Inside Running a Lifestyle Business

I’m not exactly sure where this post is going…so bare with me (is that the correct way to spell ‘bare’?).

Running a lifestyle brand / business…I think it’s sorta like the desire to buy a sailboat, or the thought of walking away from everything to escape to the tropics to bartend like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. There’s a sense of romanticism, escapism and the grass is greener attitude.

I know what it is definitely like…juggling. Or walking a tight rope. It’s a fine line between living the lifestyle and the behind the scenes stress and worrisome nights. Juggling escapism with realism. The stress and worries are part of launching and running a small business. It is NOT easy. There’s no such thing as an overnight success (I’m not including the high-tech Twiiter & Youtube worlds here). It takes time, passion and patience.

There was a time in a previous life that I had a day job with my own little office. It might as well have been a prison cell. Luckily the desk didn’t have drawers so there was nowhere for me to hide a gun (okay, that’s a little extreme). There was no sense of freedom or creativity.

Entrepreneurship is the exact opposite. You’re free to do whatever you want and be as creative as you’d like. You don’t have to be tied down 9 to 5, Monday thru Friday on someone else’s watch. However, there are still long hours. it could be a Sunday night when most are getting ready for another crappy week. It could be Labor Day Monday when others are depressed their three day weekend is over. But it is on your own time. That’s the pay off.

Snoloha continues to slowly grow. I’ll be picking up the pace with retailers throughout this winter, so that’ll be good. One of my biggest challenges online is that this is a completely made up word and brand…so nobody is searching for “Snoloha”. Sure they are searching for clothing, but I’m not selling the clothing…I’m selling the lifestyle. It’s an interesting challenge. Seth Godin has a great post about this exact scenario that really hit home for me.

What’s so powerful about this brand, as I keep preaching, is my customers. Just this week (and this is a partial list):
I’ve had more photos sent in, including this sweet guitar pic from Jimmy Pirate; a customer in Minnesota sending me a pair of vintage snowshoes to use in my tradeshow booth; repeat business from one of my best customers using her 20% off discount after participating in the Top Ten feedback; another person inquiring about advice on how they could go about doing what they love versus what they are currently doing; yet another telling me he looks to Snoloha for inspiration as he starts his own business; great feedback on Twitter & Facebook; and finally, anytime I see Snoloha Europe in my inbox I can’t hep but feel proud.

So yes, it’s hard and stressful work running a lifesytle brand. But it’s living the lifestyle and escaping on my paddleboard, soon the sailboat, and this winter my snowboard…along with the customer connection that makes it all worth it.

Today, it’s nose to the grind working on the catalog. This weekend, depending on the weather, will be rigging the sailboat and living the lifestyle.

The balancing act continues.

Thanks for the continued support! More appreciated that you can ever know.

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