A COLORADO GIRL LIVING A LAKE LIFE
Colorado is where I’ve spent most of my life. Born just over the border in Wyoming, raised in the Denver Metro area, then settled in Colorado Springs for 20 years. In the summer of 2019, my family and I relocated to southwest Missouri – purchasing a lake house near Table Rock Lake.
It’s here, in the Branson, MO area, that we’re putting down roots and I’m settling in with my love of writing, working on our vintage typewriter business, and enjoying lake life.
My first business was as a 9-year-old delivering newspapers and the only way I earned any money is if I could convince the homeowners to pay me $.50 for the newspaper. “I’m collecting for the Aurora Sentinal” is what I was instructed to say. The newspaper technically was free but homeowners were encouraged to donate to those who delivered the paper. That lasted about 6 months and then I was done getting up at 4 am to roll and rubber band newspapers then walk the streets after school and try to get neighbors to dish out two quarters. After that experience, I never had any desire to be a business owner.
But then life changed, and I was a single mom who needed to pay rent. It was time to get creative. Desperate, I negotiated with my landlord and offered to paint rental houses in exchange for rent. That little arrangement led to a full-on cleaning and painting business that lasted two years and enabled me to stay at home with my little son as a single mother.
From there I’ve dabbled in multiple businesses, looking for just the right fit – or at least what worked for me at the time. That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur, you can create ways to earn money that fits within our circumstances.
I don’t just mentor micro business owners (micro-entrepreneurs), I am one. Wearing all the hats of doing business, there’s no staff or big budgets. Just me, my ideas, and the will to make stuff happen. (My husband does work with me in the typewriter business).
When it comes to pursuing a business idea, my motto is, “Why Not?”. My “Why Not?” supported me in the years I was a single mother, allowed us to live and travel in an RV for a season, gave me the experience of owning a western chic women’s boutique in downtown Colorado Springs, let me write copy for all kinds of different businesses, work with non-profits, created a fun vintage typewriter business for my husband and me to do together (which has produced far more than we ever imagined), and enabled me to develop a way to express my passions: write, collaborate, and be creative via my latest venture, Paola Lane.
Opportunities are seen everywhere and if I had unlimited time and finances, I’d probably pursue every idea I have. 😆 But…that’s not possible, so I help others to pursue their ideas and dreams, and I love it.
I THOUGHT I HAD NOTHING TO OFFER
After years of thinking I had nothing to offer, one day I sat up and realized all those hours of learning how to do things for the businesses I had in the past left me with awesome skills I can use to start more. Each time I started a business, I literally had no idea what I was doing and learned along the way. Now I can pass on my experience to those who are also trying to navigate the waters of entrepreneurship.
A TRUCK, CAMPER TRAILER, AND THE SEA
Some people start their own little business because they have great ideas and are risk-takers, others of us do it out of necessity, and some because they want a truck and camper trailer so they can live by the sea for half the year. The absolute best part about being a microentrepreneur is the flexibility and opportunities. When our family moved several states away, I was able to take my business with me – barely missing a beat. While serving local customers is my favorite, I’m also mobile. This enables me to adjust to the times, or to my dreams. When the pandemic hit, I became busier than ever as organizations desperately needed help navigating the changing times. At the same time, when it’s time for a little break, I can take it. Or, I can pack up my computer, hitch a little trailer to my truck, and spend a year by the water if I so desire (that’s next on the list!).
Whether at home or on the road, I’m passionate about taking whatever God has put in my hand and multiplying it into something more. We all have that opportunity. I love seeing the individual talents and creativity that reside in each of us – and how that can improve our lives.
See you on the lake or by the sea,