It’s a warm and sunny afternoon here at the LOL Headquarters for writing the 4th edition of our weekly Newsletter. I am pretty amazed that I am sticking to my writing goal as my concentration and follow-through have been seriously lacking these past few months. Even though it is a beautiful day out there as I look through my office blinds, I don’t think I would rather be anywhere else right now. My desk is strewn with papers filled with numbers, profit and loss statements, sales summaries, and my calculator working over time as we close our 11th year as a beverage manufacturer. As I review the numbers I graphed them to just see visually our story over the last decade of the most intense times I have ever had. The highs the lows, and they show on the chart. My body feels pain as I look at the lines across the chart dip deeply in 2019 when we had a distributor take more money from us in erroneous fees that we couldn’t stop. We were spinning out of control, I was losing my company, with each order I sent out to them. I couldn’t pay my utilities at the office, so I started getting out my personal credit cards (again) to literally keep the lights on in the cold month of January. I was desperate. My co-packer said, “Just keep believing”… I was losing faith, I was hopeless – but I changed everything with one call – one early morning to the buyers, and with that one call I would forfeit over 360 stores that I had so proudly won. I would go on to let go of another 500 stores in the next 24 hours that weren’t making us any money. That was the deepest dip in the lines on the page I just printed. But, the next year we started coming back, and I see the line climb higher than ever, sales soared, but more importantly, I learned how to be profitable, and how to make money. It wasn’t a “hobby” anymore (I won’t forget that when someone told me that after 7 years of hard work) I was making money now and have been ever since. And in that desperate moment, we found another important person for LOL, Doug from Economic Development Collaborative. I thought we needed money, an investor, something.. but we were given Doug as a referral. And Doug who donates his time generously to this organization has helped us move from disaster to success and answers my call every month… always so that I can spend an hour plus talking about our wins and complain about my challenges. But, Doug has helped us navigate the most difficult times of my life as I build this company to be sustainable and learn more and more about how to run a business. Doug has helped me keep myself accountable to me and my goals for LOL. Many thanks, Doug, we couldn’t have gotten through this without your continued support. So, as I keep this small “Believe” stone that my youngest daughter gave me years ago on my desk, today it reminds me who I am – the Chief Believer –
I look to the future now, for what opportunities may come for the adventures we will find, because I am going to keep showing up because you never know what the next day will bring in LOL land, my favorite place to be.
Thank you for being here- we are here to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share…
Lori Volk, Chief Believer Lori’s Original Lemonade