Most of my followers know me as the kitchen loving, recipe writing, food challenge taking, gardening and small farm havin’ momma from Dragon Brook Farm. BUT, did you know – I have a second endeavor that I started in May of 2021 with a long-time friend from our previous ‘industry’? I worked for over two decades in the retail industry (within the store environment) and yes, LOVED IT but ultimately knew I was meant for other things. In November 2020, I took the leap to become my own boss and dig into entrepreneurship from a different perspective: MINE. More details below on that endeavor but for those who follow me here with DBF…
This year has been a rollercoaster! Once 2021 rolled around, I made a decision: to put my whole heart into our farm, my passions in the kitchen and my desire to create an environment of learning, love and FUN at our home for our daughter. I did a LOT: committed to learning how to navigate all of the platforms I wanted to utilize for my new site, dug into all of the social channels out there, their algorithms and technologies from the perspective of marketing, sales and community building, which is to say… TOTALLY relearning how they can and should be used, and well, just ‘doing the thing’ (aka: writing the words, taking the pics and videos and creating all the systems needed to organize a self started, digital content driven brand.)
I committed to posting on social (for the business) at least once a day, creating new recipes or blog posts at least once a week, and really honing what my intent, story and goal was in order to connect with the tribe I know is out there, but might not know about me yet. And practicing… practicing telling that story.
It was a LOT to learn. FULL STOP.
But, 10 months in, I am happy to move forward more purposeful and intentional in where this is going. It was time VERY well spent, friends!
One last thing that I had not answered, though, was how to put myself more ‘out there’ either into the video or podcasting world. So, these last few months have also been spent soul searching and really peeling back the onion on what value I truly felt I could bring to this homesteading community… how to personify and connect with audiences about that value. And I began to see that there are many out there who might consider homesteading or becoming more sustainable, but hesitate due to lack of understanding, confidence or even worry of misconceptions out there.
It was this last impression of homesteading that really rooted itself in my mind.
It felt great to solidify the next steps for my personal brand and content. Below is how I worked it out to help you understand more of it (and to be a bit vulnerable about my process):
#1: Personally, it’s been challenging to apply homesteading principles and methods to our lives. We’re super tech driven, nerdy, and pretty metropolitan in our lifestyle (even on our Farm); modern life loving folks with old souls, as it were. So marrying our future hopes with our lifestyle often feels like an obstacle course. It is not easy, but it truly has helped me grow as a home owner, mom and partner to my husband. When I say it isn’t easy… that also sounds super cliché and simple: it was difficult at times. It’s never been a cake walk or, full disclosure, always successful LOL. So yeah, there was and continues to be, a lot of trial and error (some more comical than others, if you’ve been following our Farm for a bit.) However – difficult does not mean impossible nor does it mean unsatisfying or unworthy of your effort. Ultimately, the more knowledge I collect and apply regarding homesteading, the more comfortable and successful I become at it….and the shape our home, family and future changes into something more beautiful and fulfilling than we had before.
#2: I have always been amazed that the questions, comments and engagement I get from folks have a healthy dose of “Oh, I’d love to do that…. but I can’t due to X,Y or Z”. Well….. no. No! Just because it is hard, I don’t believe that anyone who wants to bring some homesteading principles into their lives CAN’T. They can. YOU CAN. You just might not know what it really means, how it will positively impact your life or how to even start.
DON’T YOU WORRY.
That, my friends is what our pod will be about.
- Defining and exploring the Homesteading Archetypes, Principles and Tenets
- Discussing how to modify those principles, tenets and skills within Homesteading when needed
- Applying those skills, principles and tenets you want to incorporate into your life, regardless of location, resources or deep you want to go.
The format will initially be two podcasts a month with the hope to move to weekly uploads in the new year. There will be a healthy dose of storytelling from my upbringing, our attempts and successes as well as some guests contributors joining to share their personal stories/successes as well. I’m extremely excited to start putting this content out there, to say the least!
I envision it being two tandem tracks of content: one educational and one about practical application.
The hardest part of starting something as big or as new (to me) as this is honestly HOLDING YOURSELF BACK FROM DOING TOO MUCH. Which, I realize to some, will seem funny considering what it is I do around the Farm, but… I cannot produce all of the content by myself right now. Instead, I decided to pick a few things that I had proven I could do well, and expand on those until I was able to layer in the other elements (like cooking videos, tutorials and other content additions that involve a massive time investment which I don’t have the ability to do right now.)
A mentor recently told me that she felt she had lost close to 2 years worth of time because she had spread herself too thin trying to do TOO MUCH at once, instead of having a structured plan of expanding her content and brand with purpose. That, friends, was extremely impactful to hear as someone who wants to do it all right out of the gate. So, I attempted to reign it in a bit and move forward with more intentional steps.
Goals? The goal for the podcast is to have it’s FIRST release the last week of October! EEEK! Tick tock, right? There will be two podcasts a month for now, as I said, with the hopes to move into more frequent uploads in the future.
Phew! Personal brand – movin’ forward. CHECK.
Now, onto my OTHER endeavor… and it’s another biggie. Surprised? Probably not LOL:
My OTHER new passion is a labor of love for the industry I chose to leave in order to chase my homesteading and parenting dreams.
November 1st, I am launching a network of content (across 5 platforms: YouTube, Blog/Site articles, Podcasts as well as Facebook and Instagram social media content) with a friend and colleague from the retail field. Yes, FIVE channels of content. No biggie.
What started as a side project, has blossomed into a network that involves content to support, develop skill, provide a positive community with mentorship to the store-based retail workers who are struggling within the grind of the ‘new normal’ retail has become (and seems to adjust daily for some of these folks…)
It’s always been a hard industry to be in: physically demanding, mentally demanding, emotionally demanding and absolutely requiring a certain type of person to be successful and thrive within it’s excessively chaotic and reactive environment.
Our videos, podcasts and blog posts will be structured around digging into core ideas and habits that are applicable across the industry (many industries, in fact) and can root these workers within their ever-changing environments on more solid ground; to be happier, move forward and gain skills that might be needed, yet overlooked, within their current corporately driven programs. It also places the wellness and health (physical, emotional and career health) of the worker FIRST and gives some control to them: to be able to approach their development within their timeframes, their needs and their comfort level.
While all retail organizations have programs to develop their employees, often (from the employee perspective) they fall short, feel disingenuous or rushed. The fallout of poor interactions with these programs can result in a disengaged and unhappy workforce. These programs, while designed to support, are well intended and very beneficial, but often may not be as impactful as they are intended due to many factors found at the point of rollout due to the ‘new normal’. It’s reality. Harsh and honest, but very VERY real for many people.
We aim to support this workforce differently… to support the individual, so that they may navigate and learn from the programs and systems they find themselves within at work with more skill, feel empowered and understand they are appreciated.
It’s a lot.
And it is GOOD WORK. But, it’s a lot.
Follow along on Facebook or Instagram, or head to Stand Up Retail for more information. Our site (here on WordPress) will also be a hub for all of our content channels in the future, not just blog content.
Please share with anyone you know who works in retail who may benefit from two experts with decades of store-line experience in navigating this new normal, regardless of company, position or tenure.
There are many additional offshoots to this new business, but primarily our goal is to provide valuable lessons, advice, stories, mentorship and assistance in development. Both myself and my partner loved the varying leadership roles we have held within the retail industry for the positive impact and skill/career development we were able to provide. We aim to continue to provide that but in a new, modern way.
- Not affiliated with any corporation.
- Not countering any company programs, but helping the individual show up differently, adapt better and THRIVE with a sense of pride in their work and role within whatever company or structure they find themselves in.
Doable? OH YES.
So, in short, I’ve been busy. LOL
But busy with worthy work, quality family time and me time as well.
Time to end 2021 on a high note, right?
Time to chase down those ideas and dream big, friends. Even if you take one step towards it each day, big dreams can lead to big change.
Are you someone who loves podcasts? Do you take initiative to control more of your success at work OUTSIDE of work?
I would love to hear from you… which of my two announcements are you most interested in?