Taking 60 seconds a day to make it a better one

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

dreaming the impossible dream

when we’re little we’re often asked what we want to be when we grow up. when we respond with fireman, ballerina, lemonade stand-owner, veterinarian or marine biologist, people smile, sometimes pat us on the head and say “you can be whatever you want”.

then we get older and the comments come with addendums, like “are you sure? there’s not much money in that” or “that’s really competitive, why don’t you try ____?” or even better, “good idea, but nobody’s done that before. why don’t you try ____ first, and then give that a shot.”

seth godin had a great short post about creating the perfect and impossible.  and for every kid, and kid at heart, who dreams of disrupting what is, and creating what should be, i smile and say “you can be whatever you want”.

Onward and upward, always.


biting the hand that feeds

as an entrepreneur, i can say with absolute certainty that you need to have the iron stomach of someone who can jump on the loosest and most insane of roller coasters….

….knowing there ain’t no custodian to pull the “STOP” switch.

although stability and the status quo are death wishes of any entrepreneur, sometimes a brief visit by the former – if only for a week or two – allows our sanity and confidence-in-the-toilet to replenish.

The building-of confidence is firmly rooted in skill-building. For which, of course, there is a booming business. In the world of entrepreneurship, it’s called “Incubators” or “founder institutes” or something similar that promises new skills, new fashioned business models and new pitch decks — all designed to effectively carry you on the road to blissful investor pitching resulting in loads of mula to carry out your vision.

this girl took a big ‘ol bite of that apple and has a lesson to share.

I am one of the thousands who have been (and who will) be excited by the prospect of such promises from similar programs. but like applying to get into college, it’s an exercise in [re]learning just how life always has a harsher lesson for you than you’d like to believe.

Scenario A:

You apply to 5, 6 or 10 colleges.  The number is dependent upon how many you, or your family, can afford these days.   Maybe you have to apply to less because you can’t fork out the hundreds it costs to apply. Whatever the case, you’re already miffed by the process. But oh well. Ce la vie.

Once you go through the arduous and lengthy process of completing the paperwork, the essays, the exams, etc etc, some taking months to do, you breathe a sigh of relief and wait. Sometimes, a very long time.

Then one day you get a letter that apologizes (really? are they really sorry you say.) or “regrets to inform you” that you’re not going to their college in the Fall, but thanks for playing. Oh and don’t bother asking for feedback on your app, cause they receive thousands of apps and they can’t possibly let you know why you weren’t as great as someone else with any truth or sincerity.

Scenario B:

Repeat Scenario A.  Only plug in “Incubator” or “founder institute”  instead of college and you have the same story.

I believe our brains are hard-wired to protect us from bad memories that physically, emotionally or psychologically hurt us.  It’s kind of a bummer – a sort of catch 22 really.

you see it becomes difficult to learn from history if we forget the bad stuff.

but if we’re not protected from it, how do we move on?

anyway, I’ve lived – healthily – through both scenerios above. although, I should add, when recently in conversation with someone, [about scenario B], who said “Get used to it. We’ve been through 10’s of rejections like this”, my decisive response was quick and full of confidence, “It’s not my first rodeo either. But that doesn’t make it right”.

What the heck are you doing to tackle what’s wrong and make it better for those who come after you?

Onward and upward, always.

being provocative

i was just speaking at a conference  this week about marketing to women (in multisport) and i had numerous people over the last remaining day of the event tell me how good it was, how decisive my comments were, how knowledgeable i was and how it came across as so ‘refreshingly no nonsense’.

just last night, i gave another flavor of presentation to a group of 200 Founders/entrepreneurs and investors — and the same response came.  “so captivating!” “best one out there, i don’t even know what the other two before you talked about” and then the smathering of gentleman who always hear my company’s 5-minute demo or pitch, and say “my girlfriend (wife, partner, sister, daughter) is a runner (triathlete, swimmer, cyclist) and would I know she’d love to [meet, know] you and be a part of GOTRIbal”.

in both cases, I usually have a primary response:

“What about the presentation was so provocative or captivating?”

in my 20’s i would’ve killed for such validating comments.

Now I just want to know what people are going to DO once they hear something that they deem so ‘captivating’.

How are you doing something different today, this weekend or next week with something that captivated you yesterday, last week or in that one-on-one conversation you just had?

Onward and upward, always.


No honey on this spring


Sounds sweet enough.

But not when you’re legs are screaming, you can’t work your water bottle cause you can’t think straight, and all you want to do is beat your body into submission.

There wasn’t a tad of honey springin from that road.

big shout out of thanks to the crew who invited us along today. including my bud Whitney, who has legs of steel and a heart of gold. 

and girl, if you’re reading this, next time, if our ‘warm up’ is going to be 20 mph out to the climbs, i’ll give you my gloves AND jacket. stopping to take that stuff off was the lamest decision i ever made. there is no such thing as “catch up” with the group we rode with today. [unless of course, you’ve got a pair of legs and lungs like you]

Onward.  But no more upward for awhile. i need to rest.


getting suited up

whether you put on a 3-piece suit and are prepping to deliver your first report to the Board, or you don lycra and rubber before heading into the wild abyss for a long athletic journey, there are a certain number of butterflies fluttering about causing you some angst.

this morning i am heading out for another suffer fest.  these saturday morning rides have become all too common for me lately. and that’s the point of this post.

i’m all a-flutter.

donned in my cycling gear, at 6:30 am I found a moment of peace in the fray. i was nervous again, and i finally took the time out to ask myself why.

and my mind flashed to the people i meet for these rides.  World Champion. Age Group Winners. My title? “Anyone hungry?”

These men and women, besides their stellar strength and amazing talent to climb and destroy any hill in their path, are also just simply happy people.  They are hysterically funny. They care. They love their lifestyle.

And one of them reminded me last night, in her goodbye toast to me, to “Have fun – enjoy friends!”.

That’s what quelled the butterflies this morning. Because, by my history, i’m trained to think anytime I don a suit — wetsuit, swimsuit, cycling suit (okay, they’re not called that, but….) — I also go into ‘competition’ mode. And the butterflies awaken.

It’s a new day to suffer.  I can’t wait.

What or who has changed your perspective lately?

Onward and upward, always.


you know the old saying.  a way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach. (yeah okay, i changed a word)

It’s absolutely the way to mine.  And my hub-o-licious knows the favorites that get me…… well, let’s say, very happy.

We’re not big Valentine’s day peeps, but tonight my hub-o-burnin love brought home these monster tuna steaks, seared them up PERFECTLY, and then baked up some of my fav veggie (asparagus) and rice as a little cuddle-upper for Mr. Tuna.


Now, on for dessert.  😉

Onward and upward …  always.

Making the sale


A founder’s mantra:
Be careful what you wish for.

Starting a company is a constant exercise in pitching. ‘course creating anything, for anyone, anywhere is an exercise in pitching.

The interesting part about being a founder with no capital is that there’s a lot of creating (on paper or in your imagination), and then pitching. And then waiting, building and pitching.

Hearing the customer say “Yes we want it!” warrants a 30 second celebration, until you start to realize that it’s time to figure out how you’re going to actually deliver. (This is where that capital comes in handy, and if you don’t have it, it’s time to exercise that creativity  muscle again)

In the end, no matter your audacious goals, big, hairy or otherwise, what would you do if you got what you wished for?  


Onward and upward, always. 




Chasing the pack


There’s only two ways to see this view:  from a car, or … well, from behind sweat [and tear] stained sunglasses.  I wasn’t in a car.

This road may look flatter than the Kansas landscape, but never judge a book by its cover. My coach had wrangled up a gnarly group of athletes recently for one of her fav mountainous rides and, in this photo, we were literally climbing through, and out of, our collective Pain Cave.  A mere 41 miles of riding took us through 4,000+ ft of elevation and I was lucky Lesley was in the pack ahead of me here — if she knew i had the energy to take this photo I dread to think of the consequences.

But once again, in my salty grime and lactic acid induced state of hurt, I found interesting parallels between entrepreneurship and this winding, rising road we climbed.

1.  A constant desire to stay with the pack.   In cycling, there’s definitely deliciousness in sticking together (despite the inherent risk in riding so closely together). This juxtaposition of staying with the pack (for the benefits of energy saved) and breaking away (using saved energy to win the race at strategic moments) happens all the time when you’re building a company. When do you ignore the competitors and do what you know is right, what you’re good at, and leave the safety of the ‘slip stream’? If you are starting something from scratch, whether inside a company or a new company outright, you are leaving the safety of the pack and hopefully, have a well of energy to suck on for the haul up the mountain.

2. When you’re learning, or getting stronger, it’s good to stay with the pack.  But finding the right pack to be with is key. The balance, in business or in sport, is to find the group or people that challenge you in the ways that help you grow. Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference – especially if you’re climbing. I mean a hill, is a hill, is a hill. It’s hard. But do that hill in your hardest gears, and then out of the saddle for 25 minutes, and you’ll find yourself training with a different group of people right away. Same in biz. The trick is finding the right pack – and learning from and “training” with them. And whether its competitors in business or in sport, it’s not the size that matters


Onward and upward. Always.



Just say no, maybe.

I’m on the verge of another hell-acious suffer fest ride. But this one will be accompanied by happy birthday yodling peeps. Tomorrow is my hubalicious’s birthday, and the joke is bound to be on the rest of our roast-the-old-guy crew. (well except for my coach, Les Paterson, who will not only be lapping us, but doing it with a heart rate that is holding steady at 140 bpm while she grinds in her biggest gears)  you see, my hub will be riding this mountainous ride on his archaic mtn bike — sure, with slicks on — and he’ll still be puttin’ a hurtin on us.

but this post isn’t about that.  it’s about what you do when you’re deemed “extra healthy” by your doc, and yet, you (the patient) want to set a benchmark of what “extra healthy” looks like. So that when you’re not, you know what it used to look like.  So this post is yet another proclamation about my impatience with the status quo.

can we agree the healthcare system is broken? (don’t worry, this isn’t a 60,000 page manual on how to fix it)

When a patient (me) knows there are physiological changes going on, but none really ‘medically’ problematic, I search for understanding. Ever interested in data, I go to where I can gather that data. In this case, it’s a blood panel. Suck out my blood, and test everything. Let’s get a baseline shall we?

Well, not according to my doc – Dr. Kim.  “It’s not medically necessary”. (is this her talking, or the insurance company?) I learn after a rather uncomfortable conversation that:

a. I have a doc that is rather disgusted by naturopathic or homeopathic methodologies.
b. Openly shows disdain for said professions
c. Will not willingly (i.e. without out of pocket payment) look beyond the ‘traditional’ things swimming in my blood that might indicate why such changes I’ve noticed are occurring.

Why was this even an uncomfortable conversation? Why did I feel powerless? When did having an educational conversation with your doc turn into a contentious discussion about the “wayward” professionals guiding your thinking about YOUR health?  I’ve had an enormous, and unwelcome, amount of exposure to doctors and their practices in the last six years of my life. I wonder why I’m so disappointed NOW.

I’m getting ready to say NO to my doc and bid her adieu. Maybe. I’m a girl who gives people a chance. So I’m going back for a second blood panel, per her request, to double check on a few ‘traditional’ things from my first one. I can’t say I have too much hope for her though.

How am I going to dump my doc?

Again, the status quo rattles my cage.




The Peeps

To follow on my jan 29 chatter, I give you Exhibit B:


Exhibit C:

Exhibit D:

And if you want to see even more cool and amazing Peeps, take a peek here. and of course here, and one last yummy delish bit here.

I used to think getting smart was the key.  Memorize your multiplication tables. Then the dimensions of an isosceles triangle. Then how to spell isosceles. Then the common derivatives in calculus….then latin names of bony fish, marine mammals, the molecular biology and chemistry of a cell and …. omg.

But then I started working. And soon after that i created a new division of a company. Then a new profession. Then a new company. Then a job. and now, another company.

And in that journey i learned smarts was merely a threshold skill. It allowed me to have a few cool jobs, but what really propelled me in my journey was knowing the best, most connected, well respected, supportive, do-anything-for-you, honest people. Those dearest to me were the most positive, ‘out-there’ thinkers, who inspired me to think that maybe everything I thought was true — wasn’t.

The photos above, and the ones on the links provided, are of people who fit into that latter category.

In building a company from scratch, with nothing but my soul, passion and an incredibly tireless belief that what I’m creating is valuable to someone besides me (and my parents), I’ve leaned heavily on this lesson I learned years ago — that peeps make the biggest difference in reaching a level of success I never thought possible.

Choose those in your circle wisely.  Be comfortable saying no to the ones that don’t “feel” right. Even when it makes you feel sick to say no. Like when they promise wealth, or a faster operating _____, or smoother ____, or better _____. 

The people who are soft spoken, who let others speak on their behalf, who let their actions speak louder than their words, or the ones who ask you questions that you don’t expect, all with an enthusiasm that rivals your own, pay attention — you are in the presence of greatness. Listen, observe, and then welcome them in your circle. 

Then offer them support first.

Onward and upward, always.

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