A COLORADO GIRL LIVING A LAKE LIFE
I’m a Rocky Mountain girl. Born in Wyoming and lived most of my life in Colorado. In the summer of 2019, my little family and I relocated to southwest Missouri – purchasing a lake house overlooking Table Rock Lake.
It’s here, in the Branson, MO area, that we’re settling in with fantastic views, kayaking in the summer months, writing, working on vintage typewriter business, and – as of 2022 – launching a new digital magazine!
My first taste of business ownership was as 9-year-old delivering newspapers. The only way I earned any money was if I could convince the homeowners to pay me $.50 for the newspaper. “I’m collecting for the Aurora Sentinal”, I’d sheepishly say, while looking down at my tennis shoes. The newspaper technically was free but homeowners were encouraged to donate to those who delivered the paper. The begging for two quarters from every house in my neighborhood lasted about 6 months. After that, I was done getting up at 4 am to roll and rubber band newspapers, pull my red wagon down the street at 5 am, and then walk ring doorbells after school to get neighbors to dish out the coveted two quarters. It was way more work than a 9-year-old ever wanted to do. But I tried it because I had some idea in my head it would be glamorous to have my own newspaper route and make loads of spending money.
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, a microbusiness, you can create ways to earn money that fits within your circumstances.
I don’t just mentor microbusiness 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, gave me the opportunity to write copy for all kinds of different businesses, work with non-profits, create a fun vintage typewriter business for my husband and me to do together, and enabled me to develop a way to express my passion: 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.
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 or microbusiness 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,