Pre-Sunrise Musings on Life, Love, and the Solgave dream..
Oh, the days when getting up at 5 for a couple quiet hours of work was still part of the process. I’ll settle for the one hour today.
We have had commitments at events we are hosting or doing all week long; Gabi’s first week of school is a massive sweep of new routines for ALL OF US. If anyone isn’t used to the mayhem of pickup time it’s something to see.
We luckily live close enough to walk both directions (or live close enough to park strategically to be a “walker” and grab G when the bell rings at 3 and get home to avoid what I’d call “heavy dose of elementary congestion” in our local hood”
I have so many things I want to write up this week, my gosh where to even begin. Old faces you see from years past that may or may not recognize you, parents in the flow of their own schools. Why as a family we value honesty and loyalty so much. How being in the present is the most important thing for spiritual peace, but as a visionary my eyes are also always having to see far out as a company, and hopefully we mirror that in the way we teach our kids and try to live. That balance is an important one. Remembering the past just enough to learn from it, living in the present enough to “become” who you should be by embracing the gift that is the present, and seeing something tangible to keep stepping towards. I’ll never find comfort, maybe plateaus, but never fully satisfied where I’m.
Not to say I’m unhappy, I mean the bar will just keep rising a bit to make this journey interesting, integrity needs to be there, it really is about the journey and not a destination for me.
Yeah, our blog site and blogs for SAS both need to be done, but ya know what, we are progressing. And if I take time to think about the entire path or process, it’s awesome to witness and unfold. Navigating around VISA issues, and the move across the world twice and what that meant to us (every penny we had essentially) were things just perhaps made it tougher in some ways, but better lessons to learn from in others. If not willing to lose everything you have, I wonder how bad one wants something.
Our website unique visitors for the business page as well as our profit/revenues is growing 15-25% every month since February and that’s a nice linear curve to see. It’s actually great to see!! Business actually more than that, but the website numbers are also important because this game we are on level one is trust/awareness/exposure.
By Spring I told my mom last night I think I can relax enough to really manage the growth, the people, and do more of what I’d be doing if working for somebody else but right now you hustle. You go fast and hard, you negotiate every deal, you learn every week and become better. You create experiences that customers don’t forget. You take risks, you try new things. You cannot be afraid to fail.
I think the video blogging is working well for us and is more tangible than the blogs, but I miss blogging. The free flow self discovery musings that began almost two years ago are the epitome of a journal that the world can peek into. It’s for me, it’s for my children, and it’s for anyone wanting to see a unique set of steps out of something, and into a dream or an idea and how that comes a reality.
I have many dreams, but building a brand from nothing is probably the greatest. We studied Starbucks, the Seattle Fish Market, Wal-Mart, Costco; we have studied (my peers in the past) the Nordstrom’s model of customer service. That stuff excites me man…
I was willing to work weekends and keep 3 jobs to get mentored by the first company I worked for after U of A era and started to grasp brand identity, culture. It’s where psychology, marketing, theory, sociology, and business meet. It’s that spot where the art guy fits into the business world. The second company was probably some of the greatest lessons b/c it was just an idea as well, but years of planning and 35.000 square feet of retail presence (Lewis and Clark) is something we didn’t have. However it was still just a hole in the ground when hired.
Culture and the experiences was the root of every sale. How do you make their experiences of being outdoors better? By being equipped well, that’s how. You don’t have a mission statement to say, “I want to sell the most outdoor gear” it needs to tie to their soul. And we wanted to get families outdoors and having experiences together because that’s what you remember from being a kid. Studies show this and we knew as management that it was vital to have every member understand this deep in their consciousness. We are not selling items, we are enhancing lives. That’s the crux of this experience-based economy.
Culture, branding, team development stuff was so fun. Those were good years. Running my own small business from 2003-2007 (family business I took over for a period) was the time I got to experience basic accounting, community development with planning and zoning appointments, some festival work, and just using the creativity to create where there is nothing in an industry that at that time was dying. (Brick and mortal video rental store)
Then it was high level sales in the corporate side of wireless with ATT and then managing the early Verizon indirects in NWA before direct landed. Fast hiring and some firings to get your teams right and ready for launch. Extreme hustle, important to have the best, do the best, and a chance to not just meet quotas, but exceed them. Our little Fayetteville team won a state competition early on. Again, mentored by great people. One thing I have always known is to surround myself with the very best at whatever I desired to do.
When I was running, I trained with some of the best. When I cycled, I hung out with the best in the area. You don’t get better by staying at the end of the line, just step up and engage.
I suppose glancing back over my shoulder at the “work” described above along with my personal journey sort of prepared me for Solgave in every aspect of what we stand for.
We have a long way to go, I have made big progress this week and in other ways am behind on stuff I could be doing to help us bring in revenue but we’re slowly catching up from Baby Neo’s massive arrival. Both size, impact, etc. And we keep growing now, and have two really good employees that are hustling hard and bringing in lots of clients on their own. The pet sitting model is commission based and you get to cultivate their passion, get the systems in place, the logistics, the insurance, the bonds, and if a self starter they can actually do quite well themselves. We opt to pay ours on the high end of the scale and instead of hiring too many too quit, wait for the right people that see this as a neat opportunity.
Bentonville and Rogers we are waiting for you. But I won’t come until I have a Solgave soul to serve you.
Pet care is a huge industry and massive pieces of the pie out there in NWA. More than people are prepared for frankly, and it’s exciting to be part of that wave.
Sunniva needs to be with Neo and by him most every minute of the day during these early crucial months. What she does now is not work, it’s her hobby and passion she’s getting paid for, and she’s doing a great job. I’ve not seen a more humble approach in my observation. It’s unique to have a baby and switch off to me having Neo after initial consult for B Mod’s. People by and large love this family and our journey and are so gracious to the cameras taping our progress, diaper changes and breast feeding that may come into the picture during a long session.
I have to be careful in this new little world we landed. We’ve made some experimental mistakes by letting our heart guide us too much (we gave away more services than we earned because of a need to show what we do), but at the same time, it’s that heart ruled by authenticity that now has so many gravitational alignments happening we sort of have to laugh off our early theories that weren’t right. How do you know until you try? We are just 6 months in. 6 months???! Man, just typing that out I’m in awe. Damn, it’s been one helluva ride and I’m so glad we’ve been able to document most of it. Transparency is a cornerstone of Solgave.
We are a for profit business that is socially conscious. So it’s tricky to keep doing you heart work, and figure out where you are respected and wanted for that because if no mutual exchange of energy we are losing ground and shift the heart work elsewhere. That heart work is the Pack Walks, it is the training outreach class, it is our community that we live in, and it’s our children.
Yeah, I’m bloody proud of our family man. I probably shed tears a few times this week at our journey.
I set up an Event on Facebook to beg for house painting or yard cleanup because I was so hungry to not give up on this dream, and while nobody took me up on it I tried. I put ads in Craigslist. If not for lawn mowing and landscape work for two months I would have had to have gotten a real job and thought perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. There were nights where screaming happened, and disputes about how to get past that toughest stretch. Not wanting to give up, but needing to pay rent. Yeah, we’ve come a long way in 6 months.
I knew that with baby Neo coming and then her bed rest forced early we were going to be in a tight spot. We had not established ourselves yet…. thank god we have today.
When a person asks me what is it that you and your wife would pass on to somebody wanting to build something, wanting to create something from nothing other than idea…. I’d say to them…a deep desire to see it through no matter what you face. Period.
Late nights, early mornings, are you willing to go against advice of your own family/friends/are you willing to sell everything you have during that toughest time to do it.
One thing that unifies every dreamer I’ve studied is that type of focus. It wasn’t a big deal to sell our second (well, only b/c the one we have is loaned) because it was just what we had to do to make it.
Nothing was going to stop us from seeing this thing through. Nothing.
I think if that coal is burning in your heart, you are well over half way there.
Don’t compromise your brand, your values, your integrity, and give it every thing you’ve got…there are universal forces and laws in effect in my opinion. The law of cause and effect or karmic seeds is one.
I see shady things being done in the local world around me by a few and know others don’t see it, not my place to point it out; it’s karmic seeds they plant. I see it in the world; I see it everywhere, but again, not my seeds. What I have to focus on, and suggest to others is focus your energies on the good seed planters. The honest helpers. You’ll pick up residuals of their energy along the way.
Stay away from envy, greed, dishonesty, gossip – hose are dirty things. They are weeds in the garden of your mind.
Seek out courage, seek out hearts with balance, and seek out love that does not stem from codependency and just stay true to who you are.
I see a lot of people out of balance in our work and it stems from a lot of things but not knowing or loving oneself can sum it up. Some of the people most driven to please others have wounds unattended to and that bleeds out in this intrinsic desire to “be needed” I recognize it, because I had it. Loads of it at different periods of my own life. Knowing yourself, means healing yourself. We may have been hurt, abused, self-sabotaged, or whatever…. but if you desire to heal the wounds in you, then you’ll find that elusive peace of spirit and soul eventually, and remember it’s a process.
It takes a scalpel and there just aren’t short cuts in my opinion. It’s work, to work on and dare to understand your dark and light. But you come away with a bit more polished stone in the world of spiritual alchemy or personal growth.
My wife and I tell our kids already that if we ever stop growing, stop professing we have things to learn, then remind us of that because I don’t think the lessons every stop coming no matter how big you get, how famous, how successful, it humility is your guiding compass….
Time for another cup of coffee and a big day ahead…. be good to each other man, we’re all we’ve got.