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How Do You Build Your 2020 Vision?

Can’t stay away from the obvious pun in the title, but the turning of the calendar to a new decade only happens once every few years!  It seems the years go by faster and faster the older I (we) get. The 80’s lasted forever! - or maybe it only felt that way because of the big hair and funny outfits.  At the end of the 80’s though, they represented over 70% of my living years, and 90% of my years being slightly aware of what was going on - if that’s even true today. So, that passage of time - a decade - that seemed so long in my youth, went so fast this time around, in part because it represents so much less of my total experience.   

But then I take a think-back.  Writing is thinking, they say, and now I’ve got me thinking about where I was in January of 2010.  If memory serves, I was the Acting President of Capital West National Bank at this time, which is a fancy way of saying you’ve got the same salary as when you...

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The Very Best Gift You Can Give Your Team

Oh, Christmas - what a wonderful and tragic holiday you have become!  Full of lights and song, and seasonal food & drink specials, and time with family and dear friends - and stuff!  In America, we have multiple sub-holidays to our Christmas season - Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday too!  The UPS and Fedex and Amazon trucks are clogging up the highways and ‘hoods of our nation en mass in December! Our focus on consumerism at Christmas would have Jesus rolling over in his grave - if he hadn’t rolled away the stone!   

What he would approve of, however, is the focus on others during this season.  We buy gifts and make fruit cakes and knit scarves for the people we love and appreciate in our lives.  We sponsor a needy family through a local non-profit, or buy gifts for kids through the Rotary club. Colorado Gives Day is smack dab in the middle of it.  It’s a season of gratitude and...

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The Unstable Balance Between Contentment And Striving

We had our 12th annual Fakesgiving party earlier this month, our silly name for what appears to have become a movement of friendsgiving parties sweeping the nation in recent years.  That’s right - 12th annual friendsgiving party - what you got!?  

Anyway - yours truly cooks up a pair of turkeys (16 pounders this year) along with stuffing and garlic mashers, Jill Bear makes sweet potato casserole and pumpkin cheesecake, and then a couple dozen friendlies bring their favorite side and a bottle of wine or 6-pack to share in our little bungalow.  This year, Fakesgiving was warmer than normal, and many spilled out onto the patio for dinner and later a fire pit session. We had about a dozen side dishes this year, and maybe five desserts - and of course I tried everything. A few things were really good, so I had seconds on those - quite a few things, if I’m honest.  

Striving to eat at least a bite or two of each offering is something I’m...

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Be Not Afraid (On Fear)

From the Founder - Be Not Afraid (On Fear)

Halloween season is upon us, and I thought it might be fun to draw some parallels to the world I know best - small business.  The first thing I think about when I think of Halloween is the costumes - it’s how we’re hooked in the early years! Kids put on costumes and adults give us candy - easy peezy.  In costume, I’ve been Batman, ET, and even Michael Jackson! (Just to derail any future thoughts of political pursuits now, there is a picture of a ~10 year old Curt with a for-real perm, one white glove and blackface somewhere in my mom’s photo albums!The ability to change who we are is also very prevalent in the world of small business.  Often the change from corporate stooge to entrepreneur is a traumatic one requiring many pivots and changes, and then once you’re off the launch pad you’re wearing ALL the costumes! - CEO, Sales, CFO, COO, CMO, HR, Cleaning, Maintenance...

 

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On Focus - (and These are a Few of my Favorite Things)

Uncategorized Sep 19, 2019

Curt discusses the Bear family’s new kittens, FOMO, and the importance of focus and perspective in this month’s blog.

 

The weekend after Labor Day saw a pair of new additions to the Bear clan!  Pictured are Barley and Bootsie - a pair of kittens we adopted through the Fort Collins Cat Rescue.  They are the sweetest little pair, brother and sister, and they’re getting along great with our dog Tucker.  

 

Sadly, Tucker was a source of our cat woes in recent years.  Our long-haired tortoiseshell cat Hazel disappeared last summer.  She was convinced that Tucker wanted to kill and eat her from the first day we got him 3 years ago (though he exhibited no such desires), and after escaping our home several times only to be found weeks later she finally escaped for good.  Months later, we put our 18-year old cat Tiger to rest, and with a cat-allergic exchange student moving in soon and a busy summer planned we became a cat-free...

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The August Leader Hits the Endangered Species List

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2019

I discovered a few years ago that I have a special provenance.  I’ve always known that I was born to Donald and Valorie Bear in the early morning hours of August 20th, in the year 1974 at Jamestown Hospital in North Dakota.  I was just shy of 6 pounds, and was delivered by the same doctor that delivered my mom and my dad and two of my three siblings. Already sounds pretty special, but not so much in rural ND - Dr. Lucy delivered nearly all the babies around there for 50 years!  No, the special provenance I’m referencing was discovered only in 2016 when I learned that 1974 is the year of the Tiger in the Chinese Calendar. So...my August 20th birthday makes me a Leo, and because my family name is Bear, I am...wait for it...Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!  

It’s true.  I am lions and tigers and bears, oh my.  What could this say about me? What could this signify for my future?!   

 

I Googled the Leo...

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Give Me Liberty or Give Me Health!

Uncategorized Jul 23, 2019

When I think about July, I think about Independence Day. That wonderful day filled with grilled burgers and outdoor play and ice cream and fireworks! My adopted community of Fort Collins is a bit nanny-state on the fireworks, but puts on a good show at City Park only a few blocks from our home. And when I think about Independence Day, I think about the Founding Fathers - as do many I suppose.  

 
This spring I found a new podcast that I spent some time with, Revolutions with Mike Duncan. Mike spends an entire series covering a historic revolution, one weekly episode at a time. This spring I gave a listen to his first three series, respectively covering the British Civil War (Cromwell and whatnot), the American Revolution (featuring the aforementioned Founding Fathers), and the French Revolution (which was a complete madhouse!). Each of these conflicts were at the center over the notion of liberty. Being “for liberty” is obviously a very popular rallying...
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Growing Gardens and People

Uncategorized Jun 25, 2019

Like many of our readers, I’ve been planting my garden the past few weeks, one of my favorite times each year. I’ve tuned up our irrigation system, spread my chicken manure and turned the soil, planted my seeds and starts, and cringed with each thunderstorm - fearing the hail that has wiped out too many backyard tomatoes and dimpled too many autos in our region the past few years.  

 
In the weeks since, I’ve watched seeds sprout and grow, and starts flower and begin to set fruit. Soon there will be a harvest of fruits and vegetables of the very best kind - the Bear’s backyard kind!  
 
In addition to planting my garden, this spring has also found me interviewing and hiring for a new helper at LoCo Think Tank, and seeing two past LoCo Interns find themselves new roles in the world. (Shout Out to Ellie Naasz and Elise Brown!) Both are fitted well for their new positions, and are poised for continued growth and career success. One...
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May I Be on Your Team? I Dunno, Why Do You Want to Be Here?

Uncategorized Jun 01, 2019

I’d like to begin this month’s lead-in with a congratulations and public thank-you to Elise Brown, the LoCo Marketing Intern for the past ~8 months. Elise just graduated from CSU with a degree in Economics with a Marketing emphasis, and has accepted a full-time position as a Digital Marketing Coordinator with AZDS Interactive Group in Denver beginning in early June. Elise has been a strongly contributing team member from the very start, and grew her skills and confidence throughout her LoCo experience. Thank you Elise - you get it, you want it, and you’re highly capable - and you’re fun to be around. You’ve got a bright future ahead, and we’re proud to have had you in our tank!  

 
Knowing Elise’s departure was coming, we posted our job ad for a part-time Marketing Communications Associate in early May. Though we’ve now had two great interns, this time we were hoping for someone with a bit more experience and who might...
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Longest Title Ever!: April Showers Bring May Flowers, The Mayflower Brought Freethinkers, Freethinkers Built Great Prosperity, and a Cold Civil War Risks it ALL.

Uncategorized Apr 30, 2019

Longest title ever, and apt to be a fairly long post, lest I’m careful. Did I lose you already?

 
Stick with me on this one please - it’s gonna be a good one. (I hope so anyway…) I’ve been chewing on this topic for months, both in internal and external conversations. The title finally came to me the other day when I was meeting with someone for the first time - we’d crossed into religion and politics within our first 20 minutes of being acquainted, and we weren’t even sorry about it. Another 50 minutes of wonderful conversation followed, fueled at least in part by our noted differences in the areas of religion and politics. We found joy in our differences, and pleasure in learning from one another about the why of our held opinions.  
 
But from what I read in the newsfeed and hear about on podcasts and what fuels my clickbait browsing habits - this is abnormal behavior. It’s almost becoming politically incorrect to hear...
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