Business and Bug Spray: An Entrepreneurial Field Guide

business and bug spray an entrepreneurial field guide

Business & Bug Spray, that might be an appropriate title for a memoir someday. I’m an avid outdoors-woman; lover of nature, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and wondering deep into the forest where there is zero cell phone reception. My adventures have lead me to cross paths with foraging black bears, poisonous berry (accidental) consumption, and unearthing invaluable resources just feet below Earths surface.

While TrashN2Tees was born from my passion for environmental protection, I never truly recognized the valuable business lessons I learned (and continue) to learn as I explore the great outdoors. Today I’m sharing an entrepreneurial field guide that I hope will help you find your way in nature and in business.

Dealing with Discomfort: Camping and getting outdoors pushes many of us outside our comfort zones. I’m hard pressed to name an entrepreneur who never felt uncomfortable. Stop playing it safe and ask yourself, is comfort holding you back?

Pitching Your Tent: The placement of your tent is vital, you must take into consideration your surroundings. The same ideas can be applied when it comes to starting up your business- and its equally important to remind yourself that you’re anchoring in but in case of emergency you can still head for higher ground.  Read:  Build Your Nest with Intention

Pack the Essentials: Essentials for survival include: navigational support and nutrition, fire, protection, and water. Each and everyone of these can be directly related to the same essentials you need to succeed in business (and in life.) Camping helps you pare down to the essentials and learn to appreciate having less.  Read: Why We Don’t Need More

Jumping In: I recall some of my earliest trips to the lake. I would swim my little heart out to make it to the floating dock. Once there I’d spend the entire day jumping in. Sometimes I aced the cannon ball others left me with welted from an occasional belly flop. Occasionally I need that reminder, it’s much more fun in the water than just wading around by the shoreline. Read: How to Get Your Indie Business Noticed 

Sometimes it Rains: When the rain comes something magical happens. Everyone gathers under cover to stay dry and warm, together. Combining resources, sharing a meal and telling stories as new memories are built. Good things come from seeking shelter, regrouping, and pulling together. Eventually storms pass and the sun shines again, it always does.

Forget the Bug Spray: Now I hate bug bites as much as the next person, but one rule of thumb when you go out into the woods is to keep it natural. That means no frilly scented stuff. This is a great lesson when it comes to approaching your market too! Be yourself, glossing over your presence with ‘bug spray’ will send mixed signals and bring unwanted attention.  Read: 5 Principles for Being Authentic and Successful 

Leave No Trace: However you enjoy camping you should always aim to leave the outdoors a better place than when you found it. Imagine the environmental impact if we lived by this principle in our everyday lives, not just when camping. Read: Greening Your Handmade Business

What lessons have you learned from camping/nature/adventuring that have benefited your business? Post a comment below. Let’s grow this field guide together and as we venture into the woods, climb the highest mountains, or simply float down stream this summer we’ll have this valuable reference to guide + remind you of all the great adventures that await for you and your handmade business.


    • colleen attara says:

      I too never embraced camping but love boating and sleeping in a tiny boat is kind of like camping on water. Hot coffee promised and I will go almost anywhere. I am going to try camping again….here with you all and in real time.

  1. Wow. I just loved this post, what a brilliant way to teach and share. There’s so much in here. It’s amazing how knowledge transcends all boudaries…from bonfires to boardrooms. Thank you! And thank you for including my bit on nesting.

  2. Darice says:

    Love isn’t a strong enough word for these lessons. As a tent camper + roadtripper, there are times when I feel like I’ve gotten a bit too good at paring down. I’ve had to give myself permission to indulge in a great gadget that makes camping / business more fun, enjoyable, and streamlined. (I think I have a condition that’s the opposite of hoarding if there is such a thing.) That said, a lot of wonderful ideas + inspiration are born out of sparse studios. 😉

    …and for non-campers, I want to throw this out there: There are a great many campgrounds at the seaside. If waking up to ocean waves, a cool breeze, and gulls crying is more your thing. Don’t write it off yet! 😉

    • Jenelle Montilone says:

      “a lot of wonderful ideas + inspiration are born out of sparse studios”
      I believe when we allow ourselves to par down, it leads way to creative exploration and innovation (whether camping or in business) Thanks Darice for sharing your own experience with us & encouraging others to reconsider camping! I love love love camping by the beach!

      • Darice says:

        You’ve gotta sleep in a tent on the sand at some point…our favorite spot is: Cold showers perfect for hot days and a seaside full of wild ponies. That’s perfection (at least one version of it.) We prefer it hand over…hoof (hahaha!)…to Chincoteague simply because it isn’t built up / quite as touristy. Nothing quite like waking up to a light rain on your tent with the sound of crashing waves in the distance. Ahh…

  3. This post is incredible, Jenelle! I love how you intertwined the outdoorsy analogies with business sense, and then added extra bonus links to top it off!

    One big lesson I learned from nature is that “disconnecting” can bring about brilliant new ideas, get you out of a rut, and just recharge your soul. My husband and I rock-climb (pre-baby) and do a lot of hiking nearly every weekend. I make it a point to work this into my routine because without it my brain would be complete mush 🙂

    • Jenelle Montilone says:

      Good Morning Kim! It is so so important to remember to disconnect/recharge & reminding us that you don’t have to wait for ‘vacation’ to do so.

      Happy Trails to you, hubby, and your growing family!

  4. Citlalli says:

    Jenelle, this is beautiful!! I love the way you married booth these (otherwise non-related) subjects. I have always failed to notice how closely related they are until now…thank you!!!

    What I learned from camping/exploring the outdoors is to not be afraid to explore! Don’t be afraid to venture out the less traveled road, new can be good and exciting, and it is something I can really relate to right now that my own design style is changing. Remember those new + different designs I told you about? They will be here tomorrow! Eeeek!

    Thank you for this Jenelle, it was a beautiful + enlightening post! Hugs!! Oh, and please let me know how that sunburn is doing…what did you decide on?

    • Jenelle Montilone says:

      I’m so excited for the big unveil Cit, I know you’ve been working hard! Thank you for sharing your wisdom on exploration and the focusing on enjoying the journey rather than the destination.

      The sunburn has finally healed, I slathered through an entire of bottle of aloe vera!

  5. colleen attara says:

    Darling….you rocked this. Love all the analogies. So very true. So many favorites here, but I really love the dealing with discomfort. Discomfort comes into play so many different times….when we grow and need to make changes…or when things are not working and we regroup. Wise woman…miss you.

  6. laruen says:

    Nice post. I was looking up bedbug spray when I came across your post. I really enjoy your style of writing. Since you are an outdoors kind of woman have you had your run ins with bedbugs? I have never heard of bedbugs being outside so I was wondering if you have ever heard of anything like that. You make me want to go camping, its been years since I’ve gone.

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