I've done a lot of crazy things in my life. Most of them are not appropriate to blog about, but rather are things I should be repenting for! Some though, are the fodder of stories I've told countless times, tales that always seem to catch people's interest. For example, there's the time I drove a street sweeper across the country. Yep! A street sweeper.
When I was eighteen, I worked for a company that sold all kinds of industrial equipment like monster earth movers, front-end loaders, cranes, and you guessed it, street sweepers. We had always had them shipped in on trucks, but it was expensive and my boss thought it would be "interesting" to see if it was more economical to drive one out (from Clark, New Jersey to Tulsa, Oklahoma).
The specific brand we sold was built on the chasis of an International Harvester truck, so his thinking was that it should make the trip just fine. All they needed was someone naïve enough to agree to drive it. Heck, it sounded like fun to me, and it was going to pay better than sitting in the office taking order for parts (I thought). Safe to say, THIS was one of the craziest things I've ever done. It took several days, and I guess you could say the user experience was a bit lackluster.
The seat (according to our company truck driver, who cleverly opted out of the journey himself) was the cheapest truck seat money could buy, so it was a miserable, and very bouncy ride. But the worst of it was that the driver's seat was on the right side of the truck. THAT was certainly an experience... as was going through a weigh station, where they laughed at me until they cried. Oh, and then there were the ever-so-cute tollbooth folks who invariable wanted me to turn the brushes on. [sigh]
Bye Bye, Corporate
But I think the craziest (publishable) thing I have ever done was to walk away from a rewarding career at one of the best companies in the world, FedEx (Federal Express it was called in those days), to start my own business. I'm not sure I was truly bitten by the entrepreneurial bug until I'd been doing it for a while, but bite it did. Having done this now for over 25 years, I can't imagine doing anything else. It has certainly been challenging—and my wife, Jill, would probably say it has been insanely difficult—but the rewards that have come with it are unlike anything else in the world.
30dps has had its ups and downs, but I'm most proud of the fact that we continue to evolve, both corporately and individually. (I have an exceptional staff of very adaptable and patient folks.) Now on our fifth or sixth significant business shift, we are delighted to be able to serve our clients in ways that are meaningful and impactful... and I'd like to think, even transformational. Along the way, we've made lots of great friends and made our clients lots of money, which are two of the main reasons we do this. So while starting this company may well have been the craziest thing I've ever done, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
What's the craziest thing YOU'VE ever done?