“Finding Fire” podcast recap Part 2
Living Our Dream:
Moving out of the safe zone of “this is what I know” and moving into the wild unknown is scary, but ultimately so rewarding. I think people often stay put because the reality of providing for our families and maintaining our lifestyle can make us feel stuck. Nathanael and I are so glad we took the plunge to fulfill this new calling on our life.
We love what we do now. Nathanael always wanted to have his own business. He even had the fleeting idea of owning his own junkyard! When he was thirteen, he started his own lawn mowing business in his neighborhood. When we were newly married, Nathanael said he wanted to get into the business of rental properties, and I hated the idea! I had no desire to raise our young kids and live in a duplex next to complete strangers, and be home all day with them. There was nothing in me that ever wanted a small business, even as I later started one! I think the reason was because I never really understood what entrepreneurship was.
It’s so crazy to look back, not wanting any part of owning a business, to starting my own business, and now how far we’ve come in the last five and a half years. Even Nathanael’s dream of owning properties has come to fruition. We’re living our dream, and are able to do it together, side by side. Two of our kids work with us, and we have an amazing group of team members. We go into work, and we feel surrounded by friends. Nathanael always has dreams about more real estate, but right now our focus is the renovation of our funeral home turned Bailey Builds Collective. Dreaming big and taking risks has brought us to where we are right now.
When asked why we do what we do, my “why” is I love my city. I know that may sound like a strange answer. Even though we didn’t grow up here, we fell in love with this place during our college years at UMD, and chose to stay and make this city our home. My motivation is rooted in having a deep devotion and commitment to Duluth, it’s people, the businesses, and the natural beauty. There are just so many wonderful things about Duluth. I want to have a business that makes a good impact, and bring attention to what a great city this is.
Nathanael and I love the arts community in Duluth. They are some of the most genuine, thoughtful people that we have ever met. Artists all have their unique personalities, and we have yet to meet an artist that isn’t amazing. Why wouldn’t we be compelled to get behind this group of people? We believe in the importance of community. Even as a newcomer into this industry, I felt encouraged every step of the way. Through art and craft shows, social media, and personal interaction, the community support in Duluth has meant the world, and has been one of the biggest sources of encouragement and motivation. With that being said, our goal is to be able to give back to this community.
I didn’t realize that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, until I realized what entrepreneurship was. I am a strong leader, and in the past that has been a struggle for me in certain jobs and situations, if I haven’t been the one making the decisions. I’m not sure why it took me so long to connect the dots in realizing that, as an entrepreneur, I get to make all the decisions. I get to decide where the ship goes, how to steer it, and what ideas to cast to the side. I own it, drive it, move it.
I also felt like small business owners worked all the time, and I didn’t want to do that. Now, as business owners, we do work a lot; but we love it, because we love what we do. Of course, there are days when the 9-5 job looks appealing. We think about our business all the time, but that is a part of being a small business owner. The trade off for us is that we feel fulfilled in what we do. We work a lot of hours, but we also get to leave early when we want to, and plan around our family’s schedule. We can take family vacations when we want to. For example, we woke up one Sunday morning and decided to take a family trip to Florida. Our family literally packed up and was on the road in a couple hours! -This is what entrepreneurship can afford you.
In Part 3 of our podcast recap with “Finding Fire,” we’ll be talking about dealing with hardships along the way, and how being ultimate optimists has gotten us through. If you’d like to listen to our podcast with “Finding Fire” in their episode titled: Faith, Passion and Entrepreneurship With Bailey Builds,” which aired on April 12, 2021.