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THIS WEEK INCLUDED THE SUDDEN DEATH of two people in my circle of family and friends.

It gets you thinking. And praying.

This is when you realize that the world doesn’t begin and end with your business, your job, your activities.

It’s the kind of wakeup call that happens when you have a heart attack or big cancer scare.

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LILLY SORENSEN owns the local franchise of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?  You may have seen their trucks driving around, but don’t know the great company which they represent.

I sure didn’t.

Lilly started her journey back in Ann Arbor, when she was looking for a job and joined up as a driver for the company.  Despite their pleas to keep her on, she ended up moving out here to Colorado to start a new life.

But the universe can be a surprising place.

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Love_in_the_blue_sky“IF YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  This quote has been attributed to a variety of people, so I’m not going to pick just one.

It has a strong foundation of truth in it.  I do indeed love my work, and it’s totally changed my outlook on my career, indeed, the rest of my life.

But I don’t love it all the time.

And I don’t love every part of it.  There’s grunge work and boring parts and annoyances.

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Source: Alexandre Normand

Source: Alexandre Normand

Amazing things are happening in 2015.  And not just here locally, but across the industry in this country and others.

It’s a good thing, because I believe that the natural order of things goes through cycles.  And the past 5 years have been more of a down-cycle than up.

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Helmet Revision_FinalON MONDAY I talked about Change Composites’ Umbo Helmet which they submitted for the Blue Ocean Challenge at CSU.

It was a day of great innovative ideas in a wide range of areas.

Today, I’m very pleased to see that this company just won second place in the competition yesterday, landing $5000 in prize money and nation-wide recognition.

Umbo_logoKudos to a great team with a powerful mission.  You’re going to change the world!

Shield with UmboDO YOU SEE THAT BUMP in the middle of the shield?

That’s an Umbo.  It’s used to deflect swords and better defend the soldier.

So it’s interesting that a new company designing a better bike headgear has chosen to call it an Umbo Helmet.

This is a group with a mission, for sure.

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hats_scarves_pins

Janska’s outerwear

JANSKA PRODUCES STYLISH WOMEN’S WEAR and is based here in Colorado.  Jan Erickson started this venture 2003 based on an experience she had with a friend who was incapacitated at the time.

Jan’s friend was a talented, respected woman.  But when dressed in a hospital gown, her self-esteem took a hard hit.  More importantly, others in the facility treated her as more of a nameless patient than a vibrant individual.

Jan had the idea to develop a line of wear which was accessible to those with limited mobility, while also being incredibly comforting and stylish.

Janska was born.

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EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE SUPPORTERS.  SupporterHumans are social beings, and we have a fundamental need to be encouraged, even to look good in front of others.

In business this can be particularly difficult.  A company is a bit of a faceless entity, so people aren’t as accustomed to stating things in a polite way like they would to someone’s face.

Quite likely, you’re awash in a sea of criticism.

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THERE’S A WELL WORN STATISTIC below-257882_640which states that 95% of businesses fail in five years.  Or something like that.

I’m not even going to bother looking it up, because it doesn’t matter.

This is just a way to discourage people, to make me somehow feel better than you because I was able to land a real job while you’re … frittering your life away trying to do that “start your own business thing.”

It’s not real.

And it doesn’t matter.

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MANY OF US STRUGGLE to keep the energy going.  knight-321443_640Running a business is hard work!

It can be a deep test of character.

I’ve found that persistence is partially an innate characteristic, but is also a skill which can be intentionally developed.

I was amazed (and grateful!) to discover that my 2-year-old’s weakness was having the attention span of a goldfish.  Read the rest of this entry »