(photo credit: Stephen Blahut)
Welcome to the Oznog Blog! This first post has been a while in the making – because every time I sat down to write it, I became nervous, began to fidget and quickly found ways to procrastinate. (Side note: it’s amazing how productive procrastination can become when you keep choosing other things on your to-do list.)
At first, I was completely disconcerted. I’ve spoken in front of many audiences (including TEDsters), have acted in front of hundreds of people and often give presentations to C-level execs. Hell – I’ve survived being stranded in the Gobi Desert! Why was I so nervous?
After breaking it down, I realized that it stems from my desire to share my experience in entrepreneurship, adventure and the pursuit of happiness. Experience that I’ve often gained by making many, many mistakes – all which will be laid out in a very public forum. No wonder I was getting worked up. Luckily, a good Australian friend simply told me, “Harden the fuck up!”
And here we are today. I’m simply going to write this post, no matter what. If you’ve made it this far, then you may be thinking, “Gee-wiz, that’s great, but why should I care? What is this blog about; who is it for; and who are you?”
What is this blog about?
Happiness through entrepreneurship and adventure. I will share what I’ve learned and the mistakes I’ve made, which have made me a more successful and a much happier person.
I believe that entrepreneurs and adventurers share a very similar mindset. They both involve analyzing and living with a certain amount of risk in order to gain a greater-than-normal reward. They both involve going with the flow and adapting to rapidly-changing situations. They are rarely solo events and instead involve working with small, well-oiled teams. The successes are over-glamorized and the required sacrifices are overlooked. They both involve an incredible amount of tenacity to make it through the lean times.
Is there really much of a difference between working 20 hour days for months to keep a business running and spending weeks trudging through the Gobi Desert, pushing to find food and a safe place to sleep? I believe the mindset is the same. However, there is a large difference in the stakes: entrepreneurship involves risking your finances and reputation, while adventure involves putting your health (or even your life) on the line. That alone has helped me become a better entrepreneur, allowing me to put life in perspective and to better deal with daily stresses.
Finally, both are meaningless without work/life balance. Just when I was on the cusp of becoming “successful”, I suffered a tremendous personal blow. In one night, I lost both of my parents. That was absolutely the hardest, blackest time of my life and it took me years to come to grips with it. I miss them each and every day — even now, it’s hard to write about them. What I’ve learned, though, is that regardless of what I’ve done, where I’ve gone or what I’ve achieved — my family and friends are the core of who I am. That horrific event had one benefit – it woke me up and ultimately lead me to live a much more balanced life.
Who is it for?
This blog is for people who are interested in taking calculated risks to achieve their goals, while also increasing their quality of life.
If you’re not comfortable with risk or leading into uncharted territory, then my advice may not be right for you. (Which is fine – instead, you may vicariously enjoy my adventures, mistakes and follies.)
Who are you?
My background is… diverse. I was born in Montana and have traveled for much of my life. Along the way, I’ve learned from a wide variety of fields, including construction, mechanics, logistics, software development, theatre, film and startups. In recent years, I’ve begun adventure travel as a way to keep life in perspective. For more, you can check out my bio — though, if you really want to get to know me, leave a comment below or drop me a line.
Why are you writing it?
Ultimately, I’m writing because I *want* to share and because it *scares* me. (Seriously.) Those two emotions – a desire and a bit of fear are how I gauge if I should do something and whether it will be rewarding.
P.S. – If you have any questions about entrepreneurship, adventure, travel, happiness — or simply want to give a shout-out, leave a comment below!