Steve Weber’s Next Life Chapter
I will be moving from the majestic Bitterroot Valley that I’ve lived since 2008.
I will be leaving behind my up on the hill property outside of the little town of Hamilton, Montana.
I’m selling everything: house, furniture, tools, & toys. What I don’t sell, I’ll donate to charity … or send to recycling or to the dump.
I plan to get an RV, travel about the continental US, while living and working from the road for the next 3 to 5 years (minimum).
Why Do This?
The short answer for why is a personal yearning for simplicity, adventure, and personal freedom.
There is a long answer for why that is complex and detailed. We humans beings are both simple and complex creatures – I’m no different. I’ll save the longer answer for a future book.
Here is an expanded short answer:
- It’s the right time for me to go and do this.
- The last 12 years spent in Montana has been a time to rest, re-charge, learn new skills, and re-tool myself.
- I used my time here to do a lot of work on myself personally and professionally – that work is finished for now – it’s time to leave Big Sky Country.
- After working for Bubba Gump for 15 years (’96-’11), Montana has been an in-between time for me to rest, learn, and regain my own identity – Montana has been a magical time.
- Notice the man sitting on the hill in the picture below. That man has been me. Sitting and thinking … sitting and resting … sitting and staring at the Bitterroot Mountains … sitting and dreaming about what’s next? … it’s been a magic time.
What is the Work/Magic Steve Needs to do Next?
Share my message of Gumption, meet new people, and share their Stories of Gumption.
- Now is the right time to go out and meet people across the lower 48 states … and share their incredible, personal stories.
- Our country is in a time of unrest and awakening. Change is in the air. I want to participate and witness that change on the ground level.
- From the work I’ve been doing for the past 23+ years, I know first-hand that there is magic in my message of Gumption. That message needs to be shared in a new, expanded way.
- I’m convinced that a silent majority of the American people have their own incredible Stories of Gumption – my job will be to find those people, draw out their stories, and share them with the world.
So What is Steve’s Vision?
Here is the basic idea (while acknowledging that much will be figured out by going, and doing):
- I envision this project as an antidote to the negative stories (i.e. poison) we are regularly subjected to by our politicians and main stream media. I believe American are good and like each other. I believe the vast majority of people want what’s best for each other and for our country. God Bless America!
- I believe positive, uplifting stories are needed now more than ever. I believe an audience for these stories can and will be built.
- My adventure will be part travelogue and part man-on-the-street interviews.
- The interviewees will be typical, ordinary Americans – but they will have extraordinary stories to tell. They will be individuals who have used Gumption to overcome adversity and challenges.
- Their stories (and my travel adventures) will be shared under either the AmericanGumption or GumptionUSA domain. Which do you prefer?
- I intend to build an audience on social media (i.e. YouTube, etc) and/or other media channels. My primary focus will be on creating great stories and let the right channels to share these adventures fall into place.
- It’s at least a 3-5 year project. Forrest Gump ran across America for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours. That will be the minimum time that I’m on the road. I suspect it will be much longer.
Want to join Steve on his journey? … sign up to receive updates by email …
Updates will be sent about once a week from now until when Steve departs on his journey in Fall 2019
So How Will Steve Do This?
I'm fully confident that by going, it can and will be figured out along the way. Here are my starting intentions:
- Just do what I've been doing but instead of being based in Montana I'll be based in an RV somewhere in the continental United States.
- Continue to speak to organizations about Gumption and personal responsibility
- Continue to consult with and help organizations undergoing major change initiatives.
- Find a sponsor (or 2 or 3).
- Meet interesting people along the way and share their stories.
- Build an audience using social media and/or other media channels (traditional and/or non-traditional).
When will Steve's next chapter/adventure begin?
End of summer or early fall 2019
How close is Steve to being ready to leave?
A lot of stuff has been sold. I've passed the point of no return. But, there is still more to do.
Is Steve out of his mind?
Yes and no. I've lived my entire life as a non-conformist. My drummer has always tapped a different beat. This feels like the perfect next step - I'm excited to get started and go.
Is Steve running away?
No. I'm actually running towards. I began to see the last few years in Montana as hiding. So I'm ready to run back out into the world.
Is Steve scared?
Sure, but it's a good kind of scared. there have been a lot of scary times over the last 8-10 years while living here in Montana as I went about looking hard into the mirror, re-inventing myself, and recognizing just how lucky I've been, and how little I actually knew.
Going out on the road for the next 3-5 years feels suddenly like freedom. Yes, it's scary ... but it's the good kind of scary.
Does Steve have any experience in RV and/or minimalism living?
Yes and yes.
In 1980, I took a 3-month cross-country trip in a van. I visited every national park. I spent 32 nights camping in the backcountry. That was a vacation/adventure with a definitive start and return date. This trip is more open-ended and will take place in a larger, more comfortable rig.
When I remodeled a house in San Jose in the early 2000s, I lived in the back yard in a travel trailer for several years. In many ways, I liked that experience as much as the various houses I lived in before and since. I do not need a lot - just the basics.
Does Steve already have an RV?
Not yet. But I'm on the lookout and getting one by either sponsorship, donation, or purchase is high on my priority list. This will need to happen sooner than later. Do you know of someone with an RV they'd like to donate to get me out on the road?
Who will Steve interview along the way? What topics?
Here are the topics that interest me most:
- Big, impactful events that changed a person's life
- Transition moments - the exact moment or time period that a person moved from A to B. What triggered the change? How did they respond? What did they learn?
- How an individual used Gumption to overcome a challenging or difficult time/crisis in their life.
- A person's favorite scene from the movie Forrest Gump? ... and why? ... and how the movie influenced or changed them.
Here are a few groups of people I'll be seeking out:
- People I simply meet along the way
- People from small towns in middle America
- People living the RV lifestyle (both full and part-timers)
- Fellow professional speakers (attention NSA peeps)
- Others (?)
Will this be done as Steve or Gump?
The plan is currently 90% Steve and 10% Gump. Steve will be front-n-center, Steve will be the main meal ... Gump will be an accent, or desert, or an additional garnish.
Gump will make cameo appearances either when necessary or when appropriate.
Where will the interviews be held?
The intention is to use park benches across America as the primary spot that conversations and interviews are held. But each interviewee will have things to show off so I also imagine being invited into their lives and homes as part of telling their stories.
How can I help Steve get started on his project and with his vision?
Here are things you can do to help me get started on my journey:
- Encouragement - Let me know if you like and support the idea - share it with others
- Feedback - Tell me your ideas on how I might improve or fine tune my vision. I'm open-minded and coachable.
- Sponsorship - Do you know an organization that would be a good sponsor or partner for my project? If yes, can you make an introduction?
- RV - Do you know someone who would like to donate an RV they are no longer using to get me started? They could be a founding sponsor or anonymous donor ...
- Stories - Do you yourself have a story to share? ... or do you know someone with an incredible Story of Gumption that they should share? ... if yes, please share with me 🙂
How can I keep informed about Steve's journey and/or stay involved?
Use the signup below to stay connected. Initially, I'll be sending out updates as I prepare to leave on my journey. At the time I actually depart and begin my adventure, I'll then start sending out regular updates under the AmericanGumption or GumptionUSA label.
I intend add people to geographic areas of the country so they can be notified if/when I'm in your region.
Sign up to receive updates by email and join the AmericanGumption journey!
Updates will be sent no more than once a week from now until when Steve departs on his journey in Fall 2019