Hi friendlies, it's been awhile... August 23 2017
BEING VULNERABLE THIS SUMMER
Gosh, I can't believe it's been since June since I've last chatted with you! I've missed you! How have you been? How's your rainy summer been? Kind of feels like we've just had an extended spring right!? At least here in Southern Ontario it feels that way. I'm not gonna lie, I'm sitting here in my long johns and sweat pants since the wind is howling outside my living room door. The outdoor lawn furniture is getting flipped upside down and the trees are bent over so far I fear they might break! Kind of how I feel like my life has flipped upside down this summer. So here's a little bit of a long post, more of a story telling time. Everyone loves a good story right? I hope you'll bear with me as I talk about vulnerability, the future of Hattitude, my other business and the mentorship program Tristan and I entered into this summer, as well as my living situation, and why camping gave me back my independence and confidence.
Here we are in the above photo at the 6 month Smoffice mentorship ribbon cutting.
LIVING IN BARRIE FOR THE SUMMER
We've been living in Barrie and drinking coffee from the local coffee shop and working at the Creative space a shared co-working space for start ups, free lancers, and entrepreneurs. It's a crazy awesome environment. You can work for yourself, just not by yourself. Pretty genius idea and I'm in love with how much more work, way more productive, I get done at the creative space, then I do at home. I'm so incredibly happy we won the contest and get to work there for the next 6 months at our own desk!
MOST CHALLENGING SUMMER
This summer has been one of the most challenging but also rewarding summer of my life! My husband and I embarked on a 6 month mentorship to start up our business. We're designing a platform that connects social sports leagues (beer leagues) who need substitute players to fill in for their roster. People who are looking to meet people, people who are moving to a new city can now be a substitute player for other teams without the commitment. We want to encourage less screen time and more real life connections in person, AKA more people time.
STARTING A NEW BIZ IS HARD!!!
We've met with a lot of mentors and people to help facilitate and get our biz up off the ground. It has been such a learning experience and sometimes I feel like we are over our head. A lot of the time I feel overwhelmed and most of the time I'm super scared! Starting a new biz is HARD! Starting a new biz in the tech world (not the wedding or fashion industry, something I am used to is even harder!) I have been loving the challenge though.
A NEW CHALLENGE FOR MY MARKETING SKILLS
This has been exactly what I have been craving, a new challenge to hone my marketing skills. A new challenge to put to the test on how we can do it. But boy, are we being tested, between the commute, the almost none existent money, the grocery bills, the gas tank always needing to be topped up, everything has been all consuming and overwhelming. I've definitely felt down, sad, over worked, and under paid... well no pay. We keep our eye on the prize though.
72% OF BUSINESSES FAIL BECAUSE
We are so lucky to have my parents and friends support, and the mentors through this program. Every time I feel down you better believe I'm SO grateful for everyone. I don't know how people start up a business without mentors. I read that 72% of businesses fail because they didn't write a business plan or have mentors. I believe it! Starting a biz without support would be darn near impossible.
WE ARE LIVING THIS SUMMER
We've been living in a 600 sq ft cottage with two dogs, a cat, my two parents, guests and siblings coming and going, and living out of a suit case commuting back and forth to Caledon two days a week... let's just say privacy is something I don't quite remember anymore! haha
It also hasn't helped that the summer weather has been rainy. TOO rainy. To say it's been challenging would be an understatement. We are really looking forward to the cold weather when we move back to Caledon full time to our own apartment. I didn't realize how important privacy and space was until this summer! ha
WE WENT CAMPING TO GET AWAY
To get away from the cramped living quarters, the office space, the lap top screens, the computer monitors, we thought what is the most economical trip we can take this summer so we feel like we are still living life and not ALWAYS working. My husband immediately says "Let's go camping". Lets get off our screens, unplug, disconnect and go back woods camping. My response... "but I'm diabetic, had a double lung transplant and have cystic fibrosis, not to mention I'm a self diagnosed hypochondriac, neurotic, planner type of person." haha God love him, his response, "We got this Hattie. We can do anything. We'll plan it."
PORTAGING IN THE BACK WOODS COUNTRY OF CANADA
SO we did. I actually went on a back woods portage camping trip. It brings little tears to my eyes thinking about how good it felt to accomplish it. Hours of paddling from the launch spot, then portaging to another private lake and paddling for another hour, then finally landing at our island. No cell phone service. 6 hours north of toronto, with another 5 hours of paddling. NOTHING was around. And you know what, for a girl who has an addiction to social media, technology and everything on the net, I freaking loved being unplugged. It was so relaxing and rewarding. I loved working that hard for my food over the camp fire and washing the dishes in the lake before the sun set, and making sure the bear hang was up in the tree before night fall (one night it didn't get up in time and what a time that was! I'll save that story for my camping blog post). Boy did that pizza the first night after paddling taste good over the fire! You better believe that hot tea the next morning never smelt so good too.
I LOVED BEING UNPLUGGED FOR 5 DAYS
We came back refreshed from a hard few months of start up life. Ready to regroup and retackle our other business (@subit.sports) and give Hattitude a fresh look on where I want to take her. I think what made me feel so empowered when I went camping is the same reason why I've been working out 3-4 times a week this summer, because despite all the unknowns in my life right now or the lack there ofs and the hurdles of my other business; working out, tackling camping trips, canoeing and portages means I'm in control. Does that make sense? I feel so vulnerable in all the other areas of my life; where I'm living, what I'm doing, but to be able to take control of how I work out, to be able to start running and conquer something I thought I would NEVER be able to do (insert double lung transplant story here) makes me feel confident. Makes me feel like I have control over something in my life, when my life is just so full of unknowns right now.
STYLED PHOTO SHOOTS THIS SUMMER
Even though I've been working on Hattitude 1/4 of the time this summer, I've still had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with so many talented vendors. Including the last blog post I did, click here to go see the full shoot, on this beautiful wedding southern inspired shoot!
IF IT WAS EASY EVERYONE WOULD BE DOING IT
I tried not to make this post be all negative. I hate being negative. But I also don't like not being honest. And I wanted to be honest with you in why I may have been off this summer in my Hattitude jewels endeavours. This summer is hard! The best advice I've heard this summer is "if it was easy, wouldn't everyone be doing it?" I've also never been the type to walk away from a good challenge. As Barney Stinson says "Challenge accepted."