My name Is Mark Miller. This is my story and I’m stickin’ to it! Live Life Wide Open is how I have lived my life.
Of course, as newborns, all of us are learning something new every day…everything is new to us, everything is interesting. My parents told me when I was an infant my mouth was always open. I would eat anything, drink anything, try anything, always on the go, always Wide Open!
As I grew older, life was always a race. How fast could I go on my bicycle? How fast could I ski down the hill? How fast could I run a mile? How fast could I get my chores done? How fast could I eat my dinner? How fast could I do my homework?
Later, in my teenage years, guess what I did with Dad’s car? I drove it wide open! How fast could I drive to the next town? How fast could I outrun the local Police? How fast could I go around corners, how fast could I stop, how fast could I wear out a set of tires?
Not a whole lot different than the younger years, mouth always open, drink anything and try anything. My friends always said “Oh, *%^#$” when I said, “Here, hold my beer and watch this!”
Still always on the go, always wide open.
After barely graduating high school, ( I was in the 10% of the class that made the top 90% possible!) I was wide open to the idea of new experiences and new places, so once again, how fast can I get out of this town? Over the next few years I ended up traveling to a few different states experiencing new and different places, people and jobs. At 21, I ended up back in my hometown of Randolph, VT and my parents told me with great relief that only a few years ago they said to themselves “If Mark just lives until he turns 21 he will turn out ok.” I don’t know what they were thinking, but it was still life in the fast lane for me.
I drove a tractor-trailer truck for the next 8 years in 23 states. At that age and stage in my life, the freedom and wide-open road was the place for me. In 1986 with a growing family I decided to get off the road and start a business.
Starting Americlean was very time consuming – I was in a new element with a lot to learn. A lot just simply had to get done. I buried myself in the business. I just kept doing it and doing it and doing it. It was life wide open all the time. Over the years, at times, it seemed out of control and I headed towards trouble.
To help, I used something I learned while aggressive trail riding snowmobiles in Vermont and Quebec. My friends and I rode wide open and many times were right on the edge of losing control. We all had near misses and the one thing we concentrated on if we started heading towards trouble, a tree, another sled or an animal, was to focus on the way through and not to focus on the obstacle. If you focus on the obstacle guess where you’re going to go? Right at it! I learned to do the same thing in business and life. If you think there is trouble coming, focus on how to avoid it, don’t focus on the trouble.
As my business grew and my life became busier my wide-open approach didn’t always work. At one point I was like an out of control freight train. I was running over people’s feelings, I was squashing their ideas, I wouldn’t slow down enough to listen to anyone, learn anything new or consider how I was affecting feelings of others that were close to me in my personal and business life. Personally, I started spiraling downward, I ruined some relationships, I thought that people that were working for me were incompetent, I didn’t like going to work any more, revenue and profit dropped to an all time low.
Luckily there was a part of my mind that was still open. It didn’t happen until I was about 50 when I started to get introduced, turned on and tuned in to some of the world’s greatest inspirational, transformational, and motivational speakers and writers such as Jack Canfield, Bob Proctor, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Michael Gerber, Lee Brower, Dan Sullivan, Gino Wickman, Teresa Huggins and Tony Robbins to name a few. I started reading their material and soon I was traveling around the country listening to and participating in their programs. I met some wonderful people who taught me a different meaning of Living Life Wide Open. Not too far off from my infant years of being open to anything, curious, inspecting, trying new foods meeting new friends, seeing new places, new experiences, new outlooks, new businesses, new opportunities etc.
It took a while, and it was through having an open mind that allowed me to realize that it wasn’t my business that sucked, it wasn’t the employees that sucked it wasn’t the customers that sucked, it was ME that sucked. Being inspired by the world’s finest along with thousands of people just like me I was able to turn myself around.
One of My Best friends Rob Matthews put it this way. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear”. Boy, was I ever and they sure did!
I would encourage anyone that wants to improve things in their life to take some small steps or, maybe like me, some major life changes are in order. Please click thru some of the links I have filled with quotes, questions, books to read, a tribute to my Dad where I wrote about using a compass, and links to my favorite mentors, many who have turned into great friends! Find something that interests you and order it. Some of it is free some of it is pricey. It’s all worth it. You won’t regret it.
What I have learned that living my life this way is a blast and better then ever!
Open your mind
Open your heart
Open your arms
Open your life
LIVE LIFE WIDE OPEN