Until recently I have been a really trusting soul - that is until the last 2 years or so - this past three months in particular. I have always tended to take people at face value - and have worked from a place of good faith. Sadly, that is changing, as is the way I conduct business. I used to share ideas, information and projects with people who appeared to have the same interests and goals. I used to share sponsors, sponsorship information and other opportunities with those I thought could benefit, those I thought would reciprocate and work with me for a better/stronger community.

Since the recession began in the motorcycle industry 2 years ago, I have been taken advantage of by more than one person and generally by those I considered friends.
It appears that today, very few people in business are good for their word.

I come from an era where a hand shake and a man's/woman's word was all it took to have an agreement. Today you need everything written 10 ways to Sunday and in triplicate.

Some of the recent things that I have experienced have me shaking my head but of course to go in to any detail about the insults would see the same people one tried to help sue  you for talking about the hurt you feel.

For far too many their ego's and personal agendas get in the way - they forget their friends, they step on anyone they want and they do not care who or what they hurt, offend or destroy. Some even seem to get a kick out of it, a perverse pleasure if you will.

I have recently become a member of a company called Pre Paid Legal in order to have the legal protection I need as I learn to deal with those who are less than honest and like to insult and use people.  They have a document repository that allows a little business like me to be able to protect themselves by having professional contracts and agreements without big expense, along with certain supports like the free review of contracts and reduced legal fees for paid services that aren't covered or that go over what membership allows. (Membership fees are pretty affordable too)

We now have a terms of use document for rider members and businesses using our Rider Friendly Business Association's on line phone book and web pages and other services.
I now have non disclosure/confidentiality and non compete agreements. Hell I even have contracts for contracted employees and commissioned sales people.

You know the thing I hate about all of this being super professional and protecting myself? THE FREAKING PAPERWORK!

My passion and desire to help people is still alive but with it has come a new wariness.

After the abuse that has happened of late by people I have helped, told "trade secrets" too etc., well I have to tell you - I am getting really gun shy.

I know that there are really good and trustworthy people out there - I have met some and there are some that I hold very dear to my heart. 

However - sadly, the scumbags of the world are beginning to take over.  I am told that the more popular you become, the bigger the target you represent. Kind of like our web site - it is right now ranked by Alexa as the 5,307 most popular web site in Canada and with that popularity the number of spammers that try to infiltrate it has risen by about 2000 percent, Ali and I manually approve everyone who signs up for our site and I am glad we do or our site would be over run with porn and stupidity.

When I started this newspaper and web site, I never once dreamed it could become so popular, nor did  I dream that I would become a target-but guess what, here I am today and as I reflect on everything and all of the changes I have to say I am really sad on some levels.

Don't get me wrong - I am excited too, there are a lot of positives - but I am sad over what is a sort of innocence that has been lost.

In some ways I wish for simpler days when what I did was fun - all of the legal crap and the dishonesty/insults have taken a lot of the fun out of things, not all of the fun but a good portion of it simply because there is very little time left for fun - that's being taken up by legal paperwork.

And yet - the new experiences that I am embarking on, the learning, the growing - well those things are very intriguing and exciting, it doesn't stop me however from fondly remembering the simpler days when bikers were bikers and a person's word meant something.

There's only a bit of news this morning - to check it out visit the Latest News Section on the Homepage of our site:

If you are fortunate to be riding today - PLEASE, ride like everyone around you id blind and can not see you, is out to get you and remember to ride proud not loud.

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