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As We Grow

If there’s anything we’ve learned at our farm the past several years it’s that there comes a point at which Houston and I simply cannot do everything ourselves. This is especially true during a period of high growth. Something has to give - whether it’s a project on the farm, the aesthetics of the land or our personal health. Earlier this year the realization hit that in order to continue scaling our glamping business we had to make some changes. 

Houston and I knew that we wanted to continue to be attentive on-site hosts, so having someone handle most of the virtual experience seemed to make sense. We formed a partnership with a company that will help us manage the marketing and booking of our tents. Our listings went live last Wednesday on eight different booking platforms. After some discussion, we decided to try out “instant booking.” One of the things this feature allows is for guests to make a reservation on the day of their stay. Twice last week people booked an hour or so before their arrival and the tents weren’t ready. Houston helped me prep a tent late Wednesday evening and I got the other one ready Sunday afternoon. 

Since we previously had a 24 hour cut-off for booking, it became apparent that this would take some getting used to. It was a trial by fire, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. In contrast, this week our cleaning person prepped all of the tents on Monday. Every one of them is ready to book, but we haven’t had a reservation come through.

Talking with my friend Mary last week reminded me of something we’ve discussed a number of times during our regular Friday morning calls. She has a mantra that I’m trying to make my own. I’ll paraphrase: When business is busy, be grateful. And when business is slow, be grateful. She reiterated that there are advantages to both. In my case, it’s pretty easy to be thankful for the additional income we receive when times are busy (even if I complain about the physical labor). It’s more challenging to find the good in the slow times. But that’s what I’m trying to do this week. 

Mary encouraged me that it’s in these quieter times that I can reflect and experience a different level of peace. So today I’m taking deep breaths. And I’m not rushing around. In fact, I’ve been able to do some planning for future events and catch up with friends. I’m doing my best to practice gratitude for the slower time. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps. 

This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the July 15, 2023 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.

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