For the past month, I've been profiling bold BizNiks who have leaped fully into their passions - ordinary folks who stopped playing small and started living large. I call them "passioneers," having purposely chosen not to interview the rags-to-riches stereotype. Instead, my hope is that these reality stories will provide approachable, inspiring footholds for those who are scared or discouraged about their own leap into their dreams. In all honesty, these interviews will help allay my own fears when the entrepreneurial road gets rough. This project is a simple way for passioneers to share their wisdom and for me to fulfill my calling as a dream catalyst. I'll be conducting these interviews for the next several months, so please contact me if you want to participate.
BizNik Richard Trimble: Certified Mediator, Facilitator, and Motivational Cyclist
When it comes to passions, Richard Trimble doesn't mess around. In 2007, he left a successful career in utilities engineering and management to focus on what he loves most: conflict resolution. Over the past seven years, he has earned the coveted designation of certified professional mediator and facilitator with over eight areas of specialization. Most recently, he has become a motivational cyclist, having completed over 3,300 miles of a 12,000-mile bike ride around the U.S, with an expected completion in two years.
Richard is very clear about his passions. "I love helping people communicate more effectively, so they can achieve their dreams and be happier," he says. He shares a poignant success story of a couple who had never communicated directly, outside of court, since their separation. "Through mediation," he says, "they were able to speak directly to each other, in front of their children, in a way they had never experienced. That was a great day's work. I really love seeing a life change in just a few moments."
While cycling across the country, Richard gets to connect with many interesting people, hear what they are striving for, and share some encouraging words. He knows firsthand what it's like to face a huge goal and experience major self-doubt: before his 12,000-mile trek, Richard tackled the Pacific Coast, not really believing he could make it. However, halfway along the Coast, he realized that, by going at his own pace, he could finish the trip and any future ones. "I'm not a 70-mile a day cyclist," he confesses, "but I got that, even at a low daily mileage, I would make it. That was an epiphany."
For Richard the rewards of pursuing his passions are intangible, yet immeasurable:
- As a mediator - "Knowing at the end of the session that I made a difference in their lives, and helped them accomplish something that was huge for them. ...I would do it for free."
- As a motivational cyclist - "Meeting people I would have never met before and hearing their great stories. The physical reward, challenge, and accomplishment."
According to Richard, one of the biggest challenges in leaping fully into his two passions was "simply believing that I could do something so outside of the box, in both areas." Like many passioneers, he also faces the challenge of making less money than he did before the leap. "My biggest fear," he notes, "is that I can't keep doing it, for financial reasons." Another challenge is finding bigger audiences, as he gains even more credibility as a motivational speaker.
Richard has a strong support network, and many people have given him advice. However, his greatest support are his friends and family who believe in him. "They hear what I'm doing, they're impressed, and they encourage me," he says. "There's nothing like having your daughter say to you, 'I'm telling my friends. I'm really proud of you.' That's the biggest boost I can get. My girlfriend has also told me how personally impressed she is with me for doing this."
Advice for Others
"My bike ride is an analogy for life. There are goals that seem outside of my reach; a bit too much. Maybe I can't do it...That's my motivational message - to help people realize that they can achieve great things through tenacity and bit of organization."
"I have this life and a finite time to accomplish what I want to accomplish. This sets my priorities. My time's limited. So, live fully every day and pursue your dreams."
Next Big Leap
While Richard is cycling for the next two years, he wants to establish himself as a motivational speaker and publish a book on the topic. To learn more, check out Richard Trimble's BizNik profile.