It's 7pm, and I can hardly keep my eyes open. My dog is sleeping beneath the coffee table, and I'm tempted to crawl under there and join him. I've been putting in WORK lately, and it's about to pay off for the whole crew. I work a lot of jobs at my own company these days. I'm growing Wheelie, because growth is fun, and my business intuition tells me that my pattern of wandering is organically weaving itself into something strong.
Entrepreneurs are wild. They thrive in risk. Business is no different than picking the way down exposed terrain.
I look back at the last ten years of my life-- the powder days, the late nights, the laughter, and the bonds between friends with matching goggle tans and knee surgery scars. I drove an old Subaru containing everything I owned from mountain town to mountain town, meeting daring, loving people along the way. Chefs with wild eyes and unbeatable sushi. Nocturnal snowcat operators who spent their nights combing the snow like a zen garden. Veterinary technicians who fearlessly pulled porcupine quills out of the roof of Rottweilers' mouths. Bank tellers covered in carnage from mountain bike crashes. Some of us just aren't meant for proper civilization.
And the snowboarding. It always comes back to snowboarding.
For a while, I lived seasonally, and the only constant was change. I learned how to feel comfortable turning nothing into something, over and over again, every time the snow melted, started to fall, or didn't come at all. With the exception of Bend, Oregon, I could roll into a town and immediately figure out how to make money while finding fun. It became hard to phase me, and I think that accidentally became one of my strengths.
Now, life is a little different. I've had the same season pass to the same mountain for five years. I have a routine. (Yoga. Coffee. Take dog outside. Smoothie. Work on the business from my house in the woods. Work in the business from my office in downtown Whitefish. Gym or mountain bike. Work again. Cook. Hangout. Sleep. ) It's a good life. I think most people find comfort in routine. I keep reading that the human brain is wired that way, so I'm trying...
But, despite the quotidian pleasures-- the first cup of coffee, binge-watching of shows on Netflix, and inside jokes shared only with my manfriend-- there are still plenty of vagarious turns in this fun-loving business peregrination. I like to see what I'm made of.
Right now, I work three jobs at my company. In the early mornings, I'm a visionary. I strategize, I think big, and I don't worry about details. I don't touch the gmail button on my phone. I write. In the late mornings and into the afternoon, I focus my efforts on being a CEO. This isn't always fun, but I manage budgets, check details, comb through time logs, and occasionally get grumpy and stressed. In the afternoon, at the office, I'm mostly a creative director with a big side of cheerleader. I look at overaching strategy and systems for our creative processes, how to get the best ROI for our clients, and how to shake creativity out of places that don't look like the obvious answer. I make sure my creative team is happy and productive and fueled with enough coffee or Bonsai. It's fun. The creative team has it good. I love production. I hardly get to design anymore, but I will always love production, and it is in good hands right now. Each employee somehow brings a perfect balance of talent and thoughtfulness to work with them every day.
In time, I will hire a either a CEO or a Creative Director, and I will pick just one of these roles, but today is not that day. Neither is tomorrow.
And, as if that wasn't enough work, I'm somehow assured enough to open a brick and mortar Wheelie office in Colorado.
Colorado is my homeland, and it still feels that way when I'm there. The bikes. The recycling bins. The swagger with which we toss around the phrase "14er." Oh, and the sunshine. How I've missed that sunshine. I love Colorado. Topophilia aside, purely from a business standpoint, this seems to be the next natural step for Wheelie. We're gaining more and more clients there, again, which makes my career feel like it's slowly coming full circle. Our new account manager in CO is all kinds of fired up about making connections and matching us with clients that genuinely match our style of service and skills. This natural expansion is a little scary, but it just feels like the right thing to do.
So we're doing it.
Because it's no different than picking the way down exposed terrain, right?
Owning a business is a massive amount of work. Here's how I keep it fun by balancing owning Wheelie with my passion for adventure. -Lisa
105 Wisconsin Ave.
Whitefish, Montana 59937
copyright 2018 Wheelie Creative Design, LLC.
621 Kalamath Street, Suite 180
Denver, CO 80204
I can't recommend Wheelie enough. Our website launch was almost too successful, and we could barely keep up with the amount of orders we received as soon as we announced the rebrand. They are ah.MAZING!"