June 2019

Thoughts about…

Strengthening Your Position

We like to see big gains. We want to achieve major growth every step of the way. We love watching expansive and broad movements when it comes to a performance. Time lapsed videos are fun to watch because they show us extreme shifts in cloud patterns, for example, which might otherwise go unnoticed in real-time.

Cross-country skiing the Echo to Kirkwood race route

Cross-country skiing with Bruce E. and Bruce P. along the old Echo to Kirkwood backcountry ski race on May 3, 2019. © Jared Manninen

In boxing, most of us would prefer to watch a knockout punch win over a split decision. In football, we’d rather see a 75 yard touchdown pass than a 75 yard grind down the field 4 yards at a time. Wouldn’t it be great to hit a home run every time you stepped up to the plate?

But that’s not the reality in which most of us live.

Cross-country skiing at Carson Pass

Cross-country skiing with Rick at Carson Pass on May 8, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Consider the fact that nearly 80% of millionaires don’t become rich because they won the lottery or inherited a fortune. Most have actually spent their entire adult lives saving, investing, avoiding debt, and living within or below their means. This isn’t to say that becoming a millionaire is what everyone should strive for. It simply illustrates my point that the backbone to achieving success (in whatever form you prefer) requires day-to-day care and maintenance of a thing.

A pair of Osprey in their nest at Emerald Bay

An Osprey couple at Emerald Bay on May 10, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Think of this in terms of tending a garden, if you will. One day of soaking rains followed by a heavenly day of sunshine won’t yield an abundant crop at the end of the season. You have to monitor and maintain the garden daily in order to keep the pests at bay and ensure that the crops are receiving appropriate water, nutrients, and sunlight.

Snowshoeing near Carson Pass

Snowshoeing with Jennifer Q. near Kirkwood on May 12, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Sure, big things can and do happen that make it look like every day is a huge success. However, making those big gains is often only possible because of this less than sexy aspect of progress, which is a slow and steady march toward a clear goal.

What’s occurring behind the scenes or to the untrained eye is that the individual or unit is sticking to a plan, yet making adjustments based on feedback and new information. Essentially what they’re doing is perpetually strengthening their position.

Cross-country skiing at Carson Pass

Cross-country skiing with Bruce R. to Winnemucca Lake, near Carson Pass on May 17, 2019. © Jared Manninen

In chess, this is often referred to as making a “quiet” move. Outwardly, it may not appear that your opponent moving their bishop one square over, for example, yields anything. It doesn’t threaten. It doesn’t defend. So, you continue playing as if it was a wasted move when, in fact, it was the needed setup to yield a checkmate for them in five moves yet to come.

Cameron and Emma eating popsicles

Fun time with Cameron and Emma on May 18, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Strengthening your position is not a single or solitary endeavor. It’s not a one-time process. It’s routine evaluation. It’s attention to detail. Then, it requires you to make the necessary changes to simultaneously guard against unnecessary hiccups in the future and capitalize on windfall opportunities.

Clouds over Hope Valley

It was hard to believe that three weeks prior to taking this photo of Hope Valley (on May 18, 2019), I had cross-country skied across this same spot. © Jared Manninen

It’s the long game, and it’s about having the confidence to step back from the regularly scheduled program for a commercial break or two.

For the past month I’ve taken a break from writing new articles for Tahoe Trail Guide. This has been odd for me because I’ve written nearly 3 articles per month for the past 29 consecutive months. But this isn’t to say that I haven’t been working on Tahoe Trail Guide.

Cross-country skiing at Carson Pass

Cross-country skiing with Maria to Winnemucca Lake on May 20, 2019. © Jared Manninen

During my last week of work at the cross-country ski center (back in April), I got the contact information for a friend of a friend of a friend who provides various web services to businesses. The reason I was inquiring is because I wanted 3rd party feedback about my website.

  • How can I get more traffic to visit my website?
  • Does the structure of my website make sense?
  • What am I forgetting or missing?
  • What am I doing wrong?

These questions, and more, are what I asked this person. So, after filling out a lengthy survey and answering more questions over the phone about my operation, we formulated a plan.

Cross-country skiing at Carson Pass

Cross-country skiing with Rachel to the base of Elephant’s Back at Carson Pass on May 21, 2019. © Jared Manninen

Essentially, I hired the North Tahoe-based McCullough Web Services to teach me how to perform search engine optimization (SEO) planning, keyword research, and how to write articles in a way that ensures that they’re found online and read.

So instead of writing new articles, I’ve been cleaning up what I’ve already created. Not that any of it was wrong. It’s just that there are more focused ways to reshape the content I already have that makes it more appealing to a person looking for the information I’m providing. I’ll spare you the boring details of the process. Just know that, although I’ll post new content in June, I’m more focused right now on implementing the new things I’ve learned from this recent educational experience.

Cross-country skiing to Winnemucca Lake

Cross-country skiing with Jennifer M. to Winnemucca Lake out of Carson Pass on May 26, 2019. © Jared Manninen

And in addition to strengthening the position of Tahoe Trail Guide on the web, I recently started my full-time summer job. Suffice it to say that I go to bed knowing that I put in a full day’s work.

Cross-country skiing to the base of The Sisters near Carson Pass

Cross-country skiing to the base of The Sisters, south of Carson Pass, on May 28, 2019. © Jared Manninen

It should be obvious from the photos that I made the effort over the past few weeks to ski with many different friends. Sort of like taking victory laps in celebration of the end of the season. I consider these adventures as opportunities to reinforce my bonds with long-time friends and forge new relationships with others. And, in essence, strengthen my position within the community of Lake Tahoe.

I just received a new batch of my Hike Lake Tahoe stickers. You can purchase them at the Tahoe Trail Guide store page for $3.99 apiece (includes shipping). Please note that I ship orders on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (my days off).

Click the image to go to the store.

Assortment of Hike Lake Tahoe stickers designed by Jared Manninen

Order your Hike Lake Tahoe sticker for $3.99 apiece (includes shipping) at the Tahoe Trail Guide Store. Click image.

Thanks for being a part of my life. Until next time…

-Jared Manninen

Tahoe Trail Guide is an online magazine for sharing my knowledge about hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, as well as information about traveling to (and through) the Lake Tahoe region. I refine that information for a younger audience and produce it in a printed format under the title Wilderness Activity Books. Lastly, Tahoe Swag is a collection of art and design products I create based on my love of the outdoors and appreciation for Lake Tahoe.

Categories: Newsletters
Tags: #2019

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