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. 😁

Links of the Week (6/15/2020)

So much outdoors…

Despite characteristically capricious weather and relatively brief weather windows, this past summer season in Patagonia proved to be an exciting one for climbers, paragliders, and BASE jumpers alike.

​The pictures alone are enough to inspire you to get out there.

Highlights from Patagonia’s summer climbing season: new routes, linkups, paraglides and BASE jumps – Alpinist.com


Getting big sponsorship dollars to pursue your outdoor adventures is a dream for many people. After all, who wouldn’t want to make a living hiking, backpacking, traveling, and pursuing your other passions.

Makes sense…but good to hear it distilled down here.

Video: How to Get Sponsored in the Outdoor Industry — The Adventure Blog


Being able to fix a tire on your bike is a fundamental skill that ever rider needs to know.

​As someone who accidentally ran over his own bike recently, this is a video I needed to watch.

Video: How to Fix a Flat Tire on Your Bike — The Adventure Blog


Solo backpacking can be the ultimate meditation experience. You can travel at your own pace, view beautiful scenery in solitude, and really get the chance to tune into your environment with minimal distractions. But, for some, venturing out to the backcountry alone conjures up visions of long, wide-eyed nights in the sleeping bag, wondering what is making that noise outside the tent?

Whether you’re committed to conquering solo backpacking by choice or forced to go alone because your trail partners can’t get time away from work, this article offers some tips to help you make the transition from backpacking with others to backpacking alone with confidence and ease. If you’re already backpacking solo, review these tips for additional ideas for safety and comfort.

I dream of the day I can get out and do some real backpacking camping trips again.

Tips for Solo Backpacking – Gaia GPS

Some Stories: Lessons from the Edge of Business and Sport

Climbing and business CAN go together…

Bought this book a while back because I have always enjoyed reading about the adventures of Yvon Chouinard and his fellow climbers. This book sprinkles in a bit of business and it’s neat to see how lessons learned on a mountain can apply in the office too.

Lessons from the Edge of Business and Sport

AvantLink Affiliate Application [Update and Lessons Learned]

It seems I hit a snag…

It seems that my website does not get quite enough traffic to warrant being accepted to the AvantLink partnership program. Over the weekend I wrote about applying to their program in hopes that I could be a Patagonia affiliate. Yet for now I will have to wait.

In all fairness, AvantLink does spell out what they’re looking for.

One of the sites that they point to, Alexa.com, has a tool that they use to help evaluate applications they receive. Once I went there, it made a lot more sense. I plugged in my URL and saw that Scott from California is still too fresh to rank in the top 3 million sites in webtraffic.

Out of curiosity, I looked up some climbing blogs I know.

Some of these sites are still active. The crazy part is that I remember when sites like MojaGear and CruxCrush were first launched. Heck, CruxCrush isn’t even running anymore and it still ranks in the top 3 million. So why does a site that is no longer being posted to rank higher than me?

Because they have been around for a while.

Had I been smarter, 7 or 8 years ago, when I first started my own website; I would have picked a name, stuck with it, and at least kept it running.

Lesson learned.

For now I will continue to try and inspire those I can and find quality content for you to enjoy.

How to Apply for the Patagonia Affiliate Program with a WordPress Site

This can be a little tricky…

When I started chipping away at finding affiliate programs that are a good fit for this blog, one of the first ones I had thought of was Patagonia. If you have been here from the beginning, you’ll know that the site name started off as PatagoniaDad. In fact I still have the http://www.patagoniadad.com url pointing to this site, and most of my social media handles are some version of @patagoniadad.

As a climber, I have long been a Patagonia fan. I used to live where the flagship store is, knew people who worked there and designed clothes for them, love the gear, and really respect what the company stands for. The group of people I used to work out with at my last gym, would joke with me all the time about how many different jackets of theirs I own. All that aside, I’ve bought many things from them and I have been meaning to do reviews on their stuff for a while…affiliate or not.

AvantLink is the company that handles Patagonia’s affiliate program and their verification method seems pretty standard as I learn more about how affiliate stuff works. The quickest verification method is to install some javascript on your site’s home page, click one of their links that will check to see if the script is there, then viola!…you are verified and one step closer to being approved. However, even with a WordPress premium plan, you can’t install plug-ins that would allow javascript (that requires a business plan)…so you have to do a little work around that Avant Link walks you through.

They have a specific call out for WordPress users like you and I:

WordPress: WordPress is the most popular ‘do it yourself’ website editor.

In order to get the JavaScript verification script integrated, you have to write a blog entry, select “Text” instead of “Visual” editing, and then use the “<code>“ and “</code>“ tags to surround the script. That way it will not be visible, but the confirmation script (which searches for the embedded script) would then be able to find it. 

AvantLink Support Site

Below is what that looks like.

http://classic.avantlink.com/affiliate_app_confirm.php?mode=js&authResponse=d5858baa6e85ab9b1f12842c85ff11864b70ef9d

You probably don’t see anything…maybe a small “play” icon. [Correction, it looks like a link…that doesn’t really work] When you are pasting in the javascript to your site, you will have to click the page editor menu (top right of your WP blog post editing page) and switch from Visual Editor to Code Editor. Paste in the javascript they provide, put <code> in front of it and </code> at the end, then switch back to Visual Editor.

Boom! The verification javascript is there. You do have to post it to your home page…so if that is a blog post like this, then you will have to post it. And from what I understand, it can’t be behind a “read more” link, it has to be visible ON the home page. Now click on the verification link and wait. They say that once it is verified that you can delete the script…but I’ll probably leave mine here since I used it for a blog post.

I will update this post once I get some sort of response on what happens and if it works.

If you are curious about some of the good affiliate program sites I’ve found feel free to drop a comment. AvantLink seems like one that has good core values and is looking for quality over quantity. Just my style.