Friday, March 6, 2015

No surrender...

In the past year my dietary habits have been, well, unhealthy. I've eaten some bad food and drank a lot of beer. It's the beer that I really felt killed me. 

The other think that killed me was the Salmon Social journey I took. It was a pretty crazy time. Moving to Boise for 3-months to develop and launch the app. A documentary about the journey was filmed and we stayed in the most dreary condo, although it looked nice in the pictures. 

It was a show condo and the furniture looked nice but uncomfortable and it didn't take long for drama to ensure with my roommate. We accomplished the goal, had a lot of cool experiences along the way for sure but to cope I spent much of my time out of the condo and at the local pub working down the street often sipping on my friend Coors Light. 

My plan in Boise was to work and train and I had all these preconceived ideas. Instead where were located in Meridian it was flat boring cycling and much colder than I thought it would be. 

All and all that was the beginning of my downward spiral or shall we say my upward weight gain. It just got worst from there. 

It was good times and it was the worst of times. The good times were creating the app and everything to do with the team that built the app and the marketing experiences along the way. It was the worst of times as I felt I was trapped in this condo and the drama that ensured. A documentary was filmed of the journey and I'm sure it has enough material to be interesting. 

During the process I learned so much on so many levels. I most realized how important my family is to me and how Alice creates an environment that brings out the best in me. I also realized that doing crazy adventures away from home for long periods of time sound really cool at the time you come up with them but then there is times of regret when you actually have to live them. 

Getting back home after that journey was so great on so many levels. At first it didn't even feel like I was in my house, I felt like a guest. 

Next stop on the journey was trying to figure out how to make Salmon Social go. It was a great idea that needed mass adoption and going in I knew it had a one in a million shot and was a billion dollar idea or bust. The decision to get into it was made one night and the team was assembled within a week and within 30 days I was in the condo with the team creating the app.

We start the journey March 3rd, 2014, almost an exact year to the day. 

I finally came to the conclusion and difficult decision in September that the app was not going to take off and my next journey began. For me to have to quit anything is not in my nature and it was a very tough pill to swallow and I spent a lot more money on the journey than I anticipated. 

The next part of the journey was learning from my mistakes. Something I've done my whole career. I actually thought that I made as many mistakes as I could and I learned that wasn't the case. I just made another. Another tough pill to swallow. I reflect back and knowing what I know now I wouldn't have started that journey. 

Why? Because not long after I closed down Salmon Social I had an idea for Deal Wheel. Well actually I had a friend who inspired me. By that I mean gave me a pretty good idea and I ran with it. 

This time around however I didn't jump into it blind. I think it had to do with not having the money to throw at it and the experience I had near the end of Salmon Social in trying to raise money from VC's. 

I always thought VC's looked at a concept, if they like it, liked the team the money would flow. I envisioned your typical thoughts of all these Silicon Valley companies getting millions of dollars to launch ideas on a whim. 

That was a totally wrong thought. I quickly realized the VC's were really smart and didn't suffer fools lightly. In about 2 minutes that can tell if they want to be involved, or if the plan is solid and can be pretty tough in their dismissal of you. It's very humbling and it's an ego-beater upper. 

That's why I bailed on Salmon Social I realized it was more than an uphill battle and no one but me was getting excited about it regardless of how I took their criticisms seriously and worked very hard to present the opportunity in ways they wanted it in. 

I could write a book about what they want and how dismissive they could be. It happens when you see hundreds of proposals each year I guess. Some of the guys were really great and not only listened but gave helpful advice. Others were polite and some were just down right A-holes. 

It was a humbling experience. 

Starting the new app I took a completely different approach based on what I was learning. And the learning I was getting was super valuable. In fact I wish I knew at 24 what I learned at 49 years old. It would have saved me a lot of business heart ache. Not that I didn't manage to succeed over my career I just look back at how much I could have made better decisions and succeeded earlier and possibly even more. 

All during this process, which was an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions I coped with an unhealthy lifestyle. Food and having beers to unwind was my escape. There was times I was wondering how I ever lost weight in the past and did 9 Ironmans over the past 7 years. It was another humbling experience. 

One of the positives that did come out of it was I became less conscious of how I looked and cared less if people judged me by looking at me and saying to themselves "wow, did Bryan ever gain weight. What happened to him as an Ironman". In the past when I wear my Ironman shirts and I was in good shape people would always ask me about Ironman, now no one was asking about it. 

But I didn't care, or at least less than 10% of the time. Perhaps it was age, now I was 49 and it's expected. Or maybe it was just I didn't care, I was still the same person inside. 

I can without exception say that from the later part of October until now, I've never worked so hard in my life and what I was working on was a business plan for my new app Deal Wheel. And by working on it I mean validating the idea on every level. 

I had to determine if in fact it was in fact a good idea, would people use it, would people pay to advertise, could it make money and would people believe in it enough and the team to actually take their hard earned cash and invest in it? 

The big thing for me personally as well was is it something worth pursuing? I'm 49 years old and although a young 49 years old, time is no longer a commodity like it was when I was 24 years old. I don't have 4 or 5 years to determine if it will work or not and if not go on to my next journey. I needed to know if it was worth pursing at all and would work. Period. 

I spent the next 4-months validating the idea with consumers and customers, building the financial models, interviewing people, presenting to potential investors and revising and reworking the plan over and over again and looking at it from every angle and basically putting in near every working hour working on it or thinking about it and all the while eating into savings and complete uncertainty about my future. 

It takes a toll and for me as a very passionate person I became all consumed in it and my training and diet suffered. Big time. 

Since last year I gained 20 lbs. I went from 190 lbs with decent muscle to 210 lbs and soft. When you factor in the muscle loss its' more than 20 lbs in real world terms. 

So where am I now? We'll last week I found my investors. Almost immediately I felt an emotional change from going from uncertainty to knowing what to do next and what to deal with. From start up to building a great company and dealing with all the trials and tribulations in between I'm extremely confident I can handle it all and succeed. 

It was almost immediately after finishing that process that I started to feel a renewed energy to get back and drop some weight. The other motivation was I tried on a couple of pairs of pants and couldn't do them up. Out of my 4 pairs of jeans I can only wear two. That was a major wake up call for me. 

Next step was I knew I needed help. I watched an epic Bill Bradley video and he talked about hypnosis and getting them off the Internet. I thought about going to hypnotherapist as I'd done it before and thought the drive to get there was a bit of a waste of time and before spending the money why not try it.

Then my next stop was to sign up for weight watchers online. I've tried the free stuff online with counting calories in the past and the Banting diet and all the rest and I remember back that when I lost weight before I went to weight watchers. I was one of the only guys. 

This time I didn't want to travel to meetings, to much time wasting. I know how to follow the program and signed up online. Weight Watchers is great in that you don't need pay much. 

Another BIG motivator was a couple of bets that I have going that if I don't get down to 198 lbs by the end of the month I owe these two guys a total of $600. If that isn't motivation what is. 

So March 1st, 6 days ago, I began listening to the hypnosis daily and following the weight watchers plan strictly. The hypnosis I'm listening to can be found here

So far I've lost about 2.5 lbs and with the exercise I'm doing am feeling trimmer. What's really good is I'm feeling confident that I'm going to do this. The immediate thing I noticed is I'm eating very slow and the food tastes so much better. 

Last night I had 3 cups of popcorn (I actually measured them) and it took me probably a half hour or more to eat it as I was savouring it. Same with some cheese as a snack. 

I'm not going to get over confident I have about 14 lbs to go from the high of 210 lbs but I'm on the right track. There is times I feel the same as when I did when I was totally in the zone doing heavy triathlon training. 

I also feel in a more relaxed zone about work. Still working hard but the uncertainty is gone and I'm super excited to see this journey. 

In one year it's been a crazy year. My world has been turned upside down on so many levels. I'm so looking forward to the next 3.5 years. I went from fat to fit and to Kona in 3.5 years and that is my benchmark for my new business. 

There is no reason it should take more than 3 years to be a mega success. I'll know within 1 year from now if we are on the right track. 

I'll know if I'm on the right track with my weight loss by the end of the month. 

1 comment:

  1. You are fat! On so many levels! Just keeping you honest Captain Fats!