From the Founder - Be Not Afraid (On Fear)
Halloween season is upon us, and I thought it might be fun to draw some parallels to the world I know best - small business. The first thing I think about when I think of Halloween is the costumes - it’s how we’re hooked in the early years! Kids put on costumes and adults give us candy - easy peezy. In costume, I’ve been Batman, ET, and even Michael Jackson! (Just to derail any future thoughts of political pursuits now, there is a picture of a ~10 year old Curt with a for-real perm, one white glove and blackface somewhere in my mom’s photo albums!) The ability to change who we are is also very prevalent in the world of small business. Often the change from corporate stooge to entrepreneur is a traumatic one requiring many pivots and changes, and then once you’re off the launch pad you’re wearing ALL the costumes! - CEO, Sales, CFO, COO, CMO, HR, Cleaning, Maintenance...
Curt discusses the Bear family’s new kittens, FOMO, and the importance of focus and perspective in this month’s blog.
The weekend after Labor Day saw a pair of new additions to the Bear clan! Pictured are Barley and Bootsie - a pair of kittens we adopted through the Fort Collins Cat Rescue. They are the sweetest little pair, brother and sister, and they’re getting along great with our dog Tucker.
Sadly, Tucker was a source of our cat woes in recent years. Our long-haired tortoiseshell cat Hazel disappeared last summer. She was convinced that Tucker wanted to kill and eat her from the first day we got him 3 years ago (though he exhibited no such desires), and after escaping our home several times only to be found weeks later she finally escaped for good. Months later, we put our 18-year old cat Tiger to rest, and with a cat-allergic exchange student moving in soon and a busy summer planned we became a cat-free...
I discovered a few years ago that I have a special provenance. I’ve always known that I was born to Donald and Valorie Bear in the early morning hours of August 20th, in the year 1974 at Jamestown Hospital in North Dakota. I was just shy of 6 pounds, and was delivered by the same doctor that delivered my mom and my dad and two of my three siblings. Already sounds pretty special, but not so much in rural ND - Dr. Lucy delivered nearly all the babies around there for 50 years! No, the special provenance I’m referencing was discovered only in 2016 when I learned that 1974 is the year of the Tiger in the Chinese Calendar. So...my August 20th birthday makes me a Leo, and because my family name is Bear, I am...wait for it...Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My!
It’s true. I am lions and tigers and bears, oh my. What could this say about me? What could this signify for my future?!
I Googled the Leo...
When I think about July, I think about Independence Day. That wonderful day filled with grilled burgers and outdoor play and ice cream and fireworks! My adopted community of Fort Collins is a bit nanny-state on the fireworks, but puts on a good show at City Park only a few blocks from our home. And when I think about Independence Day, I think about the Founding Fathers - as do many I suppose.
Like many of our readers, I’ve been planting my garden the past few weeks, one of my favorite times each year. I’ve tuned up our irrigation system, spread my chicken manure and turned the soil, planted my seeds and starts, and cringed with each thunderstorm - fearing the hail that has wiped out too many backyard tomatoes and dimpled too many autos in our region the past few years.
I’d like to begin this month’s lead-in with a congratulations and public thank-you to Elise Brown, the LoCo Marketing Intern for the past ~8 months. Elise just graduated from CSU with a degree in Economics with a Marketing emphasis, and has accepted a full-time position as a Digital Marketing Coordinator with AZDS Interactive Group in Denver beginning in early June. Elise has been a strongly contributing team member from the very start, and grew her skills and confidence throughout her LoCo experience. Thank you Elise - you get it, you want it, and you’re highly capable - and you’re fun to be around. You’ve got a bright future ahead, and we’re proud to have had you in our tank!
Longest title ever, and apt to be a fairly long post, lest I’m careful. Did I lose you already?
This is one of my favorite times of the year - the emergence of spring. The birds are returning from their southern climes, the trees are budding out, and the river flows are starting to fill out a bit. They won’t hit their peak for a few months however - June is the time for big water!
We are a couple weeks removed from Valentine’s Day - that wondrous holiday created by the greeting card companies. Snopes - that one’s not true - St. Valentines day goes WAY back. Though Hallmark did invest heavily beginning in 1913 in the notion that a greeting card was a great way to say “I love you”. Alongside the red rose growers and diamond miners investing similarly over the centuries.
You’ll read later in this issue about our LoCo Next Level speaker event held on January 30th with Zach Mercurio. Zach is the best-selling author of “The Invisible Leader - Transform Your Life, Work, and Organization with the Power of Authentic Purpose”. He has become a leading expert on this topic in recent years - helping people and organizations activate the guiding hand of purpose. He is also a CSU professor, and when we met for the first time this fall it felt like we were speaking the same language in a foreign land, and we immediately began putting plans together to have Zach speak for a LoCo event. Learn more about him here.