The most precious commodity! TIME!

Most Precious Commodity

Most Precious Commodity 

            There are many items that may come to your brain when you think of the most precious commodity! In all reality the most precious commodity and that which we would die the fastest from is oxygen.  This is something that we cannot harness to benefit us though.  So, what is the most precious commodity that we can use to benefit for our future? TIME!  There is only so many hours in a day, days in a week, and months in a year.

            The thought of was something that was never in my mind until I started my business and had children.  Part of being a small business owner is being available whenever your customers need you to be.  For myself we sell products to New Zealand and Australia that is roughly 17 hours different than where I am at.  It also means that I be at home having family time when these customers are available.  What I am starting to become more aware of though is my responsibility as not only a business owner, but that of a husband and a father.  At the end of the day, I can work harder to gain new customers to fill a void.  What I cannot do is bring back the smile from my kids when I play with them.

            It needs to be recognized that you can still work your ass off and put in the hours needed for your business to thrive.  Get up early while your kids are still asleep and take care of tasks that will free up your afternoon and evening.  I am not saying to not put in the hours I am just saying to be smart with your time.  Use time blocking and set aside time for your non negotiables and most important tasks for each day!  Get those items done and free yourself up to be with your family when your home!

The most precious commodity in life! TIME!
My world Josie (4) and Charlie (2)

            All of us grow up way faster than one would think.  I felt like I was in high school yesterday and it’s been 15 years since I have graduated.  Normally I would be the one sitting here telling you that working long hours will give you freedom in the future, which it will, but what is the cost of that?  Its time with your family.  I have spoken on it before and believe that there is no such thing as a work life balance and I will stand behind that.  The reason for this is you cannot give 100 percent to two things at one time. Be present when you are at work and be present when you are with your spouse and kids!

            Someone had told me that you have 18 summers with your kids.  At first this seems off right? But really sit and think about it, when your kids hit that age, they are adults. They might decide that they want to go off to college, start a business, or get married! Let’s take advantage of this time we have with them. The answer isn’t buying them toys, the answer is creating memories! Get outside and live life with your loved ones! Experience new places and develop with them!

Brad

If you enjoyed this post please head to my podcast page and check out our latest episodes over there that focus on business and self development! We are in the top 1 percent in the entire world! Link Below!

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MY FAVORITE WIN OF MY RACING CAREER HERE!

Winning the hockett memorial!

Winning the Hockett Memorial!

            Today seems fitting to talk about my favorite win of my career.  It was the 2015 Jesse Hockett Memorial race at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO.  Before I dive into the race and how it all shook out, I should set some background.

            Before I started racing any sprint cars, we obviously had a large fleet of midgets and during that time frame we were lucky enough to have Jesse Hockett drive for us at Chili Bowl.  Jesse was what I would consider the last true outlaw.  He would drive anything anywhere whenever he could.  Jesse was also another Missouri boy and that is how our relationship began.  Jesse and Jack were one of the reasons we started to make the switch over to the sprint car world.  I can still remember like yesterday talking to Jesse the night before he passed away as we were getting ready to put in an order for wings to get me set up for my first season.  Regretfully that never got to happen.

            After Jesse had passed away Jack had asked me to drive Jesses car at the Lake of the Ozarks one night.  This was something that I was actually really torn about and was not sure if I wanted to do as I saw it as Jesses car.  I actually told Jack several times before he convinced me to strap in one night.  This would be the first time I had ever driven a wing sprint car in my career and somehow, we ended up running third that night.  One thing that stands out more than anything that night was when Jack and Conny gave me a hug in the trailer and thanked me for driving.  It was me that should have been thanking them though for the chance to drive his car.  We eventually ended up purchasing two motors off of the Hocketts that we used while racing with ASCS.

            Flash forward to 2015 and we are running with the National Tour at Lucas Oil.  A race that is circled on the schedule for every driver each year.  It was a two day show at this point and in our heat race we would start from the pole and win the race without any issues until the last two laps when I heard a knock in the motor.  After pulling the valve covers, we found a broken valve spring.  In the midst of time, we swapped out the motor.  A rule with ASCS was if you changed a motor and were locked in you would have to relegate back to 16th.

            The format for the feature would lock in the top 4 from the night into the finale on Saturday!  Luckily, we had a great car and we would drive from 16th up to 6th during the race.  On the last lap we made a pass in three and four that would move us into 4th place and the final lock in position!  That pass would obviously play a huge role in how Saturday would pan out!

            On Saturday we redrew the 3rd starting spot.  While trying to get the race rolling the front row was playing games with each other that resulted in our nose wing getting knocked off.  At that moment I thought the race was for sure done for us.  Our saving grace was an open red that allowed my guys to get the nose wing fixed and us back in contention.  We were able to chase down the leader and make the pass for the lead around lap 10.  We ran the race uncontested and ended up taking the win over 7 seconds ahead of second place.

Brad Loyet after winning the Hockett Memorial!

            In victory lane Jack was there and reminded me that the first sprint car I ever raced.  It was cool to see it all come full circle and get to celebrate such a big win with Jack there with us!  I was fortunate to win a lot of races over my career along with several championships in just about every class I competed in, but this is the one that stands out the most.  It is actually the only trophy that I have at my house that I get to see each day.

            Until next time –

2 Years

2 years sure does seem to go by in a hurry. Yesterday was my son, Charlies 2nd Birthday. I cannot even believe how quick time goes by. I remember sitting in the hospital like it was just yesterday.

In the last year I have got a bit more in touch with voicing my thoughts to the public. Since he is just two he will never remember these times in his life, but what better gift than to post a blog about the little guy.

Charlie is a mommas boy through and through! I love it though! He is lucky to have Cassie as his mom and I am so fortunate to have her as my wife to raise our two kiddos. This kid is an early riser which is his one trait that doesn’t align with his sleep loving mom! Every morning that kid climbs out of his crib and bangs on his door to start the day! As a two year old he already has quite the busy schedule!

Charlies day starts off with a tv show which is either Paw Patrol or Blippi! If you pick the wrong one he will let you know for sure! This kiddo also loves his sister like you wouldn’t believe. He is always chasing her around the house looking for her approval and copying anything she does! Yelling JOJO as loud as he can to get the attention from her. The only time the rugrat gets in trouble is when he copies his sister as she convinces him to break the rules a bit!

This kid also has the absolute best smile! It is the cutest grin ear to ear with his eyes squinted as small as he can while still looking at you! I know it is most likely going to embarrass him but that little shit is the biggest thumb sucker in the world. (WHICH I HATE) The little dude also has to have a stuffed animal at all times to keep him comforted which is also one of the cutest things you will ever see.

I can’t wait to see him grow up as I know he is going to be my right hand man in life! He loves anything and everything mechanical. I could see him being an engineer as he has to investigate anything he touches and see how it works. When he comes to see me at work he has to get out a tool and press the cycle start button.

For anyone reading this out there who has kids I am sure you realize how precious time is with them. They are only young and innocent for so long. I am trying my best to be as present as possible I can when I am with my kids as I will never get this time back. Even when I have a long or stressful day coming home to my two kids and awesome wife is what makes my day complete!

Happy Birthday Charlie! Cant wait to see what next year will bring! You are the best little buddy a dad could ever ask for!

Colorado Retreat

Many people close to me know that I have spent a lot of time on personal and business development in 2020.  Over the last weekend my podcast group, called the Brofessional Development took a trip out to Colorado.  The purpose was to get away for a weekend to have a good time, but to also plan out our 2021 goals for our podcast and our personal goals.

               The trip was to Copper Mountain in Frisco, CO over three days.  Many people may look at traveling for personal fun at this time as a bad thing, but it was well worth it.  I am glad that we went and am personally not scared of the potential risk I may have put myself in as we were cautious the entire time.  Once arriving to Denver, we made the 2-hour drive, which was beautiful, to the resort!  At the resort we were literally 100 yards from the ski lifts.

               In the morning we suited up and prepared for a day of skiing.  Having only skied in the only hill St. Louis has to offer this was a dramatic difference in quality!  We were lucky to have fresh snow fall on us almost all day. We were able to get our feet under us and enjoy a full day of slopes.  After getting our fill we cashed in and started our planning that our trip was focused on.

Hitting the Black Diamond

               Night one of planning was centered around our podcast. If you don’t know what our podcast is about here is a brief introduction that we actually knocked out on the trip!

Our mission is to curate information from the top influencers around the world. We provide you with real, actionable steps on how to improve in any and every area of your life, whether you own you’re an entrepreneur, C-Suite Executive, or just starting your journey of Self-Development. Brofessional Development is all about growth, and you know if you’re not growing, you’re dying.

               It was great to have all 5 of us sit down uninterrupted for the night which started at 5 and went all the way until midnight.  In this time, we created an outline of what we expect to achieve over the next 12 months.  We covered everything from how many followers we hope to have all the way to potential guests and scheduled out a year worth of episode ideas that we are excited to share with everyone.  We would have never accomplished these items if we were in St. Louis.  Being involved with a podcast is fun, but also requires a lot of attention to reach our goals that we have set in place.  In doing this trip we were able to delegate roles for each individual that should help steam line the process!  Although it is a podcast that we are growing we are creating a BRAND!  The Brofessional Development brand is one that can help just about anyone!

               The following morning the team split with half of us hitting the slopes again and the other half taking on a hike in the mountains of Colorado.  If you have never been out to Colorado, I can tell you that your missing out!  The beauty is every direction you look!   In being surrounded by this our creative juices were flowing and that night we attacked our personal and business development goals for 2021.

BOBBY AND MATT ON A HIKE

               We all sat down and wrote down these categories:

  • Family
  • Career
  • Health
  • Financial
  • Education
  • Recreation
  • Charitable
  • Adventure
  • Travel
  • Romance
  • Relationships
  • Spiritual

From there we all picked the one that we wanted to focus the most on which varied between the group, but most seemed to land in the Career and Financial segments.

               For me personally this was the most enjoyable thing we did all weekend!  Having the chance to be around 4 other growth minded individuals ideas started popping off like champagne on New Year’s!  We were able to bounce ideas off of each other on how to accomplish our goals in which Matt outlines as GAP:

  • Goals
  • Action
  • Purpose

In doing this we all created an action plan with deadlines to see how we are progressing in our journey through 2021.  Everyone has great goals for 2021 and with the support of our group I see everyone succeeding!

Planning Process

               To dig a bit deeper on my main goal for 2021 it is in bold around CAREER! I love being an entrepreneur! I love coming up with an idea, thinking through the process, executing, and enjoying the rewards it creates.  I encourage everyone I know to chase their dreams of being an entrepreneur as it opens up so much freedom for yourself and family.  In 2021 I would like to open up a second business on top of my fabrication business, BP Fabrication LLC.  I have several ideas that I am wanting to pursue that I think have serious potential! I won’t go to in depth on what the particulars of each business idea are, but I can tell you that over the next year you will most likely see me execute on one of them.

               In closing I wanted to thank the guys for going on this retreat.  There was a dramatic amount of growth that happened over 3 days in the mountains of Colorado.  It is such a privilege to be surrounded by people that are all on the same page! Moving forward in our Brofessional Development Brand I could see us offering up trips like this to members who would like to join such a great group.  So, if you are wanting to invest in yourself get in touch and we can help elevate you as well!

               I should also let it be known that I am very fortunate to have a wife who supports and allows me to chase these wild goals, most would call them dreams but when I make them become a reality you can’t call it a dream! Along with also having great employees who kept the shop running seamlessly while out for a couple days!

               Let’s crush it!

my 75Hard Journey

Over the last 75 days I have participated in a programed called 75Hard which was created by St. Louis, MO entrepreneur Andy Frisella. It is often looked at as a workout challenge, but even Andy calls it a mental toughness challenge. So here is a look at my 75Hard Journey!

UPDATE!! I had the pleasure of INTERVIEWING ANDY FRISELLA FOR MY PODCAST! Check it out HERE!!

75Hard, Self Development, Business Development, Challenge

Here are the requirements of the program each day:

  1. Follow a Diet
  2. Two 45 Minute Workouts (ONE MUST BE OUTSIDE)
  3. Drink 1 Gallon of Water
  4. Read 10 pages of a business/entrepreneurship book
  5. No Alcohol or Cheat Meals
  6. Take a Progress Picture

So as a spoiler I will say that I did complete the challenge! Was it easy? NO! Was it rewarding? YES!

Now let me give you a summary of how it went for me over the 75 days as I have had a week off since I completed the challenge.

Following a diet was something that I thought would be a huge challenge and it was.  I was lucky enough that my wife took the challenge with me, which did make it easier!  We are also parents of two little ones which makes it much harder.  The times of grabbing a quick and easy meal were really out the window and we had to focus a lot on planning out our meals.  As a result, we did A LOT of meal prepping which for me personally is the only way I was able to make diet and easier task to complete each day!  I followed a low carb diet with clean food going into my system.  As I sit back a week later having cheat meals, I can tell you my body greatly appreciated eating clean and the last week my body has not felt the same.

What about workouts you say?  Well since I have been out of racing it is safe to say that I have gotten a bit more comfortable and was at my largest weight in life, 225lbs to be exact.  As I stated above it is a requirement to do ONE workout outside.  I was very fortunate that the weather during our challenge was amazing and was only forced to work out in adverse conditions a couple times.  For my workouts they consisted of running/walking to start for the first several weeks.  I then transitioned into running and riding my mountain bike before finally transitioning into lifting weights along with some form of cardio. 

What I found to be the most intriguing part for me was being outside. I loved it! There were mornings I would be out that I felt a connection I never have before and I know that sounds super hippie and out there, but I did.  I honestly really looked forward to having that time outside everyday which meant often I would do both of my work outs outside! Over the course of those 75 days I recorded ALMOST ALL of my workouts with my Garmin Instinct watch I treated myself to.  Here are the results of those 75Days.

  • 100 Miles of Walking (If I didn’t run for the entire 45 minutes, I recorded it as a walk)
  • 90 Miles of Running
  • 218 Miles of Mountain Biking

All in it was a total of 408 miles!  It has motivated me to do bigger things in the future regarding fitness!

               Many people seem to struggle with completing to drink a gallon of water a day.  For me this was without a doubt the EASIEST part.  My shop does not have air conditioning and as a result I drink a lot of water during the day.  Also, while riding my mountain bike I would often drink 1.5 liters of water alone in a 45-minute period.  With that being said I also really enjoy Dr. Pepper, so I did give up soda for the 75day period and of all the choices I had to make during this time not drinking soda would rank up there pretty high!

               So, before the challenge I had already started reading books with a group of guys who were also focusing on improving their business and personal life’s!  Reading is something that I have never really enjoyed until January when we started this all.  Here is a list of the books that I read during the challenge.

I did not list the books in any particular order, but I will say that Start With Why was my favorite! It seemed to really hit me with facts and applications for my life and my business. I do wish I would have ready 75Hard sooner in the process as it gives a ton of motivation along with other insights that help guide you through the process.  For me the most important thing with books is that there has to be an application to them, it is very hard for me to just read what I consider stories.  I also like to know that the people writing these books actually have experience and are not just educators.  Knowing that the authors practice what they preach instead of just preaching it!

               I should take back what I said as for drinking water being the easiest task!  Not drinking alcohol would have been the easiest.  I have not had a drink of alcohol in close to 10 years so for me this portion of the challenge was just part of my life.  This can be a struggle for a lot of people and the best I could relate it to would be giving up my soda.  I am sure for many people they may have the realization over the 75days how they could live a better/easier life without it in their system.  Now cheat meals on the other hand may have been a bigger struggle.

  For me I had a pretty extended honeymoon stage of the challenge, which meant I was a machine, but that came to an end on about day 50!  I craved pizza like you wouldn’t believe!  It was like a shark getting a sniff of blood in the ocean and had to have it!  I am not joking I feel like I could smell a pizza delivery drive through my neighborhood like a kid hears the ice cream man!  Pizza was my first meal after the challenge was complete and let me tell you it was AMAZING, but the next day my body felt it and although my craving was taken care of it left me a bit disappointed!

               I was not sure if I even wanted to post by Day 1 and Day 75 photos, but since I am writing a blog about it, I guess that is kind of a requirement, right?  So here it is!

I started out at 225lbs and a little over a week into my challenge I got an inbody scan that had me at 23.1 percent body fat.  At the conclusion I was 17 percent body fat and a weight of 189.0.  I had a goal in my head to reach 195lbs which I completed, but I was hoping to reach 15 percent body fat which I didn’t reach.  Most would look at this as a failure which it is, but for me it’s a motivation for moving forward!

In conclusion I really enjoyed the journey of 75hard.  I want to start again right now, but that would force my hand over the holidays to stay strict on a diet which I am not sure I want to miss out on.  Should I do it again, for sure and overall, I think it has created habits that will be instilled with me for quite some time moving forward.  I took off about 4 days as a break to myself from working out and almost felt disconnected during those 4 days.  Since then I have been back to doing a workout a day which fits my schedule good currently. 

My biggest takeaway from 75Hard would have to be TIME MANAGEMENT!  To me it was the most crucial piece during the challenge as all these items take time during the day to complete.  For me the shining star in completing the challenge was my wife!  I honestly couldn’t have done it without here support and drive, as there were days, I was overwhelmed she made me get after it and finish it! By the way she absolutely killed it as well while also taking care of both our kiddos all day long! 

This was my third attempt at completing it. The other times I did not make it a priority in my life and that was always the result of me failing!  If you are on the fence please just pull the trigger and get after it! You wont regret it!

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So I joined a book club!

So, anyone who knows anything about me could tell you that I wouldn’t be the first person you would guess to join a book club! 

               I was approached this winter by another one of my Lindbergh High School alumni Dan Greiner about joining a book club.  At first, I laughed at him and was not interested, but the more I thought about it the more I was intrigued by it.  Dan owns his own recruiting firm in the St. Louis area and is the largest mortgage recruiter in the country. Check out his website here! Dan came up with the idea from another guy, Matt Kresko.  Matt also owns his own business as a recruiter as well. Check out his site here. The focus of the book club was to be business/self-development, and that is what sold me!

               Since I have started my business, I have been very interested in what separates successful people from those that fail.  What better way to learn then reading from experts in their fields that must have had enough success to get a book published.  When the idea of book club started, we had over 25 people interested…the first meeting it was only the three of us!  We did add one member along the way Colin McNeil, who is an insurance salesman.

 The first book that we read was “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and it blew me away.  Some of the most productive times of 2020 to date came during this time period.  I wont spoil the book but highly recommend it and may do a review in another blog at another time.  Want to know what was the most effective part though?  It was meeting with three like minded individuals who are striving for the same thing.  Our book club meets once a week and I look forward to that hour every week because I learn more each visit we have together. 

Since our first book we have read two more for our meetings which were “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Jordan Belfort which for me was an absolute bust and I say save your money!  The next was “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.  This book was just as good as our first and touched on a lot of the same processes!

We decided to switch up book club as time commitments for each of us is different with families and time being a commodity for much of us trying to grow our businesses.  We are now recording a weekly podcast touching on the highlights of each week’s business and self-development influencers, books we read, and quotes that may have motivated us during the last week.  It also selfishly for me expands my knowledges into different sectors I do not have any knowledge of, and in return helps me understand even more.

To me our book club is more of a fraternity and I wish all three of us nothing but the success and they themselves have driven me to try that much harder each week.  I feel like I am being held accountable by a close group and lights a fire that is different then performing for your own success.  It is without a doubt one of the farthest things from my comfort zone, but I am glad to be a part of it.

If you have any book suggestions, podcasts you can’t stop listening to, or quotes that change your daily life drop them down below in the comments.

Also if your not doing it give me a follow on all the social media sites and check out my business website as well here!

Until I decide to write again….

MADE IN AMERICA

Obviously with the influx of the COVID-19 virus our country is realizing how many products are being produced overseas.  In my industry there are several companies that are sourcing their parts overseas, and to me I lose respect for them.  Without a doubt they are able to produce parts at a much cheaper price, but what is the trade off?  QUALITY!  These items are being used with cheap materials and labor that is also ridiculously priced!  There will always be that demand for a cheap products, as some people cannot afford all the parts that are “Made in America”

               To have a look outside of my industry and the personal belief of what our country should do during this time is to bring back as much manufacturing to OUR country as possible.  In this time of need it is hard to believe that the same country who brought this pandemic to the world is one of the few countries who are profiting from it!  China is supplying us with masks and ventilators at a volume that is unreal.  On top of that our pharmaceuticals are also being made overseas at a large percentage.  So, while our country goes into a massive panic and shut down of our economy the “enemy” in my mind is also who we are relying on, and that is just not right. There has to be a point that profits can’t outweigh our patriotism of our own country.

HOW DO WE FIX IT?

               So instead of shutting down America, why not develop the resources and connections needed to bring production back to the USA in large numbers.  America has the capabilities to do everything they are doing, and we have done so in the past during war times.  You would see unemployment reach a new low instead of a new high!  What is wrong about being self-sufficient? Or at the very least the closest we can to being so.  If you take a look into our past you will see that Franklin D. Roosevelt passed the Works Progress Administration that put unemployed people back to work in order to more or less develop our country and put employees back to work! They helped build roads, bridges, hospitals, zoos, etc. (OF WHICH ALMOST ALL ARE STILL IN USE) It is estimated that this cost just around 4 billion dollars which is around 75 billion today!

IN RELATION TO 2020!

               So how does a program like this bring manufacturing back to America?  Easy our government just passed a 3 trillion-dollar stimulus package.  When you compare 75 billion to 3 trillion it seems like nothing doesn’t it.  America not only needs to invest in individuals during this time to bail our economy out but, why not invest in our country at the same time.  We can create what we once had during the industrial times.  We have the space and resources to develop large manufacturing plants across the country.  At the very least there is absolutely no reason that 100 percent of the prescription drugs should not be produced in state side.  After establishing that we can move into other aspects that need attention as well.  Although this will be a rough patch for the majority of the country it is also a time when a large amount of growth is possible.  I would love to know the amount of money each of the states are losing in sales tax each day! The only person who is benefiting from this is Amazon and guess who doesn’t pay sales tax???  Its time to quit being sheep and do what is right for our states and country! 

A QUOTE TO THINK ON

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

To me this quote means a lot during these times and I feel like giving out this stimulus money is more or less putting a band aid on the situation instead of growing from it.   

               In conclusion I think the quickest fix to get AMERICA back on its feet is getting back to work!  Here is a link to send an email to the governor of Missouri. CLICK HERE!  Let him know we want to get back to WORK!  I personally do not want to spend the next 10-15 years digging out from a depression.  Let’s get together and separate the DEMOCRATS and the REPUBLICANS and focus on what generations before us did! 

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COVID-19 in business

I have held off on writing about this for quite some time.  At first, I thought I would stay in the shadows and keep my opinion to myself and my close circle of friends and family, some who I am sure don’t agree with me either.  It wasn’t until Andy Frisella posted today on his Instagram that people needed to start speaking up about how they feel that gave me the courage to post it.  Andy Frisella is one of the owners of 1st Phorm which is a health supplement store based out of St. Louis, MO and is a very successful entrepreneur.  It is very safe to say that he is outspoken about the coronavirus and the effects it is having outside of a health standpoint.

               That’s where I would like to toss in my two cents if you care to hear about it.  Please don’t be offended as these are MY views and I would respect your views just the same, as I am sure there is a polar opposite opinion on it. 

               As many of my readers and followers know I am a business owner that caters to the motorsports industry, which is often a hobby for many individuals.  Most of the racers across the country are blue collar workers who bust their ass week in and week out just to get that thrill of racing once or twice a weekend.  Your average racer will put in 8-10 hours of REAL work a day before they go home and put in even more work just to be ready to go each weekend.  You might ask what this has to do with anything?  Well it has absolutely everything to do with how fucked this world is going to be.  Everyday since the “quarantine” has gone into effect there have been workers losing their jobs.  We are talking about every part of the spectrum, no one is safe right now.  So, this is a direct to my business along with almost every other business owner because now people don’t have that extra spending money to spend on items they want, and instead are spending it on what they NEED!  This isn’t just my industry its everyone from your retail clothing outlets to mom and pop restaurants.

               This is where I am going to lose a large majority of the readers who will fail to see both sides of the story and that’s fine.  What we are doing as a country is crazy.  We are shutting down the entire country in fear of the COVID-19.  If you go to https://www.worldometers.info/ you can see the amount of deaths this year from several different categories running from traffic accidents, suicide, and cancer.  When I looked COVID-19 was at 46,438 people… in the entire WORLD!!!! You want to see a statistic that will blow your mind, abortion was at 10,665,130 and hunger is 2,806,314.  I understand that many people will say there is no vaccine or we don’t know how this spread, but I think we all know how to stop hunger am I right?  Why have we all been so lost in the media craze that we hear every single minute, hour, and day of our lives right now.  What we are doing right now will ruin our economy, which in turn is going to end up killing more of us each year than this virus will.  What are we going to do when we are no longer able to afford the things we need?  The government is only able to bail individuals out so many times before there is nothing left.

               I am not saying that tomorrow the world should just go back to what it was before this pandemic, but I am saying we need to start getting back to normal.  There are to many people out there who will have their lives ruined by this craze that has developed.  Let’s start getting back to normal everyone.  Be smart though as I am not saying this is all made up, I am just saying that there are much bigger factors in the world that our attention should be on instead of this.  This country was built on small business and all this is doing is hurting those people who took a risk. 

               In closing I want to bring up something one of my friends in the business world asked.  What would have this been like without social media?  I have a feeling we would all be working and living a completely normal life and this wouldn’t have a lasting impact like it will now.  At the same time do your part and be a good human!  Wash your hands, cover your mouth, and respect people who it may affect more than yourself and stay home the best you can!

               If any of this made an impact give it a share and don’t be afraid to have your voice heard.  When does the media go into a quarantine? 

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EVER FELT A LITTLE OFF?

               I hope that this week’s post doesn’t come off as too dark, but I also think its something that deserves to be talked about.  I haven’t thought much about this until the racing community lost Bryce Townsend.  Although Bryce and I were not friends on a personal level I was lucky enough to know him.  Many moons ago we raced against each other when I got to travel to New Zealand and every year, he would bring his tour group by my shop.  It seemed like he really was one of the good guys of the sport it seemed like and when I heard the news it caught me extremely off guard because I didn’t expect it.  Unfortunately, I also know a couple other guys who have taken their own lives as well.  My uncle Steve who we spent weeks at a time with in Texas during our childhood summers also feel victim as well to this as well and he was one of the smartest people I knew.  Along with one of my first true sponsors and funniest dudes on the planet Joe Zierolf who I could tell stories about for days.

               I will be the first person to tell you that I didn’t understand what depression was or how it affected people. Until it happened to me. 

               After my shop accident I went through a whirlwind of emotions.  I started off as happy go lucky Brad, always been just hoping for the best.  The first surgeon told me I would have a full recovery, which made me think everything would be normal soon enough.  Reality quickly set in that this wasn’t the case.  Today I still can not bend my wrist, have 50 percent of my grip, and have constant pain on a daily basis.  I had now lost the only life I knew, RACING.  It wasn’t my choice to lose that I had it stolen from me.  Was I ever going to the next level of racing? No and I knew that, but imagine the one thing you absolutely love being taken away.

               I had a lot of issues after my surgery consisting anywhere from complications with pain medicine to loss of sleep.  I would only get about 2 hours of sleep a night and each time I closed my eyes the events from the accident would play out over and over until I woke up.  These two things together literally made my life a living hell.  It was the first time I can say I dealt with a deep level of depression, I was in a serious funk and couldn’t get out of it.  I had zero motivation, I only left the house to go to rehab which was almost a bigger kick in the balls as I was seeing almost no progress and I was forced to look at my wrist each rehab session which once again gave me doubts.  I wondered if I would ever be able to use it again and at this point knew my racing career was over, but what about normal life?  At the time my daughter was still young and the thought of me not being able to play with her ate at me.  Every father wants the chance to ball with their children, and honestly throwing a ball today is still not the easiest thing in the world for me to accomplish.

               So how did I recognize this and get out of the funk?  First of all, I didn’t notice, the people around me did.  My wife Cassie and my mom were the first people to notice.  I just thought this was my new life.  Luckily, my Father in Law, a psychologist told my wife that I should go back to living my life as normal as possible. So I started going back to work everyday.

               Getting back into the shop is what really saved me.  I wouldn’t do a thing at work because I literally couldn’t for well over 6 months but it gave me somewhere to be.  Most days I would end up falling asleep in a chair because just getting out of bed and picked up by someone to bring me into work wore me out.

I am lucky enough to have a big support system.  My family was clearly my biggest cheerleaders out there and without them I am not sure where or what would have really happened. As you would imagine although this affected me it has had a ripple effect on my entire family because of it.  I will never be able to thank each of them enough for helping me during that time.  Two other people that deserve recognition are Tony Stewart (all around badass racecar driver and person) and Steve Ott (NHL Hockey Player and Stanley Cup Champion Coach).  These two went out of their way and would check up on me almost weekly and gave me inspiration to start kicking ass.

               So, although depression in men seems to be looked at as something bad, I think we all need to start being more aware of not only the people around us, but also ourselves.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone for yourself if you think you are in a funk you can’t get out of.  At the same be aware of the people closest to you and don’t be scared to ask how they have been.  If you don’t think there is anyone out there for you there is and by all means reach out to me and I will do my best to help you out.  I am by no means an expert of depression, but I do know a little encouragement goes a long way.

More information with people who are much more educated than me can be found HERE.

               Until next time….

mentors of my life to date!

This week I have been thinking a lot about mentors and people who have affected my life in a positive way. 

               As many know my dad is without a doubt my biggest mentor in life and someone I have looked up to since I was a kid so I will stay brief on him, but he deserves to be mentioned first!  Growing up my dad used to work from sun up to sun down and there were many days as a kid that I wouldn’t even see him at all because he would be gone before I woke up and wasn’t home until I was already asleep.  All this changed once I started racing.  We spent a lot of time behind a windshield as we cris-crossed the country.  My dad instilled from me at the beginning something that I will take to the grave and that is that hard work does not go unnoticed and that if you work hard enough you can do or have anything.  I am now lucky enough to have my dad in my corner supporting my business adventure and although we are not traveling the country, I still get to see my dad every single day at work!

               Obviously almost everyone thinks of a parent as a mentor, but what about other people who have made a positive impact on my life?

               When living the life as a racer I was lucky enough to work with some amazing people along the way and I would like those people to get the recognition that they may or may not know affected me.  Three people come to mind, some who still talk to me and some who won’t even make eye contact with me!

               First would be the man with one of the oddest nicknames out there, Flea Ruzic since most people don’t know his real name.  Flea was my crew chief for quite some time and we won a ton of races in a short time, something like 50 races in 2 years.  He was the first person who let me get behind a tig torch and try to teach me to weld as well.  Where Flea excelled with me was getting every last bit of effort out of my skills, we connected on a level that not many people do.  We were also had one of the most brutal relationships in which, if I messed up, he was just waiting to bust my balls on it.   The same went for if he may have given me less than subpar advice back.  We also had a relationship in which we could almost communicate without even speaking and were always on the same wave length.  Flea is one of the worlds best fabricators and has a successful business very similar to mine in which he builds chassis called Rippers.  Flea and I speak almost weekly about anything you could imagine and still have a very great relationship.  Besides my father, Flea is one of the more influential people in my life.

Flea and I after our 4th consecutive win at Angell Park Speedway. I think its a record that still stands today!

               Another mentor I was very fortunate in having was Rusty Kunz.  Rusty is one of the best crew chiefs in the nation for midgets having won some of the biggest races in the USA.  Although Rusty and I did not have nearly as close of a bond, he taught me almost everything I know about how a car handles and what to do to make it better.  I really soaked up as much as I could from Rusty and I am sure I never have communicated to him the knowledge that he instilled in me from car maintenance to setups he always gave it 100 percent and provides every driver he works with the best car to win with and its clear when you see his racing resume.  I can credit a lot of my success to the knowledge that Rusty taught me over the years.

Here is Rusty Kunz along with his grandson Brayton Lynch with my dad and I!

               Remember how I said some of the mentor’s won’t even look at me anymore? That leads me to my next person I would like to mention and that is Rick England.  Rick worked with me for several years and unfortunately, we had a falling out that just couldn’t be repaired.  If there is ever a project out there in the world that someone can not complete because they lack the knowledge or skills you should call Rick.  He is by far one of the greatest fabricators in America.  He taught me how to run our first South Bend lathe, how to cut my first chips on a Bridgeport Mill, and how to work with sheet metal.  I know for a fact since our falling out I was never able to really let him know how much he taught me, but I know for a fact the skills I learned from him our priceless.

In this picture is Tim England, Colin Jones, Flea Ruzic, myself, my dad, and Rick England after a win as well!

               There are several other people who have done so much for me along the way as well.  Jeff Palazzolo spent countless hours of his own time teaching me how to tig weld until I figured it out and is always my go to source for information on subjects, I am clueless about.

               Barrett Baebler was one of my college professors who I more recently circled back to thanking for his positive affect on me.  Webster University offers a entrepreneurship certificate and he was in charge of the program at the time and the classes I was able to take with him pushed me in the right direction giving a true education on it versus a hard knock approach to it the other mentors in my life may have given.

               So, what’s the long and short of this post?  I would say I was lucky in the resources that I have been given and am grateful for them, but for anyone reading this post I would say there is a mentor out there for everyone.  Believe it or not people are almost always willing to help others and most the time these people actually get satisfaction out of knowing someone is interested in some of their knowledge.  Hopefully I didn’t get to far down the rabbit hole and lose any readers, but I think it is very safe to say that if you surround yourself with good people you will see good results.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help in life, there is always someone out there willing to help.

               Drop a comment below and share your thoughts or stories on one of your mentors or role models, I am sure people would love to hear positive results from others on this topic as well!

               Until next time….