Your belief in us and our product truly matter.
A few years ago, my friend at work bought this kick-ass adventure van. Sold his apartment and committed to hashtag vanlife. This single piece of paper took months to execute.
There's a Whole Foods across from the office, and walking back from lunch, I had the idea to create a fake parking ticket. I needed 3 things to pull this off:
So, don't ever wish for a parking ticket. I got the envelope I needed, but I had to pay a $75 expired tag fee.
Now it's time to get to work.
I waited until he was in a meeting, and ran out to the street to get his VIN and license plate number. I wanted this to be a warning about the uniqueness of his vehicle, so I put two kinda real things, and something really absurd. I printed it in color on plain office paper.
delivering the parking violation.
The ticket was ready. I went out at lunch and stuck it under his windshield wiper. Note the closed shades. I'll come back to that.
One thing to note is that my buddy is pretty social in the office. He'd bounce around to all of our cubicles to tell stories about the weekend, office nonsense, etc. So I figured he'd get this parking ticket, and would be bitching about it to everyone, and I'd let him vent for an hour or two then let him off the hook.
I didn't hear anything for 3 days.
So I wondered if he really sent in $75 to the City and County of Denver.
Here's where I need to tell the story.
The thing on the left is Warmfront protoytpe #1. ⠀
I wore this for a year - it was a WalMart thermal waffle undershirt that I cut up to test functionality, and see if this idea of a chest warmer would actually work. No business plan, no logo, no website.⠀
On the right is our current Koeslig winter design with a Polartec body and a custom sublimated collar from our friends at Phunkshun. ⠀
After sending out orders this week, I was reflecting on how far this idea, product and the company has evolved.⠀
About 3 years ago, I was sitting down late at night to work on The Warmfront - after a full day at a job. Honestly, I didn't care - I wasn't motivated. I remember feeling that nobody else cared about this thing. I spent that evening pondering whether or not to continue.⠀
I decided to commit - to doing one thing each day, that had a impact, big or small. Consistency. To improve. To ask for help. The product got better. The steps forward got bigger. Real things started happening.⠀
The first draft, first prototype, first rehearsal will always be ugly, rough and primitive. Probably the next few iterations too. But the key is to just keep going.⠀
#DoWhatYouLove #Hobbies #Life #Inspiration #MondayMotivation #Entrepreneur
In 2014, I was introduced to the online app Nextdoor. If you are not familiar with Nextdoor, don't install it. Essentially, it's a hyperlocal version of Facebook made up of your actual neighbors. But like any social media, add in the minutia, the comments, the anger, the thinly veiled racism...
For additional reading and context I would suggest you view:
And now, on to Vin Diesel.
In spring of 2014, the self-appointed mayor of our Nextdoor neighborhood posted that his newspaper had been stolen. He was "pretty sure" that the roofers working in the area had taken it - it was there when he opened the windows first thing in the morning, and after he made coffee it was gone.
A reasonable assumption, because when working on replacing shingles, one just wants to get caught up on world affairs.
Mark the brown people square on your Nextdoor bingo card. I let that one go.
A few weeks later, he posted about a 'muscular, bald, darker skinned' man walking his dogs off-leash, and while the dogs were well-behaved, his wife and his dogs were very upset, and agitated by this and he felt menaced. Now it's go time.
A few days later, I posted the following - in Crime & Safety...
He responded quickly.
One killjoy posted a Google reverse image search, and blew the gag that it was Vin Diesel. Bummer.
At this point, the post went 8 comments deep, and hit all the Nextdoor hot buttons: threatened lawsuits, fines, back and forth accusations, really classic stuff.
The next day, I posted this:
Guessing I had been muted or blocked by the original poster...
There was one more post to go, and the payoff.
Yes - you read that right, the couple complaining about the dog off leash
- always walks with their dogs off leash.
You can catch Vin Diesel next summer in Fast and Furious 9.
Over the past few years I've created an essential library.
These are books and audiobooks that I read frequently and repeatedly to improve my skillsets in life, business and sales. It's not really a checklist or curriculum but a grouping of related concepts as I've explored these titles.
I resist the bestseller of the month temptation and prefer to master a few.
There are a few keys to this diagram.
The 3 titles in red are the core: Learned Optimism, Art of Exceptional Living, and the DISC Assessment.
I have given countless copies of Learned Optimism over the years, and the tenets, concepts and homework contained have been essential.
The DISC assessment has proven to be a powerful communication tool, helping me understand myself and others.
The Art of Exceptional Living has taught me discipline - essential for when my motivation wanes.
The larger circles are the more powerful and impactful titles in each arena. I prefer certain titles as audiobooks, others as print, and certain titles with topics I want to master, I use both. They are marked with a star and/or a diamond. There's a link to the PDF below as well.
Knowledge needs to be shared.
For the past 5 years, we've done a New Year's Day ride. We take the bike path along C470 and stop in to many of the breweries along the way.
In Colorado, January 1 can be 50 degrees and sunny or it can be a brutal winter day. One year we made it about 25 miles and hit 6 breweries.
1/1/19 was winter. And one of the roughest. New Year's Eve was frigid all day, 5 degrees and snowed all day and into the night.
We woke up to 11 degrees and about 4" of snow. We were meeting at 10:30am for an 11am start to hit Halfpenny Brewing at noon.
I set out all the stuff I wore just to try to stay warm.
Feeling like Randy from a Christmas story.
I don't have a fatbike, and the ice ruled out the CX bike. I decided to ride my mountain bike. A BH Lynx 4.8. Earlier this summer, I put Hutchinson Squale 2.35 tubeless tires on it, and figured that would be enough of a footprint.
One new addition to our casual rides has been the JBL Clip 2 speaker. Having tunes makes things just a bit better.
Here's a link to our Spotify playlist that day.
The cold was absolutely punishing. Never rose above 15 degrees. The bike path was plowed and an easy ride, but any underpass / tunnel - and there were several - had thick ice on entry and exit. We had a few crashes. A flat tire killed most of our body heat.
Then, the sidewalks along Colorado were buried under the snowfall and the splash from the plows - wet, mashed tater snow - about 6 inches. Just a slog.
I don't have any ride pictures - between not wanting to deglove and the dicey conditions - the phone stayed away.
The breweries we hit were:
We rolled out at 11am, and arrived back at Grist as the sun was going down over the Denver foothills - about 430pm.
As we sat at Grist, we felt like we had been skiing all day. Just wiped. But a great start to 2019.
This week's episode features Siobhan of Women's Kit, one of the best cycling feed on Instagram. She takes us through starting her cycling life as an adult and growing her confidence and skills. Just a great chat - enjoy.
Listen here on Soundcloud!
This week's podcast episode takes us to Durango Colorado, where we talk to Kristin Carpenter-Ogden from her company, Verde Strategy. She takes us from being an outdoor and climbing journalist to starting her PR firm, and discusses in detail why and how brands need to truly connect and engage with their customers.
In this week's episode, we talk to Jonathan Dunsmoor of Dunsmoor Law and some of the legal things entrepreneurs need to be thinking about as they start and grow a business.
Our latest podcast episode features the owner of Mercury Wheels. We talk about what led to starting a business, shutting down an apparently successful sales channel, and why you add rosemary to a gin and tonic.
Listen now on Soundcloud!
Thoughts and hopefully inspirations from the Warmfront.