You will never hear me say I don’t enjoy what I do for work. I’ll never make any money at it, but traveling across the country by motorcycle while making a difference in people’s lives is a pretty damn good gig!
Having the highest mileage Tenere 700 in the world on display at dozens of national events across the country certainly offers positive exposure for Yamaha and offers the best opportunity for me to promote my Million Mile Quest for Multiple Sclerosis.
My 2021 motorcycle with over 120,000 miles on it will always receive more attention than I will, but I do enjoy explaining the bike’s accessories and the gear I use everyday as I travel across the country. Once in a while, someone’s eye’s will light up and exclaim,
“Hey, you’re Longhaulpaul! I watch your Youtube videos!”
Instantaneously I quip back,
“Oh, so YOU’RE the ONE!”
I am often surprised that anyone finds my videos entertaining or informative as I realize my attempts at producing quality and frequent content falls way short of even amateur level! The fact that I have 9,000 humans that actually have subscribed to see what I will post next is almost scary to me. Producing social media content is hard for me.
Many people believe I never actually go home! In reality, I spend a lot of time OFF the road, working at home. I don’t mean all the tires and oil changes on my motorcycle, I actually spend hundreds of hours a week interacting and growing my social media media presence, creating content and actively seeking financial opportunities so I can continue my mission.
Growing subscribers and followers is much harder than one would think, especially when we all hear the stories of creators making thousands of dollars every month with seemingly simple videos. Sure there are a handful of social media influencers who are making it happen, but the odds of making enough money to support yourself are about the same as the kid playing Pop Warner football making it into the Super Bowl.
It takes some artistic talent to create content and build a storyline. Even more time is needed to edit the content, create an enticing description and media package to even get the video to the right audience. Keywords, hashtags, titles, fonts, search criteria and even the time of day the video is released will have an effect on the amount of views it will get. The rules are always changing and so are the algorithms. It is no wonder to me that companies have a staff of social media gurus just to keep up with the demand for constant content and exposure online. It is a lot of work and I certainly will admit I am way behind on posting new videos. I have content, I just don’t have the time or enthusiasm to dedicate seven or eight hours a day for a few weeks to get the clips sorted and into videos that I can post online. Having memory issues doesn’t help either, as I often start putting together a video and when I look at it a few days later, I have no idea what message or theme I was heading towards!
When I am on the road, it really is difficult to do any editing, so I tell myself I will get to it in the winter when I will be home for a few weeks or a month straight without any events to travel to.
Each winter I also spend a considerable amount of time planning out the next year’s schedule which is usually at least 50,000 miles of travel. I try to incorporate patient educational events between motorcycle rallies and my fundraisers. Getting my photo calendar printed and shipped out is time consuming was well, but important as it is one of the only fundraisers I do for myself each year. Answering emails and sorting out requests from people who want me to speak at their event are interrupted with friends who taunt me with their ideas for another crazy world record!
Of course, Fall and Winter in New Hampshire also means I need to spend time raking leaves, cleaning gutters, getting the snowblower and generator in running order. There is also the stacking of wood, cleaning the chimney and making sure the heating system and cars are all set for a frigid and snowy few months. I have always done all my own home and vehicle repairs because I can, and well, quite frankly because I don’t have the extra financial means to pay others to do it for me!
Winter is also when I schedule my physicals, specialist appointments, annual MRI’s and any elective surgeries or dental work I had neglected or postponed. I would be an idiot not to mention that I am married and have a family who put up with my being away much of the year as well, so I attempt to make up for it over the quiet winter months. When I am not traveling, I also enjoy cooking family dinners and taking long walks on the beach with my dog Kona.
Sure, traveling by motorcycle full-time is awesome, but also involves a huge amount of homework! Creating ways to support my road trips while continuing to deliver education, inspiration and hope to others living with chronic illness is my other full-time full time job!