Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ~Amelia Earhart
I’ve always loved adventure, always! I can turn a simple trip to the local grocery store into an adventure. And I’d be happy to write about it and tell the story over and over again, refining it and intensifying it with each pass. That’s probably why I enjoy traveling so much! It’s the adventure I love, the journey, the sometimes unexpected and unknown, new discoveries, the eye opening moments and the opportunity to learn first hand. I love it all. So I guess it’s no surprise that my sister and I embarked on a little adventure of our own, The Piper Corporation.
Mentioning it a time or two, we started The Piper Corporation, which currently has two divisions, Thrill of the Hunt (www.ThrillScavengerHunt.com) a company that develops and administers themed scavenger hunt events for the public and packages for private birthday parties, fundraisers and business functions; and SpyRing (www.SpyRing.com) the world of spies and espionage brought to life through a simple to play educational card game for children, that reinforces scholastic school subjects including reading and reading comprehension. Yes, that’s a lot to do and a lot to take in! Hence, why I am focusing my efforts towards Thrill of the Hunt. It requires less resources, we have the potential to see immediate results, it’s easier to get in the hands of the public and we have the opportunity to indirectly help small businesses and local communities.
Recently, last Friday, I was at Steelerfest 2013 at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. I had a booth to promote Thrill of the Hunt. As part of reaching out to the Steeler fans, I created a game for the kids to play as they stopped by my tent. After all, it’s not always about making money, sometimes it’s just as important to support the community, even if it was from a magnetic fishing game standpoint.
Creating this game just for something simple and cheap for the kids to do, I personally thought it was kind of stupid and I thought no child would want to participate. How wrong I was! Purchasing small random items at the dollar store and gluing magnets to them, I placed the items in a small plastic kid pool for the kids to fish. We used Kyle’s old plastic fishing pools that I “sooped” up with larger magnets. Hence where I got the idea. These poles were made new again when I saw them sitting with dad’s actual fishing polls in his office. Brilliant! To make it Thrill of the Hunt challenging, I made up riddles for each item. Jenny Singer, my Thrill of the Hunt Team Member, who graciously helped me out all day (including setting up the tent and our table of stuff and tearing down) read the riddles to the kids and they had to first figure out the answer and then they had to fish for the item. What did they win? A Thrill of the Hunt stamp on their hand. It was a hit! Not only were the little kids lining up to join the fun, but the young-ins around Kyle’s age wanted to play too! I was flabbergasted and excited!
On a side note, Jenny was such a tremendous help! Sincerely, with her hard work and suggestions, the day went off without a hitch. She is a hard worker! Never once did I hear her complain, speak negatively about anything, heck she didn’t even take a lunch break. She was in it with me for the long haul. Such a great little girl. Jenny is already a success in life and over time she it’s only going to intensify. I know it!
On another side note, I missed my Kyle terribly. He is always at my side helping me with functions such as this one. Kyle is, and will always be my inspiration. He is also a busy little man with a lot going on, maybe next year! Although we do have the Banana Split Fest coming up in Latrobe! I’m sure I can count on his assistance.
Thinking about it, maybe entrepreneurship is in my blood. After all my pappy started his own business, Walter Piper & Sons Lumber, his own sawmill, like many of the Piper’s before and after him. Pap was not scholastically smart, only finishing out the fifth grade due to a lack of opportunity and support. I mean he could barely write his own name, yet he had something, something not a lot of people have. I’m not sure if it was vision, natural business skills, or a guardian angel. Maybe it was all the above. I will say, my pap was great at math! I mean quick! He could add and subtract simple math, figure out decimals and add and subtract fractions like he was a calculator. That doesn’t surprise me. He adapted to his surroundings, and working with wood in the wood industry, you need to learn measurements and to do them without thought, with one hundred percent accuracy. I’m guessing similar to carpenters and construction workers. I bet if pap had the opportunity he would have been able to do higher level math.
On the opposite, pap had certain qualities, which were not very business smart. He was too nice. I know what sounds mean, but he was! He would take people on their word to pay him, or he would shake on a deal and trust that was enough. Pap came from the old time when those practices were honored and upheld. The world was changing around him and pap remained the same. My brother was a lot like pap. They both possessed the same business sense, yet their hearts were two sizes too big and they wholeheartedly trusted everyone’s word. I can admit that I am guilty of the same, even to this day, but I’ve learned some cruel lessons over the years to not be so blind.
The sawmill sustained for quite a few years after pap’s death, the timber industry is a tough one to thrive in, let alone keep your head above the water with obstacles in the way. But my pappy did the best he could with the resources he had. I can only speculate what kind of businessman pap would have been if he had a formal education. He naturally had a marketing mind. How do I know? Just from simple things he did without anyone telling him what to do, like giving out baseball caps and pens sporting the company name.
Working for oneself certainly has its benefits, equal to its challenges. Let’s start off with my day. I love making my own hours and not having my schedule dictated by others, at least not entirely. I wake up around 5:00 am, go to the gym come back and get started by 6:30 am or 7:00 am. Since I am the workforce, all design, writing, PR, advertising, social marketing, website updates, scavenger hunt planning, business development and such are up to me! I love every minute of it! Granted sometimes it’s hard working solo, but I do have my sister and friends to kick around ideas.
The biggest perk of being an entrepreneur? No it’s not working for myself, and that’s not a good enough reason, nor is it wanting to be the boss making me the top dog or the leader. Putting yourself in a position of leadership, doesn’t make a leader. The way I look at it, my customers are my bosses and a good leader can lead in any situation. No, it’s knowing I’m filling a niche, something new, something never been done before. It’s giving people adventure while embarking on my own adventure. It’s falling and getting back up and learning from my mistakes. It’s also knowing I can indirectly help small businesses and local communities by bringing awareness to these areas.
How do I do this? Simply, when I bring a Thrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunt Event to an area, I create my game to crisscross around the neighborhood, bringing unknown nooks and crannies of the community to light. I also use the small businesses as part of my scavenger hunts, driving traffic directly into their doorsteps. My heart and soul is in local merchants and quaint little towns, couple that with my love of adventure and you have Thrill of the Hunt!
Yes, there is also the negative side of being an entrepreneur, but I would prefer to stick with the positives. Stop by the website and peruse the Events and Packages or Suggest An Event. I’d love to hear from you!
Remember, everyone needs to …. Experience the Game!