As I look at this crazy journey of bringing a bar born in my farmhouse kitchen to store shelves across Canada I am both humbled and honestly still in a bit of shock! Six years ago our local grocery store took a chance on us and put GORP bars on an end cap (that’s the coveted shelving unit at the end of the aisle), and we are still there to this day. . .and in many more stores across the country. . .plus soon to be CHINA if you can even believe it?! We can’t! It’s been hard, I won’t lie.
To be honest it’s still dang hard!
There is a long list of people and retailers that took a chance on us and helped us build what I hope will be a company that makes an impact in people’s lives as we attempt to remind and honour each other with the messaging that the best things in life are FREE! Nature and Community. In this way we hope to combat depression, encourage mental health awareness and to just plain inspire people to get outside, move their bodies and have adventures.
All that being said (as she steps off her GORPY soap box;) I have an equally long list of all the mistakes I’ve made along the way. From learning to navigate social media and posting things that while well intentioned, ended up angering some folks. .. oops! To major mistakes in entering markets that were wrong for our brand and ended up costing us. . .BIG OOPS. And the list goes on to include personal mistakes in learning how to manage a team, learning how to coach instead of “boss”, not reading the fine print. . .oops! My oops list is LONG and perhaps deserves a few more posts to describe the lessons I learned through it all!
What I do know for certain is that I am still here, struggling, but here! We are right in the middle of taking a chance on China and the Middle East, and as we negotiate our way through all the red tape I’m thinking to myself “This could actually be the greatest risk I’ve ever taken. . .who do I think I am??? Selling to CHINA? Saudi Arabia?? Is this the next decision to make the OOPs list?” The fact is, I’ve learned to embrace the “OOPS” list, for as long as it is, the list of things I now know for certain is equally as long! Perhaps I’m paying for my education in real life mistakes instead of with tuition fees? Yesssss. . ..let’s go with that! In the end, I’d rather not wonder what “would have happened if?”. . . and in order to do so, I have to be comfortable with the fact that living like this is risky! After all. . . .”FAITH” I heard a pastor say once, “is spelled R-I-S-K”. While I strive to operate in faith in my personal and spiritual life, I also embrace it in my business life. Keeping my ears open for direction, while taking steps that scare me. I don’t always get it right, but I’m learning to bounce back quicker, wallow for shorter periods, and to be totally cliché. . .get back up on the horse IMMEDIATELY. . .and when you are 5 feet tall. . .that’s a feat! Lol!
To be totally serious though, I’m not encouraging foolishness, but learning to live with uncertainty has certainly forced a level of personal growth that I don’t think I’d have experienced otherwise. It has brought things to light that I didn’t know were inside of me and needed to be worked on. The benefits of a bit of pressure and sometimes even crisis are that they cause your character flaws to rise to the surface, and provides opportunity to see yourself.
Your belief systems are revealed in times of trial, and it can be a beautiful invitation to heal.
Some may say. . .”why, that sounds like she’s a glutton for punishment!”. . .and to that I’d say. . .”why yes, yes I am!” I truly believe the more honest you are with yourself, the more grace you have for others, and by taking risks and being willing to fail you give yourself the opportunity to grow, improve and to establish what you truly base your self-worth on. As scary as that is. . .when you give yourself the grace to figure that out, by default you will invest into other people like never before. . . .it’s what I believe makes this adventure here on earth burst with purpose. Lead with love and remember the best things in life are free. . .but that doesn’t mean embracing them is EASY, that would be SO boring!