Branding Our Life

Entrepreneur Life

Unexpected Reassurance

Unexpected Entrepreneurship“Crazy!” I heard that a lot when I turned in my resignation at work. To be fair I had a great job in a wonderful office. Nice co-workers. Good pay. It’s what people work toward for most of their careers. I understood their criticism.

A little backstory

While we were engaged, my husband and I were in a long-distance relationship. When I moved to his town after the wedding, I felt pretty directionless. The town was completely foreign to me and I had no friends. I was glad to be married, but now what? I was incredibly fortunate to land a fantastic job. But after almost three years, and having settled in to my new life, I found my desires were changing.

Day Dreams and Day Jobs

My husband has a side business in addition to his day job. I found myself alone pretty often and didn’t like it. So my husband encouraged me to start my own side business. Admittedly, I dreamed of owning an event planning business since I was 18. There was nothing stopping me, except fear.

Anyway, I did start my side business. It was fun.  Eventually, I decided to take on interns and discovered that I LOVE teaching the tools of the trade.

The Shift

Things were good. Quality job. Great husband. Side hustle. What could go wrong?

Age 30 was pretty brutal on me. I had to have an unexpected/emergency surgery… Which got me thinking. Then I found out I was expecting, only to lose the pregnancy a day or two later… Which also got me thinking. What did I really want out of my life? I could stay and retire from a great job. It would be good. Really good — certainly nothing wrong with that! But I wanted to be a mom, a wife, involved in my community, available for my interns, and able to expand my business. I wanted the sort of life I dreamed of when I was younger. After feeling directionless for most of my life, I finally knew exactly what I wanted.

I talked to my husband about my “‘crazy” dream, and he supported me 100%. He worked out a budget to enable me to stay home and grow my business(es) while we work on starting a family.

The Doubt

As happy and confident I was in the decision I made, I heard the words “crazy” and “foolish” a lot. A LOT. Was I making the biggest mistake of my life?

The Reassurance

I was concerned it would be a difficult transition, but I stayed busy with bookings all summer. I  loved it! The flexibility was amazing. But still, all those voices saying, “crazy!” lingered in the back of my mind. Then, I got some reassurance in the unlikeliest of places.

The day after my 31st birthday, I got a text from my first intern. She’d just graduated from OSU a few months ago and she had some great news: she had her first client! I was so excited. She said  the information we covered had already helped her. A confident feeling flooded me. I knew I was on the right track.

To make my joy complete, I had a second boost that same week. A few short days after that text, I ran in to my former employer. He asked how it was going and if I missed the office. Then he said the best thing I could ever hear, “I don’t have to ask. I can see all over your face how happy you are.” He was right. I am happy.

Have you ever had an experience like that? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

 

 

 

Grooovy Poo

 

gpffdcI love hearing stories from fellow entrepreneurs! Stories of how they got started and what inspired them. When I met Traci Woolman on a trip to Boise City, I just knew I had to share her story. In her own words, below is a bit about her family’s journey to starting their business, Grooovy Poo.

Traci’s Story

Living in the remote Panhandle of Oklahoma, the economy isn’t exactly booming. There really aren’t a whole lot of new opportunities here to establish yourself and support a family. If you weren’t born in to a family who has already established themselves by acquiring a ranch or farmland, a person has to start “thinking outside the box.”

Wes, my husband, is always looking for a new venture. He enjoys the challenges and excitement of something new. He started investigating the advantages and processes that are involved in composting dairy manure.

One of the benefits is increased microbial activity. After much research, he decided that he could help the local farmers by offering them a quality compost that would benefit them and their soil for years to come.

After purchasing the proper equipment and establishing an agreement with our local dairy, the process began! Wes, along with our son, nephew, and a friend would spend many hours cleaning pens, “rowing” manure, watering, and turning it. They would continue to water and turn it several times, baking out the unwanted weed seeds and pathogens that are prevalent in raw manure.

After the final turning of the compost, they would then haul the finished product to farmer’s fields and spread it on their soil to be worked in. When the lab reports came back from the soil analysis, the farmers were always pleased that the report stated that their soil needed very little nutrients! Not to mention that we weren’t bringing additional weeds into their fields!

As in most small towns, word got around to the local gardeners about the compost; soon there were several who were wanting some. So we decided that bagging it would be an efficient way for people to purchase it. Thus, Grooovy Poo evolved!

We started shopping around and purchasing other company’s bagged compost to check out their prices, quality, and standards. We soon found out “composting” means many different things to many different people! Some stunk, some had chunks of stuff, and one bag I opened had rocks in it. No wonder they could sell theirs for $2.00 a bag!

We quickly found out that our compost wasn’t anything like “the others.” Grooovy Poo is a dark, rich, earthy smelling soil. (In fact, our kids have ended up taking their trucks and trailer on the pile of compost, playing in it like it was dirt!)

Grooovy Poo LogoWhen we started designing the bag, we knew we wanted something fun and whimsical with lots of color. Nothing boring! So the background of the bag is black with the head of a cartoon-type dairy cow surrounded by several of the things you would use the compost for such as fruit, vegetables, flowers, etc.

Currently, we only have the one product, but are considering different possible avenues at a later time.

Be sure to check out grooovypoo.com for more information!

 

 

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