It Was Never About The Hammocks
The end of my military service in 2009, sparked a war inside me. Where do I fit in? Who am I? What is my contribution to the world? I couldn't fathom what was coming. In fact, years before I only had one foreseeable future while giving my high school speech, the military. If someone would have told me, "One day you'll will be selling hammocks," I’d have HEAD BUTTED THEM...HARD!
After the military, I became a vocational nomad. I loved customer service jobs, but wanted to fix people’s problems. That didn't work. I tried the factory work, standing for hours doing the same meticulous body movement over and over, didn't last long, but I totally applaud those who do. I was roaming from job to job, career to career, completely unsettled and grossly unsatisfied.
The first sparks of identifiable joy came when I started a digital marketing company in 2016. Regardless of the long hours, multiple screw ups, and uncertainties around getting paid, I loved what I was doing. It was a joy in the midst of strife and doubt. Then, through the strangest of events, we were presented with an opportunity to buy Gnar Hammocks in November of 2017. This was it! I could take what I had learned being an agency and apply it to my own company. Now all we had to do was run the numbers, get investors, and RUN Forest! It all made sense to move forward with the hammock company. We were completely driven by figuring out how to make money through an online brand presence. Let me be the first to tell you, we had no idea what the f**k we were doing. We had no vision, no mission, no purpose, and no path to pay ourselves, let alone pay the investors. We had what's called an "entrepreneurial seizure." (Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth) We honestly have flailed about chasing one small deal to the next to keep the company alive for the last 2 years with no real direction, until recently.
At the end of 2019, I finally committed to closing down the Gnar Hammocks company altogether. There's not a lot of points in my life where I felt more thrashed. I let a lot of people down due to my impatience, incompetence, and by doing the very thing I tried to avoid, over selling and under delivering. Yet, when I thought it was over, looking up from the pit, I was offered some free advice, to shape Gnar in a way that made sense. What if we could shift Gnar into a company that could provide value to others and resonate with my who I am?
Give way to the birth of, Live Gnar LLC, out of the ashes of defeat and self-destruction from Gnar Hammocks LLC. My vision has shifted from not just selling hammocks online, but to pushing comfort zones, to help others find themselves through the outdoors. This needed to apply to me first. Since last year, I have picked up climbing and mountain biking, intentionally staying off my phone, visiting places I never knew existed before, and teaching my kids there is more out there to explore and how to overcome fear!
I look forward to seeing everyone’s growth. I look forward to introducing you to the partnership that has been birthed through this, and diving into new Gnar. It will look sloppy for a bit, but all new births are...sloppy. (Too much?) If this journey changes a life, then it's worth it! Thank you for the support and the messages of encouragement. Stay tuned, friends.
GEO of Gnar