Applying the 1% Rule to Patagonia, GoRuck, and You

I have a bad habit…

When I find a company that knows what it stands for and it aligns with my own beliefs…I am all in.

I’m not just referring to the couple soft goods companies in this blog post title. E-commerce company Next Jump has a culture I got to experience that changed my life. Simon Sinek has written books and given TED talks that I write about often and that I will buy immediately in the future – no questions asked.

These aren’t just companies or individuals that have social assistance programs to check a box or “mission statements” that sound good. Rather, these are organizations that make moves that stand by their beliefs but often seen as counterintuitive to traditional success…like Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign.

I’ve been a Patagonia fan since I first started reading about how the founder started the company and my affinity grew as I saw how committed it is to sustainability, quality, and family. Living in Ventura, where the company was started and is headquartered, I met people who worked there and loved it. The stories you hear about employees taking surf breaks, child care at work, and the overall quality work environment are not exaggerated.

Are you surprised that my social media accounts are some version of @PatagoniaDad?

The 1% Rule

I came across the below video by YouTube’s very own Captain Sinbad. I encourage you to take the couple minutes to watch it. He’s very good and I can see why he has over 300K subscribers.

If you don’t want to watch the video…

The 1% rule is simple: improve just 1% each day. The idea is that if you do this, the good habits you develop stack over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t be either.

Stop focusing on the end result and start paying attention to the process.

—via theMonkLife.net

There is so much that goes in to this concept, but the basics of it are…well…basic.

Tomorrow, you probably won’t notice a difference. But what’s the result when 1% happens every day? Let’s ask James Altucher…

“Improve a little each day. It compounds. When 1% compounds every day, it doubles every 72 days, not every 100 days. Compounding tiny excellence is what creates big excellence.”

72 days later you might be twice the person you are today. Think you can’t manage that? Let’s do some math.

(continue reading here)

GoRuck

When I said I have a bad habit, that tends to mean that I fall down rabbit holes of learning about these amazing companies…and then buying a ton of their stuff! Fortunately for me, this means that I am buying quality items…usually over a long period of time. (I can neither confirm nor deny that I’ll be writing about a bunch of GoRuck stuff that I might have after Christmas) 😏

I’ve been reading up on GoRuck…the company best known for the GR1 and GR2…bombproof backpacks for every day carry up to one bag travel. They even support a foundation started for a former classmate of mine who was killed in combat. The owner and founder of the company is VERY straightforward and honest when he talks about his company. I am excited to read his new book.

GoRuck events are growing in popularity
GoRuck events are growing in popularity

In 2019 GoRuck made the decision to move their large scale manufacturing to Vietnam…and the owner wrote a long and very honest blog post about why.

One of the many things that struck me in his post was the below chart.

GORUCK’s growth 2008-2018

Crazy growth aside…what struck me was those first couple years with $0 revenue. And while the chart displays no data for ‘growth’ for those years…I would argue that they were growing a little bit every day.

1% perhaps?

Consistency and The “Why”

Simon Sinek is most famous for his talk about the Golden Circle and pointing out that successful companies plant their flag in their “Why” first and their product second.

I believe that the companies I’ve mentioned naturally follow the 1% rule because they are founded on a belief, a purpose, or a mission that speaks them, their employees, and ultimately their customers. As Captain Sinbad pointed out when talking about the movie ‘Money Ball’, Billy Bean shifted his focus to metrics that actually matter.

These companies are focusing on what matters…they know their why. They consistently stay centered on their why and communicate about their products through that rather than vice versa.

People don’t buy what you sell. They buy why you sell it.

Simon Sinek

When you frame your work life around something foundational to who you are or what you believe…it almost becomes easy to improve by 1% every day. As long as that why is genuine and (in my opinion) not self centered.

“Our findings suggest that the psychological reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts,” said lead author Lara Aknin, of Simon Fraser University in Canada, in a news release.

article on American Psychological Association study

What This Means to Me (and should mean to you)

From Simon Sinek’s “Why” to GoRuck’s slow take-off.

GORUCK founder with WWI vet at Omaha Beach for 75th anniversary
GORUCK founder with WWI vet at Omaha Beach for 75th anniversary

From Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This” campaign to Next Jump’s deliberately developmental company culture.

These companies inspire me!

They inspire me to continue to refine my own why, to improve 1% every day, and to do so selflessly.

If they don’t inspire you, I hope that I can.

I hope you have a fantastic day. 😁

Quote to Live By (“Simple” reasoning…)

Simplicity rarely loses to complexity in the battle of the public square.

Unknown

I often say that it is incredibly difficult to make something complex…seem simple. Never underestimate the value of a carefully considered and seemingly simple line of reasoning.

The art of asking the right questions

 A great definition I saw for questioning is that questioning enables us to organize our thinking around what we don’t know. So, in a time when so much knowledge is all around us, answers are at our fingertips, we really need great questions in order to be able to know what to do with all that information and find out way to the next answer.

I like the point of framing what you are putting your brain power towards by organizing it via the right questions.

Asking the Right Questions

The Cannonball Run…an American Race Like No Other

This wasn’t just a movie…

The Cannonball is the ultimate road trip, even as it jettisons the usual conventions of the road trip: There are no stops for photos, no detours to sample the World’s Greatest Pancakes, no putting the top down to shout along to the radio as the wind whips by. These trips are thrillingly tactical, planned down to the minute—built, for instance, around traffic light cycles in Manhattan and peak usage times at rural gas stations.

​This is such a fun article to read as it seems to satisfy that travel itch we all probably have right now and gives you a solid dose of nostalgic Americana at the same time.

It follows Fred Ashmore, a fairly obsessed and gifted driver, who recently attempted the time record…solo. Along the way, the author gives you the amazing history of how this race was created in the 1970’s by Brock Yates. A journalist if you can believe it.

Yates wanted to show that it was possible for Americans to drive safely at high speeds on the interstate, just as Germans did on the Autobahn.

The nonstop drive was a test run for an audacious plan that Yates had hatched: a multicar race across America that would prove, once and for all, that capable drivers in capable cars could cross the country faster and more safely than anyone imagined. Or, as Yates put it: “a balls-out, shoot-the-moon, fuck-the-establishment rumble from New York to Los Angeles.” The starting point of the race would be the Red Ball Garage, on East 31st Street in Manhattan, where Yates’s employer, Car and Driver magazine, kept a test fleet of cars. The destination, the Portofino Inn, in Redondo Beach, California, was owned by a friend of Yates’s.

​Highly recommend reading this if you, like me, have missed your regular travels over these past few months.

Inside the Frenzy to Conquer the Cannonball Run

The iPhone 12 Review Everyone Reads

Daring Fireball…

I try to keep two distinct readers in mind with these annual reviews of new iPhones. First, you, today — you probably want insight to help you decide, to some degree, whether you should upgrade from whatever iPhone you currently own (and you probably do own an iPhone already) to one of this year’s new ones, and if so, which one? Second, me, in the future — I want to look back and use what I write now as a resource to remember what was new with the 2020 iPhones.

As always…great review over at DF.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro

Pennsylvania’s BEST Steelhead Fishing – Walnut Creek, Erie PA

Such a peaceful video shoot

I have been lucky to live in an absolutely gorgeous neighborhood…and fall kicks that beauty in to high gear.

My wife and I didn’t realize it when we decided to rent our house that there is a world class steelhead fishing spot just down the street.

Here it is.

Walnut Creek, Erie PA

John Muir on the Beauty of Fall

Muir reflects on the singular, counterintuitive life-affirmation of autumn:

In the yellow mist the rough angles melt on the rocks. Forms, lines, tints, reflections, sounds, all are softened, and although the dying time, it is also the color time, the time when faith in the steadfastness of Nature is surest… The seeds all have next summer in them, some of them thousands of summers, as the sequoia and cedar. In the holiday array all go calmly down into the white winter rejoicing, plainly hopeful, faithful… everything taking what comes, and looking forward to the future, as if piously saying, “Thy will be done in earth as in heaven!”

Amen. 🍁 🍁 🍁

John Muir on the Calm Assurance of Autumn as a Time of Renewal and Nature as a Tonic for Mental and Physical Health