Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Vermont "Rat Race"

Good morning Vermont businesses! I'm writing this note because, as you may have noticed, PromoteVT, though wildly popular with the online community, hasn't been doing much promoting lately. I'd like to have a conversation with you, a Vermont small business owner, about this fact. This conversation is long and multi-faceted, so today I will begin with an introduction. I appreciate you taking the time to read my note/blog and engaging in this conversation with me. I feel it can be hugely beneficial to both of us, and by extension, all of us. Cheers.

Background: My name is Nichole Gilbert. I own and operate a small business from my home in Jefferonsville, VT. Though I originally hail from San Diego, I've lived in VT almost 12 years now and whole-heartedly call Vermont my home. I have acknowledged to myself and my family that I will ALWAYS live here. I have no plans whatsoever to go back 'out west' or anywhere else for that matter. Why? Not because I feel stuck or apathetic about where I am like so many people do. No, not at all. I will never leave Vermont because Vermont is home. Vermont is amazing to me. Seriously. Stunning. The core values of Vermonters rest in what I find important: environment, recreation, community and a healthy, happy lifestyle. Not only that, Vermonters have an overwhelming sense of entrepreneurship that you don't find anywhere else. (In the world!) I feel so incredibly fortunate to be a part of the Vermont community.

My business is called Cambridge Event and Design. I've been working for myself officially for about 1.5 years but honestly (like most of us) I've been dabbling in working for myself on the side since I was only a kid. I went to a couple of colleges, eventually finished with one, got married and had babies. I held a handful of mid-level office positions and then, in 2009, it occurred to me that I may never be satisfied with my life if I kept on that same path of always going after someone else's dream. I know you know what I'm talking about. If you are a small business owner, or have ever dreamed about working for yourself, you have felt the very same way at some point. It's like one day you say to yourself, why am I doing this? Though this is Vermont, and not New York or Los Angeles, we DO honest to god have our own Vermont-form of the rat race. This rat race has become ever so much more prevalent in the last two-three years as unemployment has climbed and larger employers have dropped the ball on working on employee retention and employee happiness. If you do work for someone else, or have in the last several years, have you noticed this?

More later ... Please share your comments.

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