Not Yet Ready, but Willing

For the past few months I’ve been listening to this song “Ready and Willing” by New Found Glory. In the song they talk about being the underdogs and being ready and willing to get out there, chase their dream, and lose it all, in hopes of achieving their dream.Not Yet Ready, but Willing

I can relate to the song, and I bet you can too. Truth be told, this song’s really helped hold me together. Anytime I feel like I’m going to fail on The Bro’d Trip, when fear takes hold and starts telling me this whole road trip is just a waste of my time, I hit play and let the words give me hope. Truth be told though, I’m not ready for The Bro’d Trip, but I’m willing.

Packing up my childhood memories from my childhood room, never to come back to the house I grew up in because my parents are moving was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I know it may sound petty, but I felt it was worth crying over, and I did. I wasn’t ready to say “see-ya-later” to my family and friends, but I did. It sucked and it still sucks. I’ve been on the road for four days (Adam and I missed our departure date by a day) and it still doesn’t feel real. Every day I think about turning our big Sprinter Van around and heading right back down to Florida, where I’m comfortable.

This is the biggest journey of my life, so far. I don’t know how I could fully ready myself for this. I’ve been told I’ve done everything right to be ready for this: paid cash for a van, saved up an emergency fund, got a couple of awesome sponsors, started building a small following, etc., but I still don’t feel like I’m ready for what lies ahead.

That’s the joy of a big journey. We can do everything in our power to get ready and be prepared, but we’re never fully ready. All we can do is be willing to take that big step and move forward, even though fear’s telling us to wait a while longer, until we’re ready.

What You Can Learn From Building Out a Sprinter Van

There’s a lot that can be learned from building out a Sprinter Van. You can actually learn more than just carpentry skills. Life skills are also taught when you’re walking in and out of a Sprinter Van all day, cutting pieces of wood to specific dimensions, and assembling everything, only to disassemble part of it because your plan didn’t quite work out how you had originally intended.What You Can Learn From Building Out a Sprinter Van

Photo: Adam Fricke

If you’ve never had the chance to build out a Sprinter Van (or some other vehicle), I’d highly recommend it. It’s a lot of fun, extremely frustrating, and everything in between with lots of life lessons. These are some of the life lessons you can expect to learn, should you decide to build out a Sprinter Van or the vehicle of your choice at some point of your existence.

Art Class > Geometry

Math is not a strong suit for my brother, parents, or me. You’d think that you’d have to be great at geometry to properly build out a Sprinter Van, but you don’t. Geometry skills certainly help, but as long as you’re able to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and can make a stencil out of cardboard, you’ll be just fine. Turns out art skills trump geometry. In our case at least.

Communication Skills

Countless times I’ve wanted to shake Adam silly to let him know that his idea sucks and my idea’s the best idea. Good thing I haven’t done that yet because it turns out he has some great ideas and my way isn’t always the best way. Learning how to communicate effectively with whoever you’re working with saves you tons of time spent fighting and allows you to have effective dynamic discussions that result in forward progress.

Maybe if our world leaders and politicians would build out a Sprinter Van together they’d all learn how to communicate and actually get sh*t done. What do you think?

Problem Solving

All you need is a general idea. Simply an idea of the layout you want. As long as you’re good at problem solving and have some time to sit, stare, and ponder, you’ll be able to build out a Sprinter Van. Eventually you’ll begin to realize that one of your greatest strengths in life is your ability to problem solve.

 

Maximizing Strengths & Minimizing Weaknesses

There are some things Adam’s better at than me and vice versa. Take a look at our vlogs and you’re going to see more of Adam smoothing out the edges with a sander, getting proper measurements, and tracing out those measurements. You’ll probably see me using the power tools most of the time. We do that for a reason. Adam’s OCD kicks in and the kid’s able to get perfect measurements and I’m more comfortable, and faster, with the power tools. Playing to each other’s strengths allows us to get things done much faster with fewer headaches.

 

Discipline

Working on a Sprinter Van’s fun, but it also gets tedious when it starts to consume your life and it looks like no end is in sight. If you can find the discipline to get up every day and work on your Sprinter Van, you’ll feel like you can conquer the world.

Teamwork

Screwing a wood screw into some wood’s a pretty simple task. Now dress it up a bit and try to hang something that weighs 5 pounds on your own. There’s your problem. Having an extra set of hands is essential and you’ve never realized the importance of teamwork until you started building out a Sprinter Van.

Asking for Help

The Beatles said it best “I get by with a little help from my friends.” We can accomplish a lot on our own and Adam and I get an awesome feeling of accomplishment when all goes according to plan. There are some other small projects that if need to be done right, requires help from a friend. We’ve had to call on friends from time-to-time in order to get something done right like running the wiring or welding a patch in the floor. Asking for help is something the stubborn hate to do and when done right is a lot of fun to get a community to lend a helping hand.

There’s No Such Thing As Luck

Ever since Adam and I made our Bro’d Trip plans known to the world a few weeks ago we’ve had a lot of people tell us how lucky we are that we get to take a year off to visit all 50 states by van. To be honest with you, it’s kind of irritating to me when I hear that I’m lucky to be taking a year off. We both busted our butts to be able to live this dream of ours and we’re doing anything, but “taking a year off,” but that’s another story for another day.There's No Such Thing As Luck

Luck is when success, or failure, just happens out of thin air. With luck there’s no work involved. The best way I can illustrate luck is when you stumble upon a lamp and a big blue magic genie that sounds like Robin Williams appears out of the lamp to grant you three wishes. That’s some luck and if it’s happened to you, I hope you used one wish to wish for an endless supply of wishes.

Rather than realizing it took a lot of hard work to see that someone got to where they are now, we just see where they are and associate it with luck.

Waiting on luck to happen isn’t going to get you anywhere; however, preparation will get you somwhere. Sitting around watching daytime TV in your free time, waiting for opportunity to come knocking at your front door’s not going to get you anywhere. Trust me. I’ve done that before and it got me nowhere. I wouldn’t recommend trying it either. It gets kind of depressing and lonely.

What I’ve found is that preparation tends to be met with opportunity. Almost every person that’s now living the life we wish we were living spent years preparing for where they are now. Preparation is practice for future success. It’s a lot easier to fall flat on your face when only a couple of people are watching. Falling flat on your face in front of a bunch of people sucks and really kills the self-esteem.

Adam and I could have left two years ago on The Bro’d Trip, and to be honest, I’m glad we didn’t. We’ve learned a lot over the past couple years. Working my day job has taught me some invaluable business skills: like being diligent about following up and making a phone call over sending an email when something needs to get done. Our photography and video skills have drastically improved and while you’re preparing, people eventually notice.

I think you know you’re doing something right, or you’re on to something, when preparation meets opportunity. Long hours and late nights tend to feel worthless until you catch a break and get noticed. And that’s what happened with us. We wanted to make The Bro’d Trip great, but we knew it could be even better with some help and low and behold, a couple companies noticed us and offered to lend us a helping hand to make this great.

To say someone’s lucky to be doing what they’re doing belittles all their hard work and preparation that it took for them to get where they are now. Maybe you know the feeling. You bust your butt to get the opportunity you want or to do something you’ve been wanting to do for what seems like an eternity and someone just diminishes all your hard work be equating it to chance, luck. Saying someone’s doing something special, outrageous, or something you want to do one day, now those are words that could be used instead of luck. Let’s be real, we can do anything with some hard work, dedication, preparation, and a little help from others in the form of an opportunity.

Luck has got nothing to do with it.