Like many of us, I lived to work. For me this was not necessarily by design but more of the types of jobs and the industry I was in. Although, I have a feeling this may be more of the norm amongst most professions than not. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, and dreamt of having my own business. I even went as far as creating an LLC in 2010, called G Foods. During that time there were minimal gluten free snack options. I saw the trend, and knew it could be great, but I was scared to commit to it full time and let my fears stop me from pursuing my dream. Fast forward, eight years later working in enterprise software, with heavy travel and non-stop hours, I had an opportunity in late January of 2017 to decide if this was the path I wanted to continue, or did I want to work toward being free?
Time for Change
With time to take a step back and reflect, I began to look at my life currently and ask myself, am I living my best life? The answer I came to, was no. I have a wonderful life, don’t get me wrong. I have the greatest partner, friends, and the best four-legger one could ever ask for, but I was so consumed with my job and the tasks at hand that I really wasn’t present for much else. And for the first time, I began to notice all of that I was missing. Because I had more time and open-mindedness to be present, I began to engage more with people on the streets as I was taking Briggs for our daily adventures. I was more aware of the amazing things going on in my neighborhood, and most importantly, I was emotionally available to enjoy all of life’s little moments- with those I love the most! With the chance to evaluate what is important to me, the things that make me happy, and what I would most regret if today were my last day, I decided to begin outlining a new beginning. And with that new beginning, I decided to take the leap this time, and go into business for myself! I did not have clarity yet as to what the business was exactly, but I knew in my heart this was the first step toward being free.
The Beginning of Something New
After the emotional lows and high that came along with making such a monumental decision had passed, I started my journey. And as I settled into my new routine, I noticed I was feeling more panicked than free. My busy routine which consumed me, went quiet, and as I sat with the open landscape of possibilities ahead, the same feeling of fear I felt years ago had reared its ugly head! My mind was racing and I was scared. Did I make the right choice? Enterprise software had its downside but I was making a good living. Do I know what I am doing? I was scared I didn’t have all of the right experience or education to run my own business. And what if I fail? There is a reason over 30% of small businesses fail within the first two years of starting. I know this path will not be easy, but I felt like I needed to try my best, and be proud of myself for taking action. So, I made a pact with myself to be mindful of those fears, but not to let them consume me. And to take one step at a time. I was already scared about a business not working, when I haven’t even defined what that business would be.
Coast was Born
The transition was a bit of a struggle, but I took small steps that helped me build confidence and clarity as to what I was supposed to do. I created a vision board with ideas on things I loved and was passionate about. After months of research, I decided I wanted to pursue a business that would not only represent the lifestyle I would like to live but also involve dogs. With our first product being a leash. Over the years, I have bought countless leashes, and have found for the most part, they were not made with quality materials. They lacked flexibility as far as length and use, and they could be cumbersome to use based on what activities you were doing. So.. now what?! Time to try something new and create a leash that would be versatile, light, made in the U.S. with the best materials, and look great. After months of prototypes, testing, and working with my local partners on materials and design, we have our first products ready for you all to enjoy! It was more complicated than that as far as building a business plan, creating a website, logo, and all of the other things that go into running a business, and if interested I can share more information on what I have learned along the way in future blogs.
Free To Be
The most important thing I feel now waking up every morning, and where Free to Be came from was I feel as sense of freedom every day. I am empowered and free to take risks and start my own business. I am free to be myself, I am free to be present and enjoy all of what this beautiful life has to offer. And with our new product, I am free to not have to use my hands while strolling with my pup 🙌🏻 With all the risks and fear that comes from owning your own business, I feel incredibly grateful and happy to be able to do something that I love. The Free to Be way of life, means so much to me and Coast. We believe the more that people do what they love, and share their passions with the world, the better the world will be.
To learn more about Coast, and to check out our products visit us at www.coastbrandsusa.com