Social Networking & Stunts

February 1, 2011

Author Is Fighting Back In His Fifties To Land Jobs

I love coming up with excuses why we don’t get the big jobs or the volume of work as often as we used to. I blame the economy, Obama, Washington DC, runaway film production, foreign competition and anything else I can come up. In reality, there is probably is a little truth in all of them, but it is also very likely that the slow reality of age and waistline increases contribute to making the work calls a little fewer each year.

Not much that we can do about age and we’ve all tried a zillion diets only to learn that if we really want to loose weight, then we have to quit putting junk down our throats, stop eating like horses and exercise regularly.

It used to be a parents job to teach us about being polite, complimentary, considerate and helpful. I don’t know what happened there either, but something did and a little refresher on those ideas never hurts, but in this age of Facebook, YouTube and the internet the easiest option might be to make an effort to market ourselves. Even in Hollywood, it’s not all about beauty and good looks, every actor, entertainer and director that you’ve ever heard of has an agent and often a public relations person to manage their public persona.
Most of us don’t have that luxury, so we have to come up with other ways to stand out from the crowd, or at least make ourselves more interesting to those that befriend us and those that hire us.

With some time, effort and very little money the internet is the most effective way to let our friends, family, peers and potential employers to know more about who we are and the good things or, the cool things that we do. It doesn’t matter if you work in your church, help out with the scouts, have a cool hobby or a cool thing that you make or know how to do, a website, Facebook page or YouTube

account can spread the word to people that you don’t yet know and may want to. As part of Trucker Buddy, I have seen this manifest itself many times with the drivers and their classrooms and as a bonus, an improvement in all of their lives.
My particular frustration at the ripe old age of 54, is seeing the 20, 30 and 40 somethings taking more of the work than I am prepared to let them have. As I studied this, it became obvious that they learned the value of social networking. I’ve watched Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust, Rhys Millen and many other names familiar in the X Game crowd grow up and grow into the very recognizable names and performers that they are today.

It is cool to see, and I am a fan of them all. Each of them use the internet on a regular basis to let their fans, sponsors, family and friends know what they just did and what they are doing next. They do it with video’s and photographs and the world sees it all. They haven’t spent money, only time to build thousands and for some of them, millions of fans.

My next job is to do some stunts that will elevate my current value. I am planning some wild things including a ramp to ramp semi truck and trailer jump over 4 or 5 rigs. We finally got our Freightliner Pikes Peak Race Truck to drift. go to my new YouTube Channel mikeryan777 and see for yourself. We’ve been working furiously to make it drift better and soon, we will do a video that will make Ken Block and his Gymkhana video’s take a second look. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure our the ramp angles to do a spiral jump like the one in the 1970’s James Bond movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” I already bought a 1974 AMC Hornet like the one in the film. We start putting the roll cage in it next week.

My other next job is to freshen up an do a proper job for my sponsors and clients. And the one after that is to figure out how the get in touch with the head of marketing at Gulf Oil to get them to sponsor the truck. I want it to be blue with orange stripes like the GT 40’s and Porsche 917’s that set records all over the world while I was in my teenage years. Old School is Cool!

Meanwhile, efforts from the past keep working and that is proof enough that some of this stuff works. Freightliner has been with us for 14 years now and Michelin for 10. All of our component sponsors like Accuride, ZF, Meritor, Detroit Locker, Cry o2, Aurora Bearings, Taylor Wing, K&N Filters, Fluidyne, Borg Warner, Braille Batteries, B&D Turbo’s have been with through thick and thin. Net June 27th will be our 15th year in a row racing Pikes Peak and every company listed deserve credit and support for helping to make it happen.
I am not ready to throw in the towel and my pocketbook and ego can’t stand being put out to pasture, so out of necessity and desire, I am fighting back. If 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40, then 54 it is nowhere near being over. Kinda half way through it all if you ask me. So rather than going away quietly, I think that I will choose something that I’ve read on the internet many times: Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways, totally worn out shouting “Holy Shit, what a ride!”