Dear Mr. Market:
This won’t likely ever happen again but we want you to do us a favor and stop thinking about investments for just a minute. The following article is more important than stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities. Please feel free to share it with those you care about:
My name is Matthew Vlad Pixa and I’m the founder of My Portfolio Guide, LLC. We are an independent Registered Investment Advisory firm based in Seal Beach, CA with another office in Denver, CO. The rest of the words that follow here have very little to do with the firm but rather a vision and a cause that will not only knock your socks off but will change the life of somebody who truly needs the help.
What is a BHAG? Wikipedia defines it as:
Big Hairy Audacious Goal – “A strategic business statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible”. In the 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, the authors James Collins and Jerry Porras state, “A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.”
Individuals can also set their own personal BHAG’s. I’ve always been a fan of setting and going after huge goals. From an early age I’ve had a passion for sports and simply love the thrill of competing. This drive continued through my high school years and all the way to earning a Division I athletic scholarship. The challenge to a driven competitor, however, is what to do when the music stops. What do you do when it’s either time to “hang ‘em up” or when you can no longer represent your team?
Several years ago I was told to stop competing. Running up to 110 miles a week isn’t good for the way my body was built and I was told to never run again. For years I lived in pain with virtually no cartilage in my hips and bone on bone grinding. It’s one thing to be told to stop racing but it’s even worse when you can’t tie your own shoes. After much exploration and a seven and a half hour double hip resurfacing surgery, I was given a new lease on life! It wasn’t about competing again but at that point it was just wanting a normal quality of life. Fast forward to August of 2012 when a lymph node in my neck swelled to the size of a golf ball. After another surgery and every test under the sun, I was left sobbing on my wife’s shoulder in a cancer center. As tough as I thought I’ve always been, I was just trying my best to not scare the chubby little faces of my kids staring at me. At that very moment I realized something was bigger than me and whatever time I had left in this life. The fire in my belly turned from wanting to compete for a team to something entirely different.
Without intending to offend or mock endurance athletes I have to admit something…. I find many of them to be overly self-consumed. If you ever talk to a first time marathoner it’s all about hearing how many miles they banged out on their Sunday long run, a nagging blood blister, what they’re eating, their new shoes…etc. The list goes on but it’s even worse when you hear a triathlete! Now you break into areas like the $5,000 bike, body fat levels of under 6%, gels and powders that most lab rats would not wake up from etc.
As most people might know…everybody’s favorite topic is usually themselves! One of the most classic lines on this is when someone is hogging a conversation and bending the other person’s ear talking about themself, “OK…enough talking about me…What do you think about me?”
In this day and age of “look at me” and “check me out” how about we do something amazing but all for the benefit of somebody else? It’s typically with good intention that people complete a fundraising walk, run a 5k for a charity, or perhaps attend a silent auction. The problem, however, is that afterwards most grab their event t-shirt or pick up what they bought at the auction…and then it’s “out of sight and out of mind” until the next year or so. I propose we change that mindset and here’s how:
I have personally hand-picked 10 athletes from across the nation to train and complete an Ironman triathlon. (a race consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run all in the same day) Some of these competitors are former collegiate or professional athletes but a couple have never even done a 5k fun run! Aside from setting them up with custom training programs and snazzy looking Team MPG jerseys, there is actually something that truly distinguishes all of these special people. They will each be competing in different Ironman triathlons across the globe in the name of a charity. Through our connection with the Ironman Foundation, each will drive awareness and raise funds for the specific charity of their choice.
Convincing one person to do an Ironman from scratch is hard; rounding up 10 is like “selling sand in the desert”. One of the first ‘victims’ I politely strong-armed into this journey is my business partner, Matt Blake. Sure…he was a former collegiate athlete as well, but as of this writing he doesn’t even own a bike so how on earth could be complete an Ironman?!? Trust me…he’s not nuts; he’s actually wired perfectly for this challenge! Along with a strong heart that wants to make a positive impact, he has what it takes to help pioneer this cause. You’ll get to know some absolutely amazing stories along with his as we document this epic journey.
While the devotion, commitment, training, and accomplishment of completing a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 marathon run will be nothing short of amazing and daunting for some…the people and causes these athletes impact will forever be blessed. Over the course of the next year you will learn about each of their stories, the ups & downs, and most importantly, the special charities they are competing for. Playing off of the total number of miles covered in an Ironman (140.6), each athlete will be asking for donations ranging from as little as $14.60 to major corporate sponsors giving $14,600. You’ll see how the numbers of 10 focused athletes play out but most importantly you will see us delivering a check to a child with cancer, a Wounded Warrior, a person battling addiction, etc. The list goes on but at least 10 major causes will be helped like never before!
We kickoff our year on November 17, 2013 in Tempe, AZ. Our entire team will volunteer at Ironman Arizona and several will then earn spots to compete in the 2014 event. I will not only personally compete and support these team members but I’m also going to do more than just test out my bionic metal hips…My goal gets even more BHAG-like… I will compete to qualify and earn a coveted spot at the 2015 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. This is a massive stretch goal for me (or anyone for that matter) but for those that know me…don’t bet against the odds of me sending you a postcard from the Big Island. Oh where was I? Yes…”enough about me”…let’s actually talk about YOU!
Congratulations! You literally just read the first chapter of a book that is being published in November of 2014 and will be made available to millions worldwide. In order for the next chapter to become a reality and for us to make an immense difference…I’m simply asking you to do one painless thing. I’m not asking you for money. I’m not asking you to do an Ironman! I’m simply asking you to share this first chapter. If you’re reading this on Facebook…”like” it and share the story on your page or with someone you know that has battled a hardship, disease, or tragedy. You’re holding the first chapter of a true story that will live and move forward for years to come. All you have to do is share it and watch what happens from this point going forward…
Thank you for making a difference and now being part of our Big Hairy Audacious Goal !!!