One year ago today we were in demolition mode. It seems like a lifetime ago.
This dream called being an entrepreneur started in my parents basement a little over 5 years ago. There is not a day which passes that we are not so grateful to do what we love and make a positive impact on our community and the lives of many children.
Living through cancer three separate times in just as many years put us through a crash course of what matters in life. Life is too short to not be involved in what matters most. When the cancer returned a second time in less that a year this reality took root. Blake was good at what he was doing managing elections for the county but it wasn’t his true calling or passion in life.
On a visit home to Southern California at Christmastime he reconnected with a friend who he had served alongside, mentoring young men before we were married. They caught up with each other one day over burgers at In-n-Out. Chatting about life and Adam’s job managing an after-school chess program. They dreamed of what more it could become if they broke out on their own. Coming home that day Blake had an eagerness in his eye. He sat down at his parents kitchen table with his dad, a great business and salesman and began punching numbers into an old-school calculator (in the era of flip cell phones, pre iPhone calculators). They were putting numbers to this dream of getting back to working with children. As a family with one income, mounting medical bills, surmounting personal debt and two young children was this a pipe dream or a viable way to make a living?
Fast forward 5 years, 3 regions, 2 program centers, a non-profit foundation and hundreds of coaches and thousands of students later we are living the dream. Sounds great doesn’t it. What those numbers don’t account for are the 60 and 80 hour work weeks that blur from one week to the next. Fellow entrepreneur John Johnson had it right, “The entrepreneur is the only person who can go from sheer terror to sheer exhilaration and back every 24 hours.” Sometimes with in an hour, really!
At times it is a lonely place to be, we question if all the hours are worthwhile, is the company growing enough? Fast enough? Entrusting others with your name and reputation is terrifying, yet brings the greatest joy knowing that you have created a livelihood for another family, allowing them to do what they are most gifted at while making a positive impact on their community. It’s a ripple effect.
So this morning when I logged into Facebook and saw a memory from 1 year ago today of our family demoing to prepare for the new center here in Colorado, I breathed a sigh of joy. The past two years have been exhausting had their fair share of hardships in hiring, keeping up with the demand for new programs and energy to get a new region up and running. Every day feels short on time. There is more work than hours in the day. It gets discouraging feeling like we are not doing enough. When I took that moment this morning to look back I was overwhelmed by how far we have come. Sometimes we get so focused on the here and now and forget to look back and reflect on how far we have come.
Little by little,
a little becomes a lot.