Live at Red Rocks!

Originally published in the Man’s Point of View column in South Carolina Woman magazine.

I’m not sure how many of you were able to view my recent interview with Ms Nicole Boone over at WBTW 13. It was a great interview and I had a great time. We discussed my recent coffee exploration trip to Colorado.

 Last month I spent a week in and around Denver working on a business plan and other items associated with The Coffee Scholar, a business of mine that I’m working to get off the ground this year. It’s currently up and running, sometimes faster than me and my staff can handle.  A few really great opportunities have fallen into my lap, some of which I’ll discuss further in later columns.

I flew out to Denver right in the middle of the huge winter storm that the nation experienced in January. As a matter of fact, my ride departed the Atlanta Airport about an hour before they shut the entire place down, which is no small feat, with the Hartsfield-Atlanta Airport being the nexus of the world and all (it’s the busiest airport in the world). Then plop down in Denver to five degrees, wind chill below zero, and about a foot of snow. I loved it!

My main purpose in Colorado was the 2010 Free Agent Academy Intensive. The Free Agent Academy is a group of like-minded folks who have banded together to ‘fight the man’ so to speak. Our goal is self-employment by just-about-any means necessary. The owner Kevin Miller hosts a large community on the internet and we get together on a quarterly basis to talk shop, generate ideas, take criticism, and emerge as new and improved butterflies of social change and career freedom.

The gathered group ranged from career coaches to adventure trip planners, including folks from all regions of the United States except for the northeast. There were about a dozen of us. The intensive workshop included classes on social media, goal-setting, and technology. We also had a lot of time to gather in smaller groups or one-on-one and work on each other’s plans and ideas. We ate all meals together at the camp and woke early each morning for a sunrise stroll in the Rocky Mountains.

It was an exciting experience, but I expected as much. This was the second event I had attended. The first was at the home of Dan Miller, the best-selling author of 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Mondays. I came out of this meeting with a very long list of short- and long-term goals along with almost a fully complete business plan. The future looks great and is approaching fast as I start percolating my goals in a high-speed, low-drag fashion.

While out in Colorado I also took some time to both play tourist and check out the coffee in the area. Kevin Miller’s 13-year-old daughter Autumn actually started her own business selling flash roasted coffee. I came back with a few samples that made my back pack smell great. There’s just something wonderful about the smell of fresh-roasted coffee.

I also met Nate, a very well-travelled individual, who typically travels around with his own container of hot water and French press, just so he can make coffee anytime and anywhere. He made me several cups of coffee that he roasted and ground himself. He buys green coffee beans from a local roaster in Colorado Springs.

In my off-time I hopped in the rental car and hit some pretty nice tourist spots in the area. In the Colorado Springs area I visited the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. I drove the Lariat Loop Scenic Byway and said hello to Buffalo Bill Cody’s grave, the Red Rocks Natural Amphitheatre, and the town of Evergreen. Evergreen is the small town where the Southpark cartoon series is based. It’s also where the guy that shot President Reagan is from.

In Golden, CO I visited the Bradford Washburn Mountaineering Museum at the American Mountaineering Center. I also paid a visit to the American Alpine Club. I completed a research project for them a few years ago and wanted to drop in and say hello. From Golden I drove out on the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway north to Estes Park, which is the main entry point for the Rocky Mountains National Park. The scenic byways are beautiful. They avoid the high traffic, interstate areas and weave through the mountains and valleys. This route took me right by Longs Peak, the highest mountain in the park.

In Estes Park I dropped in on The Stanley Hotel. For those who don’t know, the Stanley is the place where Stephen King dreamed up The Shining. It’s a well-known haunted spot in the area and inspired some pretty crazy visions on his end. I walked around snapping a lot of photos. Although the hotel is not the same one used in the Stanley Kubrick film, it was used in The Shining mini-series that was shown several years ago. Alas, I didn’t see any ghosts while there.

My trip was a success on many fronts. It gave my business a jumpstart. It gave me lots of downtime (I managed to read two entire books). It gave my wife a break away from me. It gave me the chance to visit a new state, make new friends, and try new coffee.


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