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re: Episode 450 - Personal Brand Equity

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Olympic Wanderer:
Today, as I was driving to my appointment to get my back fixed, I was listening to todays episode 450.
I'm always moved by Jacks passion for what he does, and as he came to the part about building “personal brand equity”, it inspired me.

I love my job. It's going to be my career until I retire, I'm fairly certain, but what I love even more is taking off for the weekend with a pack full of powerbars, (or clif bars, or whatever I happen to have), my little fishing rod and disappearing into the Olympic Mountains here for a day or two. With the help of my friends from work, who have lived here all their lives, I've been slowly, but steadily learning as many trails as I can over the past couple years.
I'm trying to discover as many non-touristy spots as possible and there are occasions where I go the entire day without seeing another human being.

My idea, for capitalizing on my passion is this: There are fishing guide services all over the place, but I've never seen a "Hiking Guide" service.
I don't see myself charging very much at all, it would end up being more of a learning experience for me too, and I'd be out there doing it with or without customers anyway.

It wouldn't be anything big and formal, I was thinking I could meet folks from out of town for breakfast, or dinner the night before, go over some options, activity levels, ie; do you want a thigh burning experience or just a stroll through some beautiful forests. I know good beach hikes, high altitude hikes, high grade, low grade, local history, local flora/fauna, etc...

I'm not sure how I would start this, or manage it between my family and work schedule, but it has me thinking. Even if it takes a couple years to get a solid plan, I'd like to extend my company to all of you 1st. If you are up in NW washington, let me know, and I can point you to some great spots.
It could be that I'm still a bit loopy from the sedatives I was given, but I find myself speaking more honestly and freely when I'm in this type of condition, but seriously, if I knew I had 24 hours to live, I'd pack up and hike my way up to the peak of Mt. Olympus, unfold my chair and go out happy right there.

Let me know what you think, Aron

I think that is awesome!  Email me direct if you want advice. On the iPhone right now.

Olympic Wanderer:
Thanks for that.
I've learned over the years that I need to take things slow and steady. If I jump right in and go gung-ho, I burn out quicker. So, this is going to be a slow process. I think and ruminate until I'm absolutely certain of what I'm doing.
I'm thinking about reaching out to my friends first. Let them know if they have any family coming in from out of town, we can hook up and see how I do with "customers".
I've always been a bit of a loner, not to conversational. That's one reason I love my current job. In prison, the customer is never right. So, my people skills will need some work.

My idea is still in its' infancy, so we'll see if it has any staying power. I'll be around. Thanks again, Aron

Also, here's a sampling of the types of places I have access to within an hour of my house:
and my personal favorite:

Hell no!  Dude don't you dare dream and then back off the path to that dream.  Clearly working with "customers who are never right" isn't something you want to do for the rest of your life is it.

Here are some things to do now, get a domain and some cheap ass hosting and set up a word press blog.  Get a picassa plugin for the blog (so far the only money you spend will be hosting and the domain about 50 dollars a year total the rest of this is going to cost nothing) and start putting those pictures on that blog with some commentary.

Post every single trip you do.  If you have a smart phone post picks directly to flickr or picassa from the trails and they pop up on your blog.  Get a twitter plugin (free) that will post to twitter when you update the blog.  Do the same with facebook.

Then for right now screw taking clients, don't even bother with the concept, just live your passion and share it online.  You don't realize it now but done the right way you may never even have to take "client" other than when you choose to and you could still make an ever loving killing on this. 

Some of the stuff may sound complicated above, but it isn't you will get pissed and it will take work but once you figure it out and get it running you will be empowed vs. dependent on a "web guy".  Then get a cheapo camera, set up a youtube channel and just video your thoughts.  The beauty is the internet can take a hermit like you (and here is a secret ME - I HATE LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE) and let you reach crowds on your comfort level.

I will help you with this if you make the effort.  The world is full of dreamers, we need more people that actually live their dreams,

By the way the odds that I would have even saw this post are very low, I just happened to fire up RSS Runner on the iPhone last night and this was the most recent post.   ;)


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