Award for Excellence in Business from the Pleasant Grove - Lindon Chamber of Commerce. We were stunned to say the least. There are so many incredible businesses in Pleasant Grove and Lindon (and people who run them) that it is not a small thing when you receive an award from your business peers.
The award and nod meant even a bit more to us than that, however. Coming just 8 days shy of our 9th birthday, it felt like a reaffirmation that the decision we made almost a decade ago to jump and not look back was the right one after all. With teenagers still at home, I gave up a steady paycheck to run Soaplicity full-time, and Tom took on a second part-time job teaching at-risk youth to offset the loss of income. It was only last week that he was finally able to quit that part-time job and take over shipping & receiving at Soaplicity. That is sacrifice. That is conviction. That is love.
Elon Musk has stated numerous times that "starting a business is like eating glass and looking down into the abyss." That is truth. On a daily basis sometimes. I can honestly say that there is hardly a week that goes by that I wonder why on earth I am doing this (a little told confession from every business owner), then inevitably a customer will come in the same or next day and say how grateful they are that we are here, or how much better their skin is doing because of X product, and "don't ever leave." Then, I remember why we do this. It is for our customers. It is for our community.
Ultimately, this award belongs to all of us. We do not do this on our own. It takes amazing employees like Rochelle Fowler (pictured on the left) who does our hot processing and has been with us for 7 years. It takes timely collaboration with vendors, angel investors, software engineers, postal workers, community police officers, and the list goes on for miles. We could not do this without our supportive customers who bring us so much kinship and happiness. We could not have done this without my parents who drove a van-load of decor 1,200 miles from Iowa when we first opened on Main Street to build out our space. My father spending countless hours on his hands and knees lovingly painting and sealing the floor. My mother decorating the display window with square doilies she bought on an auction and telegrams from the early 1900's which were in the attic of my childhood home. She is gone now, but the window remains as she left it as a reminder of where I came from and a nod to her. Yes, it takes all of us.
I am pretty sure all of us business owners have stories like this. Ask them about them. Ask them how they got started and what it has taken for them to get to where they are now. You will gain an appreciation for the mom and pop stores of your communities. And, for any of you who have a dream of owning your own business - do it. No matter if you succeed or fail the relationships and lessons you learn will not be lost. Yes, you will feel some days like you are eating glass. You will often be staring down into the abyss wondering if you will ever be able to... (insert whatever goal here). But, if you believe in what you are doing, and you want to make a difference in people's lives, I think your chances of success are quite good. When I was standing on the edge and trying to decide all those years ago if I should give up security for the possibility of something better my sister said, "Do it. Other jobs will always be there, but you don't want to look back years later and wonder if you could have." She was right.