I told many of you readers, via my Facebook feed, that I was going to have some amazing things to share with you this week. For a long time now, pretty much since the debut of this blog, I’ve mentioned that I have been working towards creating a business. I have been working very hard on this goal and the idea/dream began about 3-4 years ago when I took some business classes through Women Venture (an excellent non-profit agency who has as a focus aiding women in starting businesses and striving for financial success). The rest of that 3-4 years is summed up in my “About Me” section. Long story short, I became distracted by debt, working a job that I despised with a less than desirable employer and due to this job, much of my passion, ambition and drive was sucked out of me as I was simply too tired, stressed and emotionally worn after a day’s work to focus on achieving my goals.
Since quitting my job and the year that has followed, that drive and ambition has kicked back in high gear. I’m so proud and happy to be able to announce to everyone reading this blog that my new business is ready and will officially launch next weekend. This weekend, I had a soft launch for some excellent, friendly people in my area who belong to business associations and offered some great advice.
Without further adieu, my business is called Minneapolis By Bike, LLC. It is a bike touring company that provides (as of yet) two different tours for visitors, residents and explorers around Minneapolis. We have two tours; one focused on farmers’ markets and the other is a historical tour. I have been doing some advertising this weekend and pray that my very first paying customers will be coming this next weekend!
Why this? I am an idea girl. I have constantly throughout my life thought of business ideas and had yet to follow through with any of them. During my stint in the job that I say, “sucked the soul out of me,” I began visiting a therapist to cope with the stresses of my job but ultimately also to help me determine, “What exactly is it that I want to do with my life.” My therapist was also a former job counselor. We talked a lot about my life and where it was headed and also what I wanted to do. I discussed with her my ideas for this business. She was a huge support and motivator for me in beginning this business. She thought it was a great idea (I did too) and encouraged me to go after it. Now she didn’t encourage me to quit my job. That was just a a decision that I arrived at on my own after realizing that working that job and trying to start a business at the same time was a mission impossible.
I have had so many fortunate connections with people along the way. Some might call it luck, however, I think it is God directing me to the right people and placing me at the right place, right time, with the right people...and these connections continue every day! I’ve been so fortunate to bring into my life supportive and ambitious friends, such as my friend Mary, who is an amazing and inspirational being who has also been chasing her passions AND accomplishing them. I have wonderful family and friends who have been there to talk with me about my frustrations, analyze my difficulties, and support and help me when needed - even when I needed guinea pigs for my tours. They were not only right there to participate, but provided me with constructive feedback, allowing me to improve my business and myself. This does not mean that there haven’t been negative and discouraging factors along the way. Yes, there were people that doubted me and yes, people that discouraged me. By removing that negativity from my path and leaning on the positive and encouraging support group I’ve surrounded myself with, I have been able to accomplish amazing things. This business is just one of them.
As such, I’d like to dedicate this blog post to the people that have supported me every step of the way. To Brent Fuqua and Recovery Bike Shop for their ongoing support. To Fred Erickson of Merchant Services Minnesota who has played an integral role of encouragement, positivity and aiding me in getting recognition of my business. To Amy Keegan with Women Venture - thanks for your ongoing entrepreneurial guidance and support. To Patrick Gallagher of Fulbright and Jaworski L.L.P. - your help has been crucial. To Jane Hollis, thank you for insisting that I pursue my passions and goals. For my friends who have been a constant support group to me in taking steps towards my passions and have played a direct role in the formation of my business; Kenna, Jason, Mary, Amy, Amanda, Greg and Sarah. Also to Sonya, a long distance friend that is always asking for updates about my business and reminds me that she is proud of my accomplishments. For my parents who were some of my guinea pigs and my first paying customers (that I am related to) who have supported me on every step of my journey to becoming a happier and more successful me, even when it meant moving back to their basement! Ha! To my sister and brother who listen to me when I need them and encourage me to keep going. For my grandparents who have always taught me the value of hard work and for being understanding about time I have sacrificed away from my family to achieve this business. To my extended family, (some of whom I told my idea), who said, “Do it!” Well, I’ve done it! In addition, thank you blog followers - you keep my accountable and wanting to continue to achieve my goals and in turn, I hope you continue to work towards yours. Thanks to anyone else I may have forgot to mention here and my apologies if I did.