some tools at our disposal that will allow me to do just that. Things will always be fluid because life events dictate it, but at least I will have a road map to get me headed in the right direction on this journey.

Have you peaked?

Some people who were cool and popular peaked in high school. That wasn’t me fortunately because I was never as cool as I thought I was, and would like to think that peak is still out there somewhere.

Maturity allows for wisdom and most will say I am not mature at all but chronologically it allows me to be reflective and feel I have become more open-minded and less judgmental these days and happy and thankful for my lot in life.

That’s a good thing, right?

Well, enough rambling for now; I’m not making any promises but I’m sure I will at least remain in the somewhat invisible lurking mode for the immediate future. And you know what the man with the glass eye said when he removed it, “I’ve got my eye out for you,” so behave out there you kids and don’t forget to have some fun.

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Leadership: How to bring people together

Free beer.

Seriously.

No need to make it all complicated; trust me, free beer will attract a crowd, even if it’s not top shelf.

Did you really expect me to have something profound to say? I do speak from experience however. I kiddingly say I’m the working homeless; showing up at every networking event where there is free drink and food. And I have been to some god-awful networking events, but as long as you feed me, you can have some of my time.

Are the young gay Nazi’s for Christ really a 501c3 organization? 

Did he just say that? I don’t think he’s that young…

What does this have to do with leadership?

Not much I suppose. However, if you are buying the beer and it comes down to a flip of the coin who you want to be in charge, I’m guessing the beer guy will pull a few more votes.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

I have 4 posts in draft just waiting for me to pull the trigger. The more they sit the less likely they will ever see the light of day. The other dilemma I face as that black dot I have become keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller, it truly is to the point, who cares?

This is not a boo hoo, who will miss me when I am gone post. Everything I have achieved or not achieved in here I am happy to say I have earned every bit of it.

Obviously, this post was done on a whim primarily so I would have something to post this week. Thanks goodness for Carolyn (bless her little ol’ heart), she saved me from crickets last week. When, not if the day of zero arrives, it truly might be my tipping point.

You can fish with crickets, my daddy taught me that.

I hope you are having a lovely summer so far.

My top 10 best comments of the week

Some bloggers think it is advantageous to re-purpose their older posts because these prior endeavors were obviously literary works of awesomeness, but for some reason maybe didn’t get the full play they deserved. Well, I looked back through mine and believe I got about as much run as I could so better let those sleeping dogs lie. However, I do have some gems from my comment section that found their way to that special folder and never saw the light of day, but obviously these people know me very well.

For your pleasure, here is the best of the best:

1 – Could you write about Physics so I can pass Science class? Obviously, this person recognized my brilliance right off the bat. 

2 – The genius store called, they’re running out of you. Once again, it ain’t bragging if you can back it up, right? 

3 – For the love of God, keep writing these articles. Now we are calling on a higher power so maybe I better stay in the game, huh? 

4 – Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask! And everybody chided me for having a free site; this will show ya. 

5 – Impressive brain power at work! Great answer! So obvious, will someone please tell my wife. 

6 – Clear, informative, simple. Could I send you some e-hugs? I’m a hugger, I guess e-hugs are good too. 

7 – Howdy my family representative! I want to state that this particular article rocks !, awesome composed you need to include approximately many considerable infos. I’m going to view additional discussions in this way . Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and all. Nevertheless think about if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!

Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the greatest in its niche.

Amazing blog! I would include more pictures of me, but every time I try to take a good pic this old cat keeps showing up and ruining the shot; maybe one day I can beat him to the punch. 

8 – An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to talk about this matter here on your web page. See, I’m bringing some value; I’m feeding my followers now. 

9 – Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Thank you – My friend Carolyn would be impressed, they are asking me for ‘techincal’ advice; maybe they know me too well. 

10 – Your honesty is like a beacon. See, I told you what you see is what you get. Other than the fact I look much better in person, this is really who I am. 

Top 10 indeed

Well, there you have it. I made the mistake of letting my spam folder accumulate too many of these gems before I tried to clean it out. I think I’m going to start releasing them as regular comments to keep my popularity numbers up.

I was a little disappointed though; it seems back in the day I had some really spicy ones but those seem to have gone by the wayside. Oh well, my friends now joke we are at the age that not only do the girls not see us anymore when we are out, they can’t hear us either.

Say what? 

What are you gonna do; we’ll see who will be diggin’ on me when I win the lottery, won’t we?

Scoreboard.

Now I know how Hootie must have felt

Hootie who? Hey, where did everybody go?

You know, Hootie and the Blowfish. And no, Darius Rucker was not Hootie even though he was the front man for the band.

There was a period of time, this band was the hottest thing around. What started out as essentially a garage band playing on college campuses blew up big time. How big?  Big as a blowfish

In interviews, they will tell you this was not their end-game and all the fame and fortune was somewhat surprising for them. They would have been perfectly content to keep playing smaller, more intimate venues while flying under the radar.

And then they were gone….

Did they run out of talent?

My guess would be no; maybe they just ran out of fresh ideas or desire once they hit the big time.

I know how they feel.

Back in the day when I was wildly popular and some considered me the next big thing, all I could see were clear, sunny skies on the horizon. It was incredible; there were some days I would have thousands er, uh hundreds several visitors a day and it was becoming a real challenge to maintain my lofty status because the bar had been set so high.

Where did they all go?

Well, I certainly didn’t become less talented; maybe I did get a little fat and lazy because the success came so easy to me….ok, ok maybe a lot fat and I have lazy down to a science.

But I still like to perform

Darius Rucker still goes out on the road and is perfectly content to perform for significantly smaller crowds, in fact he prefers it that way.

Of course, I would be content too if I hadn’t blown all my money I made in here the first time around.

There is a big difference doing something because you love it versus doing something because you have to and are desperate. And the smell of desperation is similar to stale BO, not a pleasant smell indeed and very noticeable.

But you didn’t pay your dues

What?

I was hangin’ and bangin’ with the best of them….ok, maybe not hanging with them but some actually knew me by name.

Well, that and $5 will get you a cafe latte at Starbucks. 

Let me ask you this question; do you like to read, listen to music? I certainly do, and think I am pretty good at both. It might not always be culturally correct material, but I can still do it with the best of them.

But just because I am really good at doing both does not mean I have the same level of talent on the production side. About the only instrument I could play would be a kazoo or a cow bell and even though I can write a blog post doesn’t necessarily mean I should, huh?

Did I say I was lazy?

I’m sorry if I disappointed you

I know you expected me to maintain my greatness, but I found it so hard to keep running with the big dogs. I was either going to have to start drinking much more heavily than I do now, quit my job, or start my own meth clinic like Walter White.

Therefore, that is the main reason I have decided to slide back into relatively obscurity; content to play the smaller venues and have the occasional patron come up and say “didn’t you used to be somebody?”

One thing I do know, if you set the bar low enough you will never be disappointed.

No wonder everybody left

Hopefully you know this is a tongue in cheek post, much ado about nothing.

The real genius behind this post was the fact my efforts last week looked like it might be my first where there was a real chance of not having a single comment.

And guess what? I didn’t freak out or rail against the social hierarchy for not including me on one of their lists or for never stopping by to visit.

Other than for my obvious brilliance I should expect no less considering how little effort I have tried to maintain any semblance of a social presence these days.

Maybe I’ll just stick to my reading and listening of music knowing I was destined to be a better consumer than a producer. Somebody’s got to buy this stuff, right?

Is this the one?

Let’s see if this gets less play than my last post; if it does, I will toast it, roast it, but certainly not boast it and just find somewhere else to be awesome for awhile.

Just remember, fame is fleeting so make sure you are well grounded to minimize the drama which allows you to just be your awesome self. I know I try to, hope you do too.

Ok, I’ll stop typing before you are tempted to grab a ballpoint pen and stick it in your ear…provided you got this far down the page.

I hope your summer is going well; mine is….see ya….

10 reasons to include me on your bucket list

Without stating the obvious of actually getting to meet me in person and buying me drinks, there are actually 10 good reasons to visit Lakeland, Florida, where I live; on purpose.

Where?

10 reasons to visit Bill Dorman Lakeland, Florida

1. Duh, it’s in Florida… I have lived in the F.L.A. all of my life and I think there maybe was one day I couldn’t go outside because of the weather and it was like 32 degrees or something and I was afraid the roads might ice up.

Yes, it gets hot as balls during the summer but there are plenty of other places that get hot and humid in the summer too. Even though it’s the Sunshine State, where I live is almost semi-tropical and we have plenty of greenery and shade. I am very adept at Florida parking which is good as long as you don’t mind bird shit spots on your car.

2. Location – Lakeland is pretty much in the center of the state on the I-4 corridor which means you can travel to the big cities of Tampa and Orlando in less than a hour. We have the benefit of being able to enjoy the amenities the larger cities have to offer but able to come back home and still be able to drive in normal traffic.

3. World Famous Architecture – Lakeland is home of Florida Southern College which houses the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture in the world . In 2011 and 2012, the Princeton Review designated Florida Southern College the most beautiful campus in the country.

Located on the shores of Lake Hollingsworth, it is truly a scenic setting. Lake Hollingsworth is located close to downtown with a 2.87 walking/riding path around its entire circumference and some of the nicest homes in Lakeland dot its shoreline.

4. Beaches – not in Lakeland, but because of its central location you can be in Daytona or Cocoa on the Atlantic or Tampa, St Petersburg/Clearwater or Sarasota on the Gulf in a little over an hour. The beaches on the Gulf are some of the finest in the world.

5. Theme parks – if you are into this kind of torture entertainment, we are once again in driving distance of less than a hour to pretty much every type of theme park known to man.

I gladly welcome tourist who spend their money and help our economy and it’s the biggest reason we.do.not.have a state income tax.

Within the confines of Polk County we have Legoland, Bok Tower and Fantasy of Flight.

6. Professional sports – We have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Orlando Magic within one hour. Depending on the time of year, one of the teams should be playing.

The Bucs have won a Super Bowl; the Lightning have won a Stanley Cup, the Rays have been in the World Series and the Magic have played in the NBA finals. Can your city/region say this?

7. Golf – Yes, because it’s Florida there are plenty of places to play golf; however, the Streamsong Resort is located within Polk County and its Red and Blue courses are already rated in the top courses of the world by Golf Digest.

Even if you don’t play golf there is plenty to do at the resort and it is world class indeed.

8. Bike trails – there are several rail to trails opportunities and over 100 miles of track available to enjoy. In addition to the rails to trails there are nature preserves and mountain biking available too.

Lakeland puts a big emphasis on making it a bike friendly town.

9. Lakes and orange trees – there are many lakes within the confines of Polk County and Winter Haven has the Chain of Lakes which has 10 connecting lakes on the northern chain and 16 connecting lakes on the southern chain.

Yes, there is probably an alligator or two along some of the banks and it is a rarity not to see one if you spend enough time around the water.

Orange trees and plenty of them. You are not really supposed to, but it’s very easy to park your car and just pick one or two ripe oranges from the tree. Some people even have them in their yard, but being a low maintenance guy I don’t need to be picking fruit from the tree or the ground.

10. The Polk Museum of Art – one of Lakeland’s and Polk County’s gems. The Polk Museum of Art is a nationally accredited art museum in Lakeland. It is a member of the Florida Association of Museums and is ranked among the top art museums in the state of Florida.

It is widely renowned and highly respected. There is world class talent on display at all times. If you are into this, you definitely need to put it on your list of must places to see.

So whadda ya think, it would be better than a sharp poke in the eye; is that enough for you to give Lakeland a try and pay me a visit and buy some drinks?

Can you tell I’m thirsty?

C’mon down; I’ll leave a light on for you.

Is your cheese still being moved?

Is it ever, make it stop; this is an edited version of my original post from February 6, 2012; back when I used to be somebody…

If you are familiar with the bestselling book, ‘Who Moved My Cheese‘ you know it deals with change and how to deal with it in work and life. Sometimes too much change and turmoil makes me want to cut some cheese, that’s for sure. One thing I have come to expect, and that is don’t get too comfortable, whether it is life or business these days because change is just around the corner.

Most know my day job is commercial insurance sales; this is an old-school traditional job if there ever was one. The original model was you work extremely hard your first 3-5 years, ‘grow’ a book of business and put it on cruise control from there.

If you plan on that being your model today I would advise to not even bother because you might have a better chance of taking care of your career by picking a winning lottery number.

Change can be good

Change, because it has an element of the ‘unknown’ typically brings about a certain level of stress. And whereas too much stress might not be a good thing, it can actually work for you.

Although relaxation ought to be, um, relaxing, stress management has somehow become yet another pressing item on our to-do lists. We’re made to feel like failures if we can’t live in a state of balance. But some stress is good; great, even. The discomfort of stress is a sign that you are tackling life’s problems head-on. Stress also improves productivity and performance – at work, the gym – and your body will be stronger if you alternate periods of calm and heart-pounding excitement.

Some know of my trail bike riding exploits these days and you certainly have enough oh-shit, heart-pounding excitement moments just about every ride.

How it has worked for me

Some of you might also know I have been doing this ‘insurance gig’ for 30+ years……….all at the same place. Talk about a breeding ground for complacency. The good news is we have forward thinking management and try to be pro-active and relevant in a fast-paced information overload society. This means don’t get too comfortable in your chair, because you might have to move soon if they even let you keep your chair.

I certainly don’t want to be the ‘that’s the way we always did it‘ guy but try to set the example and lead the charge if I truly think it will benefit the corporation. We are an ESOP (employee owned – employee stock option plan) corporation so everybody’s performance impacts not only our success, but our ‘retirement’ account as well. If everybody has some skin in the game it’s a lot easier to hold everyone accountable.

Has all this change made me uncomfortable at times? Absolutely, but it has also kept it interesting, challenging and fresh. I feel my eagerness to learn and adapt also keeps me young at heart and always growing.

Other changes I see

There are quite a few of us in my community who entered the ‘social’ journey at about the same time. When we jumped on the hamster wheel we were led to believe more followers and more comments are how you succeed. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but you do have a tendency to ‘chase’ under that model; and it’s circular.

Just about everybody I know has varied from that model now they are deeper into their journey, and some have just given up. We are all smart enough to copy and emulate what we perceive as ‘success’ in here, but I feel we have come to the realization there really is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’; it’s ultimately only ‘our way’.

Just like life, if you are going to be a survivor in here don’t get too comfortable in your seat. What is working for you today could be totally different in 30 days…or less; that is how fluid social is.

This is what keeps me going

Numero uno – it has to be fun; fun is a great motivator for me. I work plenty hard in my day job. In my ‘spare time‘ I’m a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and sit on several boards; all non-paying positions. Therefore, it’s important to find a fun factor in all, even if there is hard work involved.

The jury is still out for me if I have the motivation to take any of this social stuff any further than I already have. Not that I made any lists in the first place, but I don’t expect to make many in the future as well unless somebody is doing a ‘whatever happened to‘ list.

What about you?

Has traditional blogging run it’s course? Do you feel there are greater opportunities to be successful with a social platform now or has the newness worn off and most are on the other side of the curve right now?

Is the continual moving of cheese the new norm, or will we ever get back to being able to take a deep breath and actually enjoy the fruits of our labor before running off to the next big thing?

At the end of the day, what is important to you?

I got (1)99 problems but a blog ain’t one

200

One-nine-nine as in one hundred and ninety nine posts preceding this one; yes, this is post # 200 from billdorman.me’s fabulous site.

And of course to reemphasize how hip I really am, the title of this post is a play off a semi-popular hip hop/rap song so yes, I can be that creepy old guy scaring girls off and who still embarrasses his kids because he never grew up.

Since this blog was birthed on March 4, 2011 that essentially puts me 38 months into this gig with the caveat I was essentially invisible most of 2013; regardless, by my simple math this equates to an average of 5.2631578 posts a month. I know there are many who average this many in a week, but based on my non-platform I have been operating off of it’s amazing to me it survived this long.

According to the stats I have 3,267 followers and have had 74,792 hits; whatever that means. Those are not gaudy numbers by any means but it just goes to show you if a big dope like myself can jump in and get some traction, then pretty much anybody can, right?

Do you want a medal, or the chest to pin it on?

Just give me something to eat; I’ll work for food.

The few, the proud, the Marines who still read this post came into the game about the same time I did. We all have cycled through pretty much the same emotions and ups and downs this kind of commitment can bring. It has been interesting to see the evolution and who dropped out, who changed, and who still just puts their head down and keeps plowing through regardless.

Just like several hobbies I have undertaken and didn’t see all the way through, I could never figure out if I wanted to be just a writer, a teacher with a business blog, or just a big goof. Work gets serious enough and I know if used properly this platform could enhance my business efforts; but as I explore that landscape and the commitment involved it takes some of the fun out of it for me and hence, some of the appeal.

You’ll never get rich digging a ditch, you’re in the Army now. 

Where is the next WOW coming from?

Blogging was around way before I jumped in, but when I did take the plunge it was new and fresh and felt like one big party. Other than not having a paid site and some of the bells and whistles that go along with it, I considered myself all in. Personally, I feel it was time well spent on many levels and I’m much richer for the experience.

Some say blogging has run it’s course; I have certainly seen plenty who just ran out of gas or decided to change because there was just too much of a sameness permeating these halls of bloggersville.

Bloggers talk about finding your voice, but for better or worse my early posts could easily be interchangeable with the latter. At least it’s consistent, huh?

Maybe that’s why you suck and don’t have any staying power. 

Possibly, but read back about the fun part again.

So what does the landscape look like in 1 year; 3 years; 5 years? Will there be something else that’s new and we look back on this and laugh?

Let’s get this party started. 

I was never looking for fame and fortune

If something would have clicked and I found a sustainable business model that would have worked for me, I would have pursued it as hot and heavy as I am doing my trail riding right now. Other than the networking and meeting new people, I never found enough of that spark to spur me to the next level.

I know you can’t get paid on networking alone and it is usually just a means to an end; but that is what I do really well, you are getting into my sweet spot now. Can’t their be some brilliance in that?

For a 200 this was probably not too epic, but very much in line with my style so why should I try to change now…:).

The reality is, any problems I have are within my control and if I want to change the landscape then I can do something about it. That’s probably a pretty good place to be, don’t you think?

What’s your problem?

 

What do you bring to the table?

Food I hope, ’cause fat boy gotta eat.

Oh wait, this isn’t a post about food, is it?

Ok, how about this, what defines you; what is it about you that makes people trust you and want to do business with you?

Don’t paint yourself in a box

How many people have you known for any length of time have truly changed the essence of who they are? Or, once you know somebody, do they pretty much stay the course and what you see is what you get regardless if it was 20 years ago or today?

True story for me; my family moved away from the small town I grew up in between my 9th and 10th grade year in school. The town I left was a small enough town where seemingly you knew everybody. In my minds-eye whenever I would think of most of those people I only knew them as kids.

When I heard my old school was having their 30-yr reunion (yes, I am that old) I jumped on the chance to go. Upon arriving, of course my first impression was where did all these old people come from anyway; good thing I moved away or I might have looked like them too…:). The amazing thing, once I re-introduced myself to everybody, I was amazed how most were just like I remembered them; same personalities, same traits.

How can that be, none of us stay the same. Was it just because I wanted them to still be the same?

What makes you special?

Yes, we are all special in our own unique ways.

Most by now know I am in insurance sales. As the norm for most sales positions when I was initially looking for a job and interviewing there were usually some type of personality tests involved. These are not pass/fail type tests, but more to see if your personality and abilities align with the job being offered.

I came across one of those old exams and results recently and it was interesting to see how it described me then versus how I would describe me now.

My strengths were positivity – generous with praise & quick to smile; relator – thrill of turning strangers into friends; harmony – look for areas of agreement; communication – like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public and to write; woo – enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you.

Would you hire me? I’ve got woo, do you?

I guess if those traits were important for the task at hand, then maybe I’m your guy, right?

If you were to describe yourself in 5 words do you think they have held true over the test of time?

That sounds good, but what do you stink at? 

Yes, I am asking you because obviously I am Mr Wonderful and surely we aren’t talking about me.

Ha, your game has more holes than swiss cheese. 

I procrastinate at times; not always having a sense of urgency, which is not a good thing in the land of insurance with drop dead don’t pass go deadline renewal dates. Fortunately I have a great team that keeps me on task.

I am not competitive enough at times; I am competitive with myself, but I have probably left some deals on the table because I wasn’t willing to scrap enough to get the deal done.

I’ve done alright in this gig and don’t really want for much. Considering where I came from I think I have far out-kicked my punt coverage, and even though I could still do so much more, it’s not too bad to be where I am right now.

So is that a good thing or a bad thing; would you hire me now?

What you see is what you get

I guess it is what it is. The key for me is to play to my strengths and surround myself with the right people and try to avoid the potholes that will flatten my tires.

We all see and know people we admire and think we want to be like them when we grow up. However, the sooner you can be comfortable in your own skin and be more appreciative of what you do have the happier, more fulfilled you will become.

I guess the moral of this story is, don’t try to be perfect just try to be good, and happy, and everything else will take care of itself.

And that’s the truth…don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Until next time…

 

My wife barely tolerates my girl friend

Bike

You thought I was going to go Donald Sterling on you and talk about how I flaunt my girlfriend in public in front of my wife, didn’t you? I will go one better, my girlfriend lives with me; albeit she has to stay in the garage.

I don’t even know her name, but I think I am in love.

Because I became semi-obsessed with her, it was my wife who dubbed her my girlfriend.

Yes, I am talking about my new trail bike.

It hasn’t been a perfect relationship however

But how many relationships are; just like any relationship worth having it takes a lot of understanding, patience and communication.

Then why did she throw you off 3 times already?

The good news is that I have been on the deck 3 times now after the broken hand incident but still back in the saddle riding; all were really rider error so I will have to shoulder most of the blame. There is a fine line in trail riding between too aggressive and not aggressive enough. In my unprofessional opinion, more wrecks occur being tentative than from being too aggressive. I mean everybody can ride a bike, right? You just have to channel your 8-years old instincts…..

Why are your shins so dinged up; it must not be all smooth sailing

Tru dat.

Apparently there are some adjustments to be made on a new bike after you have broken it in and even though I thought we were still in the honeymoon phase, my chain has slipped at the most inopportune time causing me to bang a shin and/or a knee. I have taken her to the shop twice for adjustments and even though the situation isn’t totally resolved if I keep my fat ass on the seat so the chain isn’t bouncing around as much when I hit terrain it is less likely to happen.

So why doesn’t your wife approve?

She said if I ever brought anybody home they damn sure better be able to cook and clean. Well not only does my girlfriend not cook and/or clean she is obviously getting all of the attention right now.

As I was trying to convince my wife a trail bike was a good investment for me because my window of opportunity for trail riding had a shelf life, she was quick to remind me she felt my window of opportunity for this has already come and gone.

Well I never….

Since I am the sole breadwinner in our family, it’s all or nothing. Since I am worth about 3 times as much dead as I am alive my wife doesn’t want any in between. Either I am upright and answering the bell everyday or I better be pushing up daisies…:).

Nah, I’m sure she’s just teasing; how can she not want to live with Mr Wonderful.

For better or for worse…

What is this post about?

I guess you are looking for some kind of positive take-away, huh?

Me too, so get in line.

I will close by saying if you find something you really like whether it be business or personal related; then what’s the problem with being all in, because that is where I am with my trail riding right now.

Sounds like an obsession…

Close, and I imagine there is a fine line between hobby and obsession. However, I have been all in with softball, running, weight lifting, rec basketball, reading, golf, tennis and online social at one time or the other throughout my adult life so there does appear to be a pattern.

For the athletic ones, usually injuries got me moving on to try something else, but at least it made me try other things.

This is what happens when you never grow up; maybe it’s good and maybe it’s not, but what are you going to do when your wife barely tolerates your girlfriend?

 

 

4 ways mountain biking mimics your day job

Take one guess what my newest hobby is; and it’s not bowling?

I have been interested in mountain biking for quite sometime. Even though Florida has no mountains they do have some interesting terrain where phosphate mining occurred at one time. However, it wasn’t until a friend loaned me his old trail bike after he purchased a new one that got me hooked.

And yes, you can roll out there with an off the shelf bike from Walmart for about $300 but I will attest, having the proper equipment makes a big difference. Therefore, it took a lot of research until I found the right deal and the right bike for me, but very happy with my new rig.

Yes, I have already crashed and burned once causing a broken hand but that was on the loaner; the silver lining, it also gave me plenty of down-time to properly search for the right bike however.

And that leads me to the topic of this post; how many times have you crashed and burned in your business life, what did you learn from it, and did the experience help you grow?

You have to walk before you roll

Trees, roots, rocks, sand, mud, hills, turns and sometimes critters are all objects you will encounter on the trail. Some of it is pretty benign and some of it is oh crap

How often in life, particularly in business do you have to deal with real obstacles and how do you handle them?

Since I have taken a hard fall once I am still somewhat cautious, especially on new, unfamiliar terrain; but at some point you just have to throw caution to the wind and let ‘er rip. That is where practice and training comes in because it will give you the confidence to take on more technical trails along the way.

How many of you practice for your job? Professional athletes train and practice all the time, they don’t just show up and play. How about you, are you really practicing and growing, or are you just showing up to play?

If someone is paying you to play (even if it’s yourself), don’t you think you should do all you can to be the best player on the team?

But it’s just a job…

4 lessons from trail riding you can use in business as well 

1. Confidence – the more I ride the more confidant I become. Each time pushing myself a little bit more, I find that confidence breeds confidence. The training and practice makes me better each and every time.

2. Perseverance – Yes, there are times I fall down, bang a tree, slip a chain; but each and every time I get back up and keep moving forward. If I decided to quit because of one setback what kind of message am I sending to myself? How many times are you willing to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on going?

3. Growing – It gets me out of my comfort zone; when you crest a hill and see the path go straight down with roots and rocks along the way, it’s your moment of truth because once you commit to it that back brake becomes virtually useless. Yes, it takes my breath away at times but it is a good kind of scary. Sometimes you need that good kind of scary, a feeling of accomplishment when you step out of your comfort zone, to grow and succeed in your business life. At times, it feels like you are jumping off a cliff as you try to build your wings on the way down.

4. Handling adversity – you fall down and break your hand, skin a knee, break a pedal, snap a chain, run out of water, get eaten by a gator, get stung by a bee; and a good chance most of those will happen at one time or another, just hopefully not on the same day. Your attitude and how you handle adversity in dealing with these minor situations could go a long way for preparing you when similar calamities occur in your daily life. Tough lessons at times, but hopefully a learning lesson if nothing else.

We’re talking about a bicycle here, right?

Yep, just a bike; probably your primary source of transportation at one time in your life. As I told my wife (while I was trying to convince her it made sense for a 70 yr-old guy to invest in a new trail bike at that age) I could have picked a much worse hobby like dirt bike racing or professional hot dog eating or something like that; at least it is mostly healthy and gets me outdoors.

There are many activities where parallel life lessons can be learned and I chose this topic as my case study because I did crash and burn and it would have been very easy to take up couch potatoing at that point. But as Andy Dufresne so eloquently said in Shawshank Redemption, Get busy living, or get busy dying; I think I’ll choose living, especially if it involves fun too.

What do you think; what activities outside of work are you involved in that parallels every day living you can draw lessons from?

Until next time…