Last week I suffered a mild heart attack.  I say mild heart attack because, as any good farm boy knows, if it’s not strong enough to knock you on your ass and make you beg for the Lord above, it must just be a mild heart attack.  So I did as any good farm boy would do, I got back to work so that I could focus on something other than the pain.  Now was that the best course of action? Obviously not since I tried to hide it from everyone including my wife and my editors (parents).  Now some would say, ”Why did you wait to go to the hospital?” My response.  “That’s  exactly why I married a doctor!” (Read more – How I used everything I know about animal breeding to choose my wife) and in good order I was feeling much better and was able to continue my introspection and forced bed rest back at home.

Currently I have many irons in the fire including running a company that is responsible for attracting billions of dollars in sales for its clients last year.  That company, Inbound Sales Network, and the Bullvine represent my lifelong dream supported by my wife, three kids, and close family.  However, the events of last week have me taking time for introspection.

The Big Bad Wolf

I put everything I have into the work I do.  The biggest challenge is that there are too many ideas, a lot of wonderful clients and too few hours to fit everything into. This brings me to The Bullvine.  Ten months into this amazing project and I love the tug and pull that being both big bad wolf and watchdog brings to my daily routine.  It is literally where my heart is and keeps the adrenalin pounding!!

This got me thinking about the great baseball slugger Jose Canseco, who likes to call himself “The Big Bad Wolf of Baseball”, as a result of his tell all book on steroid use in baseball.  You see Canseco earned more than $45 million playing professional baseball and yet he isn’t ashamed to admit there’s nothing left and that he plans to file bankruptcy this year because he still owes the IRS $1.1 million.  The founding member of baseball’s 40-40 club (40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in 1988, even if Canseco jokes it’s 40 woman in 40 nights) is flat broke and out of the game he loves so much.

You see in writing “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big”, Canseco exposed his steroid-using former teammates and for that was effectively kicked out of the game.  But yet, when surrounded by people, he’ll loudly proclaim the 2005 bestseller saved the game: “You f—king ignorant cave-dwellers, how did I ruin baseball?  Baseball is the best game in the world right now because of that goddam book I wrote!”

In thinking about this I see many similarities to the experience I have had since starting the Bullvine.  I have put every ounce of myself into this project.  I worked at educating the breeders and at times have taken unpopular positions on issues that others are even afraid to mention (Read more – Semex – The Rise and Fall of a Semen Empire, $750 Dollar semen! Are you crazy? and Select Sires vs. Semex – A Contrast in Cooperatives).  That is what has me being called the “big bad wolf” of the dairy industry.

Dairy cattle breeders, like baseball fans and well pretty much every other industry out there, need to have transparency and all the information, regardless of how difficult it is to present.  Similar to Canseco, “I would do it all again for the love of the (Holstein) game.”  As a results have weathered the good, bad and the ugly because I believe what we are doing here at the Bullvine is very much needed in the dairy industry.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

The nice thing about having a wakeup call is that it clarifies things and identifies priorities. When I was a growing up, I had the pleasure of growing up and working side by side with my grandfather on our family dairy farm.  I watched as he worked hard, loved his work and, when he could no longer do what he loved, he passed away quite suddenly leaving a legacy that inspires his entire family to this day.   That taught me a big life lesson: ”Love what you do and do it every day of your life”.  I love what I do with all my heart – every minute of every day. Health and financial willing I will continue to be the “big bad wolf of the dairy industry” as some like to label me.

Happy Holidays Everyone!