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Your Company
April 13, 2011


* Steve’s Field Note
* Tapa Palapa Radio Show Menu
* Resource – Coaching Rate Special
* Feature – “Traffic Jam on the Rat Race Tollroad”
* Advisory Board – Spread the word!

Steve’s Field Note

Hello, Trailblazer!

I’m enjoying my Positive Psychology and Strategic Career Design class through MentorCoach taught by Kim Kirmmse Toth. As we talk about things like a person’s life vision around work and the desire to have meaningful, purposeful work, I’m reminded how these key considerations lead a lot of us to consider the trailblazing way of work – entrepreneurship. I have to be careful in my homework calls with classmates to remember it’s a career design course, not a self-employment course, so it’s okay for them to talk about helping clients find a
j-o-b. That takes a lot of restraint!

Spring blew in with typical north Texas flair, meaning very windy days and an occasional thunderstorm. The temperature is all over the place but in a given week we might have a couple of really pleasant days. With summer approaching our family already has a weekend road trip planned. It’s important to remember the value of recreation and plan to make it happen.

That’s actually the theme this month on the Tapa Palapa internet radio show I produce each week with fellow coach Francie Cooper. We’re looking at different types of play and the value of fun for recreation and rejuvenation. That means each show leads to a field trip. It’s demanding work, but we step up when called.

So far we’ve had nice weather for our outings. I do enjoy those days in spring when it’s warm in the afternoon but cool at night. I don’t enjoy those suddenly hot days, or those extremely windy days, or the violent storms. That part of spring is a challenge. Another part of spring that’s a challenge is that Birdward the Quaker parrot gets very hormonal and decides it’s time to mate. For you Star Trek fans, think of the Vulcan “pon farr.” Apparently even experienced bird owners think their birds go completely crazy in the spring. It’s just one more storm to weather this time of year!

For the main article this issue I wanted to dig into the theme of the entrepreneurial life as a trailblazing life. As I was planning what to write I remembered a scene I witnessed in our local bagel shop that prompted me to write an article for a previous version of this newsletter. I pulled it up to reread it and got chills by the end. It so clearly explains why I do the work I do I decided it was perfect for this issue.

Enjoy the beautiful days that come your way – even if they’re unpredictably random like they are around here – and

Enjoy the scenery on the Twisting Road!

Tapa Palapa Radio Show

Tapa Palapa is a short weekly radio show, around 12 minutes per episode, available through the internet.

For April our menu theme is “Play Is Serious Work.”
We are talking about the importance of fun and recreation in a healthy, balanced life.

* Choose fun (April 5)
* Chillax (April 12)
* Ooh… Ahh… (April 19)
* Ferris Bueller took one! (April 26)

In March our theme was “Life Is Bigger Than You”
All four episodes of the show for March are available so you can listen to them in order. March also had a fifth Tuesday, which led to our first Wildcard Wednesday show.

Click here to stream or download the latest episode through iTunes or visit our website to stream or download the shows directly.

Coaching Rate Special

I am discounting the fee for my monthly extended coaching program by 40% for anyone willing to let me report our sessions – the amount of time, not the content – towards certification. This discount applies specifically to my program of four (4) extended sessions (50 minutes each) per month. Anyone who takes up my offer will be eligible for this discount for up to six (6) months of coaching.

The incentive for me to offer the discount is to coach and record a lot of hours. Wins all around!

Call me at (817) 416-8971 or e-mail me at Steve@SteveCoxsey.com for the details.

“Traffic Jam on the Rat Race Tollroad”

I took a break from my journey on the Twisting Road this past Wednesday to get a bagel and cream cheese at Einstein Brothers’ Bagels. Turns out it’s near a busy entrance ramp to the controlled access lanes of the Rat Race Tollroad. Apparently it’s also near a point where the Fast Track passes overhead and people on the Rat Race try to figure out how they can get on that other highway.

I walked into Einstein’s that morning to pick up a shmear (bagel with cream cheese) after dropping my son off at school. It’s a Montessori school, so it’s a little way from the Rat Race, sitting on Off-The-Beaten Path. I had my morning planned out, with my coffee and bagel at the computer in my home office. I was thinking about my day, and mostly thinking about what kind of bagel to choose. I wasn’t eavesdropping. Honest. At least not intentionally.

But the four people at the table right against the rail where the line passes along the counter were practically commanding an audience. At least a couple of them were. One was quiet, because he was eating coffeecake. One was talking with some urgency, at a pressured pace. She wasn’t loud, but I could hear her once my attention was drawn by the really loud one.

Those three were looking at copies of a resume. They were two men, Loud Guy and Coffeecake Guy, and a woman. She wasn’t loud, but she took up the slack when Loud Guy slowed down. Their poor victim was a woman being peppered with questions about how she typically handled different situations and how she would handle a couple of imagined scenarios. It was intense, and without the extra time waiting in line I might not have noticed that, although they looked polite, the three interviewers were definitely not concerned with putting their quarry at ease. And the tag-team approach made the pressure relentless.

Loud Guy took a break from testing the lady being interviewed to tell her about the position and their business. This is where he couldn’t help himself. Enough about how she might handle things for his business. It was time for him to talk directly about his business! I memorized as much as I could and wrote it down as soon as I got home. The following is a very good paraphrase with some exact quotes. It is not exaggerated for dramatic purpose. Loud Guy did that pretty well himself.

“You’ll probably be able to get out each week after putting in just forty to forty-five hours. I wouldn’t have said that three to six months ago. Then fifty to sixty hours was the norm for everyone. We had a lot of infrastructure issues we had to manage for a while. I called on everyone, not just the go-to guys. I asked the people who weren’t in positions crucial to the situation to step up and work extra because we’re a team. I said everyone’s got to start shoveling here. We need to get the water out of this boat (honestly, that’s the mixed metaphor he used, plus several other cliches my brain thankfully refuses to remember).

“I don’t want to sound dismissive here, but this is going to be harder than anything you’ve ever done. It’ll take you a month to six weeks just to get your sea legs. You’ll start out feeling overwhelmed. Everybody does. We (indicating himself and Coffeecake Guy) felt overwhelmed for about three months when we started. It’s just a faster pace than anything you’ve ever done. Everybody who starts here tells me it’s harder and faster paced than anywhere they’ve worked before. I’m not bragging. I’m just telling you how it is. If you look for that sort of challenge you’re going to love it.”

He then offered to show her their office, which was apparently nearby, if she had time before she had to get back to her current job-box. They chose Einstein Brothers’ for the meeting, he explained, because it was so close to the office. Since they were sitting at a small table crowded with their folders and resumes, with Coffeecake Guy being the only one bothering to eat anything, in a fairly loud and crowded place, next to the ordering line, I doubted their judgment. Why not meet in the office? Why not meet in a quieter public place?

Then I remembered: driving on the Rat Race Tollroad isn’t about planning out the trip you want. It’s about believing that everyone is going where you want to go, and never making a real choice. It’s about following cars in front of you and looking for ways to move into the lanes of faster moving people. It’s about seeing the Fast Track swoop overhead every once in a while and wondering how to get on it.

I wanted to find a way to talk to the woman and ask her, “How desperate are you?” Actually, I thought about the character Hiro in the show Heroes. He can stop time, and I wished for a second I could freeze everything and help her escape.

I’m pretty sure she was looking for a way to shift into a different lane on the Rat Race, thinking it would give her that elusive access to the Fast Track. The median is always greener in somebody else’s lane.

I would have told her that there are many exits to the Rat Race that lead to better places, and many take you far from the Fast Track. Some take people on a scenic route to places the Fast Track drivers only dream of seeing at the end of their trip.

I might have even tried to explain to her that some of the exits are hard to see, because they’re not paved, wide-lane roads. They’re gravel drives or even dirt paths. Some were built by people who ditched the car and hopped on a four-wheeler or a bicycle.

I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have believed the last thing I would have wanted to tell her – that she herself could pull over and start looking for a way off the Rat Race at any point and create her very own trail to wherever she wants to go. I could have told her there were thousands and thousands of such trails off the Rat Race that were blazed by people just walking, so you don’t see them until you hear their stories and learn where the trail markers are.

I could have told her the key to blazing her own trail is figuring out where she really wants to go. But that would have probably scared the hell out of her.

Advisory Board

That’s you. If you like what you read, please tell your family and friends. If you don’t like something, please tell me!

Thanks for Joining Me on the Journey,

Steve Coxsey

The Twisting Road Traveler is a publication of Twisting Road Media and Stephen Coxsey

Copyright (C) 2011 Stephen Coxsey and Twisting Road
* All rights reserved *

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