As you may remember from my last post, I was on cloud nine about the 2007 Baja 1000 and the shop had survived without me. Everything was looking up as we headed into the winter of 2007/2008. If only I had known what was coming.
The winter of 07/08 was a slow one. Highland Cycles hadn’t even been around a year yet so I didn’t expect much but I couldn’t believe how slow it was. Days and days went by without any work and I was paying my guy the whole time. I kept dipping into my line of credit with the hope that when spring came around things would change and we would start to make lots of money. It was during this slow and cold time that things in my heart began to change.
I am the kind of person that needs a job or something to do or I get restless. When day after day and week after week went by with little to nothing to do I not only went deeper into debt but deeper into depression. I didn’t know what to call it at the time but that is exactly what it was. But spring was around the corner and pretty soon the weather began to change and so did my attitude, but the damage had been done. As the sun began to stay out longer, the business began to pick up and my hope resumed but little did I know that the economy was about to crater.
In the spring my wife and I decided to commit completely to Montrose. Fortunately, she got a great job with the forest service in Delta so we put our house on the market. It didn’t take long for it to go under contract and we were stoked. We were getting full asking price for it and we had a bunch of “equity.” That is in quotes because I had a massive line of credit drawn on that equity so we really weren’t going to be up when it sold. And then BAM!!! The stock market crashed like a Boeing 747 falling out of the sky. We were lucky to have our buyers under contract already and the sale of the house went forward. I didn’t really think much about the market because let's be honest, I didn’t think much about anything at that point in my life.
At more or less the same time of the crash another motorcycle shop opened up in town. This one had a huge financial backing and a massive, shiny shop and lots of ties to the community already. I remember thinking “ah, no big deal man, we are already here and we have this covered.” Boy, was I wrong. As the summer of 2008 continued, business didn’t really pick up. At least not enough to pay my bills. Because of my lack of ANY business knowledge and my fear of looking at numbers I continued to lose money. A ton of my customers in the construction business had lost their jobs and people weren’t spending money on silly things like motorcycles. I on the other hand purchased a brand new KTM 990 and a YZ250 because I am the dumbest person on earth. When we sold the house we paid off my line of credit so I figured that I was on the road to fortune and fame. I figured that I had worked soooo hard (said sarcastically) that I deserved new things even though I couldn’t pay for them. I was riding all the time and life was good… For me!
I wasn’t paying attention to anything that I really should have been paying attention to. I wasn’t watching money, I wasn’t tracking business and I definitely wasn’t giving any real time to my wife and young son. I would like to say that I neglected all of that because I was so driven to succeed and make things work but that just isn’t the case. I was so selfish and narcissistic that I honestly didn’t even think about that stuff. Sure I worked long hours and was getting my hands dirty but I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons and I was dropping balls that can’t be dropped. Looking back on that summer is painful. I was so delusional and so self focused. I should have seen what was coming but I just couldn’t take my mind off of myself.
It was God alone that kept things moving with the business. He wasn’t keeping things going in a happy and positive way per se. But somehow, someway, things kept moving and I kept screwing them up because I hadn’t made it to the bottom yet. I wish I was one of those people who realize their mistakes early and correct course quickly but I am not. At least I wasn’t at that time. I was determined to nose dive all the way to bedrock before I saw the light.
Gotta stop for now because I need to get to work. I appreciate you sticking with me and reading. It means the world to me that people actually read this. I would love it if the whole world would read this because I think my story could help lots of folks who are struggling. Right now we are still headed down but I can say that the redemption and healing that have happened in my life are miraculous to say the least. So, if you feel so inclined, please share this around!
Have a great day. Today I am thankful for the new snow, good friends to meet with this morning and my van!