Aren't you tired of spending all those months cooped up at home? Now that the lockdown and travel restrictions are starting to ease up, most of us are looking forward to going on vacation and spending some time outside, but that may not be a feasible option just yet. Fortunately, you don't have to travel far to bask in the glory of Mother Nature; there are countless ways to have some fun in the sun and enjoy the outdoor scenery at their finest. Whether you're spending time with family and friends or flying solo, here are some of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
Take Up Yoga
Maybe you want to revisit your new year's resolution to get in shape this year, or perhaps you just want to try something new. In any case, one of the best ways to spend the summer is to indulge in outdoor fitness activities. Many yoga and fitness instructors host free or low-cost sessions outdoors during the summer - usually in a park or on a beach. Doing yoga outside is a great way to change up your routine, clear your mind, super-charge your body, and become one with your surroundings.
Pack a Picnic
The summer months call for spending time outside with friends and family, and what better way to do that than by going on a picnic together! For a relaxing picnic, pack enough food and drinks for the day and head to the nearest lake or beach in the area. Some beaches and camping grounds near lakes allow people to set up bonfires, which is a great way to add warmth - both literally and figuratively - and make your time outdoors more cozy and intimate.
You don't have to be a professional astronomer to identify stars, planets, or constellations in the sky. You can simply download a stargazing app on your phone, spread a blanket on the lawn once the sun goes to bed for the night, and look up! If you want to take it to the next level, you might find local museums and planetariums in your area hosting moon watching and stargazing events throughout the summer. Check out their events calendar for upcoming sessions, and enjoy learning about those sparkling dots and lines in the night sky.
Go on a Hike
Hiking is a classic outdoor activity that is scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety, boost your mood, improve your quality of sleep, and help increase your intake of vitamin D. In addition to that, hiking is a low-impact exercise that anyone can enjoy regardless of their age or fitness level, as you can always control its intensity and duration. Be it into the woods, along the beach, or even through the mountains, a hike is just a long walk in nature.
If you're looking to try a new outdoor sport but don't have the time or energy to go through the training process, then kayaking could be perfect for you. It has a minimal learning curve, and you can pretty much learn all the basics in a single day. You just have to do a little research and find a useful link to help you choose the best kayak and walk you through the necessary information you need to know. Once you're on the water watching the surrounding landscape pass by, you'll quickly begin to enter a state of complete serenity.
To immerse yourself in nature and truly enjoy the outdoor scenery at their finest, consider going on a camping trip. Camping has long been the go-to activity for all nature lovers. It opens the door to numerous outdoor activities, such as stargazing, hiking, open-water swimming, and fishing, but it also allows you to sit back and do nothing. Moreover, camping can give you a much-needed break from technology, allowing you to completely disconnect from the outside world and focus on taking in the surrounding landscape and recharging your energy.
What could be better than a relaxing outdoor activity that comes with the prospect of free dinner! With a combination of concentration and good luck, your fishing trip can offer sustenance as well as solace. Just imagine the view of the trees or mountains towering above you as you watch the birds soar over your head while waiting for a fish to take the bait, doesn't this sound magical?
As you can see, there are many ways to enjoy the beautiful outdoor scenery. The list can go on to include hundreds of other activities, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you choose to do as long as you take the time to unwind and destress from the pressure of your daily life and reconnect with Mother Nature. Whether you just do yoga in the park or go on a week-long camping trip, every moment you spend outside will bring you closer to a happier and healthier version of yourself. Just remember to put on your most comfortable shoes, wear sunscreen, pack the appropriate essentials, and you'll be good to go.
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.