We all hit rocky patches in life and I’ve definitely been bumping through one these last few months. I’ve been out seeking investment funding to take Garage Grown Gear to the next level. And well, yes, that’s as hard as it sounds! (The photo above is me at the halfway point of the Leadville 100 running race, a much tamer endeavor than fundraising).
Putting myself out on the line. Asking for money. Knowing I’m going to get slammed at least a few times. Wading through legal docs, financials and pitch decks. Rehearsing that elevator pitch ad nauseam. Keeping everyone in the loop. And, then, just when I think I’ve scored the big kahuna, watching it slip through my fingertips. Not once, but twice. For reasons outside my control.
To say I’m burned out on that song and dance might be putting it mildly. But I’m glad I walked through the fire. I understand myself and my business in a much deeper way because of it. I’ve dug deep into my values and vision to parse out what’s fundamentally important to me, and fundamentally important to Garage Grown Gear. And, I know how I want to move forward in life and in business.
First and foremost, I want to run. I don’t mean a jog around the park. I mean hitting the trail at dawn and putting one foot in front of the other until dark. I want that feeling of “wow, I went somewhere today.” I want that peace and clarity that comes with a still mind and tired body. And I want the companionship born of “measureless mountain days,” to quote John Muir.
So I signed up for a 100K a few weeks ago and started running. First one hour. Then three hours. And, then all day. Last Saturday I cajoled three friends into a 30 mile-ish run in the mountains outside of Pocatello. (The same mountains, in fact, where I’ll be running that 100K on June 4). It was everything I wanted and more: blue skies, (fairly) dry dirt, good laughs and a few wrong turns.
The second thing stirring in my soul is to spend more time doing this: writing and connecting with people who love the outdoors and gear startups just as much I do. So I’ve decided to trade in fast business growth for sustainable business growth. I’m now going to focus on getting this baby to sprout and blossom organically, through consistent storytelling and finding outdoor gear companies and products that are so cool we all audibly utter “wow,” together.
Here at Garage Grown Gear we have a tight little team of three: myself, Chris Jensen and Brooks Bostick. We’re like that triangle you form with your friends when crossing a raging river out in the backcountry (see example below from a trip I took in Patagonia a few years back). We have amazing synergy and complimentary skills. By linking arms I’m confident we’ll get through challenges and rise to opportunities. (How’s that for a little sappiness, guys?).
So stay tuned for good things to come and help us spread the word about Garage Grown Gear. If there’s anything you’d like to see more or less of, or anything you want to share with us, reach out. We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below or drop us an e-mail ([email protected]).