Monday, June 22, 2009

Bike to Work Day

Wednesday is Bike to Work day in Denver. I'm kinda liking the idea, it's intriguing I must say.

When I got my bike, I had this image of commuting by now. Back then it was about 15 mile trip in to work, and there was one day I dropped my work truck off and had hauled my bike out and rode it back. But that was pretty much it for the bike to work thing. Okay, a lot of that has to do with when things changed with my job to where I was no longer on salary but straight commission, and pretty much prior to deciding to do the work from home thing.

You know... biking to work is pretty easily done when you work at home. "Yeah, I'm all Green, I bike to work." All I gotta do is go down the drive way and back up.

Pathetic huh?

That all kinda falls hand in hand with this whole plateau I'm on right now, come to think of it. I don't know if the changes at work and going self employed have a part in it all or what. It's an interesting thought if I wanted to dig a little deeper. But I don't.

Although.... all day Wednesday I'll be about 4 miles from here installing a new phone system. I could bike there. And let me tell you, it's an easy ride. ALLLLLL downhill. Coming back... different story. Yikes!!! Good thing buses in this town all have bike carriers on them eh?

A bike's not really a great service vehicle. But you know what I want to do for a service vehicle? I'm dead serious here: Smart Car! I have test driven the things and even at my size... they're awesome. But the biggest thing about them to me, and the total appeal is the billboard value of the things. Imagine having one of those things wrapped with a well designed logo and all that. Those puppies get attention. Okay, they're not great for carrying a ladder (though it could be kinda cool looking)... though I am taking a good look into those fold up ladders, because if they would work.... it might be a great way to go. Not as green as a bike, I know, but still not too bad. And definitely not as sweat-causing!

I am excited about doing this installation. This is the first big deal for Barnabas Communications. I've done a lot of little odd jobs here and there but not making great money... kinda the thing where I was about ready to fire the sales guy (a little scary to do when you're a one man operation). But then this was something that got referred to me, and it turned into something much bigger than I expected, and now I'm in the middle of the project and I'm pretty psyched about it. It's kind of fun, you know?

Actually, building this business is fun. Coming up with the plans and concepts and structure of it all... I've even got my logo! Right now I'm back and forth between running like a chicken with my head cut off at times trying to make sure I've got everything covered on the job I'm doing, and then stopping, stepping back, and saying okay, how does this need to happen and what do I need to do to make this go? And I think that I've had times I've been so terrified and really doubting if I could do it because after all, I wasn't exactly selling a ton of stuff where I was before now, was I? And yet, here I am now getting to do the kinds of things that I've always believed should be done, and putting it all into motion now, and it's exciting.

And the thing that amazes me is that as I talk to people about what the business is all about, I can tell they like it. They really seem to believe I've got something good. And I find myself asking, why couldn't I get people to agree with me when telling them about what I'm doing working for other places? And I think the reality of it has come home... people have always agreed with me, and I just didn't know it. That ultimately, in the end, I didn't totally buy into the company or the product or something like that. But now, I've been able to take some new ideas, and implement them. No longer is there the "we can't afford to do it that way" or "that will never work." I know it WILL work, and I'm finding myself amazingly passionate and even articulate about it when describing the concept to people... and they believe in it!

My wife has been amazing about it all. When I knew things were about to change at the other company and I'd no longer have a regular income, I started putting down my ideas on paper. When it happened, we sat down and talked it over. I knew relying on that position for a regular income wasn't going to work. I also knew that in this economy, doing a job search would take some time and income would dry up a little while. And I also knew that what I wanted to do wasn't being done by anyone else, and as we looked at the numbers we realized it was a very viable possibility. I'll admit that for a few weeks when the income was just a trickle, there are those times of thinking, is this really the way to go? It's a challenge when you're not producing the kind of income you were and everyone has to cut back to beans and rice for awhile to get by, and as a guy, that's the kind of thing that's real easy to get down on oneself about. But Janiece has been incredibly supportive, maybe even a bigger believer than even myself. And while I know this one job is not IT, it's the ice breaker I was looking for and I know it's the beginning of something very successful. And that's exciting.

The only thing I'm wondering though is... how professional would it look for a really big guy (see the last post to see what I think about how big) to show up to work on the phones wearing bike shorts.

Kinda makes you shudder huh?

Maybe the 'up and down the driveway' thing is enough to suffice for bike to work week.

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