Author Archives: Craig Bailey

You only live once – Make the most of it

I hope you find the following article to be a refreshing alternative to what we typically experience in the media.

The link shared below will take you to an article I wrote for and was published by The Windham Eagle, regarding the author of the book: Finding Kurdistan: A Kurdish Iranian American’s Journey Home.

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Hawreh Haddadi is interviewed by Adrianne Shetenhelm, Windham High School APEX Program Leader.

Click here to view the (short) article.

Briefly, the article summarizes the account of a Windham, Maine family, who journeyed to their homeland and what they realized about America. If you’d like to read the detailed account, feel free to acquire his book which is available at Amazon.

Enjoy!

Are You Catching Up?

Isn’t it fortunate that we don’t need to know precisely how electricity works? We can simply flip the switch and the lights come on! That is, someone has figured all of this out long ago.

Did you know that so many other things have also, already been figured out? Meaning, we don’t have to live our lives by trial and error. Or, be an example of Henry David Thoreau’s aphorism, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”.

Down through the annals of time philosophers, teachers, wise men and women, sages, adventurers, business people and the everyday person have clearly documented what works, doesn’t work and other learnings accumulated for virtually EVERY situation we might encounter during our short stay on this beautiful planet.

Most of us simply did not appreciate the benefits of paying attention in school; a primary source of early education. I confess, I was one of the leaders of that pack!

Upon growing older I found myriad sources of knowledge and wisdom that, once applied, can take us virtually ANYWHERE in life we’d like to go. Examples include; the Bible (an early book of wisdom sharing guidance and outcomes of the many mistakes humanity has and will continue to make), Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill, among others. In addition, most of us can easily find adult education and training courses in our locale, on nearly any topic we might be interested in. Top that with the advent of the internet and we have ALL of this at our fingertips!

There is just so much available, allowing each of us to “catch up” with others who have gone before us. We can learn what they did, how they did it, why they did it, their struggles as well as successes. Said another way, we cannot honestly look ourselves in the mirror and say anything but “I CAN make forward progress in my life, towards my goals, if I’m willing to slowly, daily chip away.”

One of my favorite quotes is by Zig Ziglar…

You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.

In closing, we might ask ourselves: Am I doing a reasonable job of catching up?

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Follow Your Bliss

It has been a VERY long time since last I posted (July of 2017).

As a catch-up, I had been more than totally consumed leading a client’s program to launch their medical device company in 11 European countries (simultaneously) on July 1, 2018. I’m pleased to say that we (the client’s outstanding team, their external business partners and I) completed this extremely complex initiative on time! A good thing, as failure was simply NOT an option 🙂

To ensure success I decided it would be necessary for me to live in London (the client’s EU headquarters) from April through July of 2018. Without going into the nauseating details, I can simply say that this was the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life (both professionally and personally).

While in London, in the heat of the project, I decided that once this one was complete I would go on sabbatical and do something TOTALLY different.

Quick background: When I was but a young lad I wanted to be a Forest Ranger, so that I could work in the woods of Maine. On getting older I forgot about this ambition and pursued a career in technology. That said, during a high percentage of my nights, weekends and vacations I would find myself on adventures in the woods: mountain biking, hiking, canoeing, fishing and camping with family and friends.

During the summer of 2013 I hired a Registered Maine Guide to take 2 of my boys and I on a trip on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (an absolutely outstanding northwoods adventure). It was at this time that a seed was planted: wouldn’t it be cool to be a Registered Maine Guide.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.

~ Joseph Campbell

My decision in London was to become a Registered Maine Guide. This being something I could do “in addition to” continuing to operate my consulting business.

As stated on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s website:

Registered Maine Guides are outdoor professionals who are licensed and permitted to accept any form of remuneration for their services in accompanying or assisting any person in the fields, forests or on the waters or ice within the jurisdiction of the State while hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, snowmobiling, using an all-terrain vehicle or camping at a primitive camping area.

For many years, a Maine Guide was not required to submit to any standardized testing. Interested parties simply had to pass muster with the local game warden. If the game warden considered them qualified and fit to guide in the outdoors, they were licensed as a Registered Maine Guide. In 1975, a standardized test and procedure was established for licensing.

I’m happy to report that as of January 29, 2019 I passed the test and have received my Specialized Recreational guide license. This means I’ve met the qualifications to guide watercraft, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiling and camping activities in the State of Maine.

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After receiving my license and guide patch (above) I learned that 60% of applicants fail. Wow!

Fortunately, to prepare for testing I felt it was important to hone my skills and fill in any gaps by attending training with Captain John Rogers of Maine’s Outdoor Learning Center. Based on the outcome of the test I’d suggest this training is highly recommended for anyone considering becoming a Registered Maine Guide.

As stated on Capt. John’s website:

The process of becoming a Licensed Registered Maine Guide is the most difficult in the country, which is why Maine Guides are held in such high regard.

Testing involved a 100 question written test and oral exam including topics such as: first-aid, survival, dealing with clients, wildlife identification, ethics, boating laws, lost person / catastrophic scenario, as well as demonstrating proficiency with map and compass. The latter few items are a pass or fail. That is, if you cannot effectively use a map and compass (with extreme accuracy) or deal with a lost person / catastrophic situation, deep in the woods of Maine, they don’t want you taking people out there for fear you won’t get them back again…

Now that a major goal of my sabbatical is complete I am putting my businessman’s hat back on to prepare to launch a guide business. Building on that, I’m currently planning an Allagash Wilderness Waterway adventure as an inaugural trip for the business, early in June. I’m happy to say that all (canoe) seats are taken for this initial trip 🙂

And, to confirm, if the right opportunity comes up “perhaps” I’ll take on a consulting gig or 2 between now and this year’s prime adventure season…

In closing, I’ve spent many years guiding my business clients to the successful completion of their mission critical projects. Now, I’ll “also” be guiding my adventurous clientele into the woods and waters of Maine. This is especially important, given an article I recently read in the Bangor Daily News, where it was mentioned:

As people spend more time in front of screens and children grow up with what author Richard Louv calls “nature deficit disorder,” the role of the Registered Maine Guide may be more important than ever.

If you’d like to experience a guided adventure into the woods or waters of Maine, please let me know. I’d be happy to discuss this with you and put together a trip to match your ambitions.

Hope to see you out there! And, stay tuned…