Being the Boss Is...
I’ve always wanted to write a blog - because I write in journals all the time and enjoy it - but I never felt like I had the right reason or avenue to do it. But, a bunch of new things have happened in my life the last few months and so “learn how to write a blog” may as well be added to the list.
I’m Janna. New to Ontario, originally from the Yukon, PE Teacher by trade, lover of the outdoors and a big kid who is continually delaying growing up... And I’m Alycia, Ontario born and raised. Well until I took on the “gypsy” lifestyle at 18 to live in many places, including the Yukon (where I met Janna), but now I call Ontario home, again. I think Janna and I get along so well because we both are growing older but refuse to totally grow up, We love to play WAY tooo much.
I’m also Co-Go-er of GO Adventure Co. And I have loved every second of this new adventure I embarked on a few months ago...Thanks to me! I convinced her becoming a GO-er would be the best thing ever… (I’ll omit the part where I have minor weekly panic attacks about how we have no control over the growth of our business. Gah!).
When Alycia asked me to move to Dundalk, Ontario (also fondly known as Duck Duck to some of my friends out west who had never heard of the place) to run GO Adventure Co. I thought about it a lot. I made lists. I talked to a lot of people. And I thought about it some more…. and some more and some more and s’more.. I mean some more.
I was leaving a set job with a salary and benefits, a city that I knew, and a ton of friends and family, but still I decided to “say yes and GO!” (See what I did there?)... It wasn’t totally a set job.. come on now, your contract was over... but i guess they did love you and wanted you back for another contract.
That’s because there were a ton of reasons why I wanted to be here and be apart of GO Adventure Co. I loved everything that Alycia was turning GO into and I wanted to be apart of its growth... YES! I loved that she liked what I was dreaming about and that she decided to join the team to help anchor me… I’m the dreamer.. or Arrow, and she’s the realist or Anchor to this partnership. She’s also really good with words and numbers and I, well, I just get to create cool things. Hence why this is Janna’s blog and I just get to comment on what she says.
I loved the philosophies of having the programs all outside, allowing the kids time for creative free play, and having a set schedule but being flexible enough to GO with whatever the group was feeling that day (see what I did there again?)... Well thank you, Janna. I love the philosophies too.
Not to mention she already had an unreal website, catchy logo and 140 acres of pure outdoor bliss for GO to call home (Thanks Doug and Wendy!) … We have to thank Ryan too. The master behind the logo and the website(ish) and Larry for coming up with the name GO Adventure.
I was also really excited to learn something new again. I knew NOTHING about running a business, let alone starting one, and the idea of it lit a fire under my butt that I hadn’t felt for a while... I agree, luckily we both come from families full of business owners so we have GREAT support and mentors.
When I decided I was going to be a Co-GO-er, I started reading every marketing, financial, entrepreneur, and be your own boss book I could find. …. And then shared every detail with me.. THANK GOSH.. saved me from reading 100’s of books…..
I started following all the Dragons from Dragon’s Den on Twitter, as well as creeping on every entrepreneur I knew (you were one of them Ryan Bannon) to follow the same people they did... I did the same! Great minds think alike.
I was reading blog posts from Inc.com, talking the ear off of every successful business owner I knew and quickly learning what the heck a Cash Flow Sheet, Income statement, Sales Forecast, Balance Sheet, Needs Assessment and Break-Even point was. (Shudder..Business Plan...Shudder) ....Making a business plan is a full time job in itself.. trying to run a full time summer camp and write a business plan is almost impossible.. It’s all worth it though.. we learned so much about business.
I have learned very quickly that running your own business is HARD... VERY VERY HARD… And fun. And scary. And rewarding. And nerve wracking. And a learning curve... and an amazing experience
And it tests your patience. Like really tests your patience... (and we’re really learning how to be patient)
Tick, tock, tick tock. Do we have any new registrations for our programs yet? Nope. Dang. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Do we have any new likes on our Facebook page? Nope. Dang. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Has anyone read or responded to our emails yet? Has anyone called to inquire about our new programs yet? Has anyone visited our website recently? Have our ads made it into the paper? And the cycle spins on and on... Janna, it takes time to build a business.. but do we have any new registrations?
But, the feeling I get when someone does register for our programs, or likes our Facebook page, or shares one of our posts or writes us an email about how excited their son is to have their birthday party with us, resets my “patience clock” and helps me start the waiting game again... It’s great getting to reset the “patience clock” every few days!!
The truly addicting feeling though is waking up and being pumped to GO to work (I’m so clever that I did it again)... and that’s saying A LOT for someone who would sleep ALL day if she could.. Yes, that’s Janna I’m talking about.
It is saying to Alycia “I want this to work out so badly because if it does, we will have the best jobs ever!” This usually occurs after playing four rounds of camouflage in the gorgeous hardwood forest outback, after a full morning of building forts, catching frogs, singing songs, and wading around in mud... Now doesn’t that just sound magical? You can in fact enjoy this “addicting” feeling by registering for one of our programs.. Yes I did just do a little promo pitch in our blog post.
And it is hearing from kids that they love being at GO, they don’t want the day to end, and they want to come back tomorrow to keep playing outside... It’s nice to know the kids have a mutual feeling because we never want the day to end either! we just want it to be GOing.. (haha see what I did there, Janna?)
That feeling makes unsettled uncertainty about the future disappear for a while. And it waters that little seed of hope and potential that I know Alycia and I both have inside of us, helping it grow little by little...It’s not just keep swimming like Dory says on Finding Nemo.. It’s just keep watering, just keep watering.. I hope we keep on watering..
Little by little. That’s how we have grown as a business so far. Little by little.I am excited to see where it GOes (last one I swear), and I am excited to have a venue besides my journal to share all of our excitement, frustrations, favourite kids stories, new games and whatever else with everyone...and I’m excited to pipe in when I choose to.
Our dream is to build a community of GO-ers and we hope that you will be apart of it, whatever way you can... but the best way is to join us at GO for a program or two.
PS - Feedback, new ideas, links, donations, shares, advice, advertising tips….all greatly appreciated in our comments below... and love letters and memories and cake, we love cake.