You’ve heard the saying “work smarter, not harder.” It sounds like such a simple, happy little concept, and it goes hand in hand with the work/life balance we’re constantly trying to figure out. If you’ve ever tried implementing this seemingly genius concept, you already know it can be one heck of an oxymoron, and not an easy thing to achieve. Plus, working smarter and not harder is different for everybody, and job dependent, so just like most things in life, there’s not a rule book laying out the step-by-step plays on how to make this happen. For us, this concept meant figuring out a way to do what we love at Brand-On while still being able to enjoy the active, outdoors, traveling-the-world lifestyle we also love. When you love your ‘job’ as much as we love ours (and being business owners on top of that) we had to figure out a way to be able to both simultaneously, yet effectively.
The Brand-On Beast, also known as B.O.B., is a 2004 Stewart & Stevenson M1088A1, which if that means absolutely nothing to you, B.O.B. is a massive military grade truck. You may have seen him around, or if you follow his Instagram (yes we refer to our truck as a he, and yes he absolutely has his own Instagram) then you can see why we call him the Brand-On Beast. What you might not know, however, is that there’s so much more to B.O.B. than just a super cool, hyped up military surplus 6×6, and one heck of a conversation starter. B.O.B. is our mobile office, our traveling companion, our home on the road, and ultimately, our solution to the American dream of truly working smarter, not harder.
To give you a little background on how we came up with the thought that this could even be a thing in the first place, we have to take you back in time, to a land far, far away. Well, back to 2017 anyway and to New Zealand, which from Colorado, really is a land far away. We took our honeymoon in New Zealand, and if you’ve been to New Zealand, you know all about the “holiday parks.” If you haven’t been to New Zealand, the entire country has designed itself to fully support traveling the country rather than staying in one place, and there are a multitude of holiday parks to post up at. Modern-day camper vans are readily available for easy rental, although being us, we wanted to amplify our experience and take basic up a notch. So while the rest of the country rented their beautiful traveling vacation homes, equipped with solar panels, plenty of space, and a dream to drive, we rented an orange 1972 VW Kombi. Naturally, we thought it was only right to name this VW Kombi that we’d be living in for the next month, and just like that, Russell became a part of our lives that we’ll never forget.
Russell sure was cute, but man was he quirky. The gears were nearly impossible to change and he definitely didn’t feel the need to get anywhere in a hurry. We cooked in Russell, we slept in Russell, and everywhere we went, Russell sure was a conversation starter. Despite the different time zones and being on our honeymoon, we weren’t able to completely check out from the business (nor would we want to), so we stopped one morning in Raglan, a cute little surf town we happened to come across, to check our emails and grab some morning carb-filled fuel before heading out to adventure for the day.
Our inbox included an email for an apparel order. An apparel order that happened to be our largest order to date, and ended up being our largest revenue month to date. Let that sink in… we were on our honeymoon, traveling around New Zealand, ‘not working’ and we had our largest month.
Our wheels (and Russell’s) were immediately spinning…. IF WE CAN GET OUR LARGEST ORDER TO DATE, STILL SERVICE OUR CUSTOMERS THE WAY WE PRIDE OURSELVES ON SERVING THEM, WHILE BEING ON VACATION, WHAT CAN WE DO WHEN WE’RE AT THE OFFICE ‘ACTUALLY WORKING’ ALL DAY?
Again, enter B.O.B. When we got back from our trip we continued our conversations about the freedom that integrating with partners in our industry allowed us to have. We knew we always thought outside of the box, but this was the first time we literally thought outside of the box, as we actually did put a box on our truck, now known as B.O.B. B.O.B. has made it easier than ever to target an industry where we could explore and travel WHILE we grow our business. We don’t have to fly anymore to the big industry trade shows like we did before; we travel in B.O.B. and we take extra days to park and meet people along the way we wouldn’t have met if traveling in the normal sense of traveling.
If you see B.O.B. out and about, we hope that you take the time to say hi!
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