Live Like A Billionaire – Student to Teacher

Unexpected mid-week power day.
It’s hard to put a value on the ability to “drop everything”.

What does the title of this piece bring to mind?

  • Jet?
  • Multiple properties?
  • Luxury yacht charters?
  • Seven-figure burn rate?
  • Handing out favors to friends and strangers?
  • Being hailed and feted?

One of the best parts of my coaching journey was getting to know “the well adjusted rich.”

I’m going to spend a few Thursdays running through the lessons I learned from watching people who have a different set of limits.


The Best Teachers You Can Find

My journey started ten years before I got the job.

First, I was a student…

Meeting Joe Friel: Joe is the founder of triathlon coaching in the United States. I had the chance to spend a weekend with him in the Spring of 2000.

By the way, this is how you might get a mentor interested in you…

  • I went to him
  • I showed him how he’d helped me
  • I listened to his advice
  • I went away and did it

Something he said stuck with me, “I’d never met someone who understood my teaching as well as you.” I didn’t just study his philosophy, I tried to embody it.

Joe started me as a coach, helped me win races and wrote a book with me.

Great deal for both of us.

The strategy worked once, so I repeated…

John Hellemans, Scott Molina, Dave Scott, Mark Allen => I was able to learn from the best.

I shared what I learned, for free, widely.


Eventually, I was a teacher…

A decade later, I turn up in Oceanside, on a road bike, in March, and crush most everyone over 40 in a 70.3 race.

Two guys, I’d never heard of, reach out for a call and I accept. I didn’t know they were friends and checking me out, separately.

I get hired and have the chance to look under the hood of the well-adjusted rich.

Turns out my client was a successful finance-guy, who stayed in the game.

His life was, and remains, the best-case scenario of a life I decided not to lead.

Becoming world-class, publicly, creates unexpected opportunities.


Let’s call this Chapter One.

If you’ve been watching me on Twitter – you can see I’m following a similar playbook in 2022.

Not towards any specific goal => simply to connect, be engaged and create unexpected opportunities.

Metrics

Yesterday, Monarch Mountain, Colorado.
My capacity to spend a random weekday with someone I love… an essential wealth metric.

Sometimes, we need to look at information that make us feel uncomfortable. As a leader, I acknowledge “bad” news, as well as my capacity to receive it.

I like simple metrics, especially those that don’t require purchasing hardware or subscriptions!

The first one… can I spend a random weekday with someone I love? Shared experience is a form of wealth.

Another… last year, how often did “yesterday” screw up “this morning“? => hangovers, days without exercising, days without writing, days waking up late… depends on your goals.

Keep it simple.

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High-Performance Tracking

The amount of data coming from wearables has exploded over the last few years.

Like the early years of power meters, the data is best used to make our mistakes visible.

With health, the big ones might turn out to be: alcohol, intensity, salt, carbohydrate timing, inactivity, anaerobic load… time will tell.

In my life, the valuable information is in the mistakes. Most of us know what we ought to be doing. What’s helpful is clearly seeing my errors.

Soon, we will be able to be constantly connected to our physiology (blood lactate, HVR, HR, glucose, breathing rate, blood pressure). If we want then data will be constantly scrolling across our phones.

A lesson of Taleb’s Fooled By Randomness… the less often you check the data, the better the quality of the signal you receive. Nassim was writing about portfolio returns, the lesson applies widely.

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Consider the one thing you are seeking to achieve in 2022, and write it down. The One Thing is the thing, if I happened, that would create a positive cascade in your life.

One things from the last 20 years…

  • Get a loss-making business to profitability (reduce cash burn)
  • Launch a new product (make money, while saving time)
  • Launch a new company (create options for financial wealth creation)
  • Cash flow breakeven (increase self-directed time)
  • Write a book (establish expert credentials)
  • Improve my relationship with my daughter (become a world-class father)
  • Take care of a dying relative (learn about death)
  • Become an expert skier (mastery)
  • Win an Ironman (mastery)
  • Find love (connection)
  • Increase the kindness I show my wife (2022 goal)

Before you move forward, look back…

  • Where did I sleep last year?
  • How many nights did I spend away from my One Thing?

Where I am… a revealed preference.


Rather than banning video games and strictly limiting electronics…
I got my son hooked on Duolingo, a piano teaching app and Word Cookies.
It’s easier to work within human nature than seek to overcome it.

Fathers and Sons – Mountain Leadership

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An unfortunate reality…

Most educators spend more time with other people’s children than their own.

As a student, and parent, this has worked out very well for me. I’m grateful for our teachers, mentors and coaches.

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Last season, I spent a lot of time in Vail and noticed a gap between Vail Resort’s youtube clips and my actual experience with their first responders. I’ve been considering, “What are the qualities required to lead in the mountains?”

This season, there’s a new boss for Vail. She’s done fantastic work at Beaver Creek and I’m sure her team will sort it out. Everyone looked super-peppy during opening week. Maybe the grumpy guys retired?!

I spent months mentally rehashing my letter to the new boss. Gradually, I turned my “you could be so much more” mojo inwards, towards making myself a better father.

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Since my son could stand up, he’s been passionate about heading uphill. I figured it would take me a decade to get him up to speed. I underestimated the guy and we’ve had a lot of fun over the last year, skiing, camping and hiking.

My son has been eating up The Way of the Warrior Kid. There’s an unexpected overlap between the Code of The Warrior Kid and what he learned at his Buddhist preschool. The code fits with what I’m seeking to achieve in my own life.

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So that got me thinking… rather than figuring out how to fix grumpy ski-patrollers, why don’t we train ourselves to be the change.

  • The best memories of my life (and my son’s) are in the mountains
  • It’s a project we can enjoy for many years
  • It’s a beautiful legacy to leave him
  • It’s local
  • There’s no judges, tournaments, competitions or rankings
  • It provides huge motivation for me to stay in the game

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What would our code look like? Here’s a draft and we can make it our own over the next few years.

  • Fit For Purpose => strong, durable, resilient
  • Skilled => able to get where we need to be, in any conditions
  • Peer, Teacher & Student => learn from the experienced, share our knowledge and work with others
  • Prudent => pause and consider consequences
  • Prepared => we carry extra so we can help others
  • Calm, Humble and Patient => Knowing I need much more of this at home, I will practice it in my favorite environment. These traits are also on my (hotshot) son’s “to do” list.

The lesson here isn’t about the mountains.

The mountains are our story.

The lesson is to pay attention to passion and use childhood interests to create a value system for navigating the world.

Let’s fill the world with positive memories for our children.

Correction Without Resentment

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A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

— John Wooden

Coach Wooden hits the nail on the head. Looking deeper, I ask myself, as the corrector, “What am I seeking to achieve here?”

Constant correction, mostly non-verbalized, floats through my head.

Criticism, dissatisfaction, endless tweaking and optimization… what purpose does it serve?

What is the source of this correction?

  • Is it habit?
  • Is it altruism?
  • Is it a desire to alleviate the pain I see from watching you suffer?

Too often, my correction-by-habit makes my family suffer.

Sit quietly in a room full of children. Notice two things…

  • How little the master teachers correct.
  • How much the novice parents correct.

The frazzled parents beg for the children to listen.

When I catch myself, I slow down to see if the situation will resolve itself.

It’s humbling to realize how much of the distraction I create by hurrying.

How do the masters get through to us…

  • Fix myself first
  • Shared laughter
  • Wait until asked
  • Keep it short

When I am tempted to carpet bomb my Facebook feed, I remind myself that the world is filled with good people, particularly in the homes of my enemies. What might those good people need from me?

Share a laugh, keep it short and remember…

…the important stuff happens under my own roof.