While encompassing everything about goal-setting and networking in a simple article seems unworkable, I still feel the uncontainable drive to share this with you. Striving to keep positive energy, a sense of humility, and openness to communication is a winning pathway to growth.
People, that reside directly in my path often comment in terms of “when is enough – enough”? They may ask “How long will you keep trying this?”. Here is the answer… until I can’t. Simple. I look at how many other things I have given up on before finding the earmarks of success.
I had an online powersports magazine in 2002.
I had a virtual motorcycle accessory store in 2005.
I had a growing Digital Marketing Agency in 2012.
Why have you not heard of all of these things? Maybe it’s because I pulled the plug early and got distracted along the way? Maybe it’s because when people ask those questions, they are chipping away at your potential future success, even with the best of intentions.
With the online magazine, I had just started getting products to review, and getting invites to global motorcycle events… but the smallest of local events was still like “you’d have to buy a ticket bro”. Potential advertisers were saying “Online is great, but what’s your delivery distribution for print?”. Friends thought I was nuts. I shut it down. Now, look. The most-read motorcycle content is online. The virtual footprint of entities like Asphalt and Rubber is huge.
A similar strain happened with the accessory store, called Rainey Performance Products. Getting products to sell was difficult as we did not have a brick-and-mortar storefront. Moreso, distributors were not aggressive in the concepts of drop-shipping at the time. So if I chose to warehouse something, I was tying up capital to market the company. I was also taking the risk of aging out. If I didn’t warehouse the product, my shipping expenses and ETA for delivery expanded greatly. It was difficult. I remember ordering some Chinese motorcycles, before that was a real thing. We had some XL250-like models and at first… they were moving. Then one day I drove by a Pep Boys to see motorcycles parked out front. I knew my time was up. We took such a bath on liquidating stock, that we almost erased the profits from all the previous sales.
In both those examples, it became a question of patience, budget, and support. If I had more patience. If only I had been more cognizant of the spending. If only a few of my friends would have said “You got this bro”.
That brings us to Mañana No Mas!. We were killing the Digital Marketing space in Albuquerque when our best client hired me away from “Us”. I abandoned the upstart in favor of a corporate paycheck and joined Ducati North America. This led to a stint at Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. but both of those journeys have taught me something. While there is much to learn and gain from these corporate giants, they are not committed or connected to you in an equitable way. It only takes a change in management or stroke of an accountant’s red pen to let you know you aren’t really part of the family.
When this happens, you get to choose. Do you become spiteful, angry, resentful, and bent on revenge? Do you double down on self-investment, positivity, and network? I choose the latter.
When I got fat working at Ducati with all the travel and restaurant food, I rebounded with positivity. I lost the weight and kept most of it off. I adapted to a healthier lifestyle that includes bicycling and eating better. When the ride at Suzuki came to an end, I leveraged Mañana No Mas! and its number one project – the Powersport Academy.
When COVID struck our economy, I focused on ways to grow my network and communicate with others in a direction of growth. When I focused on positivity and searched for in-roads to other people’s networks, I found “my people”. We are all searching for connectedness, and the isolation of the pandemic did not prevent outreach. In fact, in many ways, it made things easier.
Being positive and non-salesy, I was able to grow my LinkedIn by over 3000 since the pandemic hit. I have begun to have relationships with people that seemed unattainable to me in the past. I have friends in Australia, Denmark, Japan, India, Kenya, Canada, Mexico, and the USA. This is not to hold the Kurt von Ahnen banner high and say look at me… rather a call to anyone reading this to say “Stay positive, show humility and be open to communication”.