“Hey, Rex!”, shouts Scott over the din of the lunchroom crowd at Winter Park High. It’s 1977ish and Scott had gotten wind that I play guitar.
Scott was a true blue rock and roll guitar player and was forming a garage band.
“Dude, I hear you are pretty good at rhythm guitar and I need a backup. You up for it?” he asks as he pins me between the lunch lady and one of the football jocks.
The jock sneers at me and grumbles, “I hear you’re playing at the Crew party next weekend Salsman.” addressing Scott and me. “Don’t you have your band together yet? This is going to be a train wreck.” the jock predicts.
I shrug and say “Sure.” Now keep in mind, I’ve never played in a band before. All my skills displayed in the safety of my bedroom, playing along with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. Never with anyone else playing with me.
“We practice at my house at 4:30 after school. Be there and bring your amp.” Scott instructs me.
Scott was a good player. I had seen him before at various impromptu lunchtime concerns at school that he a couple of other guys would put on from time to time. He was my gold standard. The Pace Car.
The rest of the day was spent in panic mode. “Would I remember the chords? Would I be good enough or would they laugh me out of the garage?” “Would I be able to keep up?”
As it turns out I was able to hang and I was even good enough to play lead on a couple of songs that Scott did not know. We played the Crew party and that night I was a rock and roll star.
Today I have other “Pace Cars” that inspire and give me a benchmark to shoot for. Someone to emulate.
First is Michael Della Pia. Michael is an entrepreneur. The proud owner of two computer companies. One for corporate clients and one that helps regular folks. He also has started with amazing success a line of nut butters. The company is The Nutty Peanut.
Mike is growing The Nutty Peanut from online to popup events and is on the shelves in many of the local Lucky’s Markets.
Mike might seem like he has “overnight” success but I know there is a lot of hard work behind the scenes that made all this happen. His intensity to achieve a goal helps influence how I approach my business. The grit that it takes to get up each morning to make things happen.
Besides his business acumen, he also is an inspiration in regards to health. He eats a totally plant-based diet and is a heck of a runner.
The other “Pace Car” is Ryan Fletcher. I first came to know about him through his podcast Agent Marketing Syndicate. He has over one hundred episodes and is working on starting a new completely different podcast in the coming months.
Through persistence and continual study of his philosophies some three years ago I became a member of his tribe.
We call ourselves Spartan and Story Athletes.
Becoming a member of his group is the most beneficial business relationship I have. In reflecting, it is not simply a business relationship it is more a band of brothers and sisters that see a better way to do business by impacting the community. By relating through stories, “I like the way that person thinks” not what marketers call “Unique Selling Propositions”. By creating multiple streams of income unrelated to real estate that help people achieve goals related to mind, body, relationships, and business.
Ryan or “Fletch” as most call him has one of those minds that work on a different level.
Although I am almost twenty years his senior, when I enter into conversations with him it’s like I’m back in high school.
The depth of knowledge and divergent thinking is such that he connects dots that many would not consider connecting.
We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago. About twenty-five of us that share ideas and learn about new ventures that Fletch is working on for us to be a part of.
During a downtime one in our group was working with Fletch on a project and stated “I thought building a business would be more glamorous. It’s just hard frickin’ work.”
I know that behind both Mike and Fletch’ s success is a lot of hard frickn’ work that no one sees. And that pushes me forward to do the work, take the time and see where the Pace Cars lead me.