An Unconventional Journey
My life journey has been very unconventional the last several years and I’m very overdue in sharing it with you. So if you’re interested in hearing what I’ve been up to as an entrepreneur, and also in my personal life, read on.
Let’s go back to July of 2021. Matt had been working at home for over a year – since the beginning of COVID19. The company he was employed with decided to bring everyone back into the office. But the other decision they made was to enforce that everyone had to get the vaccine before they could come back into the building full-time. I don’t want to get into the politics of this, because I’ve personally seen the political views tear family and friends apart, and I refuse to let that in my life. However, we made a decision together that we didn’t want the vaccine. We both felt very strongly about this for both personal and health reasons. Again, this isn’t the place to get into the various debates about it, but it’s important to know this was non-negotiable for us both. So, even with a religious exemption, Matt lost his job in August of 2021.
Let’s Do It!
Somewhere in the midst of the many, many discussions we had that summer, we both looked at each and said “let’s do it!”.
Let me pause here to say that I am so thankful for a family that puts up with my shenanigans – especially my husband. Not only does he put up with my whims, he also supports them. I’m very much a free-spirit and the following two years he went on this adventure with me that most people wouldn’t have.
What adventure was this you ask? We sold everything we owned – with the exception of irreplaceable items, some kitchen stuff, a loveseat, and our bedroom set. We put a tow hitch on our van (the only vehicle we kept because it was paid off), bought a camper, said goodbye to our family and friends, and hit the road to travel as digital nomads. This part of our journey started in October of 2021.
For the next almost two years we traveled the East Coast, and some of the mid South West, in a tiny camper with four dogs. They loved it. I loved it. And Matt mostly loved it. Haha
Everything we did was outside because we had four dogs to share it with. We took lots of hikes, saw waterfalls, braced ourselves thru a few tornadoes and at least one hurricane, met some amazing people we still keep up with, re-imagined and then restructured my business, and I fell in love with nature in a way I had lost from a long time ago.
We get asked the question a lot… “how did you decide where to go?”. I’m not a planner naturally, so we planned our travel around events we had going on at different times around the country.
On December 24th, 2021 we had a football game to go to in Nashville. Matt had purchased those tickets months before we realized he was going to lose his job. So we made our way down to Louisiana to spend some time with our son and his family, then we went straight up to Hot Springs, Arkansas. The main reason was because I hadn’t seen a spring before and wanted to experience that. The dogs were so confused by the hot water coming out of the ground. It was pretty funny. From there we went over to Nashville for the game and then spent Christmas day walking around downtown Nashville. Everyone loved the dogs and the dogs loved the city!!
Then there was our daughter’s wedding in Virginia in June 2022. A few weeks later was my best-friend’s wedding in the White Mountains, New Hampshire. We spent some time in the mountains and then went to Maine. I grew up in New England, but Matt had never been to several of the states we went to along the way, so it was a lot of fun experiencing his firsts with him. We then spent about a month in NH close to where I grew up. So I got to visit some old town favorites and go down memory lane.
The rest of the time we would just wing it. We stayed in Charleston, South Carolina (on one of my other best friend’s property) for several months, and used it as an in between place while we were traveling thru. Charleston is one of my favorite places on the East Coast, and it was there that I changed the trajectory of my business.
My business then…
For several years, I had been a Technical Virtual Assistant (VA). Then I started a VA Agency – connecting VAs with entrepreneurs. I then switched my focus to System Strategy – where I would go into businesses and analyze what systems they were using, what worked, what didn’t, and how to automate as much as possible to make their businesses more efficient. So at this point, I was doing pieces of all three – with the focus on tech, and helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses – and loving what I did.
What I started to realize was that there was this whole world of online community that was starting to emerge. I have been a long-time fan of Pat Flynn. The technical term is a “Pat Flynn Fan Girl”. Haha So naturally, when he launched SPI Pro – an online community for entrepreneurs – I applied. And got accepted! I loved the community idea so much and knew I had to have one of my own. But there was a lot to learn and a lot of changes in me and my business that needed to happen first.
So I started building communities for my clients. And I loved it. I love every aspect of community. There is something about getting a bunch of like-minded people to come together that absolutely lights me up.
… and now
Fast forward to Dec of 2022 ….. I completely revamped my businesses. I am now solely focused on community. I live and breathe community. I have helped many entrepreneurs by working with them 1:1. I even started my own community. It’s called the OCC (Online Community Creators) and is a community for solopreneurs and coaches wanting to create, build, and grow their own community.
And guess what… it’s come full circle. I started contracting for Pat Flynn and the SPI team in May of this year (2023)! And I just got back from a team summit with Pat Flynn and the entire SPI team in New Orleans… what an amazing experience!!
Back in Virginia
In July, 2023, we moved back to Virginia. While traveling was so much fun, and the experiences unforgettable, we both really missed our family and friends. I’ll be honest, I miss traveling, and I hope I’m not done… but it is really nice being stable in one place again. It’s nice to have a real bed, and an actual office. The dogs love having a fenced in yard, although I think they miss living outside.
Our next adventure will be finding some land and building a tiny house. We have learned that we don’t need much. We’re much happier without a lot of “things”. Living outside for almost two years has prompted a dream of an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor shower. I much prefer to be outside than inside, so for now you can find me in my hammock in the front yard, or swing/rocking chair in the backyard.