“Just one more candle and a trip around the sun.”

February 1st came and went…and what is pretty much common for me, it was yet another important date that I forgot about (I am horrible with dates). February 1st marked Snoloha’s 4th birthday! Yes, 4 years old.

When I think about the last 4 years, it seems both an eternity and the blink of an eye at the same time. From a personal perspective I got married, bought a house, and had a baby…I’d say those are three major life changing events.

From the business perspective…well it’s been one helluva ride thus far. Snoloha was a finalist for Surf Expo’s LAUNCH contest, named Most-Slacker Friendly business by StartupNation (twice), featured on the homepage of MSN.com, established a licensing agreement in Europe, offered the chance to be on an ABC business reality show (which I declined), available in retail shops from Washington state to Maine and Michigan to Florida, countless photos sent in from the growing community of Snoloha customers and some of the most wonderful emails from folks about how they connect with the brand.

With all the accolades and forward progress comes a fair amount of challenges, mistakes and failures. I think I’ve lost count when it comes to people that wanted to be sales reps, there are retailers that don’t pay, designs that totally flop, buying too much website inventory, not buying enough website inventory, serious website issues that resulted in a shopping cart overhaul that was completely unexpected, vendors not delivering, marketing tactics that didn’t work.

So yea…it’s been one heckuva ride thus far. Is Snoloha where I thought it would be 4 years later when I launched? Of course it’s not. The reality of growing a new brand kicked in around year 2. That’s when I started to realize that this is going to be a long, uphill and winding road.

As you all know, I’m a big Jimmy Buffett fan. However I’m a fan of much more than just his music and the lifestyle it represents. I’m also a big fan of Buffett the businessman and the brand. He has built an empire around his lifestyle brand…from the music and books to the concerts and the merchandise to the radio station and restaurants.

I like to think, from time to time, about his career and how long he’s been doing what he loves…or as he puts it “managing to keep the same summer job”.

Buffett’s first album, “Down to Earth,” came out in 1970. However, it wasn’t until 1977 when the album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” was released. Track #6 on that album was “Margaritaville”, which was his breakthrough song. Buffett was 31 years old at that time and had been writing, playing and recording albums for 7 years before he finally struck that connection with a large audience and the tropical escapism that would become his trademark. He will be 65 this year. That is 34 years of growing the Margaritaville brand to where he’s at today.

What’s the point of this? Why do you care? Maybe you don’t…but the point is simple, yet one that I need to remind myself of all the time, and I’m sure it will apply to you as well. Nothing happens overnight and it is not easy (if it were, everybody would be doing it).

I need these reminders as I continue to grow Snoloha. It is so damn easy to get caught up with growth, stress and the long-term goal of where I want this brand to be one day, that these reminders and examples help put things (or keep things) in perspective for me.

“Hear ’em singing Happy Birthday
Better think about the wish I made
This year gone by ain’t been a piece of cake
Every day’s a revolution
Pull it together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and a trip around the sun

I’m just hanging on while this old world keeps spinning
And it’s good to know it’s out of my control
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from all this living
Is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go”



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