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Bryan Monzon

websites & triathlons

The Perfect Scenario

I had a moment to reflect before a meeting this morning. It wasn’t long at all. Maybe 10 minutes at most. I wrote it down in my notebook but I thought it would be good to record it here as well.

The more I head down this path of learning what I’m most passionate about things become more clear to me. Things like what makes happy and gives me life. Things like what is a struggle and prevents me from pursuing what I love.

I might have written this here before but a long time ago, my good friend James Pearson asked me what my passion was. Without hesitation, it was coaching. The quickness at which I responded actually shocked me a bit.

Coaching for a living seemed like something for people who were good enough to coach college and the pros. In swimming there really wasn’t a professional world, so college was it for me. I quickly realized though that getting into coaching at the college was incredibly hard. There aren’t many jobs and more were going away as programs shut down. So I never really gave it a thought, coaching in college.

High school was great at the time. Early twenties with little responsibility and a flexible schedule. I could totally leave work at 2pm for practice and then come back after. The further along in my career, the less that was possible. My passion for coaching didn’t seem possible to do full time but at least I know it was in my heart of hearts back then.

All that is to say I really did care about coaching but didn’t think it would ever be possible to support myself on. Fast forward over a decade and I’m here. I’m starting this triathlon business and I’m close to figuring out a way to do this, just in the context of triathlons instead of just swimming.

This morning I thought to myself, “triathlon coaching has everything for me that has made me happy over the years”. I’ll list out what I’ve experienced over the past couple weeks and months.

  • Coaching itself really makes me happy. I love the interaction with athletes and challenging them, supporting than being their biggest fan.
  • I love swimming. I love cycling. I’ve come to love running. Whether I’m coaching or doing it myself, I love it.
    Websites. Running a business requires a website. It’s unique for me to be able to work on a website for myself. It fulfills that deep need to be analytic but also practical.
  • Design. Though I didn’t design the site, I still deal with it for the business. Whether it’s the site, business cards, or images for Facebook and Twitter. I love that I get to use my design skills and it satisfies that need to be creative. Maybe even start a clothing line 😉
  • Photography. I’m getting to do some great photography. I didn’t think I’d ever get to utilize it much again but photos are a crucial part of telling Victory Tri’s story.
  • Video. I’m not doing much yet, but I have ideas. I’m looking forward to using this skill again
  • Writing. I’ve had a love of writing for a long time. I don’t do it enough, but generating content is a big part of marketing these days and I’m enjoying the challenge of writing. I hope I’m growing as a writer and am becoming an effective communicator through that medium.
  • Business. Something about business intrigues me. I like figuring it out. I think it’s the feeling of freedom it can bring.

I’m excited to continue pursuing this endeavor. I’m giving it my best shot with what I have. We’ll see where I am in a year. I don’t know yet if it’s truly the perfect scenario but it sure seems like it.

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Slowing Things Down

I’m sitting here at the Jamba Juice. I’m writing a post on my iPhone and I don’t really have anywhere to be. 

I just finished watching some of the Spring Sprint triathlon held in Mission Bay. It’s a short race with a lot of participants. It was inspiring though and I’m glad I went. 

As an adult I tend to rush a lot. There are so many things I want to do and get done in life and there’s not enough time to do it all.  

I remember while I was in college I would have breaks in between classes. I would take a nap in my car or just sit on a bench outside of a Starbucks. At the time I was bored. But today, I long for more moments like that. I long to have time to think about stuff, to slow down and process everything. 

In the middle of the triathlon I paused for a minute to watch the kids race start. It’s alway fun to watch them get so excited and work so hard. It’s such a pure emotion on their face. 

In the first group of 9-10 year old boys there was a little blow up raft with a boy in it. My first thought was “aw, his dad is helping him experience the race”. But then I realized it wasn’t his dad towing him, it was his 9 or 10 year old brother! 

Spring Sprint

A 9 or 10 year old towing his disabled brother.

Seeing things like that recalibrate you. It’s an inspiring reminder that you’re not alone. Sometimes you are the one that needs to be towed and other times it’s up to you support others. 

I want to be humble enough to accept the love and support of others and strong enough to carry them when they’re in need. 

Seeing this boy work his ass off reminded me how much we need each other to get through life. It doesn’t matter always the speed to get through it all but that we’re working together to do it. 

Determined

The last few years for me has been both incredibly awesome and incredibly frustrating.

The Incredibly Awesome

I’ve had a lot great things happen in the last few years. It’s truly been a time of personal growth and I’m so thankful for all the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had. Here are just a few:

  • I met my wife in the last few years. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m so thankful for her endless love and support.
  • I’ve grown in my profession as a developer web developer more than any other time in my life. I’ve built websites/applications I never imagined possible 5 years ago.
  • I’ve got the coolest dog on the planet.
  • I finished Wildflower, one of the toughest triathlons around
  • Spent a month traveling and diving in Thailand with Sandy

The Incredibly Frustrating

I can sum up what’s been so frustrating with just two words, “illness” and “injury”. These two have plagued me for far too long and I’m determined to find my way through it. The toughest part is staying positive.

Just this year I’ve dealt with carpal tunnel in my wrists, a sprained shoulder and now some sort of foot problem that I’m getting checked out today. In addition, most of this year I’ve had a nagging cough which until last week. It’s always something. My attitude has been as could as it can be considering all that’s happened in just a few months, though I want it to be better. So I’m determined to make it better.

This might be the first time I’ve kept my “New Year’s Resolutions” in mind the entire year. Maybe it has to do with articulating here on the blog, maybe I’m just motivated at a deeper level. Regardless, it’s still on my mind. I’ve finally launched the full version of <a href=”http://victorytri.com>Victory Tri. I’m working on creating content (free downloads) to pick up subscribers and an audience. It’s hard fucking work, but I’m determined.

Too Many Subscriptions

My sister is a personal trainer and owns her own business. She’s a savvy web user and can figure things out on the internet with ease.

Every so often she comes to me with a problem she wants to solve for her business. She’s always looking to streamline her business and how it operates.

Originally, she would invoice her clients using an Apple Pages template. She would fill it out and email it over to her client and hope they would pay. If they needed to use a credit card, she would have them use Paypal. Over time her records got messy and she felt very disorganized.

When I found out she was using Pages, I asked her if she had heard of Freshbooks. One look at the marketing page and she was sold. Freshbooks is a convenient online invoicing system that will keep your business organized with little to no effort.

You can try it out for free and have up to 25 clients for less than $20/month. For less than $240/year you can save hours upon hours of time book keeping. That’s pretty cool.

Why subscriptions exist

The main reason Freshbooks charges a subscription is sustainability. Without recurring revenue, companies like Freshbooks wouldn’t last long. Limiting businesses to a certain number of clients and charging based on that and some other features gives Freshbooks the ability to employ a strong team and the funds to develop new features.

It’s like a gym membership. You pay a monthly few to use the equipment in exchange, the gym maintains the equipment and buys new machines when the old ones aren’t usable. This is great.

Preventing Subscription Addiction

I have to admit. I’ve had issues subscribing to services. Treehouse is an amazing resource with a lot of benefits, however, am I using it enough to warrant the subscription? Do I really need a subscription to Rdio or can make do with something cheaper like Pandora?

The number one way you can prevent a subscription addiction is to either not subscribe in the first place or review your previous month’s finances and evaluate their worth. Are they saving you time and thus money? Or is it just an expense taking away from your overall margins.

Things like Helpscout, Droplr, Dropbox Coschedule, Slack, Intercom and Optimizely are great services but are they costing you more than you’re making? That’s a question that should be asked every month and prior to any new purchase.

I wish I had an unlimited budget to handle all of these expenses. But I don’t and every month I prune the things I don’t use enough to warrant a subscription. It’s easy to let yourself go. It’s hard work to keep things light.

My rule of thumb is, “unless a subscription solves a real problem, like the one my sister was experiencing, you don’t need it”.

Taxes are Not Fun

Since 2010 I’ve had to monitor my expenses for those little write-offs that seem to be hiding in every nook and cranny of my bank statements. It’s a tedious task with rewards but not much.

Things like taxes frustrate me. Not the fact that have to pay them or even the generally poor decision-making that goes into using our tax dollars. It’s just how convoluted and archaic the process is.

When it comes to taxes, there is very little automation that can be done with it. There’s always someone doing menial tasks like categorization and seems crazy to me. Obviously, good record keeping is imperative but it feels like it punishes the honest.

2015 will be the first year I will have been a salaried employee and won’t need to keep track of such things. I actually look forward to filing next year as it should be a 30-45 minute process.

Anyway, baseball season is back. It’s good to have something to zone out to while organize things and trudge through my expenses. I’ve noticed a lot of subscriptions, a lot of restaurants and a lot of jewelry. I guess getting engaged and married will do that.

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