Self employment and the mobile office

June 12, 2012

My apologies for not having been more present here since my last entry on May 13  where I did a shout out to get more Amazon reviews. I am happy to see that some people took the time and effort to put down their opinions which is highly appreciated and useful.

The main reason for my silence over the last four weeks was that I became very busy, if not to use the term “over extended” with my business venture, which in the meantime has developed into a full-time job. The main reason why time is an issue these days is that my mental creation and the visions I had during the disastrous stage of being mentally burned out during the year 2007 took shape and form and now in 2012, five years later, one morning I woke up and realized that I have a business to run. Before, my business was a hobby, something I did on the side, something I was able to squeeze in whenever I had time, something which produced a fair amount of pocket-money  but now it has grown into a true small business with all its perks, problems and day-to-day routine. And, there are a lot of day-to-day responsibilities to keep everything up and running and so I can proudly call myself the “Allrounder” covering activities from the highest management level to the lowest janitorial duties. I love it.

Basically now I have what I was dreaming about a long time before I had the guts to take a hike from the corporate world and venture out on my own. Times are still not secure and self-employment is a very fragile undertaking and cumbersome thing, time intensive, mind-boggling and at times stressful.  I wonder how all this will develop further in the course of this year.

The freedom in self-employment is priceless but it also takes a lot of self-discipline and responsibility.

In order to make the most of it with all other activities I am involved in I have created my mobile office. In other words – integration of work and fun whenever possible. Correspondence is mobile, supervision can be mobile, telephone calls can be taken wherever there is reception.  A smart phone is the most important tool in the tool box of the self employed.I can spread my electronics on a rock overlooking the Pacific Ocean, on a stretch of green grass looking at a lake, sitting in a street Café  or sipping wine in wine country. The ever-present mobile office just makes it more interesting to be in business on your own.

Everything has evolved over the last five years and has developed accordingly, and  now I am at the point where I have to manage my time more effectively. Once again it takes thought, strategy and execution and every step I take today can materialize tomorrow and can create more opportunities in the future. Having said all this, I definitely will continue to give updates in the blog but most probably they will be more sporadic going forward.

Here are some impression of my first mobile office when Highway 1 called for a beautiful ride over memorial day weekend.


The Wild Air and Jazz Music

February 27, 2012

Before I take off on vacation to Europe here is the last blog post until the end of March.

This weekend was especially rewarding or even stressful  but  the beauty of suspense and new adventures  once again took over and it turned out to be a very nice Sunday.

Yesterday I began the day with packing my bike in the morning to meet up with a film crew to shoot a music video. This is a whole story in itself and I don’t really want to talk about it just yet but it will be part of the program at my book reading/signing event Birgit Soyka at the Bay Area Moto Shop April 14 2012  Be there!

Here are some pictures of the day. It is a pleasure to breathe the crisp air of the Bay Area on a beautiful Sunday morning after a stressful week.

In the late afternoon I switched the bike for the car to visit a house concert to listen to the John Stowell and Michael Zilber Quartet. Jazz to its finest.  I went to the concert by invitation. How did I get this invitation?

It was a beautiful day in September of 2011. It was a regular office day and I might have had several squawking birds in the Hotel. I receive a Facebook message from someone I don’t know. Turns out my book was an accessory in the guestroom of an ex-colleague of mine now living back in Germany. A guest has arrived at their house and in the room and read “ To Drink the Wild Air” and liked it and sent me a message.  Turns out the guest was John Stowell and is a famous Jazz guitarist.

Of course I accepted the invite and went to the small house concert listening to the Quartet yesterday afternoon to unwind from a day on the bike in the wild sunshine and raging wind.

Here is a little taste of the music. Enjoy the sample!

This is it for a while. I will be in Europe attending family business. Once I am back on March 18 I will prepare the book/bike fest on April 14 and hope to meet more people from the Bay Area motorcycle community.

True friendship

January 30, 2012

Last Friday I received a phone call from an old friend I haven’t seen for 27 years!!   All I heard through the cell phone lines was:  “ I will be in  San Francisco !!!!!”

TWENTY  SEVEN (27) YEARS!! This is a damn long time, and hard to grasp that it was even possible to lose touch of each other for such a long time.  Just go to Chapter 9 of “To Drink the Wild Air” and read the story of The wingspan of a free spirit. The story contains adventure, compassion, friendship and an unforgettable road trip with my run down bike. Bernie, selflessly spent a night at the General County hospital in Los Angeles with me while some doctors butchered my highly damaged foot which only hours before was mangled in a motorcycle accident. There was no one else around. I was alone in a city without mercy. But one human, I hardly knew to that time, helped out and carried a big weight in the final outcome of this miserable situation and subsequently of the course of my whole life.

Now, 27 years later on a Saturday afternoon Bernie knocked on my door, I opened the door and we started  talking like it just was yesterday. We spent a beautiful weekend roaming the beautiful Bay Area and reminiscing from the first to the last minute of his stay. Luckily this trip included his 65th birthday.

Such instances make us very aware what real friendships are all about in oppose to our many Facebook friends we painstakingly maintain to be informed and to stay “cyber technically” connected. Fortunately an old organically grown and maintained friendship delivers proof enough that it is more worth throughout a life time to know a few people in depth than knowing thousands of people superficially.

The ultimate truth is that time is relative. Those 27 years seemed like they were compressed into 48 hours but once talking about the happenings of 27 years- time revealed its true nature and intention. Twenty seven years can also be a very very long time.  Our youthful faces have made room for the lines of the infrastructure of life experience, wisdom has conquered recklessness, we all need reading glasses, our thoughts are utterly structured and we are forced to listen to the requirement of our physical bodies. 27 years leave undeniable tracks on our psyche, physical bodies and our mind. This is the human condition. Everyone will experience the same sooner or later.

Bernie, my friend, I am glad we had the opportunity to celebrate your 65th birthday together. It was an honor, great pleasure and a lots of fun.

Dream Factory

November 20, 2011

Ahhhh  … isn’t it nice to stroll down the aisles of a  motorcycle show once in a while to help me realize that the bike I am actually riding is already news from yesteryear… and that just a view hours of indulging in the dream factory of the bike manufacturers made me want to buy a brand new shiny, state of the art sports motorcycle, and a beautiful pink girly helmet or even some slick race leathers. But instead I only got myself the bare necessity which was a pair of winter gloves I needed desperately in order to survive the wet and stormy San Francisco winter month (on my bike).  So – at least I did send my hands to a warm summer vacation to Cancun with those beautiful new gloves.

Motorcycle shows are not only there to watch the newest bikes and trends but also to meet people (in person) to chat a bit and to be inspired. And so I finally met two ladies in person I only knew by E-mail or via Facebook.

Liz Jansen from Canada, author of the book “Women, Motorcycles and the Road of Empowerment” – Fifty inspiring Stories of Adventure and Self-Discovery           

and  Carla King a well known San Francisco author of the book “American Borders- a solo circumnavigation on a Russian sidecar Motorcycle.

I am always intrigued by all the women adventurers of this world and their drive to break these artificial boundaries that motorcycles are just a “guy” thing. I myself still feel my racer blood pumping in my veins but I wouldn’t mind to jump on a beautiful tricked out dual purpose bike to circumnavigate the world. Well, life is still young and this is only the start. I just have to concentrate on other things right now but the world will always be there to be explored.

Sacramento & Company News 10 abc

August 27, 2011

Entrenched up to my eyeballs with transitional issues, time sensitive projects, business set-up and the occasional Happy hour I always have to expect the unexpected. And so it was this morning at 8 AM. While sipping my hot tea I am checking my mails minding my own business, expecting the usual and only the usual.

The first mail was an unusual one. The text read: Birgit, sorry for such short notice but there is an opportunity to be a guest on the Sacramento and Company morning show on Monday August 29 at 9.00 AM  in Sacramento. Are you available?

Flexibility is the spice of live…. of course I am available. Is it possible for me to switch from survival business mode into an inspiring and informative TV morning show guest talking about the “To Drink the Wild Air” story?

I don’t know but we will find out. On Monday morning at 9 AM on this live link.     Sacramento & Co morning show News 10

There was no time for any advertisement or Marketing. It just dropped onto my calendar out of the blue sky.

The show will be archived and can also be watched later.

I am off to Sacramento tomorrow afternoon  breathing the Wild Air !



Inspiration by focus

August 14, 2011

or focused inspiration ?

This Saturday was my first ride out. I needed to see what Rrramonn can do. How fast I could go….

Where is the fear barometer these days?  Where are my limits? Are there any limits?  Do I trust the bike as I always did? There are still some open questions in this quest of return. Questions ready to be explored . Questions that cannot be ignored.

But before I go on please refer to the sidebar to see my technical sponsors. Names you will hear quite frequently in the future. OKP Precision Works ( no existing logo) , Waterfront Automobili INC,     ( check out the You Tube when hovering over the Ferrari) , Motion Pro Quality tools , Lindemann Race Suspension and Tech Shop where I can go and build my dreams ( as soon as I have time) all people with an open mind and dreams for their own.

Ok – back to Rrramonn. Since I have the bike I never left the city and now it was time to conquer the windy back roads off the beaten path (so to speak) to really test the bike and my own audacity.

All the emotions and excitement I had experienced in my first ride a couple of month ago with a borrowed bike was now 100 times amplified and sensitively electrified. There was no fear.  After the first set of wild, crazy windy roads I had to come to the conclusion that I MUST BE CRAZY!!!!!  But it is a good CRAZY.  Focus, acceleration, top gear, full throttle, top speed, your only friend in this moment – FOCUS. If only one little thing goes wrong – everything goes wrong.

What was the conclusion to this four hour afternoon ride in the sweltering sun of the East Bay?

Rrramonn is a little screaming rocket. There is real power in this 600 cc engine. There is agility in this 17 year old body. His spirit complements my own. There is a mutual understanding. We are a perfect fit.

OKP – the rear suspension is a problem. As I have feared from the beginning.

Lindemann Engineering – the front suspension is a jewel. Also the front end is perfectly set up, smooth and responsive.

Motion Pro – the clutch cable is a gift.  No effort on my part with the clutch hand.

Physically – my butt hurt after the ride and it became somewhat uncomfortable. Who would care after such an adrenaline rush?

And the final conclusion was:    There is NO FEAR and there are NO LIMITS!!!

Bikeminded – back to where I came from

August 7, 2011

Is there anyone out there who, after many years,  took up a hobby or a lifestyle again they had left a long time ago? How was the journey of the return for you?

End of June I decided to take a summer vacation during July. Now my “vacation” and summer (as it looks like) is over.  The deception of summer is only due to my geographical position in San Francisco were July and August are the most friendly hosts for heavy fog and rain.   Thank God this is only in the city and always gives a good reason to leave town. But life did go on – also in July.

I did prepare for my second half of 2011. First things first – I needed two wheels again and I got them.

 Meet “Rrramonn” a 1995 Honda CBR 600.

Thanks to the expertise and many hours of work at OKP Precision Works a run down, crashed and technically neglected bike was turned into a reliable piece of machinery again. A piece of machinery which will be part of all upcoming events.  Thanks to the magical support of the Ferrari Doctor himself from Waterfront Automobile in San Francisco the bike also sparkles like new and volunteered as the photographer.

A come back in sports which require extensive equipment seems more cumbersome and difficult in oppose to sports  where there is only a bathing suit or running shorts involved.

17 years can be a long time. I still have some “Birgit the Circuit” memorabilia stored which almost has disintegrated into dust. I had to throw out a 20 year old helmet because its interior crumbled like nicely aged blue cheese. My old gloves are only good to be pinned to a wall as a portrait of the good old times. My ex race leathers which are not so smooth anymore and far too small for my current size lie crumbled in the closet. Equipment of old materials long rendered useless and insufficient. Equipment out of style. But now the equipment question is solved. It took me some time but I am up to date again. The bike was the last piece missing in this puzzle.

Let’s see about the timeline according to the story in                                           “To Drink the Wild Air”:

1978   –    first bike

1983   –    first race

1991    –   last race

1995    –   last bike  ( approximately 250.000 miles and a fairly big number of (race) crashes later)

2011    –   first bike  ( “Rrramonn” a Honda CBR 600)

How is the feeling you might ask???

It is as good as it always was. I have to hone a number of technical riding skills but I haven’t forgotten. I haven’t lost the touch!

There are many things in store for me and Rrramonn. It will be another great ride.

Follow me.