“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”
― Albert Einstein

When I started questioning the wisdom behind higher education, conventional careers, and the American dream I found a whole new world beyond college parties and the picket fence. 

 

SOMETIMES IT MAKES SENSE TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. 

I'm not exactly sure when I started wandering off the societal "normal" path. It could be that being home schooled  immersed me in a life that was a little different.

My rabbit empire in middle school was definitely different; photographers and the county fair would pay to borrow my bunnies! Or maybe it was starting a dog walking business at 15. Honestly though, I'm sure it's a culmination of experiences, most of which I probably take for granted or don't even remember. All I'm certain of is when the rubber hit the road (and I decided to skip college),  I started getting LOTS unsolicited of advice from well-meaning family, friends, and even complete strangers.

Jumping from high school to a full blown career as a pet sitter raised lots of concerns and questions. While forgoing higher education was definitely a decision I struggled with and took very seriously, it just didn't fit the path I was on. If you want to be a doctor you have to go to school, but being an entrepreneur is a career you can learn "on the job". 

I'd rather get my hands dirty than learn a bunch of concepts I can't actively implement. Heaven forbid I had to take a pointless elective class. I value my time, money, and sanity too much. I won't spend it on something  I don't see as a good investment. 


“What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.”
― Thomas Carlyle

DECIDING TO INVEST IN MYSELF CHANGED EVERYTHING.

The internet is so much more than Facebook and cat videos. Excluding a few mentors, my education consists of countless free courses found online. The coolest part about my self-designed education is I (almost) solely learned from the best the world has to offer.

Why learn advertising from a professor at a state school when Steve Jobs has an incredible model begging to be reverse engineered?  Why learn management practices in a classroom when the titan that is Chick-Fil-A gives you a free education through podcasts, articles, and books? I value education, I don't always pay tuition for it though. 

I study what I need to know when I need to know it, and the crazy thing is I LOVE learning. I just was NOT a fan of school. Looking back, of course there were fun classes, incredible teachers, and plenty of other things I'm grateful my mom forced me to do. But overall? I was turned off by school. It was simply a chore to get through to avoid being grounded. 

Nowadays, I have a backlogged list of things I want to learn more about! The paradox about being curious and open to learning is that you will never have enough time to actually learn everything that peeks your interest.

Wanting to learn something and being required to learn it are two completely different things.

Learning to be curious is one of my greatest accomplishments to date. 


Here's My Version of University

I was curious. I found things that were (and still are) exciting and engaging, then wandered down the rabbit hole that is Google... We all have a certain way we prefer to learn and for me it's reading and listening.

I read 3 books everyday, the first is for fun, the second is to help me grow my business, and the third helps me to personally grow in someway whether it be spiritual, communication, or inspirational. 

Another great learning tool I picked up along the way and use almost daily are podcasts. Listening to a podcast is like sitting down with a genius and having them tell you exactly what they did to succeed in their finances, life, and business. Then they break it down even further and tell you how you can do the same! It's basically like having a free A-team of personal coaches. 

The third and most fun tool is blogs and social media. Google one of your interests along with the word blog and soak up the (often hilarious) first hand knowledge of other people just like you. They aren't necessarily experts, but they're actively learning and sharing their day-to-day struggle in becoming just a little better. My favorite part about this is these people are generally very helpful and friendly. This means you shouldn't hesitate to reach out and ask questions or cheer them on. I've actually gotten to meet up face to face with several of my online friends! That's always an amazing experience. 

 
 

my favorite books! 

(In order of what I've recently read) 

Last year my grocery bill and iBooks bill were tied. I read a LOT. Anything from business, self development, spirituality, fiction, history, fairy tails, to dog training (of course).

Here's my secret, I only read a book if it's interesting. If I'm not hooked before the free sample runs out, I don't buy it. Yes, I've missed out on great books, but they seemed lame to me. Make time for what makes you happy and forget the rest. Like I've said before, I value my time and energy and don't want to waste it; you should too.

I enjoy reading and want to read only the books I enjoy. 

 
 

that one book my story was quoted in... 


the best of BUSINESS

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

  • Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

  • Six Figure Pet Sitting by Kristen Morrison

  • Purple Cow by Seath Godin

  • Do Cool Sh*t by Miki Argawal

  • 21 Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell

  • Go Giver by Bob Burg and John D. Mann

  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley

  • Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey

  • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki


the stories i couldn't put down

  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (Series)

  • The Girl from Everywhere by Hedi Heilig

  • Circle by Dave Eggers

  • Room by Emma Donoghue

  • Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart

  • Alabama Moon by Watt Key (I've since met his entire extended family!)

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  • Cinder by Marisa Meyer (series)

  • The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes

  • The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

  • Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins (series)

  • The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (series)

  • Going Somewhere by Brian Benson

  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed


reading for growth and INSPIRATION    

  • Rising Strong by Brene Brown

  • The Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables

  • The Only Pirate at the Party by Linsey Stirling

  • Resonance by Eric Greitens

  • The Boys on the Boat by Daniel Brown

  • Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

  • Just Do Something by Kevin BeYoung

  • The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson

  • The Search for God and Guinness by Stephen Mansfield


Podcasts, the reason i'm always wearing headphones. 

(I've listened to every episode, or am currently in the middle of these podcasts! )

I practically live and work out of my car and listening to the same song for the hundredth time makes me angry. (And let's be real, audio books are expensive.) Podcasts have kept me sane and have brought all kinds of new inspiration to my life. Plus they are FREE. You really can't beat free! There seems to be a show dedicated to each and every one of my bizarre interests.

Go ahead, take a listen to my free business and life mentors.  

 

Podcasts Featuring Me! 

  • Positively Delighted (Episode 21) This is the best interview I’ve ever done and all the credit goes to my crazy adventure buddy, Kelsey! Kelsey was one of those people who became an instant friend when we ran into each other a few years ago. We’ve stayed up half the night giggling about who knows what and been there for each other through some serious business and life lows. Listen in and go deep into my early entrapanuial journey as Kelsey digs into my past struggle of facing fears, learning to be proud of what I’ve accomplished, and how to ask for help. Laugh along with us and hear the stories of what it’s been like for me to grow up in business.

  • Handling Business (Episode 105) Ever had a business idea that you weren’t sure how to bring to life? I used to! In this interview my friend Britt asks me all about the fears, mistakes, and transformations my business and I went through. When you start your career at age 15 there is a very long road of lessons ahead of you, in this episode we talk about some of my most meaningful, “AH-HA” moments to date. We also talk logistics of hiring, training, and keeping an awesome team and how I recently started leaving my manager in charge while I do extended traveling.

  • Handling Business (Episode 109) I got to play host and interview my awesome friend Britt! What a fun chance to be a fly on the wall and listen to Britt tell her business origin story. Britt is full of wisdom, laughs, and crazy stories, we always have an absolute blast sharing business wins and struggles, this time you get to listen in! Join me on a call with one of my favorite business piers and listen in on two friends struggle through life and business together.

  • The RV Entrepreneur (Episode 161) I can check this off the bucket list! After being a long time fan of Heath’s show I was invited on to talk logistics of how at the age of 23 I pulled off traveling for 6 months, running one business remotely, and what it’s like buckling down to start all over agin with a second branch of my successful pet sitting business in a whole new state! In this interview Heath really digs deep to talk about how to get the right people in your business, how to set them up for success, and then how to get out of their way. If I didn’t have absolute rock stars running Happy Hound I wouldn’t be able to travel to learn more about the world of business, or have the opportunity to continue growing the company with our new branch in Chattanooga, Tennessee!

  • Stories from the Road (Episode 048) Forget business, the episode is all about traveling and having fun! Nothing ever goes quite as you plan… I hadn’t exactly planned on being a van lifer, but when an adventure calls I’m willing to be flexible. From airstream renovation fails, road tripping in a van for 3 months, to transitioning to life on a boat, this episode is full of funny stories and mistakes. We also go into detail with tips on living cheaply and staying safe while traveling alone.