ethanbeute

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Tag: Mountains

Crush It! by Vaynerchuk: What It Looks Like Off the Page

If you’ve already dropped your New Year’s resolution and you’re looking to pick up a new one, I recommend that you start to Crush It! The concept is laid out by Gary Vaynerchuk in his book of that title.  I wrote about it late last year.

The subtitle of the book is Why Now Is The Time to Cash In on Your Passion.  In it, Vaynerchuk advocates that you put family first, do what you love and work super-hard.  Tools are now available to help you build your personal brand and monetize your personal passion.  It involves a ton of hard work, but your passion should continue to pull you in such a way that it doesn’t feel laborious.

In thinking again about the key takeaways, I realized that a friend of mine is starting to Crush It!  My favorite part: I don’t think he’s explicitly trying – he’s just doing what comes naturally.

Sawatch, mountain, summit, peak, Emerald, Colorado, Rockies, Rocky Mountains, hike, climb

From Left to Right: Ethan Beute and Matt Payne on the summit of Emerald Peak, Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

 

Matt Payne’s got a full-time management job with Peak Vista Community Health Centers here in Colorado Springs.  He’s a husband and father.  He’s also a mountaineer at heart.  Matt achieved the summit of his first “fourteener” (14,000+ foot peaks for which Colorado is famous) at the age of 6.

After losing touch with this innate passion, he decided a year or two back to revisit a long-time goal to climb the top 100 peaks here in Colorado.  Researching the peaks, planning the trips, getting new and necessary gear, locating and screening climbing partners – it all consumes a great amount of time.  He layered on another set of tasks by committing to shoot photos and write trip reports, which he’d post to a personal blog (now defunct, more on that next) and to other sites, like SummitPost.org and 14ers.com.

Both SummitPost and 14ers have good features, active communities and loads of information.  Not perfectly satisfied with either site, though, Matt taught himself Joomla, a content management system, and built 100summits.com from scratch.  He’s since added loads of features (interactive map of all the Colorado mountain ranges, deals of the day, photo sales and tons more – like an algorithmic breakdown of summit “impressiveness”).  The blog has turned into a series of Examiner posts.

The new skills he taught himself by building a website with no prior programming experience has resulted in potentially revenue-generating outcome – offers to built others’ sites.  Consider, too, that the Examiner series is revenue-generating (authors are paid per page view).  Add in the various revenue-generating aspects of the site (he gives away 25% to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and the Rocky Mountain Field Institute).  Also consider the value of building a community around such a focused concept – climbing the 100 highest peaks in Colorado.

 

In short: Matt’s using newly available tools (like Facebook) to begin to monetize his personal passion.  These efforts eat up nights and weekends.  It’s a sacrifice.  The revenue’s not nearly enough to boot the day job (it may be just enough to buy new gear), but he’s building an asset for himself, for his family, for their future.  The best part: he’s loving every minute of it (or most, anyway).

 

Related: his wife, Angela, is taking a more blended old-school/new-school route.  We were one of her earliest customers, ordering holiday cookies that she baked and sent to our family’s homes across the country.  Check out The Sweet Shop on Facebook.

Their efforts are young; I’m excited to see where it all goes.  So, will you start to crush it this year?

 

Photos from our visit to Collegiate Peaks Wilderness to summit Missouri, Iowa and Emerald Peaks are right here.

Photos from our visit to the Sierra Blanca to summit Mount Lindsey, Iron Nipple and “Huerfano” Peak are right here.

 

2017 UPDATE

Years after writing this post, Matt continues to drive into his passion for landscape photography.

See that passion on display at his photography website and in his landscape photography podcast.

 

From Anonymous Appreciation to Personal Invitation

A quick follow up to the last post about a vibrant painting by a local artist hanging at the Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs.

I brought the post to the attention of the artist, Tracy Felix.  We had a short email exchange in which he shared a few additional images and gave me insight into his creative and production processes.

In some cases he works from his own photographs, as well as postcards and photos from others.  In other cases he works strictly from imagination, informed by decades of hiking, skiing and exploring our area.

Here is an example of the former, a new painting from a recent trip to Durango:

Grenadier, range, mountains, Colorado, Molas Lake, Durango, Ouray, peaks, lake, nature, painting, fine art, Tracy Felix, Denver

The Grenadier Range from Molas Lake by Tracy Felix

Here’s an example of the latter, an imagined scene generated from the general idea or concept of “northern New Mexico”:

img class=”size-large wp-image-605″ title=”Along the Rio Grande” src=”https://ethanbeute.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Along-the-Rio-Grande_-Tracy-Felix-748×1024.jpg” alt=”Rio Grande, Colorado, New Mexico, fine art, painting, Tracy Felix, Denver, art, artist” width=”534″ height=”725″ />

Along the Rio Grande by Tracy Felix

The point of this post: rather than simply enjoying a painting at a local treasure of a museum, I decided to shoot a couple photos and write a brief piece about it.  From that limited initiative, I received more insight into the person and the process behind the images, images of three additional paintings not in the online gallery, information about a current showing of work by him and his wife, Sushe, and a standing, informal invitation to the Felix’s home and studio.  I think that’s wonderful.

Here’s the third image I received; it’s inspired by the La Plata mountains in the San Juan range near Durango:

La Platas, La Plata mountains, Colorado, painting, Durango, art, fine art, artist, Tracy Felix, Denver

La Platas by Tracy Felix

Here’s a Denver Post feature from July 2008 about Tracy and Sushe Felix.

Local History, Local Artist and Landscape Art

Three things I truly enjoy intersect just 2 miles from our home: local history, a local artist and landscape art.

Physically, they intersect at Tejon and Vermijo in downtown Colorado Springs.

The Pioneers Museum is dedicated to local history, including the settlement and development of the Colorado Springs area.  Its home is the former El Paso County Courthouse; one of the exhibits is a fully restored courtroom.  It used to be open from 10am-5pm every day of the week, but the city budget is an absolute wreck.  It’s always free to the public and absolutely worth a visit by locals and visitors alike.

The Pioneers Museum, downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, history museum, local history

The Pioneers Museum in downtown Colorado Springs is housed in the former El Paso County Courthouse

One of my favorite exhibits is “Looming Large: The Artistic Legacy of Pikes Peak,” which was developed during the 2006 bicentennial of Zebulon Montgomery Pike’s expedition up the southwestern slopes of America’s Mountain.  It’s a room filled with various artistic renderings of the mountain that now bears Pike’s name.  One painting truly stands out from the rest and earns prominent placement.

Pioneers Museum, entrance to Looming Large exhibit

Entrance to the Looming Large exhibit at the Pioneers Museum

The oil painting is “Pikes Peak 2004” by Tracy Felix, who grew up and worked as an artist in Colorado Springs.  Within the past few years, he and his wife, artist Sushe Felix, moved to Denver.

Pikes Peak 2004 by Tracy Felix, Colorado Springs, painting, artist, oil painting

Pikes Peak 2004 by Tracy Felix

Perhaps for my love of mountains, wilderness and trails, I’ve always favored landscape photography and landscape painting over most other artistic forms.  Fold in the fact that the artist is local and the subject is Colorado mountains and I’m all in.

The style here is obviously bright, playful and inviting.  Though this treatment of Pikes Peak is relatively straightforward, much of his other work is a bit more abstract.

His work hangs at the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center in Pueblo, among other places.

Here’s a sampling of Felix’s treatment of other Colorado landmarks.

Tracy Felix, painting, fine art, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mount Yale, Maroon Bells

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Mount Yale, Maroon Bells

Tracy Felix, painting, oil painting, fine art, Sangres, Sangre de Cristo, mountain range, Longs Peak

Longs Peak, Sangre de Cristo Mountains

With this post, I simply wanted to draw your attention to a few things I enjoy that happen to intersect.

Related Links:

Pioneers Museum: home

Pioneers Museum: about

Pioneers Museum: exhibits

Pioneers Museum: photos from my Flickr stream

Tracy Felix: artist statement

Tracy Felix: gallery

Enjoy!

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