Final Week – Bradley Wiggins Update

Submitted by Desmond Slattery
Task Check List – Handling the Press – Hole Digging – When to Call in an Expert

Short Summary heading into the final week of the Tour de France:

It’s all good. Project Management is executing according to plan. On July 22nd, we will announce Bradley Wiggins as the winner. Some pundits may disagree, and for sure, there is plenty of work still to be done and unforeseen events can occur, but if we stick to the plan, that will be the headline.

Read on for more detail on sound business building practices for those new fans of the Tour.

Lets review how we got here:

Control what you can control and forget about the rest. Disregarding this simple rule will drain your resources.

Instead, use your energy to focus on your goal (clearly defined and easily explainable to others – this is your mission).

Map out the executable steps to reach your goal (this is your business plan).

Discipline please – lose the distractions and limit the “noise”.

Finally, be willing to step outside the status quo. Often, it’s the ones willing to challenge established “assumptions” and stray from following the herd who accomplish the greatest breakthroughs and accomplishments.

Let’s look at some details  from the last week.

Current General Classification: Wiggins is #1 in over his closest rival, which happens to be his teammate!, by 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

Press Conferences: Sometimes you will be asked to speak in public to answer some questions, discuss your mission, or represent yourself or your company. There is a saying that goes “any publicity is good publicity”, and perhaps this is true, but still, it is recommended to behave within accepted societal norms. Since this blog is read by millions of women, children and adults (/sarc), I cannot reprint in its entirety the apparent blow up Bradley had at the press last week. If you can handle a bit of profanity, search the web or look at this link.

The lesson here is: when in doubt over your own capabilities of communicating or handling an important task, you should consider bringing in an expert to assist you.

There is an embedded doctrine There are no stupid questions that everyone repeats, but few people really believe deep down. And this applies especially to mainstream journalists who are often lazy and misinformed.

The question that started the buzz was about doping and cycling.

It would be like a journalist asking if there is fraud in banking! Duh.

So please dig a little deeper with regard to Bradley Wiggins. As you have read the previous blog posts, you know that Bradley:

-lives on or in a volcano
-gave up facebook and twitter (although there has been some slippage here. No one is perfect, but after winning the Tour, we may need to offer some remedial therapy here)
-Is home (the equivalent of sees his wife?) maybe 5 weeks out of the year. (You heard it here first: this will be the new model going forward dramatically reducing divorce rate percentages).
-Gets lots of massage (scientifically shown to mimic the effects of doping on recovery)

So if any cyclist is clean, Bradley is clean.

Digging Holes.

Of course it would not be the Tour de France if there were not stories and drama outside the actual race. And this year, as you know, it has to do with our friend from Texas, who “won” this thing 7 times.

Before I go on, I just want to state that this icon has really let me down. No, it has nothing to do with that! (I was not born yesterday). It has to do with this: Our friend from Texas left the sport at the height of his game after winning his last tour, like a hero. I was filled with envy. How does one do that? Everything just seemed to click, the timing was all there. And then, 3 years later, inexplicably, he returns, like so many mere humans to relive the glory years. What stupidity! That is something I would do, not an icon………………………………..

So that brings us to Managing Difficult Situations.

Clint Eastwood, in his movies roles, made a very important observation that is applicable here:
A man’s got to know his limitations.

(I imagine the reference is only to men since women as a rule are not as silly as men). The problem here is as follows: had our icon from Texas acted iconic and just quietly left to manage his bike store or become President, or some other inert activity, the lying dogs would still be sleeping and the hornet’s nest would not be bothered. The pass that our hero from Texas always had was that “It was a different time then, everyone did it, let’s look to the future, etc”. But all that has changed now with the comeback to the sport and free pass no longer applies.

I hope your hole digging equipment can handle the job. Most people when they get involved in a hole digging diversion realize the futility of the exercise and stop before too much damage is done. While there is not a 12 step program for serial hole diggers (yet), there is the following that can provide a more functional outlet:

Competitive Hole Digging

What then of our former hero icon and now hole digger from Texas? Pretend for a moment you are the expert that has been called in to analyze the situation. When the hole gets to be this deep with no end in sight, what you really need is a bail out.  Remarkably, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) came to the rescue of our serial hole digger.
His document basically reads like a press release from our Texan. If you are wondering why Jim Sensenbrenner and why Wisconsin, follow the money. Always follow the money. Trek Bicycles(WI), see the connection?

However, Senator McCain backs the USADA investigation. Whoa, what’s this? Our Texan is a lightweight in the bail out world. Remember what Clint Eastwood said about limitations. Our friend has an estimated net worth of 125 Million. This may sound like a lot, but it is chump change in the bail out world. The greats in the bail out world are, of course, the banksters, often worth in the billions. They wrote the book on too big to fail, heads I win, tails you lose. In fact, there really is a book on this.

Sadly, this may be the end of the line for the hole digging.

If you made it this far, you are probably wondering what the moral of the story is.

Certainly hole digging is not where you want to go.

As is always the case, get more massage. It’s legal doping and counters the effects of hole digging.

They found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair. “The bottom line is that there appears to be a suppression of pathways in inflammation and an increase in mitochondrial biogenesis,” helping the muscle adapt to the demands of increased exercise, said the senior author, Dr. Mark A. Tarnopolsky.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/how-massage-heals-sore-muscles/

Getting Sh*t Done – Bradley Wiggins Update

Submitted by Desmond Slattery

Here is the short summary – Staying on task, executing toward final goal. Unfortunately, lost one teammate to crashes in the first week……but I know you just cannot wait to devour my entire post(/sarcasm)!

The first week of the Tour is almost done and I know you have become rabid fans following its every move.
While there has been a tremendous amount of excitement, we have not heard much of our protagonist Bradley, which is exactly as we want it.

Task completed – Week One. Stay safe and out of trouble.

So maybe you have not been following the inside story that closely. That’s OK! There has been plenty of drama outside the Tour de France route. Our friend from Texas, who has won a few of these things, has found himself in a bit of a complicated situation. This will be the basis of a future post:

Managing Difficult Situations

Still not convinced that this is where the action is? Well, truth is often stranger than fiction they say……..keep that in mind when the book and movie on this saga is produced (you heard it here first). Some tidbits : It is alleged that our friend from Texas made a $100,000 “donation” to the UCI (the organization in charge of regulating cycling) which subsequently covered up a positive dope test. There are plenty more titillating rumors.

Back to the situation at hand. As you know (because you read all my blog posts 🙂 ) cycling is a team sport and drafting (being protected from the wind) can save a ton of energy. The next big task comes Monday after this weekends’ stages with a few mountains to get over. Monday’s race(stage) is a 41.5 km Time Trail, also know as the race of truth. It is a race against the clock, without the benefit of teammates or drafting.

Check out the rigs they will be riding!

After Monday we should have a clear picture about how things are progressing toward our major goal. After the Time Trial, the high mountains will be the next task.

Stay Tuned!

Massage Table Strength Rating (the folly of), Lilly the dog and a little juggling

Bronwen and Desmond created a video based on the blog post by Leif Montgomery. Add your contributions below. We will announce a date for the juggling contest soon!

Business Building Tip # 3 Perspective

Submitted by Desmond Slattery
Focus, Focus, Focus….Discipline.
While we stay focused, like a laser…or not, on our goal (clearly defined), we should never lose perspective of the bigger picture. Believe it or not, and hopefully this does not come as a surprise, I, nor you, are the center of the universe!
Doing our Part
The following story involves the current theme it seems – food – in this case cake (along with coffee a fav of mine) and the amazing story of “The 9 Nanas”.
“Somewhere in West Tennessee, not far from Graceland, nine women — or “The 9 Nanas,” as they prefer to be called — gather in the darkness of night. At 4am they begin their daily routine — a ritual that no one, not even their husbands, knew about for 30 years. They have one mission and one mission only: to create happiness. And it all begins with baked goods.”  Read On

Successful Blogging

Submitted by Desmond Slattery

Many of you either blog or use social media in your marketing.

Here are some  tips for successful blogging:

  • Be authentic
  • Be creative
  • Have interesting content – food is always a winner
  • Be controversial.

The blog, neverseconds  from 9 year old Martha Payne has all of these qualities. How school lunches became controversial and a reason to ban her blog (and thus send it viral), boggles the mind. But lots of things seem to boggle my mind these days.

While I can’t match the blogging power and charm of this wonderful student from Scotland, I offer this contribution from our kitchen!

While some of those lunches look less than appetizing at least it’s a meal! Once out of school, one is either too busy to eat or cannot afford lunch!

Check out this story in the Telegraph about the  response to her blog

Tasking – Bradley Wiggins Watch

Submitted by Desmond Slattery

Even if you are not into cycling or massage, everyone can learn something by Joining me in the

Bradley Wiggins Watch

Watch Wiggins and you will find approaches that are helpful in life and business. Wiggins provides an excellent example of how to manage and execute projects, tasking and work flow. Who wouldn’t benefit from that? There are endless articles and traditional media on the subject, but if you are like me, you have to be intrigued by alternative and unorthodox approaches to learning successful work flow. Or perhaps the pain of unfinished projects has become too great to stand anymore and you need to find a system that works.

Here’s what we can learn from Wiggins 

Step 1) Have a Goal and be able to define that goal clearly and concisely. For example – Bradley Wiggins goal is to win the Tour de France

Step 2) Define executable steps and use apply discipline to them

Wiggins describes his approach in this way, “We ride our bikes, get a massage, eat and then sleep. Then we get up and do it again. And again”.  Not everyone can get as minimal and straightforward as this, but the less clutter, the better.

Step 3) Lose the distractions. Obviously we have more distractions to lose (not living on or in a volcano and all that).
Wiggins’ says, “People will think what they will think but I’m not the slightest bit bothered. I don’t read the cycling press and I don’t Twitter anymore and let people know my business. I’m a cycling recluse really and love it.”

The lesson is keep your focus and do not let others throw you off. Social Media is a killer of time and productivity. Like caffeine and chocolate, the judicious use of it is essential for success! I have much more to say on this and will do so in later posts. I’ll mention YELP in passing (as its part of this web app and social media bundle). A $10 Gift Certificate to GotYourBack to the first person who answers correctly – As a small business, you set up your Yelp page and nurture the reviews and content……what is the first thing that happens? Give your answers in the comment section.

Just to show you how hard this maintaining discipline with the various distractions in our modern world, the man of discipline, Bradley Wiggins, has gone back to Tweeting! Better not slow you down Bradley.

http://twitter.com/#!/bradwiggins

Bradleys teammates pacing him up the Col de Joux Plane (hors categorie)
hors categorie means really big hill!

Step 4) Employ teamwork! There are very few things one can accomplish without the help of others. Start learning ASAP, the ability to communicate, listen, and motivate and incentive others to help accomplish the goal. Cycling, by the way, is a total team sport. For people without an understanding of this, cycling must be very boring to watch and follow. If you understand the inner workings of the sport, races and especially those 3 weeks in July are the most exciting.

Picture taken from http://www.sirotti.it/

Step 5) Develop confidence and have faith; you have to have 100% belief in what you are doing. People pick up on your attitude and hopefully it is positive. A positive attitude is like yawning! It becomes contagious and helps you stay on task and keeps your supporters motivated. Maintain a “Zen” like attitude, detaching from and not worrying about the future, past, or internal doubts. Sometimes those doubts will occur, or people or the media (if that is the case for you) will try to throw you off stride. Maintain your composure; do not let your energy be taken away.

Watch this video. Bradley looks completely uninterested (in the media bothering him), is in control, says nothing anyone can understand, but sounds important!

Bradley Wiggins Interview

UPDATE : Wiggins wins Criterium du Dauphine

And no matter what you do, get lots of massage.

Massage Table Buyers Guide Part 2; Strength Rating

Submitted by Leif Montgomery

Strength Ratings/How to evaluate the strength of Portable Massage Tables

A portable massage table is actually an engineering marvel. It’s generally lightweight, portable, folds in half, and has to support up to 20 times its own weight. In choosing a portable massage table of course strength will be one of your considerations. And if you are like most people, you will look for the manufacturer’s strength rating and choose the one with the highest number. Unfortunately, like a lot of things in life, it’s not this simple. The strength ratings offered by manufactures are ambiguous, the terms are not clearly defined and it’s impossible to compare apples to apples. Some companies will not even tell you how they test their tables! You see, there is no one standard, no objective 3rd party auditing claims or agreeing on definitions or standards. You have to take all these ratings with a huge grain of sea salt from the Dead Sea. These ratings are meant to obfuscate; to confuse and muddy the waters. I dislike obfuscation. Fortunately for you, Leif is here to lead you down the righteous and enlightened path to owning a massage table. So now that you agree the ratings are mostly meaningless, or to be made fun of (see below) how do you grade strength?

I am going to show you two ways to achieve this by putting more knowledge and information into your hands and empowering you to confidently make decisions.

One way, though not scientific (but certainly as scientific as “strength ratings”) is to see how a particular table has performed over time. It’s a valid way to measure things and you probably do it with other categories of products already. Find an objective source that handles or sells lots of tables. This can be a dealer or school that handles or sells a variety of tables and can offer objective views on them.

The other way is to learn a little bit about table design. Here are the keys to good table design.

1) Raw Materials – start with components of high quality with no defects. Hardwoods in leg structures, proper gauge metal and aluminum, properly graded bolts and hardware, etc.

2) Quality Control – Inspect the raw materials for integrity and also the components at each stage of manufacturing

3) Integrated Design – the parts, hardware and components all need to work in harmony once the table is put to work and is load bearing.

Please do not take offense at this next section! I am not commenting on whether these tables are good or bad I am merely showing the crazy world of strength rating.

A Look at the wonderful world of Strength Ratings

Manufacturer Model Static Weight Rating Working Weight: also known as Max working weight, Operating weight, etc
Earthlite Spirit 3200 lbs 800 lbs
Oakworks Nova Doesn’t say 550 lbs
Pisces New Wave 2000 lbs 500 lbs
Astralite Pro 2026 lbs 450 lbs or 250 on ends
Master Champion 1500 lbs Doesn’t say
Stronglite Classic 4000 lbs Doesn’t say
Best Massage Eco Body Choice 1800 lbs 700 lbs 

We have the Eco Body Choice @ $139 with 700 working weight vs the Oakworks Nova @$400 at 550 working weight. The Oakworks Nova, with a long history and probably the most internal testing loses to a table from Best Massage. Hard to believe, unless you add in a dose of BS and hype.

Look at the difference in static weight between Stronglite (4000 lbs) and Earthlite (3200 lbs). It’s no secret that Earthlite and Stronglite are owned by the same parent company. Don’t they share their trade secrets?

Why did Astralite stop at 2026? Why not 2026.53? Is every table tested by the pound? Did just one table test to this weight and we now assume all test this this precise measurement?

Pisces sports a very average 2000 and 500lbs. Years ago, these would be great numbers. Here is some advise for Pisces: Your table lies on the floor :  Claim that it can support a Mach Truck! Then you will fit right in with the crowd!

And the winner goes to…

Master Apollo Chair (not a table, but I had to add it in!) claims 1000lbs working weight and static weight. It’s unclear which as their literature states both.  Imagine a cow running and jumping onto the chair. This would be the equivalent of 1000lbs of working weight. I am going to make a wager here – Me and my cow  break this chair before they change their strength rating.

In conclusion, if you still insist on using strength ratings, I have created, with the help of some math PhD’s, the following equation:

SR = (SW * WW) / H + BS^2

where SR = strength rating, SW = static weight, WW = working weight, H
= hyperbole factor, and BS = best guesstimate.