Crisp morning temperatures, hillsides covered in golden hues and the promise of powder on the horizon. It’s a time of year full of new beginnings – my daughter just started kindergarten – and also reflection. When I look back at the last six months of my life, I’m amazed at the transformation (both inner and outer) that has taken place.
In March, I passed the baton of CEO to Lloyd Vogel. This was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. It’s allowed me to focus on the things I’m truly passionately about – namely content marketing, my family and getting outside – and let go of the worries and tasks that were bogging me down (more on that here).
I have the following Joseph Campbell quote on a sticky note next to my desk: We must let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the life waiting for us.
As soon as I let go of the vision of who I thought I should be (i.e. the leader of a multi-million dollar business) it allowed me to become the person I want to be (i.e. a successful, happy professional with a fulfilling personal life).
I now split my time between serving in the capacity of CMO & Founder for Garage Grown Gear and doing freelance marketing for outdoor gear startups that are between 5 and 10 years old (pretty niche, eh? I LOVE it!).
This change has also resulted in nothing but good for Garage Grown Gear. Our revenues are up and we successfully funded a Kickstarter last month! But even more importantly, we now have an AMAZING team of five people running the show.
I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to see this thing that I dreamed up take on a life of its own. It continues forth in this world whether or not I do anything with it when I wake up in the morning. The weight of making it happen no longer rests solely on my shoulders. Instead, many creative, talented and dedicated folks are involved.
The Kickstarter ... let’s talk about that for a moment. That was front and center for me in July. After years of watching others launch Kickstarters, I couldn’t wait to do it myself. It was honestly sort of a bucket list item for me.
It was also a great strategic move for Garage Grown Gear! Beyond the obvious of getting some much-needed cash through the door, it helped us engage with you all, our loyal followers in a meaningful way. And, it allowed us to further create differentiation for ourselves as an online retailer by launching our own exclusive line! A HUGE thanks to everyone who supported our campaign!
In addition to Kickstarter stress, my July was also marked by the pain of losing my beloved dog, Zippy. I got Zippy when I was living by myself in a cabin in Alaska. The cabin was situated at the very end of a 12-mile long road that wound through a glacier-carved valley. Millions of acres of wilderness (the Chugach Nation Forest) sprawled out my back door. There was no cell service and I used an old-school rabbit ears antenna to get TV.
Since then my life has evolved to include a husband and daughter, and I now live in the Tetons. Zippy was my companion through it all. When I moved from Alaska to Jackson Hole (for “one winter to teach ski school”), Zippy was the one who drove 3,000 miles with me over icy roads and in subzero temperatures.
And, as anyone who met him will attest, he always kept life interesting. Never was there a more loyal, loving and loud dog. Other than not knowing his own size (he was 80 pounds!), I never worried about him hurting my daughter. But heaven forbid if you didn’t feed him within 2 minutes of waking up in the morning! He’d bark nonstop until the situation got resolved (at some point I gave up trying to quell this characteristic and decided it was far easier just to feed him in a snappy fashion)!
By contrast, our other dog who my husband brought to our relationship, a black lab named Oscar, never barks. So Zippy became his PBA aka Personal Barking Assistant. If Oscar needed to come inside, Zippy would run to the door barking to let us know that Oscar was out there. Since Zippy’s passing, we’ve forgotten about Oscar more than once!
Clearly I could ramble about Zippy for a while, but let’s just leave it with this ... even though I knew the day would come, losing him rocked my world!
The last major events in my summer were some stunningly cool outdoor adventures. If you missed it, check out my post about the Teton Ogre 24-hour Adventure Race. And I’ll leave you with photos from a week-long backpacking and packrafting trip I took with a friend through the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana! (Shameless plug: many of these photos feature gear and apparel available on Garage Grown Gear).
P.S. Want to see some photos from Alaska? Check out the blog I started in 2003 and kept going until my daughter was born in 2011!