Good news this month is that I have a new sponsor! Gore-Tex will be supporting my climbing and I’ll be working with them promoting their new fabrics and testing. This will make such a big difference for me. Over the past year my weekly hours in front of the computer working have varied between 35 and 60 hours except when I’m away on trips. A fair chunk of that time has been spent working for fairly ‘safe’ sources of income.
My ongoing dream is to get as close as possible to spending all my time on directly climbing related and more creative stuff, like going out and doing or training for hard routes and spending the rest of the time on things like writing about and coaching climbing. To be fair a big proportion of my late nights over the past year were spent filling my websites with content to make them interesting. The idea of my business model is a flow of benefit all round; I study the process of climbing very deeply and try to pass on the knowledge and expertise to everyone who comes to my sites, lectures and coaching sessions – My sponsors benefit from the attention of the 20,000 visits my 3 websites get each month and the rest of the media exposure – and I benefit by getting to attempt my dream climbs more often!
I have so many more new ideas and energy available for making a contribution to climbing- sometimes my head wants to burst, but so often it’s constrained to some degree, by the need to pay bills. It’s pretty cool when companies use their marketing money to support athletes in their sports. Of course, some will use the support just to have a good time while they can. But most pro climbers have something to contribute, whether it’s by opening new routes and pushing the standard or communicating their inspiration and expertise in what they do to everyone else. Sponsorship gives them the chance to do that. The alternative for companies is just to take out regular ads instead. If they did, all that creativity couldn’t happen.
Working with Gore-Tex means less time doing uncreative work, more hard new climbs getting done and I’ll be able to write more to help folk with getting better at climbing, or maybe even just getting inspired.
Although I’m moving house on Friday and there’s a bit of stress with laywers and uncertainty about the details of these things, I’m feeling more psyched about the coming months than I did since I started making progress on Rhapsody (then ‘the Requiem direct project’) back in 2005.