Pop the champagne! We’ve just submitted our entry to the Mission: Small Business competition where we hope to be awarded a $250,000 grant. The application had two components: first, we had to have at least 250 people ‘vouch’ for us by voting for our business. Next, there was a 5-part essay asking pertinent questions about the business, the team, the business plan, etc.
We figured our best chance was to bare our souls and talk about why they should choose us to give the capital to grow our business, so we spent a lot of time formulating our answers. In reflecting on the questions, we realized something important. First, when we asked for help, people responded. Votes streamed in. When the numbers stalled, I put out another call and in they came. Sure, these were only votes for a competition, but it’s the heart of the issue that matters: the people around us will do anything to help us succeed.As corny as it sounds, we also realized that Paul and I are living our version of the American Dream. We have our own business, it’s growing during an economic slump, we have the healthiest most beautiful son we could ever imagine, and we love what we do every day. Sure, it would be nice to own a car that’s less than 20 years old and doesn’t break down when the outside temperature exceeds 82 degrees, but you can’t have everything.When I lived in Costa Rica, women in our town worked physically-challenging 10-hour days, 6 days a week for $4 a day. There was no schooling past sixth grade in the town, so parents had to send their kids away and pay for their schooling, uniforms, and food while they lived with relatives. There was one pay phone on each side of the river. We regularly waited 2 hours in line at the bank (after traveling 3 hours by boat and bus to get there).Living in Central America was the best motivation I could’ve ever had to love where I came from.
We feel so fortunate for the boundless opportunities that living in the United States give us, and it’s something we’ll be thinking about this 4th of July in between parades and fireworks.
In the spirit of free enterprise, we want to offer Free Shipping to our US-based customers on Wednesday, July 4th. Use coupon code “JULY4SHIP.” International customers can get $20 off their shipping costs (we’ll apply the discount on our end once the order is received).
We wish you the best this week and every week!The Lombardi Family