Ed McGaa|Ancestral Wisdom To Heal the Earth

Ancestral Wisdom
This is Part 2 of my interview with Eagle Man. Listen to Part 1: Life and Spirit of a Sioux Warrior here.
Ed McGaa (Eagle Man) is a registered tribal member of the Oglala Sioux and was born on the Pine Ridge reservation. He received his Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and earned a law degree from the University of South Dakota. He has studied under Chief Eagle Feather and Chief Fool’s Crow, both influential Sioux holy men. He is honored by the Sioux for having participated six times in the Sun Dance ceremony. He also served as a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, flying 110 combat missions in F-4 Phantoms, receiving 8 air medals and 2 Crosses of Gallantry, and was recommended for a Distinguished Flying Cross. He’s the author of at least ten books on Indian History and spirituality, including Crazy Horse and Chief Red Cloud, a history of the Sioux and its warriors, Nature’s Way – Native wisdom for living in balance with the earth and American Spirituality.

Listen Now:

Play

Subscribe and leave a review in iTunes for a chance to win a copy of Crazy Horse and Chief Red Cloud.

Spirituality for America CoverIn this episode you’ll learn about:

  • Ed’s spiritual mentors Chiefs Fool’s Crow and Bill Eagle Feather
  • How the Sundance was saved
  • The revival of the Sundance
  • Black Elk’s Vision
  • The Six Powers and what they mean
  • The Danger of the Blue Man
  • How the Six Powers Can Save the Earth
  • And you’ll hear Eagle Man sing and drum

Ed was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the youngest of 13 children, a Teton Oglala Lakota. He had a good life, with lots of love, and lots of brothers and sisters. Dad was very caring, hard working, loyal, and provided well for the family. Mother, who was Catholic, got very political and well regarded in the community.

Crazy Horse CoverHe went on to serve a distinguished career as a Marines pilot of an F-4 Phantom, graduate from Law School, but his heart was calling him elsewhere. Because of his success (100,000 copies of Mother Earth Spirituality) as an author, Ed left his law practice. It was important for Ed to get the facts out about Indian history. Academic Indians don’t know it. He did Sundance six times. They weren’t warriors; they don’t go in the military. Somebody had to write it. He’s since written at least ten books with two more on the way.

Tweetable (Click to Tweet)

“I want to do this [heal the earth] because we’re all related.” Ed McGaa (Eagle Man)

Resources and Books by Ed McGaa include:

Watch Now:

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Podcasts

10 Ways to Keep Your Brand Fresh

by Liz Jansen

Manufacturers spend millions to create an image through advertising, public relations, and sponsorship. And the job is never done. To keep their brand front and center, they need to be out in the public, with a consistent message and creative new ways to keep awareness high.

medium_491672814Your words and actions speak volumes about your brand. Your brand is an asset to be proud of. Use your voice to express it.

  1. Trust in your vision. Motorcycle brands show their trust by pouring resources into creating awareness. Your intuition tells you when you are aligned with your purpose. Even though you can’t always see around the corner and the road can get bumpy or be in need of repair, you know you’re on the right road.
  2. Courage. It seems ironic that you need courage to be yourself, but that’s the way of things. It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending more time shaping yourself to be who you think you should be rather than just being you. You feel vulnerable when you stand up for yourself—but then, motorcycle riders are used to dealing with vulnerability.
  3. Focus. Keeping your brand alive requires a consistent, focused message. That doesn’t mean being rigid. Rather, make sure your actions support who you are and what you’re here to do.
  4. Trust in yourself. Just as an engine has more power than most riders ever call on, so, too, do you have access to more power than you’ll ever use. Know that it’s there whenever you need it. Don’t be timid on the throttle.
  5. Visibility. Sponsorship and advertising are ways manufacturers get their brands in front of their target audiences. For people to know who you are and what you stand for, you need to engage with others with similar interests.
  6. Currency. Manufacturers research market trends to stay ahead of the curve by anticipating the needs of their audiences and then reaching them. You can stay fresh by carving out time away from your hectic day-to-day activities. A relaxed mind is more receptive to insights and creative ideas.Stay in power. Economic cycles, changing demographics, and competitors are only some of the things that can batter a brand. The ones that survive are those that have been able to adapt while still delivering their core messages.
  7. Confidence. Motorcycle manufacturers aren’t timid about promoting their brands. That would send the wrong message. Stand tall in who you are and what you do. There is only one you, with your unique gifts and attributes.
  8. Receptivity. If a brand isn’t resonating with an audience, it soon shows in sales volume. Be receptive to more effective ways of presenting your brand while not changing its core message.
  9. Play. Progressive organizations stimulate innovation and creativity through team-building workshops and corporate events. All work and no play dulls your spirit and creates boredom. Who wants that?

Consumer brands are created to reach a specific market and generate revenue. Staying fresh is essential for long-term sustainability. Your brand is the voice and image you portray to others.

While not necessary for your physical survival, creating a brand that’s true to you—and keeping it fresh—will feed your spirit. And that sustainability is timeless.

Read more life tips in 75 Tips for Defining Your Brand  Free Download for a limited time.

photo credit: ▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓ via photopin cc

Tagged with:
Posted in Branding, Life Lessons from Motorcycles

Meet the Adventurers

by Liz Jansen

Set on a picturesque lake in the majestic Canadian Rockies, it’s easy to understand why this year’s Horizons Unlimited travelers meeting in Nakusp, British Columbia,, attracted a record number of attendees. While the event primarily draws riders from British Columbia, Alberta and Washington, there were people there from all over the world. They come from all walks of life, all ages and all cultures. They share not only an adventurous spirit, but are out there living their dreams.

Meet some of them, starting with my next-door neighbors who kindly boiled water for tea every morning.

adventurersSteve and Janette Douglas started their round-the-world (RTW) trip on June 18 and plan to be away, “for as long as it takes.” After meeting up with their 800cc Triumph Tiger XC in Alaska, they rode in Alaska before heading south into British Columbia. They expect to spend two years in the Americas and then head t Australia or New Zealand.

A Technical Sales Manager, Steve, age 51, had been with Microsoft for 18 years. Janette (48) had worked in Management Information Systems and Database Management for Axa Insurance for 30 years. Both quit their jobs to do this trip. Although they’ve traveled by motorcycle, this is the biggest adventure travel they’ve done together.

Their favorite part of travel is the people they’re meeting along the way, with a special appreciation for the camaraderie they experience with motorcyclists from all over the world. The most difficult part has been the Dalton Highway, because of the slick mud caused by extended rains.

When asked what they would do differently, it would be to start exploring the world sooner, and slow down sooner. They’d also start preparing sooner and try and avoid the last minute crunch. This is not a holiday, they don’t have to rush, and they want to savor the landscapes they’re traveling through.

 

IMG_3077 Steffan smSteffan Troeger, age 31, took a leave from his family’s water well-drilling business and rode his BMW 1150 GS in from Guatemala. After reaching Prudhoe Bay, he’d blown a wheel bearing in Whitehorse, and had to wait five days to get his bike shipped to Edmonton for servicing. The two travel mates he’d been with had gone ahead and he was meeting up with them again in Vancouver.

He’s on the road until at least the end of November, and planning to attend BMW’s convention in Copper Canyon, Mexico on his way home.

Steffan’s favorite part of Canada has been the amazing wildlife and the nice people, especially in small, remote towns. He also gave me great advice—and reassurance—on traveling through Guatemala.

 

 

 

IMG_3078 Petra and Anders smSwedes Petra and Anders Stridefeldt, both 50 are in the middle of their RTW trip. Parents to three grown sons, they live in England and have been on the road 15 months—she on a white, lowered BMW F800GS and he on a black F800GS.

It’s not hard to recall their most difficult day on the road. They arrived in India for the hottest summer in 50 years, with temperatures in the 50’s C. Anders was sick from food poisoning, they’d run out of drinking water, they’d ended up on a freeway where motorcycles are not allowed and the traffic was horrendous. They point out that help always arrives when you need it. They both survived and went on to enjoy their favorite experience – riding up and down an ocean beach in the surf.

 

Petra puts their journey in perspective. As difficult as their days may get, it’s not difficult to travel around the world. Most of the people in it don’t even have a choice about what—or if—they can eat that day. They can just pick up and fly home if they want.

Neither knows much about bike maintenance and they prefer to see what the road serves up, rather than over planning. To learn more about them and follow their adventures, check out their website: www.twobikersoneworld.com.

 

IMG_3080 Antonio smTwenty-eight year old Antonio Romero has just graduated from his Masters in Sociology and is waiting for his thesis to be approved. He rode his single cylinder Yamaha 660 Tenere up from Mexico to spend two months working on the farms in the Okanagan. With Nakusp in easy riding range, he managed to get away for a few days to meet with fellow adventurers.

No stranger to adventure, Antonio’s ridden a Honda 125cc from Mexico to Brazil, and has also moto-traveled through Central Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela.

 

So you see, anyone can do it if you want. In fact, you can realize your dream no matter what it is. Those who are doing it say it’s a matter of prioritizing and then taking the first step. The rest is easy.

Tagged with:
Posted in Adventure

7 Challenges of Life on the Road

With two and a half weeks on the road, I’m still getting my road legs under me. Already I’ve met wonderful people, had amazing experiences, and taken new roads through exceptional beauty.

photo 1Still it’s a period of big adjustment. These are the main ones.

  1. Setting realistic expectations. On Day One I realized that what I thought was a conservative schedule still had too much packed into it. My first official stop was with friends in Fort Frances, Ontario, over a thousand miles from home. Rather than do it in the two days I’d planned and be fatigued every day, I spread it over three. It’s healthier, safer, and much more enjoyable. And why push it? Now I’ve set a rule of no more than 3 consecutive days of riding without at least one day off the bike. And no more than three days of riding/week. Let’s see how that goes. All rules can be changed by management if there is a sound reason.
  2. Finding reliable and convenient Wifi. Yes—even in Canada and the US. I knew this from last year, but it’s still frustrating when a campground or accommodation advertises WiFi and the signal strength is so weak, it’s virtually useless. And you have to sit right beside the router to get anything. Even chains such as Subway don’t all have WiFi. Starbucks and McDonalds are usually a safe bet, although I’m reluctant to purchase their products.
  3. Challenging existing beliefs. Acknowledging that it can still be a workday, even if I’m sitting outdoors in the middle of a beautiful forest. There are so many of these and I’m catching myself holding more of these than I care to admit.
  4. Staying organized. I’ve got two panniers, a large tank bag, a large duffle and two dry bags. It’s not much to carry camping equipment, three-season clothing, minimal tools and technology. With careful choices, I’ve done not bad, but there are lots of bits and pieces. Using smaller logically organized storage packs has been a lifesaver. I made a rule before leaving that nothing goes into a pack loose; it has to be in something. So far I’ve done pretty well—except when I had to stash things quickly into my duffle because of an impending storm.
  5. Dealing with aloneness. For some reason, I’ve felt it more this time than on my six-week trial last year. Perhaps because I’ll be gone for so long this time. It’s all getting used to the rhythm of the road and I really look forward to regular visits with familiar faces along the way. I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by invitations from friends. It means more than you know, and is a good lesson for me to remember.
  6. Finding healthy food. Most grocery stores don’t have a good selection of healthy food, especially when I’m also looking for small quantities, a minimum of preparation and no refrigeration. I know I’m selective with my food, but I’m just not putting highly processed, high salt and sugar foods into my body. When I do find a good store, it’s like nirvana.
  7. Maintaining focus and context amidst change. Earlier this week, as I rode out of a small town where I’d camped for the night, I realized I’d stayed in the same town for two nights last year. I didn’t remember it until I drove past the place I’d stayed. I’d come at it from a different direction and under different circumstances so everything looked different. It’s the same with work. Time passes faster than ever here as one day blends into the next. The environment in which I’m working is so different, I need to use extra diligence to stay organized and on time. Fortunately, there are lots of tools to help with this.

Slowly, I’m settling in. Am I enjoying life on the road? Absolutely! I recognize that this is an adjustment period and I have my own demons to defeat. This is where I’m meant to be and miracles and mysteries happen every day. How could I be anything but grateful for this opportunity of a lifetime?

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Adventure, Expedition

Ed McGaa | Life and Spirit of a Sioux Warrior

McGaa Banner Ed McGaa (Eagle Man) is a registered tribal member of the Oglala Sioux and was born on the Pine Ridge reservation. He received his Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and earned a law degree from the University of South Dakota. He has studied under Chief Eagle Feather and Chief Fool’s Crow, both influential Sioux holy men. He is honored by the Sioux for having participated six times in the Sun Dance ceremony. He also served as a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, flying 110 combat missions in F-4 Phantoms, receiving 8 air medals and 2 Crosses of Gallantry, and was recommended for a Distinguished Flying Cross. He’s the author of at least ten books on Indian History and spirituality, including Crazy Horse and Chief Red Cloud, a history of the Sioux and its warriors, Nature’s Way – Native wisdom for living in balance with the earth and Spirituality of America – Earth Saving Wisdom from the Indigenous. 

Listen Now:

Play

Subscribe and leave a review in iTunes for a chance to win a copy of Spirituality for America.

Spirituality for America CoverIn this episode you’ll learn about:

  • Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation
  • Ed’s happy and nurturing childhood
  • Moving off the reservation under war measures
  • How he avoided boarding school and what that meant
  • His dream of being a Marine pilot and how it came true
  • Why he left his law practice
  • His Sioux mentors and white role models
  • His passion for sharing his message and making sure the truth is heard

Ed was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the youngest of 13 children, a Teton Oglala Lakota. He had a good life, with lots of love, and lots of brothers and sisters. Dad was very caring, hard working, loyal, and provided well for the family. Mother, who was Catholic, got very political and well regarded in the community.

Crazy Horse CoverHe went on to serve a distinguished career as a Marines pilot of an F-4 Phantom, graduate from Law School, but his heart was calling him elsewhere. Because of his success (100,000 copies of Mother Earth Spirituality) as an author, Ed left his law practice. It was important for Ed to get the facts out about Indian history. Academic Indians don’t know it. He did Sundance six times. They weren’t warriors; they don’t go in the military. Somebody had to write it. He’s since written at least ten books with two more on the way.

Tweetable (Click to Tweet)

“Guys were bailing out, getting in the airlines. Not this Indian! I was having a chance to be a real warrior.”  Ed McGaa (Eagle Man)

“You can’t criticize a warrior unless you have done what he has done.” Ed McGaa (Eagle Man)

Resources and Books by Ed McGaa include:

Watch Now:


Subscribe on iTunes and Leave a 5-star review and your name will be entered for the Weekly (during July and August) draw!   

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Podcasts

10 Choices Within Your Circle of Control

by Liz Jansen

small__12708086944It’s hard to picture anything more invigorating than a motorcycle ride through the countryside. You revel in the wind, the sun, and the freedom. You want it to last forever. In some cases, like riding across the plains, it feels like it does!

But as romantic as it sounds, it does come with a degree of risk. Thus, the romanticism needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of reality.

While your circle of control may be small, it’s powerful. Although no one can argue against the fact that riders are vulnerable to injury, there is much one can do to mitigate that risk—lessons that are just as applicable to your life’s Road.

  1. Riding. Whether you ride at all is your choice. Never ride because someone pressures you to do so. There’s too much at stake. It takes more strength to say no than to give in to peer pressure or the opinions of others.
  2. Skills. Riding proficiently takes a great deal of skill—motor, mental, and emotional. Take the time to develop and practice your skills rather than putting yourself in a situation you’re not ready for—no matter who is pressuring you to do so. It’s not worth it.
  3. Focus. Riding requires you to be 100 percent present in the moment. There’s no room for any intrusions. Fatigue, alcohol, drugs, and emotional and physical upset all impair your ability to respond appropriately. If any of them are present, hang your keys up and wait for another day. Intuition is your best guide—on or off the bike.
  4. Conspicuity. The more visible you are, the more likely it is that other traffic will notice you. Simple. In life, if you want your message to be heard, you’ve got to use your voice, in whatever form you choose.
  5. Maintenance. Two small contact patches of rubber tire are all that connect you to the road. You want your bike in top shape before it sets out with the most precious cargo there is—you! Regular maintenance and a pre-ride inspection go a long way in keeping it in safe operating condition. Being proactive with your own health keeps you in the best shape for enjoying that ride—and life.
  6. Response. You can’t control the weather, other traffic, or the driver that looks at you and then turns right in front of you. You can, however, control how you respond. Practice emergency responses often, in a safe place. That way, when your skills are called on in a real-life situation, your muscle memory will help you avoid an impulsive, panic reaction.
  7. Speed. The faster you go, the less time you have to react or correct errors and the quicker everything can unravel. Excessive speed requires you to concentrate only on the road, missing the beauty of your surroundings. Life passes by quickly enough. There’s no need to rush it or to race into situations you’re not ready for.
  8. Gear. Choose your riding gear wisely. No one plans to separate from their motorcycle, but it doesn’t take much to cause injury. Your skin is not designed for sliding along the pavement—especially your face. Wear a full-face helmet and take advantage of the added protection from body armor to protect the most likely points of contact.
  9. Awareness. Scan your environment continuously, especially at intersections and before taking off when the light turns green. Awareness includes using both your mirrors often. On motorcycles, as in life, the greater your awareness of your surroundings, the better your ability to respond to them.
  10. Riding partners. Many people enjoy group rides for the camaraderie it offers. Most of those riders will admit to having ridden in groups that are poorly managed or included riders who were known to be unsafe. This puts everyone in the group in jeopardy. It’s hard to tell your friends that you’ll meet up with them at your destination, but it’s better than the potential alternative. It’s your choice. If you’re not comfortable being part of a group in your life, it might be better to find a way to pursue that particular goal alone.

Ride confidently and defensively, with both eyes focused on the road and looking in the direction you want to go. No one else is at the controls. Your environment changes constantly, and it’s up to you to respond. How wisely you do that has implications for the rest of your life.

Read more life tips in 75 Tips for Clearing Your Vision  Free Download for a limited time.

photo credit: zoxcleb via photopin cc

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Life Lessons from Motorcycles, Vision

Black Hills to Medicine Mountain

by Liz Jansen

Yesterday marked the end of my visit with author Ed McGaa, (Eagle Man), author of multiple books on Native Spirituality and Earth Wisdom. Introduced to his book Nature’s Way earlier this year, I knew immediately that I wanted to interview him and learn more.

At 78, he’s hard to keep up with. He works seven days a week at Crazy Horse Memorial, selling his books and doing what he does best—engaging with a constant stream of people who want to know more about Native American history and spirituality. It leaves little time for trout fishing and pickleball, his favorite sport—one that I’d not heard of.

IMG_3049 Ed McGaa and trout sm

In reading his books or speaking with him, his driving message is the need to live in better relationship with the earth. Even before environmentalism and climate change were hot topics, he was cautioning people to take notice before it’s too late. He’s also tireless in his quest to set the record straight on Indian history, and not afraid to speak his mind, even if his message is controversial. And he’s fiercely proud of his distinguished service in the Marines.

“Why are you going to South America?” he asked. “The wisdom is right here. Just look at the track record of the Sioux, living in harmony with the earth. If you want to know the answers, just watch nature.”

In between work and fishing, we did manage to get in two fascinating interviews, the first of which will be published on Wednesday.

IMG_1996

Leaving him sawing apple wood wafers for the smoker, I headed north. Originally, I’d planned to head to southern Alberta but having slowed down my travel and spent more time than expected in South Dakota, I’m now heading directly for British Columbia and the Horizons Unlimited Travelers meeting beginning Thursday. That means I’ll have to backtrack before heading to the coast, but so be it.

A highlight of yesterday’s ride was the Big Horn Scenic Byway running west from Sheridan WY. There are lots of tight turns, steep grades and drop offs as the road carves up and down the mountains. All this under a beautiful big blue sky!

IMG_2010

High atop Medicine Mountain at 9642′, is this ancient Medicine Wheel, purported to be at least 10,000 years old. Thank you to Diane Mummery for making me aware of it! People have crossed paths here for millennia, leaving a fascinating legacy. Native American people, representing 81 tribes still utilize the ancient trail. If only the rocks could talk, what stories they must hold. I was content to walk the well worn path, wondering whose hands had laid the rocks in place, and respecting the mystery.

IMG_2007

Today I’ll continue north, and over the next few days, pass through Montana, Idaho and the corner of Washington before entering British Columbia. No question, it’s a circuitous route to South America.

Tagged with:
Posted in Expedition, Liz's Stories

From Crazy Horse

by Liz Jansen

This week my motorcycle has taken me from the wilds of Northwestern Ontario to the Black Hills of South Dakota. What a ride!

An old-fashioned country jamboree capped off my visit with friends in Fort Frances. The brainchild of local organizers, Mud Lake City is a collection from times gone by, from old buildings filled with artifacts to old vehicles in various states of decay. A stroll through the rural site is a walk through local history, and an ideal site for neighbors from far and near to gather and jam. To top it off, the shuttle back to our car was a sputtering 1927 Whippet that died just as we stepped off. After helping to push it off the road where it was blocking traffic, we left the proud owner to tinker and get it running again.

IMG_2997 Mud Lake City Sign SMIMG_3002 Old Cars SM

IMG_3004 Mud Lake Stage sm
IMG_3013 Clampetmobile SM

The next two days of riding took me zigzagging across the corner of Minnesota, skirting a bit of North Dakota before entering South Dakota. How glorious to ride across the plains under wide-open blue skies, through terrain ranging from glacial lakes to beef farms, and endless acres of crops, many with huge combines harvesting the bounty and transferring it to waiting trucks.

It was a delight to stay on backroads in excellent condition, where the speed limit is still 65 mph. I spent very little time on Interstates until the end of the second day when the temperature was 35C/95F and I just wanted to reach my destination.

Two points of interest that got me off my bike were the Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead and schoolhouses, and the world’s largest pheasant in Huron South Dakota. Dedicated on October 18,1959, it’s a testament to the state’s plentiful pheasant population.

IMG_3020 Laura Ingals House sm
IMG_3018 Lauras first school SM

IMG_3022 Pheasant and bike sm
IMG_3025 pheasant sm

The destination for this week was Hill City, SD, home to Ed McGaa, aka Eagleman, acclaimed Lakota/Sioux leader and author of at least 10 books on Native Spirituality. He works at Crazy Horse Memorial during the summer, and it was there I had the honor of meeting him in person. We’d communicated via email and he offered to let me camp on his property.
Although I’ve been to Crazy Horse in 2003, it was again thought-provoking to return for an immersion of the Native history of the area, especially given the theme of this journey.

IMG_3040 Model Actual sm
IMG_3038 Crazy Horse sm

IMG_3037 Me and Crazy Horse sm
IMG_3041 Ed McGaa table sm

This beadwork in particular, captured my attention. How fitting and all inclusive.
IMG_3033 Prayer sm

Prayer to the Great Spirit

Oh Great Spirit Giver of all life,
You have been always and before you nothing has been
Look and smile upon us your children
So that we may live this day to serve you
Watch over my relatives, the red, black, white and brown
Sweeten my heart and fill me with life this day
Give me strength to understand and the eyes to see
Help me Great Spirit, for without You, I am nothing.
Paul War Cloud

Finally, here’s a video of my campsite, complete with a trout stream which produced our meal for the evening. Watch for more on my interview with Ed McGaa.

Tagged with:
Posted in Expedition

10 Personal Branding Tips

by Liz Jansen

small__6916922844Learn personal branding tips from the experts. Motorcycle manufacturers go to great lengths to establish, protect, and strengthen their images. This extends to how and where logos are shown, their corporate colors, the attributes of the people they hire, and the activities they support.

Merely being a rider brands you as an adventurer, a risk-taker, a fun-lover, and a free spirit—with a touch of rebelliousness. Your brand is how you’re defined, who you are—or, more accurately, the perception of who you are. And it’s one of your most valuable assets. Stay true to it! Here’s how, taking lessons from motorcycles.

  1. Know it. A good salesperson knows the brand inside out. He or she can tell you about its strengths and features, why they are of benefit to you, and why one model may be more suitable than another. Know yourself that well—your strengths, interests, and areas for improvement.
  2. Believe in it. To promote a brand, sales and marketing teams need to believe in what they’re promoting. Otherwise, their overtures come across as insincere. Believe in who you are, and be that person.
  3. Show it off. Walk into any motorcycle showroom and you’ll see the bikes being displayed to show off their best attributes. It’s the best way to determine whether a brand or style is a good fit for you. Walk your Road with confidence in who you are. People and experiences come into your life based on the face you show to the world. It’s best to be authentic or you’ll all be disappointed.
  4. Be visible. Successful organizations use a multifaceted approach to splash brands wherever their audience is, reaching out through personal interactions, social networking, and multimedia advertisements. As the children’s song advocates, don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine!
  5. Watch for trends. Manufacturers are continuously watching market trends. As demographics and interests change, they find new ways to deliver their brands’ messages. Whether you’re involved in business, volunteer activities, or personal hobbies, your viability depends on being able to change with the times and find new ways of reaching your audience.
  6. Listen. Winning brands gather feedback through research, focus groups, and surveys to learn how they can be more effective. On your personal journey, there’s a tendency to get so wrapped up in the excitement of what you’re doing that you forget to check back to see if your message is reaching others. A minor adjustment may be all that’s standing in the way of being effective.
  7. Make improvements. Listening without taking action is pointless. Once you know how you can be more effective, take the steps to do so. It strengthens you and what you represent.
  8. Demonstrate its attributes. Motorcycle manufacturers offer demo rides for potential clients to see if the bikes they’re looking at are suitable. It’s a very effective way to convert potential customers. In your personal and professional life, beliefs and words without actions are empty. Demonstrate your brand through your behavior and interactions with others.
  9. Provide pain relief. Organizations grow because they understand the needs of their customers and provide solutions to problems. You have a unique role and purpose here, but if you’re going to be effective, you have to package it in such a way that it provides the answers people are looking for.
  10. Protect it. Stand up for who you are and what you believe in. Why wouldn’t you?

You’ve taken a lifetime to create your brand. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up for who you are. Just as one motorcycle is not going to appeal to everyone, your message is also not one size fits all. But when each of us follows our inner guidance, when all of our messages come together, profound change occurs.

Read more life tips in 75 Tips for Defining Your Brand  Free Download for a limited time.

photo credit: Jonas Hansel via photopin cc

Tagged with:
Posted in Branding, Life Lessons from Motorcycles

Jeremy Kroeker | Journeys of Fear and Faith

Jeremy Kroeker Journeys of Fear and Faith

Jeremy Kroeker has traveled to nearly 30 countries with his motorcycle and done at least one outrageously stupid thing in every one.

One October, he rode from Canada to Panama in an attempt to flee the pain of a broken relationship. Motorcycle Therapy – A Canadian Adventure in Central America tells his story of personal discovery, friendship and reconciliation that occurs along the way.

He has evaded police in Egypt, tasted teargas in Israel, scrambled through minefields in Bosnia and Lebanon, and wrangled a venomous snake in Austria. One time he got a sliver in El Salvador.

More recently, Kroeker rode from Germany through the Middle East into Iran, and finally through North Africa before returning to Europe. That trip provides the foundation for his newest book, Through Dust and Darkness — A Motorcycle Journey of Fear and Faith in the Middle East.

Listen now:

Play

Subscribe and leave a review in iTunes for a chance to win a copy of the audio version of Jeremy’s book Motorcycle Therapy

JK Through_Dust_and_Darkness_print_JPEGIn this episode you’ll learn:

  • How a Mennonite culture shaped his formative years
  • What he values and dislikes about the culture
  • How his background influenced his perception of how the world worked
  • The role of motorcycling in influencing perspective
  • The common ground between culture and religious extremes
  • How he’s come to terms with his restless spirit

Traveling definitely broadened Jeremy’s horizons and made him less judgmental and willing to look at things from a different perspective. Trying to see things from other people’s perspectives is something he can do now, and it’s made him a better person.

When you’re traveling by motorcycle, you’re making yourself even more vulnerable than the average traveler, even if it’s just to pull into a gas station for fuel. Breaking down, in hindsight, can lead to the best travel experiences.  When you’re in the middle of a breakdown, you’re uncomfortable and scared. Then you meet someone amazing who rescues you or gives you a meal. Obviously you can meet the wrong people in those situations.  But as long as you show a little bit of common sense and savvy, you can move around this world fairly safely.

JK-coversample-193x300Travel is part of our desire to put ourselves up against some grand challenge. It used to be that challenge was survival, but that’s the past. That’s why the breakdowns are so valuable now, because it gets us back to where we were before, focused on survival.

Tweetable (Click to Tweet)

“Breakdowns are important because they get us focused on our innate need for survival.”  Jeremy Kroeker

Resources:

Watch Now:

 

Subscribe on iTunes and Leave a 5-star review and your name will be entered for the Weekly (during July and August) draw!   

Did you enjoy this podcast?
Subscribe for Updates
You'll also receive the Stop Dreaming Start Doing Roadmap!

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Personal Growth, Podcasts
%d bloggers like this: