Talking about what we wanted to do next after turning down the corporate offer, we realized how hard our kids had always worked with us over the past eight years. They have been expected to work in every business we’ve done without complaint or attitude no matter how hard the job or the people we were working with. And they have always done it the best they could often motivating us when times were hard and less than desirable.
And that’s when it became clear. A new found way of thinking and something that was so obvious, yet never really thought of before. In a moment of pure genius, we realized that as much as we love working together as a Family it was time to shift that way of thinking. We need to not only work together as a Family, it was time with three young artists on the horizon to work for them. We had never thought about our work as a Family like that before. We always led the projects for the Family, but never thought about letting the kids lead in that area. This felt profound when we shifted our way of thinking. No more corporate temptations, no need to round up new business, we simply need to work for our kids on their projects and passions just like they do for us. It was time to let them lead us through their projects and interests full time the way they have for us. It’s their turn to take over. We don’t need to work for ourselves, we need to work for our kids. In that moment of realization, we knew we were finally on the right track.
My Fellow Americans…How Much are You Worth?
All over America we have always been asked the same question ‘what do you do for a living?’ aka: how do you make money? It’s the typical way Americans seem to define themselves right off the bat in a brand new conversation when meeting another person. We answered this question a million times from coast to coast and every time knowing our answers left most people at a loss to understand who we are and what we do. No longer were our answers in the box, but more about where and what we were doing at the time. And because our interests changed from time to time, our answers were not only strange, but ever changing making it nearly impossible for some to comprehend how we live life. Through our years as BareNakedFamily we have done many things to make our living, but they all have the same intention ~ to work with our Family together. Which is something we love and were meant to do.
We have done this on the road and have driven around creating many different positions and jobs that would allow us the ‘weird’ desire we have to work together in this day and age. We have done everything from vending at festivals and events; a non-profit; fundraising; rock show productions; created service projects; volunteered; hotel management; construction; pool repair; event lighting and decor; web design; and writers and publicists to name some. The kids have done every single one of these jobs with us. They have carried their own weight through each of these commitments whether they wanted to do it or not and have done an exemplary job through it all. Some of the jobs we’ve had none of us wanted to do but we did them together as a family to stay afloat from time to time. We have many stories and incredible bonding experiences because we chose to do our work together. Good times and hard times we always knew what each of us felt during it all because we connected, even in our work. Now we get to connect with them on their work.
Meet the Bosses…
Austin is an amazing photographer and has needed guidance on e-commerce, web development and retail knowledge to get his his prints out of the storage box and into deserving hands in the world. Kesley has been working on a custom headband line and has built a good stock of beautiful and trendy pieces waiting to be gobbled up by teenagers and hipsters alike. Sunny has been our Family dessert chef for the past year and even attended cooking school to further her interest. She has been creating a line of comfort dessert treats and has been working on novelty packaging as well.
Our kids had been working and struggling for some time to get organized and launch their self started businesses using all the knowledge they’ve gained through the various projects they’ve worked on with us. All those different jobs gave them a well rounded view of business. You have no idea how grateful we are to have that perspective after some of the shithole work we’ve done as a Family…shizza. There were times we were sure we messed up the kids for good, but then again what parent does it right to begin with. One time we forgot to buckle Austin’s car seat into the car and he went rolling across the backseat of the Camaro when he was a baby as we turned a corner. To our amazement, he laughed the whole time as we panicked trying to turn him upright over the blaring Rush tunes on the radio. Those laughing little moments are the small signs that we’re given as parents signaling that it’s okay to make mistakes.
Thinking of all the grunt work and support that they have given to us over the years, it became loud and clear just how much we owed them in return for all their years of help. What better and more fulfilling work could we be doing than continuing to show our kids the freedom of doing what you love and helping them find their ways of answering that age old question ‘what do you do for a living?’ In a total BareNaked response they can now say ‘we employ our parents doing what we love’ continuing to stump the majority of people who ask us that typical question.
Without doubt, we knew we did the right thing by turning down the man and deciding to work for the kids…