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Project run America is truly inspiring

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Well, I ended up missing the past two days during my 30 days of blog posting, but I have a good excuse. I was attending the Team Red White & Blue trail running camp at Camp Eagle, in South Texas. I didn’t have internet access and I was spending the better part of the weekend running!

While I was at the camp thought, I had the privilege of hearing the story of Ehredt (of Project Run America), who, “ran 4424 miles alone, from Astoria, OR to Rockland, ME placing 4424 flags, one every mile, for each casualty we endured in Iraq. Then in 2012 he ran 2146 miles and placed the same amount of flags in remembrance of every casualty in Afghanistan. We now have a wall of honor and gratitude stretching 6570 miles across America.”

His story was touching and inspiring. What seamed like a near impossible athletic endeavor was complicated even more by the placing of a flag every mile, with a handwritten name on each one, and lets not forget the logistics of food and arranging for places to stay.

To me, Mike’s story is more than just a story about honoring veterans, it’s a story of perseverance, determination, and overcoming the naysayers that told him it was just a nice idea. Not only did Mike pull off the extremely detailed planning of this grand memorial, but he executed EVERY DAY, no matter how hard it was. Rain didn’t stop him, flat tires on the stroller he pushed didn’t stop him, cold weather didn’t stop him, aches and pains didn’t stop him. No matter what, mike hit the road EVERY day and ran 26-30 miles, without fail.

One of the things that amazed me the most was that Mike never got weary of running those miles each day, every single day he looked forward to them. As an entrepreneur I strive to have that exact same consistent determination – to get up every single day and pursue my passion with the same intensity as the day before, no matter what new challenge lay in my way.

Please, take a few minutes out of your day to watch the video above. It’s truly inspiring. A full length documentary will be coming out later this year and hitting PBS channels across the country.


Passion and hard work go hand in hand

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One of my passions is running trail races, especially Ultra Marathons! It may be understood, but running 50 miles is no easy task, it requires a lot of dedication to a rigorous training schedule. Even though the actual race day is what I enjoy most, there are many days I struggle to get out the door for a run in the morning. So many times it’s very tempting to just hit snooze, or just flat out turn off the alarm.

There are days I do speed workouts, which I have a love-hate relationships with. Most of the time I just hate them. There are days on the weekends that I run for hours, but would rather be at home with my family. Training to run 50, or 100 miles essentially means you have to run A LOT, and many times you have to run even if you don’t feel like it.

Running a business based on your passion is very similar. You may have heard the saying, “do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”… well that is only a half-truth. Even when you are doing something you love, there will always be a “training” aspect to running the business.

For example, I also have a passion for healthy eating, and fueling my runs and rock climbing adventures with healthy foods, as well as educating others about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Out of that spawned my company, Bearded Brothers. We make delicious organic energy bars, which is not easy to do. We started our business from the ground up; we did the sales calls, we made the bars, we shipped orders, we swept and mopped the floors. There isn’t a single aspect of the business we were not involved in, and there still isn’t. I often still take out my own trash. But all of that served a bigger purpose – helping others to fuel their adventures with healthy organic foods.

Running a business based on your passion isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s going to take a lot of hard word and dedication. Many of the things you will do to serve your ultimate purpose will not be that enjoyable, but knowing that your passion is ultimately what drives you will make those less enjoyable but necessary tasks much easier. Since starting Bearded Brothers four years ago there hasn’t been a single day that I have not been excited about going to work.

I think one thing to remember when starting a business based on your passion is that anything worth doing is going to be hard. Nothing in life worth doing is every easy. So get out there and hustle after your dream – it will be worth every sacrifice you make!