Becoming an Outdoor Entrepreneur

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It’s been awhile. I haven’t posted on here in a few months as I have been searching and brainstorming for some time now. Still looking for that idea to allow me to build my brand and earn an income around my life style.

I love the outdoors. I am a camping and hunting enthusiast. I would go as far as to call it my one true passion. You see, a major problem I have is that I have too many hobbies and not enough time and money to support them all. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) and have shifted my focus on financial stability and happiness so that means less impulse buying and more saving and spending quality free time with my family.

OK, back to why you’re here. Becoming an entrepreneur. Building your brand. I honestly feel like there has never been an easier time to do this. With all the form of social media, everyone  has a platform to build something. To some people who might mean connecting with distant relatives, making new friends, or even finding a date. To others though, they see it as a vehicle to build something great. A way to leverage that empire they have built up in there head. That is exactly where I am. In all honesty, I hate social media. I don’t like the drama that it brings but I do know how valuable of a tool it can be. That is where I am at now. So I found my passion, I have the vessel to promote and turn my passion into a possible career, and I even have the idea to narrow it down. I once heard someone say that ideas are a dime a dozen, the easy part if you will. It is the execution of that idea where people tend to fail, quit, or give up. That is where I hope to succeed. I am still in the planning phase of this possible career change. I feel like it can happen and I know the struggle that lay ahead of me. That fuels this desire inside though, the fact that most people would rather see you fail. At this point in my life, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION.

So stay tuned as I plan to bring you guys along on this journey, albeit ups and downs.

To be continued….

 

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Things That Make You Love And Hate A Life Changing Project

Things That Make You Love And Hate A Life Changing Project

Projects. We all have them and all hate them to a certain extent. The project I want to talk about today was suppose to be a fun silly project. A joke if nothing else but it ended up becoming much more. I had no clue how it was going to impact me until a year after I completed this task.

I built a hot rod. Probably not what you had in mind, but it was a passion of mine for over a year. Now that I think about it, hot rod might not be the best term but it is what I call it. I purchased a fully functional and driving 1965 Chevrolet C20 Stake Bed truck. It was an old work truck from a local company that purchased it new back in 1965. That company is still around and I later found out that a relative of mine used to drive that truck in high school when he worked for that company. After a brief discussion on the phone with my wife, I convinced her to let me buy it. I actually drove it home that very day and began using it around the farm and just having a good time with this old truck.

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One day while surfing around on YouTube, I discovered these guys that had been doing engine swaps with late model power and turbochargers all on a budget with mostly junkyard parts. After watching the smiles and hearing those “wicked” sounds, I began to brainstorm and daydream about doing the same modifications to my own truck. After all, it was purchased to be a fun “beater” vehicle. So the planning and budgeting began. I am not going to go in depth on the changes I made to this vehicle, I have videos on my channel that do that. Besides, this blog is not about the platform but about the task.

So after spending an entire year of late nights working on this thing, I completed it. Well not technically but to a point to where the goal I set for myself was accomplished. I achieved this goal with very little outside help, both in terms of finances and knowledge. I researched until my fingers hurt on the internet and books and other local with much more knowledge than me. The big picture is that I am not that mechanically inclined to take on such a task but with perseverance, I conquered. I set out to build something that was far beyond my skill level but by being patient and resourceful, I built what I had envisioned. A “sleeper rat rod farm truck” for lack of a better term. You may not be able to tell from looking at the exterior, but underneath lies a beast. A wolf in sheep’s skin.

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Now achieving this overwhelming goal was really a “love/hate” mission. Things would go right and I would get aggravated, but wouldn’t give up. I continued put new things in an old vehicle mostly through trial and error. It was after the “dyno” session, several months later in fact that I registered and insured this vehicle so that I could actually drive it. I left my house one Saturday morning heading for work in my own home built project vehicle. Something I completed and built with my own two hands. And it worked! Not only did it work, it worked well. It was fast, it sounds awesome, and drives great. I had done it. I put my mind to a task that I thought I didn’t know how to do and built my very own dream vehicle.

So some time went by, I had my fun toy sitting in my garage and I was looking to fill that void of completing a challenging task again. Achieve the achievable. I was an over weight person. I wrote a blog earlier about my weight loss, which I set out to tackle with the very same mindset as I did with my truck. Eight months later I hit my weight loss goal and now focus on maintaining my weight and staying active. So that has slowed down and I have been looking at “what’s next?” Something new and exciting. I know, lets create an online business. Something along the lines of a successful YouTube channel or a blog. Heck, why not both? I haven’t been able to cross those of my list just yet, but I am learning and trying something new. Something completely foreign to me. Why not? What do I have to lose. I am aproaching it with the same borderline reckless/can do attitude. So we’ll see what happens.

The point about this post is to show you that even if you feel like something is out of reach or beyond your skill level, you can figure things out. YOU CAN ACHIEVE! Just focus on small task at a time and you will see that they add up to those large tasks that you have been putting off because you’re intimidated or feel you lack a certain skill set. We have access to loads of information these days at out fingertips. You just need to find your motivation and begin your Life Changing Project! Whatever it may be. So with that, I bid you farewell and good luck!

– Justin R. Van Horn

My Simple and Quick Method for Weight Loss

My Simple and Quick Method for Weight Loss

I was obese…or at least according the the World Health Organization. At the turn of 2016 I was tipping the scales at just over 284 lbs. I am a large guy with a large frame. I am 6’2″ and was told I “carried the weight well….”. Just what everyone wants to hear. I thought I was a fairly active person and was capable of moving large objects with ease as my job often requires of me. I knew I was overweight but the act of addressing it just sounded exhausting. When my kids became old enough to chase around or play a game of soccer and I would get winded almost immediately, I knew it was time for a change. What really got me though was I couldn’t walk up our flight of stairs at home without breathing hard at the top. I had every intention on doing something about it but I couldn’t find the motivation or commitment to stick with any kind of healthy meal plan or exercise regiment. Then one evening while having pizza (I know, right?) at a friends house, we decided that we wanted to organize a backpacking hiking trip. As we discussed the logistics of it along with the location, I became overwhelmed with excitement. Then I looked around at the people sitting next to me and knew that there was no way I would be able to keep up physically. It was time for a CHANGE!

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So with this hike less than six months away, drastic measures would need to be taken. I really wanted to join this group of friends but I didn’t want to be five miles behind struggling. So I got to work. I researched until I was blue in the face looking for a method that would work and kept coming up empty handed. It was then that I realized I was still spending more time “talking about it” and not enough time “doing it”. One night on my drive home I was listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and his guest was Dr. Rhonda Patrick. He was quizzing her about all things health and even though she was breaking things down to the molecular level, what she was saying was hitting home with me. She talked about the horrible effects that sugar has on your body and the wonderful effects of stressing your body out. That very night I went home and my wife and I cooked a steak for dinner and went on overload with the vegetables. It was good. The next morning I got up an hour earlier than normal and went for a “run” or at least I thought it was a run. I was able to jog for a few minutes then walk and catch my breath. As soon as it caught up I would run again. This went on and I must say, I found (and still find to this day) that a good run can be very therapeutic. It would clear my mind and I would just focus on the task at hand. As that went on I continued to eat better. I didn’t change much other than cut out the “junk.” I didn’t focus much on counting carbs or calories or other minor details. I did over time cut out over eighty percent of the original sugar I was taking in and I also stopped using dairy products as an experiment. I can’t say I have noticed much change without dairy products.

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As this went on, I started seeing a small amount of improvement. I had motivation now and stuck with my healthier lifestyle for more than just a few weeks. I think after around week six I actually saw a decent decrease on the scale. As time passed, I started to become obsessed with my life style change. I was happier and felt better than ever. My kids were eating good food and they even found it fun to join in and try their own version of exercising. I continued to refine my diet and experiment with new things and let my stomach be the judge of how it was working. I kept track of how certain foods made me feel. I even picked up some used weight equipment and put it into our empty nursery room. I started to rotate my routine with three days a week of weight lifting and core exercises and three days a week of running. Currently I am running four miles on farm roads at an eight minute per mile pace. Huge improvement from when I first started. On days I am in my small home gym, I always start with a cardio warm up of some sort. I usually only exercise for a total of about forty-five minutes per day as normal life stuff keeps me from going any longer. Just before we left for the hike in early April, I was down a total of FORTY pounds! My back pack that I was carrying weighed forty-four pounds. I lost almost as much as I was planning on carrying on my back. That was a game changer. I kept on pace with everyone and even had a few times where I was the one pushing them.

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I didn’t stop there though. When I got home it dawned on me how much my life improved by living healthier. So I continued on with my routine. I had a hunt coming up in September that same year and that became my new motivation. I worked even harder and before I left in mid-September, I was down almost another forty pounds. To date I have lost a total of seventy-eight pounds, down three pants sizes, and one shirt size. This is by far the best I have ever felt and well worth all the effort and hard work! You don’t have to overthink being a healthy person, it is much easier just to do. There is no “one size fit’s all” plan so start small with minor improvements and just keep slowly ramping it up. It will happen. No matter what, DON’T GIVE UP!

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~ Justin R. Van Horn

My quest for more free time and passive income.

My quest for more free time and passive income.

Free time. That could have several different meanings but most importantly there are several different ways to use it. In the summer of 2012 my first child was born and two short years later, my second one arrived. As they continued to grow each day, I continued to leave for work at sunrise six days a week and leave my loving family behind. I didn’t realize what it was doing to me until just a few months back. I was missing out on so much family fun by being at work all day. I don’t want to come off sounding lazy, I actually like my job and enjoy when its really busy. I work for my families retail store where it is family owned and operated. Lot’s of drama comes around and with only four total employees, escaping for a long vacation makes it tough. Here lately I find myself daydreaming of ways to escape the normal tumultuous daily grind and be home with my family more. So much so that I am positive that my production is slacking. Now my wife is an “at home” mom and we operate on my income alone, which isn’t great but we get by. After finding books by the likes of Tim Ferriss and podcasts by Dave Ramsey, etc. my mind really races with great thoughts of careful planning and life automation so that perhaps one day I could find myself “working” from home. And in today’s modern times, it has never been easier. Or so I hear.

Recently my wife and I started a family friendly YouTube channel titled “Four Lazy J’s”. I always had a passion for video editing and production and after some research on monetizing my videos I quickly found out that this could potentially be a “positive cash flow hobby.” Or so I thought. I invested in some equipment, wrote down as many ideas as I could come up with, and the four of us got to work filming, editing, and uploading. I thought for sure that in six months, I would be a full time “YouTuber”. Then the reality set in. To date I have accumulated $8.62. I am not complaining, what other hobby pays you back, even if its less than 1% of your startup cost? I am sticking with it though, uploading a new video every Monday but for different reasons. My children love it and I am having fun, so I am now approaching this as an actual “hobby” rather than a “job”.  One Day…

So follow along to this, I am using this blog as a journal if you will. Rather than “vlogging” I find it therapeutic to write down these trials and tribulations. I will bring you along for the hi’s and the low’s chronicling my journeys along the way. This is my chase to more free time. If I can build an online presence and maintain my current lifestyle, I would choose that in a heart beat. My true dream job. Enjoy my children while they’re young and perhaps a cup of coffee on the front porch instead of my commute to work every day.

 

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– Justin R. Van Horn