“What Do You Do?”

I believe that we’re in control of what defines us. And while there are hundreds of things that define the person I am (dogs, coffee, books, Harry Potter…), my job is a pretty big one. I know that’s not the case for everyone. Some people work to live & some live to work & some fall in between. It takes all kinds of kinds. I feel fortunate that I love my job and I love making it a priority.

When I’m getting to know a blogger I always wonder are they married? Do they have pets? What books do they like to read? What job do they have outside of blogging? For me the answers are yes, two dogs, most books, and my official title is Director of Operations.

In 2012 my soon-to-be husband started a goods-based company out of my dad’s garage. With dedication and sacrifice he built the company into an international brand in its niche industry. As I’ve mentioned, at the start of 2017 I left my job and started with K’s company full time. Since then, the employee/friend that I was hired to replace has joined the team again, our job duties have been redistributed, and the company has grown even more.

My role, reassigned as recently as this month, requires me to wear many hats. I handle all the finances- income & expenses. I process orders, get them out to the warehouse, and track their progress from beginning to end. I schedule all the freight and packages that leave our dock and I relay their progress to our customers. I also keep track of lots of lists… I know every high school, drum corps., college, and independent drumline using our products. I believe we have product in every single state except North Dakota and Alaska. Someday… someday…

A few times throughout the year I get to travel (and do all that stuff ^ on the road- oof). We travel for two main reasons- state/regional trade shows OR music-based competitions. This past weekend we were on the road for a competition- the musical Superbowl for indoor percussion ensembles, known as WGIΒ  Percussion World Championships. We are less sales-focused on weekends like that and more relationship-driven. We check in on customers already using our gear, cheer on their performances, and congratulate the folks that fall under our professional umbrella. It’s a really enjoyable event- especially when you like the people you’re with- but it’s early mornings, extremely late nights, lots of social interaction, and a TON of walking. I walked 28 miles from Tuesday to Sunday.

On trade show weeks it’s equal sales and relationship focus. We set up our booth, stand around and talk shop for 8 to 12 hours a day for three days, go out late to wine and dine friends, customers, and colleagues, and tear it all down and move products at the end. Equally exhausting. (Pretty much everything is exhausting, lol.)

When I was in high school I went to some of these events. I was starstruck by the world class competitors and giddy with excitement over free stickers and lanyards from the company promo booths. It’s very humbling and rewarding to work on the other side and see students get excited about the things I help to facilitate. I really, really love it. I think 15 year old Audrey would be impressed.

So that’s what I do. There is my consolidated job description. The stuff we make and sell are the carts and racks that hold synthesizers, mixer boards, cymbals, and drums.

This job forces me to have knowledge on the always-changing world of music education as well as the competitive marching industry. I love that challenge. Additionally, I’m a rare female in an extremely male dominated pond and I find that to be a motivating challenge, too. (I’m always watching for shifts in this demographic and I get excited when I see more females on both the vendor and consumer sides.)

Coming off the high of this past weekend, I was inspired to share a little about my real-life job. Don’t feel obligated to do the same, but if you want to I’d love to hear what you do during the work day! Or, if you feel kind of meh about letting a job define you, tell me about something you love to do πŸ™‚ Or ask me a question about something I do!

32 thoughts on ““What Do You Do?”

  1. It’s so wonderful to hear someone so passionate about their career! I’m running a freelance business looking after/training small to medium businesses on their social media marketing – and love it just as much I think!

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    • That’s so wonderful, Emma!! I love hearing about entrepreneurs. It’s fascinating how people get the itch to just go for it and then make their dreams comes true!

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  2. I love my job but I don’t like the idea of letting it define me. When people live to work and seemingly have no other interests/passions I always wonder how they will cope when they retire. That said I am glad you love and are passionate about your job πŸ™‚

    As for me, I am a translator. I translate texts from German to English. Our customers are all businesses so mainly we translate technical texts (instruction manuals, etc.), websites, business correspondence. It’s purely translation, so all text-based – as opposed to interpretation, which is spoken. People always confuse the two and assume my job is to sit in on meetings and “translate” what people are saying to each other, but that’s a totally different profession (although some people do both) – I have so much respect for interpreters. Their job is way harder than mine!

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    • I don’t necessarily disagree with you, Bev. I joke with K that I have no idea what we’ll do when it comes to retirement. Plus, owning the business, we’d have to close it or sell it or pass it on. It’s something we’ll definitely have to think about. Getting K to relax on vacation when we’re away from everything is tough, too. There are big challenges to have a “job” be suck a large piece of his/our identity.
      Your job sounds awesome! What a cool career for someone who’s bilingual! I know text is translated, but I’ve never really thought about the people who have to do it! I think spoken translator, too, whenever someone says that word. You definitely opened my eyes to other types of careers in that realm!

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      • Aah, noo. I hope you didn’t think I meant you let your job define you? Just from your blog I can see you have other passions/interests (I mean, you have a blog for one thing). You travel, read, hang out with your dogs. And there is definitely nothing wrong with loving your job and making it a priority. It is a major part of life and it would be awful being stuck doing something you hate just to pay the bills. But for me personally I don’t like the idea of having “translator” sum up my entire life.

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  3. This is so cool!! My husband is a drummer so I can appreciate this field. I loved hearing about your job. Those events sound exhausting! You’re a champ and I’m glad you love what you do.

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    • Thanks, Michelle!
      It’s fun to come across drummers and people who understand our field πŸ™‚ It’s kind of tough to explain everything to someone who’s never had any musical experiences. Haha! The events are SO exhausting, but it is kind of cool to meet new people and see new places!

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  4. What a fun topic. I’ve always been intrigued by what you did – I dont think I ever really understood what it was. But I love that the family took this & its just growing & growing. I am always so envious of people that have that drive to grow their own business like that.

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    • When K started it with a friend (who’s no longer in the picture) I don’t know if he saw it growing like it has. We’re all very very grateful and humbled by the success of the company, though. And it’s so enjoyable to go to work with someone I love as well as friends πŸ™‚

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  5. I think it is awesome that you love what you do. I am not a fan of my current situation and can only dream of being excited about what I do. One day…one day I will figure out how to make that happen for me. But I can live excitedly through others like you in the mean time!

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    • You’ll get there! I felt so meh about my last job but it paid the bills and that was important and necessary for our life. You will definitely figure out how to make it work for you! And when you do, I can’t wait to hear the story, because sometimes the story of how people made it work is the best part!!

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  6. I was in marching band in high school and loved it. Even though I played the flute (boring!), the drum corp was my favorite! It’s awesome that you and K are working together to build the business. Even more awesome that it continues to grow and thrive. And 28 miles, girl … I hope you had on comfortable shoes!

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    • I played saxophone for four years until I switch to percussion πŸ™‚ I was so glad to make the switch, hahaha! Of course, I didn’t know then that it’d change the course of my life. Funny how things like that workout.
      I did NOT have comfortable shoes on and my feet got TORN UP. Hahaha. Still nursing my heal and toes back to health…

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    • Thanks, Steph! Trade shows definitely make me practice keeping my anxiety under control πŸ˜‰ I get better and better with each one. And I think (hope) my stamina builds each time. Hahaha.

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  7. I’ve always been amazed that your hubby was able to start such a successful business, and what you do sounds really cool! Thanks for sharing more.
    My number one question to myself when I’m “meeting” new bloggers is usually “what do they do for a living?” My career is such a large part of my identity so I’m always very curious.

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    • Thanks, Steph πŸ™‚ Those first few years were tough… He was working two jobs, the business we in the red, and at one point we only lived on my measly paycheck. Sacrifices and doubt definitely played a roll at times.
      I LOVE learning about what people do, but I also try to be sensitive to the fact that some people hate their jobs and are only using them as a stepping stone, lol. All kinds of kinds.

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  8. I’m always curious what people do in their real lives so I’m glad you shared this. I think it’s awesome you and your husband can work together, live together, and get along. I could not handle that.

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    • There was an adjustment period… lol. And now that someone else is in the office with us there’s ANOTHER adjustment period. I studied Interpersonal and Organizational Communication in college and I feel like I’m still learning all about that sometimes. LOL

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  9. I had no idea this was your job – how exciting! And go you for being a female in a male dominated industry. πŸ™‚ I feel like I could really love my job someday, but it’s been tough finding anything that I went to school for that’s full time, so I’m still part time and searching. I feel like whatever i end up doing full time won’t be in my field (library, by the way – academic or public but i’m academic right now) but maybe someday.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    • I would LOVE to do the library gig! All the books and organization and learning… I think that profession sounds awesome! I hope you find the right fit for you soon!
      Oof- the female in a male industry part can be so tough. I’m very glad and proud that my current coworkers (husband included, lol) treat me like an equal and never make it seem like I’m out of place or less deserving (because I’m not! πŸ˜‰ Ha).

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  10. it is so exciting that your company is growing so much. how proud you guys must be!! i had a lot of friends in the madison scouts in college (they were part of the bugle corps, not the drumline, but still) and i became obsessed with drumlines, so being able to see that a lot sounds so fun to me haha.

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    • It’s been a labor of love, for sure. Lol
      Yeah! That’s so exciting to hear! I feel like so many people don’t know what drum corps. is so I get irrationally excited when I talk with someone outside of work that knows πŸ™‚ That’s great!

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  11. I never really knew what you did, thank you for sharing a little about your company! I love that you have a career that you love and that you get to work with your husband!!

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    • Thanks, Carolann! Without a big long explanation (like this) it’s kind of tough to describe what I do and why I do it. Lol. I really enjoy it (usually), though! It’s definitely a unique opportunity for me πŸ™‚

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  12. i absolutely looooved reading this! i wondered what role you were taking on at the company and am so jazzed (slight pun, perhaps) that you are loving it!!! the hustle and the freedom and fun make it worth the headaches and stress that also come with owning your own business!

    thank you for sharing this insight into what you do (holy hell you have to be sooo detailed oriented – go you!) and HUGE congrats that you’re in all states except those two (i’ll let you know if i cross paths that could help change that)!

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    • Hahaha, I’m giggling at your pun πŸ˜€ It’s definitely stressful being a part of Kyle’s business. I feel a lot of secondhand stress from him and from working so closely to the core of the whole thing. That said, it’s very rewarding and it’s fun to be in an industry that keeps us on our toes and entertained.
      I’ve been working on NOT beating myself up when I slip or miss a detail. It’s tough- I’m my own biggest critic. I get super mad at myself and overwhelmed when I miss something… which totally isn’t helpful. Ha.
      Thanks, girl!! I was SO happy when a Hawaiian school ordered. Not sure how we’re gonna snag an Alaskan one, lol. (And I don’t know why ND is still product-less. Lol.)

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