We’re in month 7 of what is shaping up to be a 13 month journey around the USA and Europe.
So far, we’ve spent: 3 months in Italy (with a few days in Germany), 6 weeks between NYC, Philly, and Boston, a month in San Diego attending Social Media Marketing World as well as having Melissa moderate the SoCal Marketing Club International Women’s Day Event, 2 weeks in Las Vegas attending and speaking at Digital Signage Expo, we finally heading to the high altitude of Colorado for some damn peace & quiet.
Being 9500ft in elevation with the darkest night sky I’ve ever seen and more wildlife than I’ve experienced outside of the Bronx Zoo will do a few things to you.
So with our month in the Colorado Rockies coming to an end, here are the …
5 things this month in the mountains did for our business (and relationship):
1. With random snowstorms, intermittent wifi, and no service in our cabin, we were forced to embrace and enjoy the silence, which in turn, gave us time and space to think about what’s important in our life, our business model and how we’re going to continue to differentiate ourselves from other brand + marketing consultants, as well as this idea to enjoy the now and not be so damn concerned with the future (let alone the past).
2. It allowed us to push ourselves to the edge of what we’re comfortable with. Let’s face it, we’re both city-rats – enjoying the hustle and bustle of major metropolitan areas while feeling and adding to the palpable energy.
This though, was completely different.
A slower pace of life mixed with the sights and sounds of nature while having what seemed like an abundant amount of time. I know for my own self, it’s tough to adjust to. Not only did the altitude make it tough to adjust, but so did the mountain way of living. After a week or two, I found myself starting to understand why.
Like John Muir said “the mountains are calling and I must go”.
Being able to explore this area with my wife (and experiencing our 3rd anniversary) brought forth a new found love and respect for our awesome relationship. During this whole journey, we’ve had some amazing highs and in all transparency, some pretty desperate lows. But through it all, we’ve learned to communicate better, we’ve learned to trust each other (and ourselves more), and most importantly, I’ve reiterated the fact that I wouldn’t want to be on this epic adventure with anyone else.
3. It showed us what our line in the sand is. Not that we didn’t know, but we had a HUGE struggle this month with a client. They didn’t take our strategic direction, didn’t pay attention to our timelines, requests, and process, and on top of that, treated us like almost 3rd class citizens.
We don’t work like that. Not now, not ever.
So we gracefully went above and beyond the scope (to make sure they looked good for an event), finished the project, and had to have the tough conversation that they weren’t the right client for us.
Lesson learned: Go with your gut and keep to your line in the sand.
4. As much as we love the big city, smaller ‘challenger’ cities seem to be where we excel. A city like Colorado Springs, which was about 50 minutes from our cabin is just that. A city with a lot to prove with a tremendous amount of growth happening almost daily.
Not that we attended events (or even networked for that matter), but you can feel the city on the verge of a massive transformation. You can sense the hipsters and millennials are coming to create a community full of progress, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
5. Because of the last 7 months on the road, meeting new people and forming new relationships, we haven’t had the opportunity to fully nurture all these new connections. Being here in the mountains, with snow falling and the fireplace crackling allowed us to have meaningful conversation, forge deeper connections, and just take the time to follow up with people.
Since we’ve been on this high-speed business development track lately, not following up and nurturing our new connections is completely counterintuitive to what we believe and what we talk about.
This month in the mountains gave us that time and in listening to what our connections have to say, allowed us to create organic and affordable social media packages that a lot of our network has requested as well as giving us the inspiration to put together our latest mastermind.
Packing our stuff up and heading back to Southern California for about 2 months, i’m very much going to miss this place. I’ve fallen in love with the mountains, crisp air, no traffic, wildlife, views of 14,000ft peaks, as well as the way of life.
I won’t say goodbye to Colorado or the mountains because like John Muir, the mountains have called, and I will return.