A Remarkable Red Shoes Story: Live Life with No Regrets

“You can achieve what you want if you just go for it and believe in it!” – Steve Raher

{VIDEO at end of this blog post.}  

When Steve sat down for breakfast, I knew something was up. He was incredibly nervous, so I braced myself for what was to come. You could tell he was about to tell me something. I just hoped he wasn’t going to quit because he was a phenomenal Red Shoes individual and Red Shoes leader.

When I was president of InMoment, Steve Raher was my head of sales in the UK and Europe. He is just the most amazing individual and was in the heyday of his career as a sales executive. He had called me to say the next time he was in Salt Lake City for a business trip, “I need to meet with you on the personal side of things.”

This was the trip. Due to our hectic schedules that week, the only time we could carve out to meet was at breakfast at the end of his visit in a cafe next to the ski slopes of Salt Lake City.

It took him a minute to get it out, but I could tell where it was going.

And, I just started to smile.

Live a Life of No Regrets

After he told me, I said, “Steve, I have one question.”

He kind of nervously looked at me, and I said, “Can I go with you?”

Steve actually did give his six-month notice that day, but it wasn’t to take a position with the competition.

He was going to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime motorcycle trip around the world with his wife Nicola.

I was so happy and so proud of him for putting himself out there and living out a dream; a life of no regrets.

Love, Loss and Living

Steve has always had a passion for motorcycles, Ducatis in particular. This was a love he shared with Bill, his dad, and motorcycles had always been their thing. Both had read Jupiter’s Travels by Ted Simon, an Englishman who traveled the world for four years on his old Triumph motorbike in the 1970s before the internet, freeways and instant communication.

Both Raher men also shared a love for Steve’s mum, Olive. She had recently passed away, and as Steve and his elderly dad reminisced and reflected on life during this time, they started to talk about living your life with no regrets.

Steve asked his dad what regrets he had in life.

He said none as his life had gone so well, he had lived his dream through both travel and through his family.

The senior Raher had traveled before marriage, living in New Zealand for three years before returning to the UK to get married and have three children; Steve was the first.

So, Steve got the “travel bug” from his father and it never left him and the desire to do something “big” was still there when his two children had completed university and left home.

Around this same time, something else was percolating in Steve’s mind.

He had recently heard me speak at a conference about Red Shoes Living and putting yourself out there and living your life with no regrets.

So, Steve started to make a plan. Instead of “there’s no way” and “this isn’t a good time,” he started to dream of the possibilities. What would it take for him to live out this shared dream of traveling the world on a motorbike? He figured out how much money he would need each month, he started to chart a course, he began to gather all the information he needed.

He realized there was NEVER going to be a good time.

Then, he had to convince his beautiful wife Nicola, bless her heart, to sign off on this idea and take a sabbatical from their “normal” life, family and friends, and all that was familiar to join him on this adventure.

This was March 2016, and he committed to me that he would focus on sales and finding his replacement before his departure in September. He did both phenomenally well.

The Big Trip

“People are the same the world over and the HUGE majority are friendly, helpful and want to simply enjoy their lives and give something back to other people.” – Steve Raher

You can follow Steve and Nicola’s life-changing 12-month trip and adventures on Eva, their BMW 1200RS bike, named after First Lady of Argentina Eva Perón, via their blog. Steve chronicles their Red Shoes experiences and their travels backpacking through India and Thailand, visiting Australia and New Zealand in a camper van before flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina to meet up with Eva in January 2017. They have been riding ever since through South America down to Patagonia, north to Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia and on to Central America, Mexico and the United States before their Big Trip concludes in Canada and they head home mid-October.

“We’ll be poorer in money, but so much richer in experiences and in life,” Steve said.

They have already been hopelessly lost a number of times and experienced injuries, an earthquake, bungee jumping and whitewater rafting, laid down the bike (a few times), visited the Amazon jungle, saw new creatures and bugs in their natural habitats including giant sea turtles, one-inch long flying beetles and penguins. They climbed a 6000-metre volcano in Peru and did a four-day hike to Machu Picchu—physical feats that challenged both their mind and body—and also managed a detour to New York City to visit their two kids who they very much missed!

Along the way, they have met so many friendly faces and were given hospitality and help that totally exudes a Red Shoe experience.

In Chile, they stopped in a remote town for coffee and lunch where they were advised to stay the night in a hotel rather than free camp. As Steve and Nicola continued down the road, they stopped to take a couple of piccies and a couple of guys pulled in. One of them, Adolpho, invited them to stay the night in his home. Going on nothing other than gut feel—as you must when you’re adventure travelers—Steve and Nicola accepted the invite. Adolpho and his wife welcomed them—English world travelers who were old enough to be their mum and dad—into their home, fed them BBQ and beers, and let them sleep the night in their infant son’s room. As Steve writes, this was a true Red Shoes experience—“one that stands out…and all because of people and how they interact with you especially when they don’t have much to give but they give wholeheartedly and 100%.”

They also met 72-year-old Hans from Sydney and 76-year-old Fred from Pennsylvania, fellow bikers who rode 3,500 miles with them. As Steve writes, “They both showed the power of mind over matter and what I have learnt from my company InMoment to call Red Shoes Living—being out there and truly living your life!” They showed Steve you “can do exactly what you want to if you put your mind to it—and age is no barrier!”

Power of the Red Shoes Concept

“Please, have your own dream. Hold on to it and make it happen. Live every day as much as you can as close to the Red Shoes philosophy as possible. And remember, you’re never too old to achieve your dream.” – Steve Raher

As a Red Shoes person you work that way and you live that way. They go hand in hand. There’s not one or the other, it’s both. Red Shoes is integrated into your life, and Steve is the epitome of what it means to live in a Red Shoes way.

There’s no doubt, you have to be a bit careful with the power of Red Shoes. It was strong enough to inspire one of my top executives who fits the Red Shoes concept all the way through to take it literally and live his dream, to quit his lucrative job, put himself out there and live a life with no regrets. But, that’s exactly what you want. That’s exactly who you want to hire.

Steve’s father passed away at the beginning of The Big Trip, and Steve and Nicola flew back to say their goodbyes with “no regrets as our farewell.”

I live vicariously through him. I’m proud to call him my friend.

And I’m incredibly jealous he’s out there doing what he’s doing and I’m not with him.

I am counting the days until I get to see him when we reunite in August when he stops to visit me in Park City, Utah. Until then, I have Steve’s ski boots and skis in my garage stored for the next opportunity we have to hit the slopes together. They remind me every single day of him—a true adventurer and someone who truly inspires me.

I invite you to listen to this video where Steve shares what Red Shoes Living means to him:


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Lonnie Mayne

Lonnie is the founder of Red Shoes Living, a philosophy and framework that is positively disruptive for corporate cultures by helping them to stand out in everything they do. Red Shoes Living is straightforward and incredibly powerful because it creates an inspired cultural movement both inside and outside of your company. Whether it's business or personal, we believe that Red Shoes Living is a way of life. Come join him and his team in the mountains of Park City, Utah. Find out more by email or call us directly at +1 801-783-7373.

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