Aug 17, 2010

previous employment = small business inspiration

I have had quite a wide variety of jobs throughout the years, but there are three previous employers that definitely inspired me to do something on my own.  I thought it would be fun to mention them as well as give you a little more background about my past interests and occupations. 

This was my place of employment throughout my college days.  It was a great place to work!  This is where I learned a ton about fruits, vegetables, plants, working hard, and small business.  The owner, Terry Olson, is an amazing and energetic lady.  She worked all the time and seemed to truly love it.  You could tell she cared about the Markets and enjoyed keeping them going everyday.

Not only did the employees work together, but we also spent time outside of work together.  I have many happy memories of the people I worked with and the time I shared with them.  
(Especially since one particular employee would appear later in my life as my husband.)

The time I spent at this job, about five years, is something I am truly thankful for experiencing.  I was introduced to the owner of the company through my college adviser and professor.  Six months later I was excitedly accepting a job offer and ready to start learning more about landscape design.  
(And let me say the owners, Troy Gormally and Jerry Lehmann are the BEST in business!)

I learned so much!  Even with a background in horticulture and some design, I really new very little about the daily operations of a landscape company or landscape design.  Some days were exhausting, but the end result was rewarding.  This was also a place that I watched as I saw the amount of energy the owners put into the business, how much they took pride in what they were doing and how they never stopped until the client was completely satisfied.  This is when I began to notice that if you are willing to work hard at something you really enjoy you can be successful.  

I consider this company and these people some of my dearest friends.  It's hard to stay in touch as time goes by, but there are also people you never forget.  This place was a huge stepping stone for me in many ways and I feel very lucky to have spent time as part of the company.

I originally met Randy James when I was working for Natural Creations, but later connected with him when Jake and I moved for grad school.  He originally gave Jake a job that worked around his school schedule - this was so helpful during our transition back to being college students.  Then I began to do some design work for Growing Concerns.  This was also great because it was something I could do around my full-time, 8-5 job.

Even though I never worked as a full-time employee for Growing Concerns, I was able to see how much work went into making the company successful and how well they treated their employees.  It was also amazing to see how they were able to balance family and work - very inspiring!  

My experiences at each of these jobs was quite different, but the common thread is that they were all started by the owners and they are successful because of the energy and hard work that is put into them everyday.  This makes me want to work harder each day to make my own small (tiny) business successful.

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