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THE LOOP
Nery Solano

Lessons from the backcountry: cover your feet

The most important part of a hikers gear is his shoes for more reasons than one. 

There is an old Buddhist saying that says, “Where would I find enough leather to cover the entire surface of the earth? But with leather soles beneath my feet, It’s as if the whole world has been covered.” This lesson is something I have carried along with me into every aspect of my life and recently I came across a similar metaphor, the Zoro Circle, in a book some of you may know: The Happiness Advantage.  

 
We cannot cover the world with leather so that we never stub our toe; it's too daunting of  a task and rather impractical. But instead,
we can control our own situation, our own attitudes, our own feet in a world fraught with objects ready to stub our toes on. As we move through life, comfort or discomfort have less to do with how the world around us and more to do with the attitude or temperament we bring into the situation. 
 
So like young Zoro training to master his skills,  let's shrink our world filled with  hardship and danger, to a manageable size and control what we can. Control the way we perceive and react to discomfort and adversity and carry enough leather to cover your toes!
Marc Pearl

Failure

Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.

                                                       -Winston Churchill

 

So many of us are afraid of failure. We're so terrified of making a mistake or falling short that we often will never even make an attempt at the goal. Yesterday I ran in the California International Marathon for the second year. Last year I set a goal of finishing the entire race and I trained for months preparing for it. A month before the race I injured my ankle. I tried to rehab it and train through it, but when race day came I had to pull out at mile 20.  

 

At first I viewed that race as a failure because I didn't complete it. It was only afterwards that I realized that the 4 months of training was a success in and of itself. If I had been so afraid of failing due to the injury that I didn't even run the race, that would've been the true failure. I had set a training goal and I accomplished it. This year I ran the final 6.2 miles that I didn't get to do the prior year and it felt great. I didn't have the time to train for the full, but I accomplished my training goal again and crossed the finish line.

 

Slidebelts is in a marathon right now. I know it feels like we are sprinting during this holiday season, but I promise you we are involved in a long race and every day we are accomplishing our goal of training for the peaks that we will ascend in the future. Don't ever be so afraid of a goal that you don't even try to take the first step.

 

Cassidy Myers

Option B

As always, when I'm looking for Loop inspiration, my reserve of saved Seth Godin blog posts usually do the trick. In a recent post, he talks about the importance of price when it comes to commodities - we always consider price when we're buying something, but we'll never purchase something solely because of what it costs.

 

That means that there are two options. You can either go with Option A, where you flatly set the price for the given commodity, and that's the end of it. You're selling X item for Y price and that's it. As Seth says, "you're a commodity provider by choice, which is fine as long as you're okay with competing in a race to the bottom."

 

On the other hand, Option B is the tedious, difficult and occasionally risky work of earning your praise, attention and reputation by becoming more invested through storytelling. With Option B, you're moving out of the simple "commodity" space by bridging the gap between product and connection. In doing so, the product and brand earns its own space, which is defined by meaning, possibility and attachment. 

 

As a company, we've done this really well - much better than the brands with tacky infomercials or impersonal advertising or terrible customer service. It's why so many people are self-proclaimed lifelong SlideBelts wearers. And the best part is, those people who feel a personal connection to our brand become the best advocates we could ever ask for.

 

We price our products higher than most ratchet belt brands because of our patented ratchet design and our superior materials, but also because we know we have a story to tell and a unique connection to bridge with our consumers. We don't want to compete with the $20 ratchet brands of the world, because we are creating our own brand in our own space on our own level. Which means those other brands in a race for the bottom have no choice but to get on our level. *Mic Drop*

Navi Singh

SlideBelts Team Synergy:

Happy Friday Crusader!

It has been a very busy week for everyone. Your sincere efforts and hard work are highly appreciated not overlooked. You should be proud of yourselves. To be a successful business, we need to connect, collaborate and delegate. Our team does just that. The strength of SlideBelts is the TEAM of people who make it happen. Keep up the good work! There is still much work ahead of us. I am very confident that we will take on the challenge and get'er done. Below are some of my favorite quotes on teamwork. Do you have a favorite quote about teamwork? Share with me and I will pass along a Kudos card.

 

 

 

 

Update on SlideBelts Movember team. The Mo Bros raised a total of $480. SlideBelts matched that amount making the total donation to the Movember Foundation $960. Thank you to everyone who participated. 

 

 

 

 

 

Nery Solano

Lessons from the Backcountry: The Open Road

Before the backcountry comes the road; the more than likely long, grueling drive that takes you to your destination. What excites me the most about the open road is what it offers: possibilities. We plan, we map, we make decisions for this part we normally don't look forward to, but, when the rubber hits the road everything changes. At least it does for me. Maybe it's the vastness of looking at a map or the calling of a cleverly named roadside diner but there is always something that pulls me away from my ridged plans.

 


Many see this as a negative, a distraction from a goal. But my fondest memories have been simple distractions that have perked my attention. So, as you roll through your busy day today, look around, smell the roses, and embrace the distractions around you! Then get back on the road and suddenly the hard parts of your road will be much easier to drive through.

 

  

An unnamed lake of the 396... on of my favorite memories on the road!

 

 

 

 

 

Marc Pearl

The Season is upon us!

For some reason or other, I just can't think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It seems like each year the decorations show up in the stores earlier and earlier. As if that poor turkey didn't have enough problems in this world, now he has to compete with ole jolly St. Nick!

 

However, as is our tradition, the family tree went up on Sunday and the Christmas music is playing in our house and I'm ready.  Apparently so is everyone else, as we are having a record sales season so far and it isn't even December yet! So buckle up, everyone, and get ready, as it looks like we've got a busy few weeks ahead. As a team, we will definitely get through it!

 

 

Cassidy Myers

Best Places To Work

Welcome back, team! I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving and successfully maneuvered potholes like who you're dating and politics while at the dinner table.

 

As I'm sure you've seen if you've been in the kitchen in the past few weeks, we finally go our official ranking for Outside Magazine's list of 100 Best Places To Work. We came in at #29, ahead of some awesome companies that set the standard for great company culture, like New Belgium Brewing and CamelBak.

 

This is an especially cool honor for me to be a part of because I've used these annual lists when I've been job searching many times in the past. These were always the companies that I read about and thought how cool it would be to work for, and now we're one of them!

 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I just wanted to reiterate how thankful I am to be a part of a team and a company culture that we already knew was awesome internally, but also one that's now being recognized nationally. For those of you just out of college (or even still in college), this isn't something you find everywhere. Or even just anywhere. It's special and it's unique and it's very rare. And it's all of those things because each of us have committed to ensuring it remains each of those things. It takes an entire team to maintain great team chemistry and an incredible company culture.

 

So cheers to all of you! *beer cheers emoji*

 

Marc Pearl

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. My Grandpa always used to say it was his favorite holiday because it was so focused on family. Like many things, we can choose to find fault or controversy in certain aspects or origins, but for me, I agree with my Grandpa. One of our traditions is that we always start off the dinner sitting around the table holding hands and each person says something that they are thankful for. Over the years, the table has been filled with immediate family, extended family and friends, but I came to discover that we were all family. Some were linked to me by blood and some by shared life experiences, but I looked at all of them as my family.

 

To my Slidebelts family, I hope you have a great few days off and a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

Navi Singh

Gratitude

 Happy Friday Crusader!

Thanksgiving Holiday is next week, and everyone tries to be more grateful during the time leading up to Thanksgiving. It is a time to be thankful for all you have. Gratitude is such a powerful emotional energy. Practicing it can make your life better in so many ways. Give it a try you may be surprised how good it feels. Check out the infographic from Happify on how gratitude leads to good health and happiness.

Cassidy Myers

Batting Cleanup

Today is typically Jeff's Loop day, but he's busy with, you know, running a mobile SlideBelts store at Sac's biggest mall a week before Thanksgiving, and stuff...

 

As of Monday morning we had 577 messages and comments across our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts (down to 210 currently - woo!) A typical Monday morning might net 100ish. So my palms immediately got sweaty (knees weak, arms were heavy...) - not necessarily because of the comments, but because I decided when I took over in this role in January that I was always going to provide a genuine, personable answer, always going to address the commenter by name and always going to sign my name at the end of my answer so that people know there's a real person and a real voice behind our brand's @ handles. Whether we had 50 comments or 577 comments.

 

Brig has been testing new advertising methods on Facebook, and it's netted some big wins and new customers. The ads are drawing in a whole new group of people to SlideBelts, which is super exciting. The flip side of successful FB ads, unfortunately, is negativity. As anyone with a computer knows, the Internet can be a very negative place. It's especially so when people expect to be able to leave a horrible comment and drop it in the Internet black hole, assuming they won't get a response. I surprised lots of people this week with responses ranging from grateful to sarcastic *side-eye grinning emoji*

 

If I've learned one thing this week, it's the company-wide commitment to sustained excellence and adhering to the values that have gotten us here, even in the face of overwhelming numbers. Something that I'm very grateful Brig, Michelle and Rick have set as our foundation. *Shout out to the operations team, which consistently does an incredible job of this when massive rushes of orders come in (See: Holidays; Taboola)*

 


keymaster

Courtney - December 2016

Get 'er Done! and Open-Minded Policy
Congrats Courtney! This is for all the above & beyond sacrifices you've made for SlideBelts.

  • That one movie that you can literally watch over and over and over and over again and you still love it:
    Inglourious Basterds
  • When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up:
    A veterinarian, until I took all the ROP vet tech courses and consequently took one too many dog temperatures.
  • Quirkiest nickname you have, and who uses it:
    My mom calls me Tortilla. I have never questioned it.
  • That one food that you can't stand that everyone else seems to love:
    Watermelon
  • Movie quote you use most often in daily conversations, and what movie it's from:
    "Are you hurted, Wendy?" - Peter Pan