When Your Pants are on Fire

Dishonesty is exhausting.

And, it’s sneaky. Nobody wakes up in the morning asking the question, “What shall I lie about today?” We all intend to speak the truth, to be real, to be open and honest.

But, then…life happens. So, we hide. A lot.

I’ve gone days (heck, weeks!) where I’ve been a shell of myself, portraying a different, new and improved version of Brent Stromme for fear of being found out or not being accepted as I am.

Not anymore. I grew weary of inflating numbers, covering bases, and spinning stories.

There’s nothing more freeing than being completely honest. On the flip-side, isn’t it refreshing to hear someone tell it like it truly is?

Speaking the truth has become a daily habit. I’m still tempted to hide, but now I fight it.

Tomorrow’s a new day. Fill it with truth. (139 words)

A Different Drum

One of my goals with leaderbird is to highlight individuals who had an idea, put a plan together and brought it to the marketplace. Landon Oldenburger (LOV) and Dave Yankowiak (Lift Development) have been featured on the ShowBiz page and I offer up another fascinating success story today that I think you’ll enjoy and be inspired by.

I sat down with Keith Anderson, the dreamer and founder of Risen Drums, and he pulled no punches in sharing a behind the scenes look at the juice and soul that moves Risen Drums up the charts. (note: ShowBiz posts are longer than 140 words 🙂 )

When your feet hit the floor in the morning, what’s the first thing on your mind?

Some days, it’s business. Did I forget this?  Did I get that done?  What do I have to do today?

What are you most passionate about?

We use the word passion in my family constantly. “Passion runs the world” and I want to chase my passions every day…and I do. Here’s my list:

  • Jesus
  • My family
  • Drums
  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Relationships

And from day to day, that order of importance changes, but that’s the list.

What scares you most about running your own business?

Paying the bills. Will it work? I am the CEO and the janitor at the same time.

Greatest benefit in running your own company?

It’s my decisions and my time that will make this work. I love that. I would call myself an artist. So in a sense, my business is my art, I get to create it. What are we gonna push, what are we gonna let slide, what are we gonna market harder…I love that. I really love that.

Greatest challenge in running your own business?

It’s all on me. That’s some pressure. Final decision is always mine. That I love, and that I hate at the same time.

What was the original source of inspiration for you to start Risen Drums?

Passion.  Passion is the source, drums are in me. So I just dove in and a hobby turned into a job.

What sets Risen Drums apart in this industry?

Customization and relationship. Everything we do is one at a time and very specific. That custom aspect is what has set us apart, and allows us to do this as a passion. It’s always one at a time, and creating…not an assembly line.

What “aha” moment(s) have you had over the years running a business?

I want to chase dreams. I want to be about relationships. What I mean by that is that I don’t have a boss to ask for holidays off. And, if what’s important today is to go visit a friend, then that can be the importance of the day. That freedom is really great. At the same time, I need to be self-motivated, there is no boss telling me what to do today. So, if I slack, things are gonna fall behind.

If you could hire one person, what would she/he do to help you out?

I would clone myself, and hire myself to double what I do.

What’s on the horizon for RD?

We are pushing on some new products , some new ideas, but mostly just taking care of our clients well. The theory of Risen Drums is pretty simple, and it goes something like this: If I really take care of everybody playing Risen Drums, they will love this product, and they will tell others about it. That’s a good a good way to live. And it happens to be a genius marketing plan at the same time.

Best advice for anyone hoping to start their own business?

Why not go for it? It might not work? But, it might? And what if it did, wouldn’t that be worth it? I say yes.

What are you…

Reading: A book called ‘Bloodline’. It’s the story of John Turnipseed. He started the first organized gang in Minneapolis, and was a bad dude. Then he found Jesus, and now leads others out of gangs in Minneapolis.

Watching: The Newsroom

Listening to: Taylor Swift.

Eating: Chipotle

How do you balance business, family and personal time?

My wife is super supportive of Risen Drums. That’s the only way this works, because sometimes I go back to work in the evenings, and sometimes I have to miss an event. But, other days I skip work to have a family day. In the end, she sees that this is my passion, and that it’s worth supporting.

Would you encourage your children to start their own company?

For sure. There is some stress in this, sure. But, again, ‘passion runs the world’, so chase what you are passionate about. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to start your own company , but if it does, then you have to do it.

If you weren’t running this business, what would you be doing?

Coaching baseball.  Or, maybe golfing.

Parting shot?

Ok, here’s the thing. When I listed my passions…money was not one of them. The reason to start my own business isn’t to make piles of money. But maybe it can be. If you list your passions, and one of them is money, then you can build any business as long as it’s successful. With that, if you list your passions and one of them happens to be higher on the list than money? Well, maybe that’s the business you should run after.

In my world, drums and relationships are way above money on a list of passions. So, my business revolves around those things. It doesn’t mean I don’t make money…or can’t make it. But it does mean that money is not the goal…which influences the decisions we make each day. That’s my 2 cents.

We’ll take it. Thanks, Keith. If you or someone you know is a drummer and would like to check out Risen Drums, you can get all the info you need and more at http://risendrums.com/.

If you didn’t get a chance to read Wednesday’s flyby, you can do so HERE: Small Ball for Business

Where Hump Days Don’t Exist

I led a team to the slums of Caracas, Venezuela, to deliver much needed supplies, clothing and help repair a school.

The people we encountered were the poorest of the poor, living upon garbage dumps alongside rivers poisoned with raw sewage. Extremely crowded conditions, rampant crime and lack of employment added to the challenge of living day to day. But, they did.

Long days and nights in sweltering heat blurred the calendar.

Working alongside Oscar, a local leader, one morning, I asked, “What day is it?” His response was telling. “New day.” I retorted, “Yes, I know…but, is it Wednesday?”

“No. New day!” Again, “So, it’s Thursday?” (I just needed to know, ugh!) He flashed his toothless smile. “Brent, here, every day is just new day.” 

Since then, I’ve had no Hump Days. And, tomorrow isn’t Thursday, it’s “new day”. 

Live fully in it. Just like Oscar. (140 words)

The “Do-Over” is Your Best Move

It happened, again. I walked into our house after a pretty lousy day and was greeted by my cheery wife who just got home from an apparently really good day. I had a choice to make; allow her to continue in her joy, or bring her down to my level as misery certainly loves company. I chose the latter. No!!!

Hey, can I try that, again?” I asked. She responded with a “That’d be swell” nod and wink. After comically moonwalking out the door, I took a deep breath and reentered. “Hi, gorgeous, it’s good to be home, even better to see you!” She planted a big one on me and we laughed.

Do-overs should occur often with your kids, boss, classroom, parents, spouse, coworkers and friends. It’s what leaders do.

I’m getting better at do-overs, but it sure is humbling. (140 words)

flyby

If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up a few days a week, check out the new “flyby” section of leaderbird!

Click FLYBY above  (between HOME and ABOUT) or click HERE to see the first two entries.

These bits of info won’t come to your inbox (I’m not spammy like dat), only blog posts will continue to be sent out. You’ll need to stop by leaderbird to check for new entries or follow me on Twitter or Facebook as I will tweet/post each new flyby. Let’s fly! (91 words)