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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fear is a liar

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Fear is a loud annoying liar. It screams at you, “YOU CAN”T DO THAT.” But, you know what? That is a bold faced lie. I heard those voices for eight years before I broke the bonds of fear and started my own business.

Fear spoke to me in a variety of ways. It told me going freelance wasn’t, “secure” enough, it said you will never make enough money on your own, it told me you better stay at your Government desk job with matching retirement and good health insurance.

I heard all sorts of lies that kept me from going out on my own. Everything that held me back was just some form of fear keeping his thumb on me so I would stay right where I was, complacent and paralyzed.

It took quite a bit of motivation to get me to see that having a “dream” job really was possible. Enjoying one’s work isn’t just some sort of pipe dream, unless of course your dream is to become a plumber. It’s possible for anybody to enjoy the work they do for a living.

There was a time that I dreaded Monday’s. I rejoiced when hump day hit, and let out a cry of joy on Friday because the workweek was almost done. But, now things have shifted. My work never truly ends, and I long for the start of the workweek so I can get back to performing meaningful work that I love.

Starting a business might not be for everybody, though. Before I started my own business I was working hard, sending out resumes to companies I would love to work for and could get behind their mission. There were plenty of jobs out there that would allow me to utilize my talents and skills to better the world in some way. The same is true for anybody out there. Finding those jobs just takes patience, persistence, and a lot of hustle. Simply firing off you’re resume in an email won’t even land you an interview.

The point being, fear speaks loudly to us when we are trying to do something amazing. We have to silence that fear though, and refuse to believe the lies spoken to us. Anything worth doing requires risk, and will be a little bit scary. If it doesn’t scare you a bit, it’s probably not worth pursuing.

When the situation is out of your control

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Expo West Booth

Bearded Brothers at Expo West in Anaheim California.

Sometimes things are just out of your control, and you have to accept that, but at the same time I believe everything is for a reason. This past weekend Bearded Brothers attended its first Expo West Show in Anaheim California. This is THE largest trade show for natural product brands in the country, possibly the world.

We were super excited about exhibiting this year, but when we signed up all that was left was 6ft table spaces in an area that was two stories above the main expo floor. A place we really didn’t want to be because traffic was low. We were on the waiting list for a full sized booth, and a couple months later they decided to open up a new area called, ‘The Arena;” and we secured an awesome corner both space!

Little did I know, nobody would think to come to the Arena area, just like nobody thought to attend the 6ft tables at last years show. It turns out the area we passed up presenting in was swarming with attendees, and the arena was a snooze fest in terms of traffic compared to the rest of the show.

Our second day ended up being much better than the first after word got out that the Arena was there, but even on the third day just about everybody I ran into on the main show floor didn’t even know the Arena existed.

Despite the disappointment we made the best of it. We enjoyed higher quality conversations with the attendees that did come by, and when we returned home to cull through our leads list. It turns out we had way more promising leads than we actually thought.

I also have to believe we ended up exactly where we were supposed to be, despite how much I complained to show management about the poor job they did at promoting the new space. Even though it seemed dismal in the moment, it seems as though we are going to end up doing very well as a result of attending the show. We even had a big grocery chain contact us that we never even know stopped by the booth. Their buyer must have been incognito.

Things often times may seem bleak, but remember you never know what will happen as a result of your current situation. At the very least you will learn a life lesson, what not to do the next time, or how to overcome a difficult situation.

When things are out of your control you simply make the best of the situation and learn to work around the problem that it presents, rather than passively hoping something changes. Running and growing a business presents constant challenges. It never truly gets easier; the types of challenges merely change. I used to me envious of people because I thought there job was easy, but the more I grow my business the more I realize there will always be things out of your control and that challenges and difficulties present themselves in a plethora of different ways.

So, I encourage you to look at setbacks and challenges as a good thing. When a situation is beyond your control, accept that and figure out a creative solution to make your situation better or just see it as a sign that something better is coming, or that it’s simply providential for a reason unknown to you.

You are capable of accomplishing amazing feats!

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Nueces River Camp Eagle

Nueces River, at Camp Eagle. Mile 9 of Nueces 50k.

We humans are capable of accomplishing amazing things. Many of those things go beyond what we could possibly imagine. Just this past weekend I completed a 50K trail race. Something I never would have even dreamed of a few years ago. Prior to this race I had completed two 50-mile trail runs, and the first one I completed after a half marathon being my longest race, ever.

Lots of training and preparation went into those 50-mile races. I studied about nutrition, hydration, and how to properly train. I learned early on that many people don’t run more than 25 miles before they run the 50-miler. Which goes to show just how much the human body is capable of.

A lot of people think I’m crazy for wanting to run 50 miles, and perhaps I am! But, one thing I learned from doing these long races is that 95% of completing one is mental. That was definitely the case for this past weekend’s 50K race. I went into the race undertrained. My longest run was about 14 miles, and it should have been 20 miles. Despite my lack of training I went in with a positive mindset, and a lofty goal of finishing in 6 hours. The race ended up taking me 6 hours and 54 minutes to complete, but I still finished, which was a feat within itself.

The racecourse is basically two 15.5-mile loops. Within the first mile of the second loop I began experiencing cramping pains in my calves. I had experienced this particular type of cramping before in another race, and it wasn’t pretty. However, I continued moving forward, one foot in front of the other, and walking on occasion so I could take in more fluids, electrolytes, and food. The pain I was experiencing was real, but in a way it was just mental demons inside my head trying to get me to quit, but I wouldn’t have any of it.

Even though I was undertrained, my body and mind overcame the odds and finished the race. The same is true for many endeavors in life; whether that is starting a business, getting married, starting a family, or running a race. You are capable of great feats, and NOW is the time to start. You will never feel 100% ready. You will always have some doubt. So conquer those mental demons and know that you really are capable of just about anything you set your mind to.