I’m excited to announce that Amanda joined me as a business partner as of this morning. Some of you probably know of Amanda already, maybe from this Facebook post or this blog interview. For about a year we have contemplated this possibility, and recently we decided to finally go for it. The growth of my business has demanded additional help, and fortuitously Amanda has the right skill set to step in.
I have worked since I was thirteen years old. I have waited tables, driven beer carts at golf courses, slung lattes at coffee shops, and literally flipped a burger or two. (Coincidentally, I’ve avoided red meat ever since). And yes, I do believe that some of my charm can be credited to the character building and resilience one can only acquire by working in the service industry.
Post-college I began my marketing and consultative sales career, mostly for private non-profit higher education institutions which, while rewarding, are not financially glamorous therefore, on top of my “day job,” there was a period during which I worked retail — i.e., cleaning up Everest-sized armloads of clothing from dressing rooms and running around like a sweaty, underpaid lunatic to find a customer the perfect “woven button down” for her luncheon.
Despite my seemingly myriad list of employment over the last couple of decades, I have never worked from home, or not had a soul-sucking commute where many times just when I thought I was a decent person, I would experience volatile road rage and felt my tenuous place on the karmic chart plummeting rapidly. Additionally, I don’t know what it is like not to be anchored to a desk, to have precisely 55 minutes to attempt a lunch “break”, or how to juggle a “generous” surplus of 10 days of vacation.
Most importantly, I’ve never worked in a capacity whereby my efforts and all energy expended result in a better quality of life for me and my loved ones — “Skurka” plus my furry four-legged child who has been the subject of more Facebook posts than I have.
Today that will all change. Still, old habits die hard. I’ve been hammering Skurka for weeks with questions like:
- What is the dress code? (My sweet mother asked this, and I’m certain she was only half kidding.)
- Do you have a formal training process?
- What is my official job title? (I feel Director of All Things has a nice ring to it.)
- Who do I report any HR issues to? (Hello, sexual harassment!)
- Are we ever going to talk about salary? (Insert silence. Cricket…cricket)
Admittedly, and in all honesty, I’m reticent in assuming this will be a blissful work arrangement simply because my now boss also happens to be my significant other of 2+ years. I’m enough of a realist; I know that my adventure loving boyfriend runs a tight ship, and we will both have learning curves to maneuver as we begin this new partnership. For instance, I don’t believe that all the world’s problems can be solved in Excel, whereas he does; and, he finds my ability to make our morning coffee by “eyeing it,” rather than busting out the scale for perfect ratio a greatly befuddling mystery.
That being said, we are both excited about broadening Andrew Skurka Adventures LLC into a “family business.” We’ve made a thoughtful and deliberate choice — together — to invest in what he has created, with both the short- and long-term goals of having better work/life balances, more time together throughout the year, a better usage of my talents, and a joint interest in the longevity and success of the business. Sounds easy enough, eh?
My duties include but are certainly not limited to:
- Overall business development
- Assistance with trip planning and coordination
- Marketing & social media
- Customer service
- Increased profitability of, well, everything
- Keeping Skurka sane (e.g. currently he does it all, and I mean it all. I hope to alleviate some of the existing pressure so that he might do more personal trip, focus on other writing projects, etc.)
- And, let’s be real here people: he will be better fed and tended to than his typical disheveled, I-forgot-to-eat-anything-but-dates-and-apple-juice-or-change-my-shirt-in-three-days state that I often find him in because he has been working from 8am to 8pm.
So, wish us well our fine followers, friends, and loved ones. This is a considerable change for the both of us, and one we intend to handle with great care, malleability, and collaboration. Now, what time does happy hour start around this joint?