When I was growing up amidst the evergreens in the small town in Oregon, my family always went camping. Most people took a variety of vacations, but we always went camping. We camped in the woods, we camped in the backyard, we camped on the porch. Hell, my parents still put their bed outside on their balcony on warm nights during the summertime to sleep under the stars - so we’ve always been a big outdoors-loving and sleeping family.
But when it wasn’t just our immediate family of four, Mom Linda, Papa James, little Sister Rachel and I - we often ventured to the nearby campgrounds by the lake with friends, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a bevy of cousins. After a few late nights by the campfire belting out Creedence hits, and made up tunes like "Alfalfa Hay" by our Uncle Webb, eating s’mores til our bellies ached, and huntin' snipes - who may or may not exist - with our pillowcases, we'd returned home to our four-walled, heated and sheltered lives, but never before cleaning up the campsite.
The cardinal rule of camping: Always leave your campsite better than you found it.
My Papa, who passed 27 years ago this March, instilled that philosophy in me from a very young age, and you might be surprised to know (or might not) that it’s carried over into many aspects of my life outside of just camping. I’ve applied it to work, friends, life situations. If I can, I always aim to make any person or experience just a little bit better, and that’s exactly what I practiced as an educator in the classroom and exactly what I’m practicing now as an entrepreneur, whether it’s facilitating weeklong events or coaching a one-off client, or planning a massive strategy session, I always want to ensure I leave a positive impact and better than I found it.
But it isn’t as simple as just picking up a few chocolate wrappers or throwing the ashes in a trash bag -- you have to survey the land. You have to scout. Is there any debris leftover from the previous campers? Does the campsite need a bit of a glow-up? Maybe I’m not bringing a fancy chandelier or marble countertops to the picnic table, but I might find some local wildflowers and add a little color and warmth to it all.
The same thing applies to my work with clients. Are there some areas of your life or business you’ve already acknowledged you might need a little help with? That’s where I come in with the wildflowers to enhance what you’ve already got goin’ on. There are so many little things we can do to improve and that’s what I want my legacy to be; I want to be the person who shows up willing and open and ready to do whatever I can to help because I know it'll make the experience just a little bit better.
Need a face painter for 20 five-year-olds at a birthday party? Hey, I’m creative. I’ll give it a go.
Need a kick-ass appetizer for your next tailgate? I’m your charcuterie board artiste.
And I always try to merge that instinct to be of service with other’s goals and desires. How can I make my interaction with you, my time, my love, my support of you, better? And how can I be that thoughtful person not just because you asked me to or pay me to, but because it brings me a tremendous amount of joy to try to make your life better in some way? I’m always incredibly humbled and appreciative when people do those things for me, and I want to do that for you.
I want to help you with your campsite so that it’s better and cleaner and maybe even a little more wildflower-colorful and marshmallow-sweeter than when we started.
If you want to talk about your camping adventures or snipe hunting experiences or maybe how we could do some one on one work together, go ahead and reply to this email or book a no pressure, exploration call here.
If you think I may be able to help someone else on their journey and better their campsite - well, please share this email with them or do an introduction, as my business is all word of mouth and personal referrals.
Have an awesome day and make it a great week.
Love and Campfires,
PS: I’m excited to be helping with the Women in Publishing Summit that kicks off this week, March 1-8 and an orientation today. You can snag your ticket here. The following week, on March 10th and 11th, I’ll be working on the Soul Centered CEO Summit and Fundraiser where each ticket is also a fundraiser for a micro-loan in honor of International Women’s Day - grab your ticket here.