In college, I started a small Etsy shop and blog from the storage closet in my sorority house. A few years later, and through a very non-linear journey, that small Etsy shop grew into an internationally recognized sweatshirt brand & that little blog led to bestselling books and a publishing career. Now, I'm obsessed about helping other women uncover what they're made to do and take steps to make it happen, too.
Have ya ever had a big dream for a business or something you really wanted to do, but was, well, a little “crazy?”
Maybe you had a vision for something, but you experienced a lot of skepticism or pushback from other people.
Or maybe you felt like you had to have an X amount of money in your bank and everything figured out first, so you never started.
If that’s you, I hear ya (loud and clear, sister!). And we’re gonna talk about all those thoughts.
But first, I want you to dare to dream again – whether you’re dreaming of starting a side gig so you can stay at home with your family, or you just really wanna create a biz renting out luxury treehouses.
Yep, you heard me right – luxury treehouses.
Today’s podcast guest, Tori, took her and her husband’s dream of building luxury treehouses and built an entire business on it.
I mean, I don’t know about you, but luxury treehouses kinda sound like a crazy idea. And yet, Tori and her husband have an incredible business renting them out!
So if you’re pocketing a big idea, but you’re worried it’s too outside of the box, I think you’ll be inspired by this story – and will be encouraged to take action to make your dream a reality.
Tori Bolt and her husband, Seth (who is the bass player for a little band you may have heard of called Needtobreathe), own Bolt Farm Treehouse – luxury, eco-friendly treehouse rentals set in the most beautiful landscapes.
And girl, these are not the treehouses you climbed around in as a kid!
They are GORGEOUS and have been featured in publications like Architectural Digest, Southern Living, The Knot, and BuzzFeed.
Seth built the first luxury treehouse for Tori, for their wedding and honeymoon. (So sweet, right?)
Shortly after their honeymoon, they started dreaming about sharing that treehouse with others.
Well here we are today, and that crazy idea is now a thriving business that rents out a handful of beautiful, luxury treehouses spread across multiple properties and states.
If you have a big dream that is outside the box or seems a little “crazy” to others, you may have experienced some pushback from other people in your life who can’t see the vision.
When I asked Tori if she ever experienced skepticism, she said “Pushback is par for the course when you’re dreaming big or thinking outside the box. I can’t tell you how many times we heard ‘That’s impossible,’ ‘That’s never been done,’ or ‘You want to what?’”
Sometimes when you have a big idea that’s outside the box, you need to help people see the vision. There will always be skeptics out there (yep, that’s life), so sometimes you need to help them see what you’re trying to do.
But, how do you know the difference between someone who is an expert and is giving you good advice or caution (ya know, the kind you should listen to), and someone who just can’t see the vision?
Tori explained that it’s always important to consider the source. Is the person someone who knows you and loves you and has earned your trust? Are they for you? Do they see your vision?
Listen, it’s important to have people in your life with different perspectives, who can polk holes in your ideas and will let you think through things from a different perspective.
Just make sure that those people are coming from a good place, with your best interests in mind, and that they understand your vision.
Skepticism is just one of many challenges that can come up when looking to turn a dream into a reality. Sometimes, one of the hardest challenges is the planning.
It can be really exciting when you bring your vision or big idea to life and actually start your business. But before you can start, there’s a slow, and difficult planning process you have to get through.
That’s where I think a lot of women can get stuck – in that middle ground between big idea and execution. It’s slow, usually not that fun, and can be full of unexpected challenges.
A lot of us look at a business page on Instagram and see all sunshine and rainbows. But we don’t see the hard work behind that pretty picture, or the boring and tedious planning stages that came before that business opened.
But remember, those stages are going to set you up for success, and help you fulfill that dream you’ve been holding onto – whether it’s to make money and still be at home with your kids, or it’s to travel the world building treehouses.
And as Tori said, “The challenges are real. But they make you stronger and tougher and grittier.
I see a lot of women also get stuck because they think they have to have X amount of dollars in the bank, or a certain amount of experience before they can even start pursuing their big idea.
But I’m here to remind you, that’s not the case.
Tori said it like this : There’s so much free learning you can do before investing… You don’t have to spend a dollar to test your idea and to learn what your potential customer wants.”
Own your time and education. Start taking free courses, watching videos, or reading a book to learn the skills you need to make your dream happen.
And then start running your ideas by other people. Ask them questions. Would they pay for what you want to offer? What are they looking for in a product or service? What kind of experience do they want to have? What’s their biggest challenge that they want to solve?
All of that information will help you set the foundation for your business, before even spending a dime.
Tori said it well: “People used to say. ‘If you build it, they will come,’ and that is so not true. You have to find out what they want, build, tell them about it, and THEN they’ll come.”
So own this time you have now to start digging into what people are looking for. And ask yourself: what can I provide to fill that need?
If you’re sitting there holding tight to a big dream, but have experienced pushback from others, this episode is for you.
Tori brings so much gold to this conversation and her story will inspire you to dare to pick up that dream of yours again.
Whatever your big dream is, even if it has nothing to do with treehouses ;), you can use it to live with purpose and serve others.
It’s time to own your big dream, friend.
Make sure you tune into the episode to learn even more nuggets of wisdom, like:
Once you’ve listened, let us know in the comments: What’s keeping you from taking action on your crazy idea?
And if you want to see those beautiful luxury treehouses I mentioned, go check them out on Instagram.