I love working outside.
I used to landscape for the hotels owned by Crested Butte Mountain Resort, right at the base of the ski area. I drove around in a giant truck with a water cooler in the back, hanging out the window, watering flowers, trying to keep them alive at an elevation of 9,380 feet. On Tuesdays and Fridays, I mowed the massive, steep lawns of five hotels. I planted trees, built benches at the bus stops, and dug flower beds with a pickaxe and a shovel. I stored weeding tools in the back pockets of my Carharts and my iPod in the chest pocket of my hideous bowling shirt uniform with the CBMR logo. I was blonde, strong and tan. My arms made Michelle Obama's biceps look like amateur hour.
Life was easy. I watched my results. I took pride in the flower beds when they flourished and joked that I wasn't satisfied until every lawn looked like Coors Field. After work, I rode my mountain bike home down a steep trail surrounded by aspens and spent my evenings launching off rope swings into Long Lake with my friends.
Life was pretty good.
Life is still good, but it's different now. I work in an office without any windows. I stare at a computer screen all day. I read books with titles like Success by Design and The Business Side of Creativity. It's hard to turn my brain off and actually sleep at night, so strangely enough, I am more exhausted than when I landscaped. I'm certainly not complaining, but I feel justified in admitting that running a business is a lot of work.
No one understands this better than my clients. Most of them are small business owners in Northwest Montana, and we are fighting the same fight. I love working with small business owners. I love the Flathead Valley, and I find purpose in helping local businesses visually show the community who they are, what they do, and why they do it. I like helping local businesses succeed.
Montana business owners care passionately about their companies.
As business owners, we sometimes have to go to work early or stay late, say no to our friends when we want to say yes, and longingly watch the sun hit the ski resort on the way to our meetings. We are no strangers to working on the weekends, sifting through piles of crumpled receipts at tax time, and writing rent checks for our offices and shops.
Yes, running a business is a lot of work, and I'll be completely honest-- sometimes when I wear glasses instead of goggles, I remember my chiseled arms and innate talent with a weed whacker, and I want to go back to that.
But just for a second.
Then, I remember accidentally mowing through a pile of what I hoped was mud. Or moving rocks in pouring rain. Or getting stung in the eyelid by a wasp. I remember that.
Next, I think about Wheelie Creative, a business I built by entirely by myself. I think about the amazing projects I get to work on every day. I think about the amount of creativity and passion and brain power I get to invest into my job. I think about the business owners I get to interact with-- their dogs, their kids, their companies. I think about that, and see how fortunate I am to get to share their passion.
You make me want to work even harder.
Every business has a story. I'm here to tell yours.
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
This is where we showcase fun stuff-- new work, case studies, weekly updates, job openings, and general awesomeness from members of the Wheelie Crew.
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