Waiting for Sash while she met with Joan in Joan's tiny shop along Main Street Sturgis, the switch finally hit me. After 3 1/2 years into this relationship, Sash isn't following me anymore, I'm following her.
"I'm the show, and he's the go", she often tells people. It's her way of saying that she's the one who attracts attention, makes connections, and wins the business. I'm the guy who does the work that our clients pay for, building the websites, writing the articles, taking the photos, and figuring out the secrets to making social media work.
I never once minded that Sash gets all the attention because I feel pretty confident in my abilities as an Internet marketer. Nor have I ever worried that someone could take her away from me because I feel confident that she's staying by me. If anything, it can be humbling for a man to set his ego aside and allow his wife the freedom to seize opportunities and realize her own dreams. There are times I wonder, however, if I'm just holding her back, or if she's holding herself back for my sake.
It was on a Saturday night in Sturgis, when Indian Motorcycles revealed their new 2015 Scout. Sash was among the privileged invitees to attend as part of the media. Actually, I should have been the one to attend, considering I'm the one who does the writing and photography. But because only one of us could get in, I suggested that she go instead for her better networking skills, figuring I could still get all the information I needed from Indian's press kit.
"I met Peter Jones!" she texted me. Peter Jones, of course, is a writer for Cycle World Magazine.
"I just met Mark Wahlberg, and he complimented me on my hair!" she texted later.
"I just had a talk with Cyril Huze!" came later still.
"Mike Wolfe from American Pickers, I just hung out with him!" later on.
Honestly, I was really happy she went. I was like a proud papa watching his little girl run with the big shots. If I had gone instead, I'd end up being a spider on the corner of the ceiling trying to stay out of everyone's way. I know my strengths and weaknesses.
Sash and I originally started out in the town of Menifee, CA. Back in 2004, I started a news publication there, and struggled to survive on advertising revenue. In 2008, I brought Sash on board just to do some writing for me. But it was in 2010 that I hired her to do advertising sales. That's when she took off like wildfire, and that's when the two of us became an item. She went to all the business networking events, got in close with all the big names around town, and ultimately brought in loads of new advertisers for me. Sash also attracted dozens of job offers, but turned them down to stay with me.
"One day someone's going offer you the chance of a lifetime, and it's going to be huge", I told her. "And I want you to take it. I don't want to be the one to hold you back."
She swore she didn't want to take it. She just wanted to be with me.
In 2013 I sold off the news publication and we took our dog and pony show on the road to see what we could do on a national scale, putting our focus on the motorcycle industry.
Fast forward to last night, after having a spent a hectic week at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Sash laid on the bed of our hotel room in Spearfish, thinking about her life up to this point.
"I'm living a pretty awesome life", she remarked. "How many people can live on their motorcycle, travel across the country, meet all these awesome people, and still earn enough money to pay for it all?"
I guess this may be the chance of a lifetime.
But I'm no longer the one giving her the platform to shine. She's created her own opportunities through our company Too Much Tina. If anything, I only held on to the bicycle while she learned to pedal. Now she's riding her own motorcycle, and I'm the one following behind.
Everywhere Sash has gone, she's surrounded herself with women who take charge of their own lives and build something by themselves. Doris Schumacher of Ride Empowered, Lisa Brouwer of Full Throttle Living, Andie Gaskins of Fast Andie Racing, Joan Krenning of Steel Horse Sisterhood, Lissa Hill of Lissa Hill Leathers, Genevieve Schmitt of Women Riders Now, are a handful that come to mind. She's even mentored other women to get up on their own feet. I suppose some guys would not want to be around so much testosterone in female form, but I find that it really takes a man to let a woman ride her own.
So for us, attending the 74th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was really about networking and marketing with some fun mixed in. Only time will tell how much business it results for us. If anything, we've created a lot of memories and even matured a little more as people.
As it is now, we've moved into a hotel in Spearfish, just a 20 minute ride from Sturgis. We're here until the 14th, trying to catch up on work, and then it's back in the saddle towards other commitments.