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Bring on Belize…

December 18, 2014

Its 2:30 in the morning, and I plan on pulling an all nighter so I don’t miss my 855am flight.   I have never been much of a sleeper.  Going back to my days as a young kid, I used to have ice hockey games at 545am.  I remember laying in bed, wide-eyed, with a mixture of anxiety and exhilaration filling my nine year old body and mind.   That feeling creeps back inside of me as I eagerly await my vacation to Belize this morning.  Its been a grueling last four months since I embarked on my eastern european adventure.   My plan heading forward is to try and always have a trip booked far in advance so that I have something to get excited about at all times outside of my business.   After spontaneously going to Croatia and Prague, it gave me insight on how important it is to escape your bubble from time to time.  Everybody has their comfort zone, and if you have read previous posts of mine, you know that I am a huge proponent on cracking out of that shell.   I am trying to make my comfort zone be uncomfortable as much as possible.  This is the only way I can continue to grow and have that childhood drive and curiosity sparked back into me.

I am excited to visit Belize, a country I’ve never been to before.  I’ve heard its gorgeous, and warm weather, adventure, and relaxation is exactly what the doctor ordered.

 

Happy Holidays and I will catch you all in 2015!

Raking in the leaves

October 13, 2014

Fall used to be my favorite season of the year.  As a kid, halloween was more exciting then finding out school was canceled because of a snow day.  Leaves turning colors and then falling off trees.  My brothers and I used to make giant piles of raked up leaves and jump in them for hours on end.  Then hot chocolate would be waiting for us, compliments of mom.  That scent in the air of chopped wood being burned for the first time in fireplaces around our neighborhood is an aroma I will always yearn for.

 

This weekend it really felt like fall has finally arrived in Denver.  Before I moved out here a few years ago I held the misconception that Denver was an iceberg 24/7/365.  In stark contrast its actually really nice from may-october.  Even in november-april there are sporadic 70 degree sunny days.  In saying that, there are also the blizzard like conditions that pop out of nowhere.  It cracks me up whenever I speak to somebody that lives in a warm climate all year.  They say to me, “Mike I wish I had four seasons, 75 and sunny gets boring after awhile.”   I will take that weather any day!  The irony in it is that my business thrives in shitty weather.  Rain, snow, and/or cold leads to a lot more of our customers ordering food for delivery.  In saying that, on the other end of the spectrum I thoroughly enjoy a nice 75 degree and sunny day as much as the next guy/girl.  I am hoping to be able to start spending the winter months outside of denver in a couple years.  I choose beach over the ski mountain any day of the week!   I never really got a thrill of getting dressed up in winter gear to go freeze my ass off for hours on end up on a mountain.  To each their own…

I have been in a good workout routine and have been eating relatively healthy.  The occasional couple slices of pizza are thrown in for good measure once in awhile, and of course that late night scoop of ice cream…but a guy’s gotta treat himself, right?

Business has been great, but my social life has been somewhat nonexistent lately.  That abroad trip was great over the summer, and I have gone out in Denver a couple times since then.  However, its been a 7 day grind out here and the nights that I have the least on my plate are usually mondays and tuesdays.  When most people are out on the weekends Im helping out with dispatch and deliveries.  The catch-22 of life… I go out of my way to do my best to keep in touch with family and friends, but I still have a way to go to get out of that tunnel vision mindset.

I am at that age where facebook is just flooded with pictures of friends getting engaged, married, on honeymoons, and having kids.  Kudos to them…I am still trying to figure out how to take care of myself!

I am doing my best to…

cut out all sweets (that sweet tooth is tough to fight)

be asleep by 1am (insomnia strikes again)

be awake by 7am (this is easy because I constantly feel like Edward Norton in Fight Club)

be in that yes man mentality within reason

be open to going on blind dates with girls in denver (no keepers thus far)

To sum it up I still am young, am somewhat naive in the grand scheme of things, and have a long way to go, and a lot to learn.

Another week is in the books…thats why they call it the weekend.

 

Until next time…thats all folks!

Its been awhile…

September 9, 2014

John Lennon said it best: “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”.  I turned 28 years old a few weeks ago, and “age is just a number” is a mantra I fully support.  In saying that,  something struck a chord on July 28th (my birthday).   The last few years my business has consumed my daily life, and it seems like things really were passing me by at lightning speed.  Stopping and smelling the roses once in awhile isn’t a saying I have ever liked abiding by.   My brothers, Corey, and I took a great hike on my birthday.  On the few hour trek it gave me a lot of time to reflect on the past, and contemplate the future.  Birthdays seem to have a way of making me nostalgic and deep in thought.   Whether it was the thin air from being up in the mountains, or realizing I wasn’t getting any younger, I made a pledge to myself.  Heading forward I would have a yes man mentality.  Too many opportunities were squandered over the last few years of my life, as I used my business as a clutch for missing out on a lot of potential great experiences.  So when a couple childhood buddies were pushing me to go on an abroad vacation, instead of coming up with an excuse, I said fuck it, lets do this.   Two days later I was on a flight to Split, Croatia, and ended up having twelve of the best days of my life in Croatia and Prague.  That trip will be a gateway to me taking a much more open minded approach on getting out of my comfort zone.   Heading forward I have promised myself to take at least one vacation every six months.  Before my trip I was on the verge of burning out.   Waking up feeling lethargic and on edge, it was obvious that I was in desperate need of a break from my day to day grind.  Now I am rejuvenated and have new inspiration from my experience abroad.  When I got back to the states, I went to LA to meet up with a few great friends.   They all inspire me to be better, and its always exciting to be around likeminded individuals that you can confide in, and learn a lot from.  As you get older, its easier to appreciate great friendships because they are hard to come by.

As chaotic as running a business on the day to day is at times, ironically it has almost become a bubble/clutch for me.  A lifestyle business is a good term, and I get into such a routine that it becomes tough to crack out of sometimes.    Cracking out of my normal routine over the past couple months has been enlightening.  Reason being, it has actually aided in providing valuable insight regarding  potential consumers for my company.  What can I do to get John Doe to stop walking across the street to grab a pizza, or driving a couple miles to the drive thru?  Wouldn’t John prefer to just order food for delivery?  Or does John like getting out of the office once in awhile?  What can I do to capture his business if he always eats out?   If you are able to crack into somebody’s day to day routine, its an invaluable trait that can be carried on for the rest of your life.

To sum everything up, business is great, my mindset is on point, and I am very pumped up for what lies ahead!

 

Thats all “for now” folks

Insanity at its finest…

May 4, 2014

I woke up, got a great workout in, and then decided, fuck it, why not go out for derby day?  Went and bought some white shorts, high socks, and shoes that looked like I was getting ready for yacht week.  For those of you that know me well, this is not the Mike Rolland norm by any means.  A gorgeous 80 degree day in Denver, not a cloud in the sky, and over 1000 miles away from Churchill Downs.  Yet for some reason there was something nagging me to fall into the trap of going with the flow and being part of the “scene”.  Hang out and watch the NHL playoffs and NBA playoffs on TV or go out and be a person, socialize and have some fun out at the bars? I decided to take the latter option. Im turning 28 years old in a couple months, and although age hasn’t meant much to me since I was legally able to gamble and buy an alcoholic beverage about seven years ago, I like to pride myself in logical decision making as I lean closer to 30 than 25.  Today was not one of those pat myself on the back type of occasions.  Ten hours later, a few beers and a couple drinks deep and my body is telling me to go fuck myself.  (metaphorically speaking of course).   I’m not the spring chicken I was as a naive college freshmen or sophomore, nor am I suffering from a heavy case of senioritis anymore.  Not that I go out and drink more than 1-2 times a month, but come on Mike, what are you really thinking here?  Sure I made some good connections out at the bars, met a couple hot women dressed in their finest derby attire, but looking back at the day I wish I caught the end of that Bruins vs Canadiens game.  The bars aren’t going anywhere, there will always be hot girls out, and Ive drank enough times to know what a hangover in your late twenties feels like.   Everything in hindsight is always 20/20, and there is no point in regretting the past, but it leaves me wondering what I was really trying to accomplish today?  Best case scenario, I get laid and then wake up tomorrow hungover next to a chick that I don’t know? Worst case scenario, I wake up hungover next to an empty pillow?  Life in your 20s really has its moments…time for a few glasses of water, an advil, and to call it a night…

 

 

 

The Juice Cleanse

April 2, 2014

Last week I decided to embark on a 3 day juice cleansing journey.  I had contemplated trying this for months so I figured what the hell.

So for any of you thinking about giving this a shot…

13 things I learned from Juicing

1) I have a much greater appreciation now for being able to have the luxury of eating food on a daily basis.

2) My quest to help fight hunger now is a lot more meaningful

3) I didn’t realize how many toxins were actually in my body

4) Juicing helped clear my head and relieved a ton of stress

5) This will be something I now do every 3-6 months for the rest of my life

6) I never thought I could piss so many times in a 24 hour span

7) I will never be able to be a vegetarian

8) Food has always been one of my greatest passions, and the last 3 days made me realize how much of a foodie I really am

9)  A mushroom and spinach egg white omelette and a cup of fruit after 3 days without food never tasted so good!

10) Its a lot easier to complete arduous tasks while juicing, to just take your mind off eating.

11) Never begin a juice cleanse on a 70 degree saturday (stick to the weekdays)

12) A great pickup line to a cute waitress when you only finish half your breakfast after 3 days of no eating: ” The food was great, I actually just finished up a 3 day juice cleanse”

13) Juicing is a lot tougher than stand up comedy.

 

 

 

 

A clean slate awaits…

December 28, 2013

Another year is coming to a close, and I couldn’t be more excited heading into 2014.  2013 was a year filled with dedication, growth, maturation, passion, and turbulence.  I made a commitment to myself to ensure that all distractions would be avoided at all costs.  As I delve into my late twenties (27-29 years), time has become more important than ever.  Time has seemed to move at a much more rapid pace as the years have gone on.  This notion exists because people are supposed to experience a lot more as they accrue hours lived on this earth.   John Lennon said it best, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”.  This can be looked at in a positive light from my perspective, as I would rather be engulfed in trying to create a life for myself, then allowing life to dictate a plan for me.

Lessons I learned in 2013

Intuition is more valuable than you can imagine-  If your instinct tells you something, more times than not its best to stick with that “gut feeling”.

Patience is not always a virtue-  Mistakes happen in life, and you have to take risks sometimes even if you know you might get something wrong.  As long as you learn from these life choices, they will help shape your future.  Timing is everything and its important to pull the trigger sometimes and not wait for things to just happen.

Risk is a necessity while you are young-  You really do have nothing to lose.  We started delivery services in our boulder and denver markets, and its proven to be a game changer.  Although its a completely different sector of our business, it was necessary to evolve with the times.

Don’t be afraid of change-  Time has to change your train of thought.  Refuse to get caught in the ebbs and flows of the same habits and routines.  Adaptation is the key to consistent success, no matter what field you are in.

Exercising your body and mind is a necessity every single day to optimize your health and progression in life.  One hour of physical exercise, and one hour of reading an actual book/novel (not internet articles or magazine clippings) will do the trick.

Reflecting is productive, reflecting too much is detrimental.  If you want to look back at the past, make sure you are thinking back for a purpose.  Don’t get lost in the what ifs or what could have beens.  Hone in on how can I get better from the past, and what is next?

Balance is a must no matter who you are or what you do-  I made it a priority during the past year to focus all of my energy on my business. Although it helped me thrive in that aspect, the other parts of my life took its tool.  Just like working out your body and mind is important, ensuring that you have a healthy balance in your day to day life priorities is just as vital.

The biggest improvements I have to make heading into 2014 is  my personal organization, and overall balance.  This has always been my biggest weakness, and I have to realize that not creating a mess in the first place is a lot less time consuming and enduring then cleaning up a mess.  I must also realize that I can’t spend my entire day and night obsessing over my business, and learn to smell the roses a bit more.  Life does happen when I am making other plans and enjoying the rest of my 20s has to be one of the priorities on my list.

What’s great is that as I have discussed in prior posts, we all start off with a clean slate heading into the new year.  Go do you and have a dominant 2014!

 

 

The Piggyback Effect

September 28, 2013

Remember piggyback rides as a kid?  Weren’t they the best?!  Of course, as long as you were the one jumping on the piggy’s back.   Since moving to Denver two years ago, and launching an online menu website revolving around a much larger market, and a diverse set of target demographics, I have learned many valuable lessons.  There have been numerous times, which I know that I have referenced in previous posts, in which I wish cloning was a possibility.  Twenty four hours in a day, at least six of which need to be spent sleeping.  Without a good night sleep, you lack the energy to kick ass the next day.  Then again, who am I to talk, to say I am an insomniac would be an understatement.  The advantage I had when I was in Bloomington, Indiana was how condensed everything was.  You can get across town in fifteen minutes, and all of our restaurants are within three miles radius of one another.  In Denver, we have to combat the widespread landscape.  Some of our restaurants as far as thirty plus miles apart.  Throw in traffic and half the day could be wasted away in the car.

When I first came out here, I felt like a chicken with its head cut off.  I had never launched a city market before, let alone visit Denver for more than a day.  Like anything else in life, it takes time to adjust to new surroundings  and routines.  After awhile I started realizing that the only way I could succeed in a city marketplace, was by piggybacking off of existing relationships.  Existing relationships consist of, in our case, established restaurants that have built up a credible reputation over the years in the community.  There is already an existing trust that is very valuable to a start up business in a new area.  Competitors such as Grubhub and Eat24 really opened my eyes to the Piggyback effect.   By getting well known restaurants in our markets to link our competitors, they are able to generate momentum without exerting much if any effort.  This is a win for them in regards to bringing in revenue that they don’t have to spend much money to earn.  Low risk, high reward, what could be better?  How about the fact that they don’t have to physically have a presence in many markets since the restaurants are actually laying down the groundwork for the online orders flowing in.   This has been an eye opener for me, and has helped refine our approach to where our marketing dollars are being allocated.  Why build a base from scratch if one is already there for  the taking?

 

I haven’t posted in awhile, and quite frankly that is a good thing in my opinion.  When I am writing a lot that means I have time on my hands to analyze and think too much.  I much prefer to be out on the grind without having the time to over think a situation.  Who knows when I will be putting the fingers to the keyboard again, but when I do, you will know its probably because I can’t sleep.  Writing is great therapy for clearing your head, and allows you to just get in tunnel vision mode for awhile.   Nothing else to report for now…sleep well people.