ed-imageCity Built is a real thing! A labor of love and passion mixed with a little hope and a lot of prayer. I thought long and hard about what I would say. What is my voice?  What soap box will I stand on? I’ve decided to keep telling stories. It’s how we raised 1.1 million dollars. It’s how we garnered the attention of 30 investors and a city full of beer lovers.

A little history, I spent the first part of my adult life working with kids as a counselor and eventually as a teacher. I worked with kids at 3 alternative education schools. I had a passion for connecting kids with information that helped them make good decisions.  I eventually came to teach in a prison. No development and no connections were made. I left to work at a manufacturing company. First business lesson, look into the market you are about to go into before you quit your cushy State job. 8 months into it I was laid off and started to look into other careers. 7 years later I was leaving my role as an advisor with a local insurance company. Along the way I learned a lot about people, business, money, and myself.  In year 5 I wrote a vision statement for my life and had the best start to my 6th year I had ever had. I made a lot of money and was given a few accolades but I was tired. I was inconsistent and had very little passion for what I was doing. This is what I wrote and this was the foundation (with a few tweaks for making big moves and following the passion I felt for craft beer and food).

cb-cap-imageAs I look back and remember the turning point in my practice I am reminded of the verse that resonated in my head for weeks before addressing my practice and the “why”As I look back and remember the turning point in my practice I am reminded of the verse that resonated in my head for weeks before addressing my practice and the “why” in regards to why I wanted what I wanted. Simply, I am called to be better. In I Corinthians 9:24 Paul says,

“I run to win the prize”

and in Romans 8:37 We are told that we are called to be more than conquerors. And it is in those verses that I realize that I am not meant to just survive but thrive; for the sake of myself, my family, my clients, and the community I live and serve in. It is in that action of running to win and recognizing the value that I bring that I am fulfilled and that I am happiest. As I look back and remember the turning point in my practice I am reminded of the verse that resonated in my head for weeks before addressing my practice and the “why” in regards to why I wanted what I wanted. Simply, I am called to be better. In I Corinthians 9:24 Paul says, “I run to win the prize” and in Romans 8:37 We are told that we are called to be more than conquerors. And it is in those verses that I realize that I am not meant to just survive but thrive; for the sake of myself, my family, my clients, and the community I live and serve in. It is in that action of running to win and recognizing the value that I bring that I am fulfilled and that I am happiest.

Currently, I run a practice that is focused on the needs of business owners. It allows me to take my experiences as a business owner and teacher to help others achieve their goals of creating and maintaining financial security for themselves, their families, and their businesses. I have a staff of one that helps me maintain my current client needs while marketing to attract new clients. My practice hit the 100 lives club as well as achieved new client bonus. I find that the more lives I touch the more freedom I have to work 4 days a week which allows me to focus my other time on my kids and health.

We take two trips a year, one in the winter to a mountain and the other to a beach in Puerto Rico where I have a home that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. I have established my home in East Grand Rapids where my kids are involved in sports and other life enriching activities.

We regularly attend Grand Rapids First but also contribute monetarily to both my church and Lifequest ministries. It was there (Lifequest) that I recognized my call to be better and it continues to be a place where I am challenged to be a conqueror. I wanted what I wanted. Simply, I am called to be better. In I Corinthians 9:24 Paul says “I run to win the prize” and in Romans 8:37 we are called to be more than a conqueror. It is in those verses that I realize that I’m not meant to just survive, but to THRIVE for the sake of my family, kids, self, and the community that I work and serve in. It is in that action of running to win that I am fulfilled and that I am happiest.”

I was coached to apply this to my business, but instead I applied it to my life. I went through monumental growth that year and in doing so found my passion. This was a new feeling. In the past I was told that I was too laid back, too complacent, too inconsistent. Since chasing the brewery I have been told. I feel your passion, take it easy, slow down, is this too big a plan? Funny how passion can fan a flame into a roaring fire.

Now, I see how my vision was outlining how relationship-driven I am. How I like to connect the dots for people and how important it is to me that when I say I want to help people, that I actually do. City Built is a labor of love. Not just for beer but for the people in the community I live in and for the people in the community I have built.