Category Archives: motivational

Vacationing for Biz Owners & Consultants–Will you/can you really disengage and just relax already?

GoPro Utah drive 1

Well after too many years of fakey vacations …those are the ones where you ‘give’ yourself an extra Friday or a Monday so you can reach a little bit beyond your normal element but then are right back at it a few days later – I went for it …a REAL drop everything & get off the beaten path ‘vacation’.  The blocked off time of 15 days was for real but how would I use this personal oasis and what to do?  …the land that time forgot

The ‘to do’ list is also for real.  For me, I find it enslaving albeit willingly tolerable with the adopted mission in mind of fulfilling biz goals and exceeding my clientele’s need for bullet proof IT (relatively …we are talking IT after all ;p).  Getting the tread mill to disappear from my compulsion to ride it was tough.  Sounds as if I’m an addict now reading that statement …well maybe the shoe fits.  I replaced the business tasks with neglected personal tasks and off I went for an entire whirlwind of a week …7 of 15 gone – poof!

So where’s the rest & relaxation in that?!  Good question.

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Upon hitting this realization like a wall at full stride, it was time for an emergency board meeting.  After the penitent plank virtual smackdown *doh! it was time to come to grips that I was completely blowing it again and I had to get radical.  It was time to start to lay some concrete plans.  All along the previous 7 days a few ideas were flirted with and tossed around but nothing was made certain.  So at the literal 11’th hour (as in 11pm and all night following) it was time for some innovative determined spontaneous creative e-planning.  One thing was for certain, I was leaving on a plane going somewhere before lunch of the next day.  I needed the destination to be sufficiently shocking to my system so as to get my mind off all the crap that was dragging me down and zapping my innovative spirit.  Also, getting out of cell phone signal range seemed like a good idea too.  One remote location shock just ahead.

Facebook feedback was fun and furious.  Ultimately though I had to live out and pay for whatever was ahead that my so called ‘friends’ were advising ;P.  Oddly enough, Groupon came through by giving me a limited but wide ranging series of interesting and largely discounted getaways.  I like a manageable palette of choices.  So with that rough framework of 30 or so possible destinations it was time to pare that down to a short list and then marry them to and sort out flight options.  In the end some just couldn’t work no matter how many ways I tried.

Which origin airport and which destination?  Ughh more complexity.  To sort through the “what if’s” I found Travelocity to be by far the most ‘get to the point’ helpful.  What about any loose strings on hotels? – Kayak did a lot of heavy lifting.  As for rental vehicles, a friend had tuned me into the fabulously convenience of the National Rental Car’s Emerald Club …walk down the line and pick the car you want – keys are inside and just say ‘hi’ to the nice lot guy before leaving the lot.  Super fast and convenient.  Since I didn’t bring anything with a GPS, I opted to rent one.  In retrospect I could have bought one for a little more; nevertheless, that thing made the massive driving I did less painful and free from wrong turns and related stress of not knowing how much further before upcoming turns and towns.  The GPS is a must have on such a trip; it saved my bacon.

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Another trip enhancer was the site, Trip Advisor, this was very useful and the user reviews were what made it such a standout.  At some point an Android App, Every Trail, got recommended by an off-roading Hummer trip operation in Moab; this app provided a self-guided driving map through Arches National Park …this was not really that critically necessary since the park has tons of guidance resources but it did add the extra information from users who had been there – done that and pointed out key things for planning.

Though tools were used and a framework structure existed prior to departure, many details were left open to be planned as I lived the days.  I thought this was of critical importance to free my mind and let it fully explore and seize the possibilities.  This is what I highly recommend for any planner – give yourself a break on the treadmill and let things flow a little more naturally.  Yeah that might mean odd quirks in scheduling or changes of plans ‘on the fly’ but hey You Are On Vacation!  Open-mouthed smile  …just roll with it.   My flight out got missed and that turned my day of travel into a 27 1/2 hour “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” ultrathon – but I got there dammit.  While sitting around waiting for the next flight I took this opportunity to fill in some holes and schedule a guide to do some remote mountain biking; seemed like a sane and safe thing to do since I was unfamiliar with the landscape of Moab’s rugged outback.

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Beth of Rim Tours was an awesome guide in many ways; she (bringing the game face) was the little engine that could cliiimb and climb and climb. ** Note to self: insist to guide company that you are on ‘vacation’ and to not put you on a trail (Klondike Bluffs) that kicks your ass all day long. Save that for day two.  Also note to self: a 5,000 ft. altitude increase does wonders on oxygen transfer in the lungs so do the half-day on the trail on day 1.  Beth was keen along the trails to point out the dinosaur three talon platter size foot prints that were imprinted in the rock face at places – very cool.  Also she packed in the lunch which I was equally excited to find …with a name like Luv Muffin Café you know it was good …going for a ride in Moab?  Request Beth and you’ll be happy you did.

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The delayed flights out also meant a missed reservation night at the hotel.  Best Western Canyonlands in Moab was very kind and courteous and offered to shift my stay over a day.  Yes, yes, yes and thank you Best Western!  That meant my reservation at the Grand Canyon would get missed for a day but I wanted to stay in Moab to wind down before doing another 6-1/2 hour ++ drive.  Moab is a simple place in many ways and that is what I was craving – simplicity.  Walking to owner operated restaurants, bars, and shops in the evening wind down time; small town USA.  God bless America.  Moab delivered.  Groupon was kind enough to change around the Grand Canyon deal so to reduce the days purchased and then the hotel worked to change the reservation appropriately.  They then could use the what would have been unused room since they were full.  Everyone was happy.

Grand Canyon! …almost overlooked that day and a half of the trip.  Again just going with the lay of the land and opportunities as they appeared (much like in business), from Trip Advisor learned that eating at my hotel wasn’t so endearing; however, the El Tovar Hotel in the National Park and alongside the South Rim was.   Getting there was a lot of fun not just half – driving through Monument Valley where the Navajo Nation live is breathtaking as the sun sets.  Arrived and got into room late around 9pm, off to have evening Thanksgiving dinner overlooking one of the great wonders of the world.  After that wonderful dinning experience – service, ambiance, and food were all incredible! – I had to leave and return to my hotel and as I drove through the maze of one directional roads a crazy woman wildly waving her arms stepped out into the road.  I slowed to speak with her concerned that some emergency was taking place; she in a strangely calm voice was telling me that a friggn’ massive Elk was right ahead of me in the road and would I look up.  Lo and behold there was a massive beast antlers and all standing some 10 feet in height directly in the road and off the side.  It wasn’t some park prop; it was real!  As directed I didn’t shout ‘Yahoo!’ or ‘Holy C-*-%#!’ …etc. and didn’t honk but just steadily eased by as we stared into each others eyes; we exchanged unspoken understanding of respect and admiration as I could tell he really liked my ride.  In the morning I was frustrated by the lack of functioning Wi-Fi as the Captive Portal login was busted.  A call to the front desk yielded no satisfaction so I opted to walk there myself to demonstrate the issue and get the guy to restart his router.  While sitting in the lobby prepping my tablet, another guy sat close bye and I greeted him with a good day …etc.  Turned out he was heading to see the sun rise in the Grand Canyon but wasn’t planning to be there too long but maybe til lunch.  I asked if I could join him as the park charges $25 per car whether for a week or a couple of hours.  So a quick pack-up and check out and off we went in the growing twilight of dawn.  This turned out to be a great time and I’ve met a new friend from Kansas City; turns out he too needed to get away from the stress of life for some calming and awe inspiring nature.

My flights were nuts and I don’t know how to avoid this time consuming effort but I had to logistically plan the circuit so to keep the costs as reasonable as possible.  That meant a last minute flight (under 24 hours) outbound – which dictated Airtran out of 1+ hour away Dayton.

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On the way back the origin had to be where I landed as the rental cars costs would have skyrocketed if I’d left in in Salt Lake, Grand Junction, or Denver rather than in Las Vegas.  Once the choices get limited the choosing gets a lot simpler.  In this case, Airtran didn’t have weekend flights so instead I flew US Airways …which was a great experience.  Not sure if it was due to my birthday but I ended up in First Class on the first hop.  The extra leg room was appreciated …as was ‘fabulous’ the Chardonnay, pompous pre meal finger towels, and passable pasta lunch *snobbily ‘darling’.   Also my neighboring seatmate from Charlotte’s stories and business advice were a welcome respite between bouts of quiet sleep.

Yes, I started talking business on the way back.  It’s in my blood.  Intervention/therapist needed please inquire.

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@Eric Deters – this one’s for you dude!   …and it was very good too BTW

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Activist or Effectivist?

just ranting has a limited range of value –  it is unlikely that you will continue giving your attention beyond the point you get turned off and your audience is no different

effectivists learn how to use messaging and online resources to full effect

…I’m learning much today from a class by American Majority

Amarican Majority effectivist

Micro? Mike Rowe – get to work, succeed, and be happy

One of my favorite fun things I added to the blog is the VodPod widget nestled down the widget list on the right hand side.  For an otherwise dry technical blog library it breaks up this heady tome with lightness. In this widget Mike Rowe is featured in a gut busting dirty promo for an HP tablet PC that was once featured off the HP site but now on YouTube.  Mike is an extremely interesting and funny guy and the focus of this post regarding entrepreneurial spirit.

Mike doesn’t follow the same line as most; in fact, he’s a one of a kind on a career path as a celebrity doing all sorts of jobs that require hard work and getting very dirty.  He could opt to use some editorial trickery to produce his Discovery Channel TV show but he actually does the work and often to hilariously disastrous and dirty outcomes.  He uses the lighter side to create an entertainment effect and content balance – rip-off! :).

Today I found he has created a cleverly named site to promote American jobs that require actual work including trades and skilled careers.  Its called Mike Rowe Works and shouldn’t be confused with a museum or any other Micro named site; in fact he could have made it Mike Rowe Works Hard or MikeroweHard (domain yet claimed) but that’s not his direction or distinction.  At www.mikeroweworks.com there are some really great resources and I found one.

In the Scrap Yard I found this treasure – a call to success for all Entrepreneurs of any Micro or Mike Rowe careers – http://www.mikeroweworks.com/scrap-yard/mikes-blog/:

…But I wonder sometimes, if the best way to achieve a dream is allow it to follow you, and not the other way around. I suppose if my options were limited to following my dream or following an order, I’d go for the dream. But too many people, in my opinion, follow their dreams straight into a mountain of debt or a sea of regret. Dreams can be fickle.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I learned from doing this show was the idea that following your passion is not nearly as important as bringing it along for the ride. I’ve talked to more than one entrepreneur who laid out this basic same strategy –

1. Step back and look what direction everyone else is heading.
2. Go the other way.
3. Look for something that no one else wants to do.
4. Start doing it.
5. Get really good at it.
6. Find a way to like it.
7. be happy.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who wind up dirty and successful as a result of this approach. It’s a bit mercenary, to be sure. But there are many roads to a happy career, and this is one not often taken.

Mike

An encouraging and touching story of an abortion survivor

Abortion Survivor’s Dramatic Appearance in the Colorado House of Representatives-Truth!

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/a/abortion_survivor.htm

After hearing this woman, Gianna Jesson, speak on the radio today I was fascinated by her story.  So as is my techy affliction, I Googled for more information on this woman.  The above link is but one encouraging story of a very bright life being lived.  If you’ve ever heard her speak it is not a typical listening experience, she speaks with a very strong will and at the same time draws you in close.  It is as if you could hear her smiles and brightness; considering the circumstances its curiously extraordinary.

So after a day in which the state of Ohio and my city was declared “an Emergency” due to high wind damage in which over 580,000 people remain without power in the Cincinnati area, this provided a little bit of balance back to the day’s chaos.

…more on the SBS 2008 launch event held tonight after I get some sleep

docendo discimus

docendo discimus

learn by teaching

This is the value of sharing with your peers – in the end you’ll by articulating the intricacies of your theory and methods be so exposed as to see your missing pieces of logic and knowledge. …and then grow from the self inflicted editorial wounds

collaboration and community

Thanks Chris Hedgate

…further along on & quoting “…if the knowledge is locked in your head, you are a less valuable, not more valuable, resource”  on the value of the employee & team member to the overall company