Can Our Inner Child Become An Entrepreneur?: Kim & Jason Kotecki
April 15, 2008 by Akemi Gaines
In love and in business together – is this the new ideal?
Today’s guest to the Interview With Successful Entrepreneurs series is a happy couple, Kim and Jason Kotecki. They are on the extremely important mission to save the humanity from adultitis . . . What? You don’t know what adultitis is? You have one, then, and it is killing you right now.
When I discovered their website, I almost broke into tears with relief. They bring back the fun and magic of childhood to our adult life. Every time I read their blog and the comic, I feel part of my soul is restored. I am recovering from adultitis. And they are smart entrepreneurs. They understand the power of multiple sources of income – they write, speak, sell toys, sell membership. . . (Did I miss something?)
Kim and Jason Kotecki are a husband and wife powerhouse that team up to deliver a message to empower busy people to use strategies from childhood to create lives with less stress and more fun. Learn how to overcome Adultitis today at www.KimandJason.com
1. Tell us a bit about your business and why you started it.
Kim: Kim & Jason is all about an idea. It’s the crazy notion that there is more to life than the hectic busyness, cynical melancholy and overwhelming stress that is typical of most modern lives. Adultitis tricks us into missing out on the best parts of life and causes us to take ourselves WAY too seriously. Kim & Jason is meant to serve as a beacon, reminding you of that joyful, magical, indomitable spirit that still exists within you, and giving you permission to let that spirit come out to play.
Before Kim & Jason became a business, it started as a simple love story. Jason first drew his lovable characters for me sometime before the turn of the century. We shared a kindred childlike spirit, and Jason used the drawings, which represented us as children, on many homemade (aka cheap) gifts designed to win my heart. It worked! We were married in 2000, which is also when we felt compelled to share the comic strip and its inspiring message by starting our business. It’s been a wild ride ever since!
At it’s core, Kim & Jason (which has been described as “candy for the soul” — way too cool for us to make up) is all about helping grown-ups of all ages to slow down and Escape Adulthood, whether it’s through a stress-reducing chuckle or a nostalgic reflection at a treasured childhood memory. But just as importantly, we are extremely passionate about making a difference in the lives of children as well.
Jason: Yep. What she said. Also, I really didn’t want to spend my life “working for the man,” so creating a fun business around things that we’re passionate about seemed like a perfect solution.
2. What were the three biggest challenges when you were starting off as a new entrepreneur?
1. Funding. Jason and I were straight out of college with empty pockets and big dreams. There were a lot of upfront expenses, but not a lot of income at the beginning. We grew slow and steady, though, which enabled us to stay afloat.
2. Patience. We had grand visions, but weren’t exactly sure which steps to take to get there. It took a lot of trial an error- about five years worth. During that time there were many soul searching moments that inevitably shaped us into the company we are today.
I’d also add self-doubt. Like many young entrepreneurs, we were very excited about what we were doing and had some big dreams to go with it, but when it comes to actually implementing your idea in the world, it’s easy to start second-guessing yourself. “Am I crazy?” seemed to be a recurring question that popped up in my head. I don’t think any of us have a good handle on what we are truly capable of and we typically sell ourselves a bit short.
3. And how did you work through these challenges?
Kim: I can honesty say that if I didn’t have my faith I would not have been able to work through the challenges. There have been a lot of silent sacrifices along the way that are often not seen from the surface. It’s been a daily walk of faith… one baby step at a time.
Jason: You have to persist. Wake up every morning with the crazy notion that “this might just be the day.” Surround yourself with people that believe in you, especially the ones who see things in you that you don’t always see in yourself. That helps counter the self-doubt. And like Kim, my faith has been crucial. I really believe God has led me to this path, and trusting that everything will work out in the end — even when things go a little haywire — has been what has kept me from throwing in the towel.
4. What is the best part of being an entrepreneur for you?
Kim: I love being able to have the freedom to react to inspired thoughts. I may plan out my day the night before, but if I wake up and decide I’d like to turn it all upside down for a new idea, I can. Jason and I have been known to go on mid-day brainstorming walks and to sit on the front porch with our laptops on a beautiful day. It’s nice to have the freedom to be spontaneous – just like a kid! We have also created a daily schedule that aligns with our natural body rhythms. We are not early risers, so our workday is 10-6:30. This allows time for morning exercise and later bedtimes, which is what we prefer.
Jason: The freedom is a huge plus, just like Kim said. Also, I love the challenge of trying to figure out how to make the business grow and get better. As an entrepreneur, you try lots of different things. It’s like throwing spaghetti up against the wall. Sometimes it sticks, and sometimes it doesn’t. But I love the challenge of it, analyzing why something didn’t work (or why it did), and dreaming up new ideas to make it work better. It’s all very exciting and engaging. Ultimately, just waking up every morning with an opportunity to use all of my talents and do what I love is the true reward.
5. Any advice for people who dream to have their own business and yet find it hard to make the leap?
Kim: I love the line by Ray Bradbury, “First you jump off the cliff and you build wings on the way down.” Don’t get me wrong, you have to take millions of calculated risks, but you also have to have the courage that when you jump, you will be able to fly. Like I said earlier, that’s where my faith has come into play. I know I can’t fly on my own.
Jason: Yes, most people get caught up in the big picture and get overwhelmed. They think they have to make tons of big decisions all at once. But as the old saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step.” If you give yourself a chance to really think it through, you’ll discover that there is usually one obvious first step. Take it. That will lead to the next. Don’t get ahead of yourself…just take that first step. You can do it!
Gee, they make me jealous^-^ How nice it would be if I could have a supportive partner. . . They really compliment each other. I am also impressed with their faith. There is a higher power, and believing in its guidance and help makes all the difference. I am glad they have chosen to utilize their talents and insights from God.
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