Spending 13 months in Southern Oregon 805 miles away from my family was a difficult endeavor. The first six months were literally a blur. I had worked and managed bars for years but this was my first go as an actual owner. I thought it would be a seemless change but I was so mistaken. Those first six months were 10am – 3am with no exceptions seven days a week. I have to admit I loved every second of it. I felt I was finally doing what I was made to do.
Having family so far away did take its toll and did challenge me mentally and emotionally. I take these memories seriously as I start the process of looking again . I know I’ll own another bar but this time I’m determined to buy the perfect bar for our families situation.
While I wait I continue to use my negotiating skills to wheel and deal playing the margin game buying and selling items. I did quite well in December with just over 18k in sales. Most of those were toys but the strong sales continue through January.
For all those struggling to live their calling. Our destiny awaits if we continue to push forward and battle our negative thoughts. Don’t feel alone keep moving forward you can do it!
Most of my life I made choices between bad and worse. I found every way and reason to waste my days. Thankfully my life is in a much different spot today. I see myself now making choices between good and better.
I battled depression from my choices and the thoughts that my life was so handcuffed I had nowhere to turn. Making money is obviously important but for me my desire and goal was always just to build a business (bar) that I could be proud of. A business that I could take build from nothing and turn it into a self perceived success. A bar that assimilates into a community and ends up giving far more than it ever took in. Depression rises its dirty head still but it doesn’t rule my days. I remember vividly the days, months, and years that the disease of depression took from me. My prayers are for anyone out there that are dealing with this disease. May they find light and love on those dark stormy days!
While I wait for the perfect opportunity to open another bar, I spend my time working, reselling products online. The rest of my time is with my amazing family and every other minute is spent thinking about or actually road tripping on my Harley.
I leave you with this quote, “The dream is free, The hustle is sold separately” We can do anything we think of if we pour our heart and soul into it. For me it’s the dream of another bar. What’s your elusive dream?
For years I have attempted to make better decision and live a better life. I’d like to think that I have made great strides and progress. It wasn’t long ago that living in my car didn’t seem like a bad idea. Caring about my immediate desires and wants were all that mattered. I was often told that everyone in my path got steamrolled . Sadly I left a wake of broken hearts and bones but in the end the one left to suffer was me. I spent a decade not being able to sleep due to thoughts of things I did and almost 3 decades drinking myself into oblivion to not have to face myself in the mirror. I was in and out of jail and seriously battled the good me versus the bad every single day.
I wake up now in a very different place. There is little worry I will ever live in my car again. I drink on very rare occasions after not drinking at all for 9 years. Physical violence is no longer part of my life and I have a wife and daughter who love me.
I generally feel good about myself and what I have become but at times I feel I have wasted my life. God gave me so much to work with and I wonder did I throw it all away? I wonder will I get to a place where I feel proud and know I’m using all of my abilities?
For now I feel my quest is to remain on the path to find meaning.……
My life has become one of great reflection on my decisions and actions in the past. I have realized I’m much too hard on myself and strive to let the past be just that , the PAST. I realize what’s best is to look forward and not to concentrate on what was but what can be. This simple fact is tough to implement.
Much of my free time now is spent voraciously reading all types of media usually dealing with entrepreneurship, motorcycle road trips, and self discovery. This week I stumbled upon a blog and life story that has literally shook my core. This man is a marvel to me and has bestowed such wisdom in his thoughts that he graciously shares with the public. He writes in ways and skill that I will never have. His thoughts about life are so simple and yet complex. He lives a life that can’t be easy but what he has gained from this life is more rewarding than anyone could ever know. His name is Ara Gureghian and his blog is : The Oasis of my Soul
I don’t share a lot in common with Ara. We are not in the same age bracket, we did not share in the same type of vocation nor live in the same geographical area. The things we do share are the love for Motorcycles and the travel they provide. Sadly we also share enduring and existing with the loss of a child. He lost a son in his 20’s and I lost a daughter at just 6 months old.
Losing a child is so unnatural , it’s just not suppose to happen. When Isabel was born I could only think and look at her with such hope for the future. Hoping to just be able to save her from making similar mistakes I have made and certainly providing her with a better life than the one I have had. Holding her on my parents couch the night she passed, literally feeling and watching as she took her last breath sent me into a dismal depression and a search of meaning. Ara took his depression and search on the road and the blog mentioned above is his experience spending 10 years on a motorcycle living on the road. I hope you find time to take in some of his beautiful photos, comments, and thoughts he so graciously shares. I know for me he speaks directly to my soul.
I hope to one day be able to share some miles and just have a few fleeting hours to share in conversation about life.
Ara you BLOW ME AWAY!
I fully intended to write a post each day of my trip to pick up my new Harley. I failed miserably and not only did not write during the trip I delayed this process over a month.
The flight out to Dallas was perfect and the owner of the bike graciously was there on time to pick me up. I jumped into his car and we took off for 15 mile drive to his house and the bike. The bike looked perfect and the deal was made within 30 minutes. He was a great guy who just wanted a smaller bike. I left his house with the plan to make it to Little Rock , Arkansas for the night. Dark clouds were in the distance as I headed East, I debated putting on rain gear , and decided to wait until I saw cars traveling West ,with their wipers on. This strategy has worked in the past but on this day it would fail miserably. I wasn’t 25 miles into the trip when the Texas sky’s opened up and I was soaked. Amazing how a 90 degree day can be turned into a shivering ride in a moments notice. I couldn’t see 10 feet in front of me but managed to make the first exit and pull into a gas station and under a canopy. I was blessed that the rain passed quickly and back on the rode I went. I was air dried within 15 minutes. The ride to Little Rock was uneventful and most of the day I was just getting to know the new bike. It was my first time ever riding a bagger so it took a little bit to feel comfortable. I pulled into Little Rock around dusk and stayed at a great downtown hotel called the The Clarion. It had a bar on the first floor that I would enjoy a few cold beverages and meet some new friends.
It was so great to be back on the road!
Time is still moving slow but the process has gained momentum. Here is a sample of what was involved in the process. Locate, analyze , and agree to terms on the bike I want to purchase. Next I needed to work out a plan to go buy the bike in Dallas, TX. I live in Las Vegas, NV so a flight was booked. I bought the flight and he kindly agreed to pick me up from the airport and deliver me personally to the bike at his house. I then called and purchased full coverage insurance for the bike. Switched some money from one account to another so it was accessible when needed to pay for the bike. The ball is moving so let me tell you a little about the journey once the bike is in my possession.
I’m trying to kill three or four birds with one stone here. First bird is going to see my dear friend from High School. He has been a true friend through the 25 plus years I’ve known him and found it’s sure hard to find that in many people. I moved to the West Coast and he settled in Johnson City, TN so from Dallas I will head to Tennessee. I plan on doing a few side rides in Arkansas on the way, including a trip up to the Oark General Store. The Oark general store is the oldest restaurant in the state of Arkansas and happens to be on a declared best motorcycle road in Arkansas. It happens to be off the highway (I-40) that I’m using to travel East. All in I will be riding about 1000 miles from Dallas to Johnson City.
The second leg is heading to our rental home in Ohio. The renters are due out September 1st and my plan is to ride to Aurora, Ohio after visiting with my high school friend. Once there I will be showing the house to potential renters. Once securing the lease and deposits, I will gladly be heading West. While in Ohio I plan on taking advantage to see old friends and family. This leg from Johnson City, TN to Aurora, Ohio will be about 500 miles.
I will now be prepared to ride home to Vegas. I have ridden this trip dozens of times. I’m debating on the route but can’t seem to get the idea of riding the Rocky Mountains again out of my head. I just can’t pass the mountains up so I will head directly West through Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and the home stretch of Nevada. This route is right around 2100 miles.
For now just starting to organize my gear and get mentally ready for the adventure heading my way. I just realized I have no rain gear, ugh back to the store I go! My goal is to make a post each day of the ride, hope you join me along the way.
My father said this to me countless times when I was growing up, and I never quite understood what it meant. I can now say , “I hear you dad, and understand fully”. Sitting in my North West Las Vegas home at 3:26 AM I have nothing but time to think. There is no doubt my thoughts can get the best and worst of me.
Waiting for your dreams and life to come together can be difficult. Each passing moment feels like I’m wasting time. Time that I will never get back. I’m full of ideas, hard work, and entrepreneurial spirit . No matter how much sense this family plan for us sounds (and it is the right plan) I still feel bitter, sad and frustrated at times. I realize I’m four years away from buying another bar and there are moments where it takes my breath away. I can get myself worked into a tizzy if I don’t control my mind. My last rant about the bar business – I watch Bar rescue and it makes me literally nuts to see these Morons getting rescued by Jon Taffer. Most should never have owned a bar in the first place and never deserved a second chance. I think to myself if these types of people own a bar I know I will always be able to thrive. If anyone know Jon Taffer tell him to start a show with me, we can call it Bar From the Ground Up!
Okay my rant is over. Smiling while I type this out knowing my father is looking down and saying, “relax son your just in the parking lot of life waiting for the light to turn green”. Fight on everyone, keep moving forward good things are coming our way!!!
My long time exclusive ride was a beloved Harley Davidson Fat Boy. I rode this bike 10’s of thousands of miles, and she represented freedom, memories and tons of nostalgia. When riding the bike I felt closest to my now deceased father. He instilled a love for Harley’s in me at a very young age.
My bike was stolen out of the parking lot of my bar in Oregon. That day it felt like I lost a long time friend. The 1000 mile days, those days riding through rain storms, and the absolute perfect days of riding felt lost to me. Above all my ability to connect to my father took a huge hit. The bike was taken about 3 years ago, and it feels like a lifetime. That all comes to an end August 22nd, 2015!
I fly into Dallas, TX early Saturday morning on the 22nd. I’m picking up my new bike and riding her to my home town in Ohio. After a few days in Ohio I will ride back home to Las Vegas, NV. The total trip will be well over 3000 miles and I couldn’t be any happier to do it. The memories on a new bike start again and I pray that the strange connection I feel towards my dad returns as well. Below you will see a picture of my new bike. I’m gonna try to update my blog each night of the ride but who knows how that will go.
I can’t believe how long it has been since I posted anything on this blog. No major goals of mine have changed. I still know my purpose and true happiness is in the bar business, but as life would have it, plans have derailed a little.
I have never wanted to own a bar in Las Vegas, Nevada. I managed bars for years here and realized early on that 24/7 bar ownership was not my desire. Plus the Vegas bar scene is not deal in any way. I want to own a true corner neighborhood bar and Vegas more and more is going away from that. Opening up all over the places are little small casinos (Dottys, Mollys, Jack pot Joanies) and they are literally killing the corner bar business. In fact many are buying up neighborhood bars including those that have multiple spaces. It saddens me but reinforces my desire to not have a bar in Vegas.
True to the path of my life, I thought I had finally convinced my wife and daughter to leave Vegas, and go to a state where I desired bar ownership. Life smacks me in the head and my wife comes home and says she was given a promotion and they doubled here salary. Now I may not be the smartest guy around but I quickly realized my ideas of leaving Vegas were gonna be put on hold. We came to an agreement and I started a small business (may talk about it at a later date). I’m learning to be happy without owning a bar , and for many months I never thought that was possible. My wife has always been the hardest worker I ever met and in return she has always moved up in her work career. It is such a joy to be able to watch the person you love reach heights that even she never thought was possible, in her career. I’m beyond proud of her and she teaches me every day that working hard and treating people right are better than taking short cuts and just looking out for yourself. I have a long way to go but I’d like to think she rubs off on me!
Another positive note, I’m starting to look for another Harley to buy. This excites me beyond words. Mine was stolen from my bar parking lot in Oregon a few years ago. Since then I have been sick living without. My plan is to buy another and start doing long distance rides of all sorts. Will start with a few from the Iron Butt Association and The Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. I’m sure once I get the bike majority of my writing will be from the road and/or about time son the road.
No idea if anyone will even read this but for me writing has always been a form of therapy, keeps my off the couch if you know what I mean.
This question has been at the forefront of my life since I was sixteen years old. I could never answer it , or was afraid to answer the question. When I was young I did anything to not deal with the question. From drunken stupors that lasted over a decade to refusing to conform and work any job I didn’t like. Well, at least not work it for long.
I hear all the time about just do something you love. I 100% agree with that statement but what does that mean? Most of us answer what do we want from our life, with the statement, “I just want to be happy”. I know for my life I don’t have the answer, but one thing that I do believe in is this statement for my life means ……. EXCITEMENT. I found that my happiness comes when I’m excited, not just kinda or a little bit – I mean head over heals excited. For me thats the bar business. I can come up with 100 reasons not to buy another a bar, but my excitement and passion trump them all, you see for me its all there is. I hope for anyone reading this you have found what truly excites you and your moving to it more and more each day!