This month I’ve decided to say thanks to the people who have fed my hunger for knowledge and personal development this year. The order will be random…and likely incomplete!
Last month, while in Colorado for a Free Agent Academy event, I was honored to be the chauffeur for El Presidente, Saddleback Leather Company, Dave Munson. Okay, so I picked him up at the airport. Still, my name is James…a good driver name, right?
Dave Munson is a modern day Earnest Hemingway (the adventurous part, not the mentally unstable part). He’s also an inspiration to anyone wanting to take their passion and turn it into a business.
You’ll have to visit his website to see the best version of his story (and his amazing products), but the short version is that he went from teaching English in Mexico to owning a multi-million dollar company in just a few short years. It started when he wanted a cool leather bag (think Indiana Jones) to carry his books. Soon everyone he met wanted one, so he made more, sold them on eBay and the back of his Land Cruiser and eventually married his hot wife that he met on MySpace. Like I said, he can tell the story better!
What I love about Dave (besides the bags) is his passion. Sure, he loves making the coolest bags on the planet, but he’s also a committed Christian and family man. He’s a hilarious marketing genius, too (the SBL tag-line is “They’ll Fight Over It When You’re Dead”)! Just read his website!
Dave lives a life all men would love to live. The worlds most interesting man isn’t a pitchman in beer commercials…but he might be the owner of a leather bag company.
Dave recently spent more than 50 days touring Europe and Africa. Yes, he unplugged from his business that long and everything went just fine. He has an incredible team behind him, and his adventures automatically qualify as a business deduction! But it wasn’t all business. Dave was also serving children in Rwanda (everyone’s favorite vacation destination, right?) and is a big supporter of Africa New Life Ministries.
And while in Africa, he made a little video mash-up between his leather backpack and the spear of a Masai Warrior (and the source of the scar in the photo above:
I’ve known adventurous and outgoing people like Dave before. I liked them and been friends with them, but they were missing something.
I’ve also known amazing men of Godly character, and while they sometimes had adventure they didn’t always have a cool factor.
Dave Munson pulls off “adventurous cool Christian” better than anyone I’ve ever met. I’m honored to be a fan and a friend. I’m proud to have made some minor contributions coaching with SBL. And I’m stoked about my cool leather bags!
[11/29/10 Update: Mythbusters Meets Saddleback plus a Contest]
(Yes, there are affiliate links for SBL throughout this article and my site…because I believe in them!)
Photo of me with Dave courtesy of my good friend Alan Jackson.