Terry’s Excellent Adventure

In his early fifties Terry left a corporate career to find different work and a new life. For two years he explored possibilities. He interviewed people, attended workshops, and thought hard about what he wanted to do. Then he stumbled onto a great idea for a business of his own. At the end of one of our meetings, as he headed for the door, he added, “Oh, by the way, I invented a product for runners and people who exercise.”

Running is a passion for Terry. He runs Ultra-marathons that are 100 miles or more in length – in the desert, in the heat, at night, etc. Yes. You read that right. He and a small number of people from all over the world are, if not crazy, let’s say wildly enthusiastic. He’s a good runner and has won medals in his age bracket. The product he designed is a headband or bandana that allows him to wear earphones instead of ear buds. It proved to be safer and better than anything else he had seen or tried. He cut and sewed the prototypes himself and when he wore them to races, other participants asked where they could get one. Terry had an AHA moment  – I could make these and sell them, he thought. The idea led to the birth of his business. He named it g-ear.

Little did he know at the time that taking an idea from scratch, turning it into a product, and bringing it to market is a gargantuan task, but I was convinced that if anyone could do it, he could. Still, he had false starts with graphic designers, then suppliers, and even financial backers. At one point, he ran out of money. But he kept going, just as he does in his races. He has all the necessary qualities to make this a success – optimism, enthusiasm, commitment and energy that’s off the scale.

Earning a Street MBA

Because he needed to find a way to support himself while g-ear developed and grew, Terry started a second business with a partner designing and directing local races that include ultra distances and shorter runs. Because he’s earned a reputation for excellence, the races have been successful and participant numbers have grown every year. With another set of partners, he started a third business offering an Ultramarathon in Utah called Grand to Grand that has attracted people from all over the world. Terry has found a new career as an entrepreneur and is clearly earning a “street” MBA.

Today he’s busy introducing his product to sports’ stores all over the country and selling it online at: http://www.getintog-ear.com. Visit his website to see his wonderful products.

Terry is fully alive and engaged in life. He’s learning like crazy, productive, and having fun. What better way to be in your fifties!

Don’t Wait

One of the many things I love about Terry’s story is that the answer was right in front of him. It arose from his personal life experience. That’s often the way people find work that’s a great fit. What we yearn to do, what we care about, what we’re passionate about, or what’s a great fit for us is staring us in the face. We just don’t see it, or when we do, the idea scares us, or we don’t take it seriously, so we dismiss it. Sometimes I think my only job as a career and professional development coach is to encourage and support people to do what they already know they want to do.

I encourage you to embrace the mantra of one of my friends: Don’t wait! If you dream about living a life like Terry’s with more freedom, choice, creativity, and passion, don’t wait. If you want to write that novel, poem, or short story, don’t wait. If you want to go to Italy, or scuba dive, or jump out of an airplane, or start an organization to help feed people, or move on to a new job, or start your own business, don’t wait. Just get going.

And let me know if I can help.

Keep thriving,

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