rve summit 2021

The Intentional Pursuit of Less (why we sold 3 businesses in less than a year)

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Over the last few years, I’ve really admired people who have ONE big thing.

For years I watched my friend Kevin build his singular mobile app. He was completely focused with no employees on a single app that brought in meaningful income (until he sold it).

I also look at friends like Kara & Nate who through relentless focus have crushed it on platforms like Youtube.

I felt envy for people with one major project because I saw what can happen with focus. You have the ability to master that thing and do it incredibly well.

Over the last 5-7 years Alyssa and I have done the opposite of focusing on a single item.

We have:

  • made a documentary
  • started a freelance videography business
  • hosted a podcast
  • written books and courses
  • founded a software company
  • worked on marketing campaigns for big outdoor brands
  • organized conferences
  • traveled
  • made Youtube videos
  • started a family

Most of these things we did okay.

Some things I know I did poorly.

Many days just sitting down to look at my to-do list felt overwhelming. I would break up my businesses into separate categories. I’d write down items to get done for Campground Booking, RVE, Heath & Alyssa blog, or our campground property, etc.

The list was long.

I loved this comment from our friend Abigail who we met years ago at an RVE Summit. She shared this on Facebook when we announced we were selling our campground:

 

We definitely aren’t experts in handling big-ass projects. We’re just experts in taking on big-ass commitments.

I’ve craved the idea of simplifying.

But it hasn’t felt like an easy switch to turn off.

Then we sold Campground Booking last year.

And we decided to sell the campground (update: we closed two days ago).

And with each decision, we felt significantly lighter, like we didn’t even fully recognize the effect that piling on so many projects had on us over the years.

It sparked a conversation with Alyssa about what we wanted to do next now that we had lightened the load.

Her answer: travel more. This is unsurprising. While we’ve adventured a lot in the US, we’ve barely scratched the surface internationally.

Travel is something we haven’t been able to do as much since I really started growing Campground Booking (and then with COVID). We both miss it. In two weeks we are flying to Italy and couldn’t be more excited.

As we talked about what we wanted to do next, the topic of what we wanted to do with the RV Entrepreneur community came up.

We started RVE back in 2016 (the podcast, school, and annual Summit) when we had already been full-time RVing for over two years. We told each other that we wanted to host five RVE Summits—we hosted the 5th one in the fall. And we’d produced over 200 episodes of the podcast. We had 15 courses in the school.

As we talked it over, it felt like the right time to wrap up RVE too. The idea of removing another project from our plate felt liberating.

The struggle was figuring out what to do with the conference, podcast and school. The community has meant so much to us over the years. We didn’t want to quit and walk away without a succession game plan.

We wanted to hand off RVE to someone who was excited to grow and invest in it.

So, last week we sold RV Entrepreneur.

The podcast and Summit and school will all live on through Joshua (our new podcast host) and Andy, who bought RVE. We know Andy through his website RV LIFE which is run by a community of RVers. RVing and community is what RV LIFE is all about, so when it came time to sell, we felt this would be the perfect fit.

Plus since RV LIFE’s big focus is on community, there will still be RVE events.

Speaking of events…

Will there be another RV Entrepreneur Summit?

Yes.

Photo credit Joe Hendricks Photography

 

Last year Alyssa and I hosted what we said was our last RVE Summit. However, both the RV LIFE team and Joshua are excited to continue bringing the RVE Summit to life.

There aren’t any set dates or locations yet, but you can stay tuned for future RVE Summit communication 🙂

How It Feels to Sell RV Entrepreneur

Alyssa and I have sold three businesses in less than a year.

It’s honestly been hard letting go of three big projects that we’ve worked on for years.

I was talking to a friend about it and he shared something helpful he heard in a Steve Carell interview. In the interview, Steve shared that he likes to walk away from things a little before he’s ready—like leaving The Office during season seven before the show ended.

When you leave before you’ve outgrown something and while you still love it, you set yourself up to go into the next project without being exhausted from your last business or burned out.

I wasn’t ready to let go of RVE quite yet. I still had product ideas around it, we still want to travel and start businesses. But it felt like the right time to walk away and force a fresh start.

Alyssa has been on a Shutterfly kick lately making custom memory books.

Last week she made one that shared the story of RV Entrepreneur with photos of me hosting the podcast and our annual RVE Summits. It made me tear up looking at all of the amazing people we met as part of this community. Some of our best friends and people we will be friends with for the rest of our lives.

Starting the podcast was a dream. People listening was a bonus. The fact that a conference came to life was surprising and we loved it. The amount of people in our lives because of starting this podcast, conference, and Facebook group is astonishing. It’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

I feel sad to be closing this chapter but grateful that RVE will continue to live on without us at the helm.

What’s Next? 

Perhaps more difficult than selling our businesses has been fighting the urge to immediately replace them with something new. It’s uncomfortable to answer the question of what’s next with uncertainty. Yet, the idea of creating space to dream and enjoy this season of life is exciting.

So what’s next? Next we fly to Italy. I bike the Tuscany Trail. Alyssa’s next book comes out in May.

And we take a beat to spend time as a family and reset before we launch the next thing.

A Thank You to Our RVE Family

An exercise I do on a regular basis is 5 minutes of deep breathing with visualization. As part of that visualization, I think about 3 moments of gratitude in my life. While I often think about moments with Alyssa or our kids, I also think about RVE Summit. The friends we’ve made because of deciding to start a silly podcast have been life-changing to us.

If you’ve taken time to share your story with me on the podcast, I can’t thank you enough.

If you’ve driven across the country to spend time with us at RVE Summit, I’m incredibly grateful for your energy and your presence.

If you’ve ever sent us a thoughtful email or engaged in the RVE Facebook group, I’m deeply appreciative of your words.

Words never feel adequate when you’re trying to sum up something that has meant so much. Thank you and we love you.

-Heath & Alyssa

PS We will continue to blog here in HeathandAlyssa.com and send you emails through our weekly newsletter, so don’t think you’ve gotten rid of us! 🙂

27 Responses

  • I think it’s your progress, more than anything, that I’ve enjoyed the most. It keeps you a spark for all of us, about daring dreams and what’s possible and what we might be capable of, too. You’re leaders–people who keep opening doors and showing the way–and I’ll be here, with everybody else, watching for the next big thing. Thanks so much.

    • Your biking the trail…I’m biking across Tennessee
      https://www.wbbjtv.com/2022/04/05/bike-ride-held-to-bring-job-opportunities-to-veterans/

    • Super stoked to travel abroad virtually through your posts until we can make the leap.

      A wise man once told my sweet husband “you’ve only got 18 summers with you kids”.

      Those between school year adventures became even more precious for the six-pack we blended….and your blog, podcast, newsletter added to the fun. Thank you for dreaming and showing everyone how marriage, family, and business can do more than exist- they can thrive when you devote time and passion to them. Stay safe and stay connected- Michelle

  • So now you are independently wealthy, go raise your family. They will never be this age again. Speaking from a father with a son who is about to turn 45! Thank you for sharing your experiences!
    Sincerely,
    Dave Edwards

    • Don’t know that independently wealthy is the word I’d use, but at least in a better place then when we started this little blog with student debt, etc. Appreciate the words of wisdom Dave!

  • Heath & Alyssa, I have loved following you guys! You sparked in my hubs and I the same dream and we are truly blessed to be able to do it. You have done exactly as you should with the campground and the other businesses. After all, don’t all of us living this life preach about trimming down and doing this to ENJOY this life? We empty-nested after 8 kids. We understand how hard it is to stop and not DO. But you’ll get back to it. 🙂 Enjoy your life!!

  • Hi Guys,

    I just wanted to reach out to say thank you for everything that you’ve done for this community.

    I came across your podcast in 2016 when I was trying to figure out how to live differently. My husband and I went full time with our dog in September 2017 and have been bouncing back and forth between nomadic and stationary ever since. I am so grateful for the information you put out there that showed me full time RV life was not only possible, but also something that young professionals can do.

    We attended the 2020 RVE Summit but never actually got to meet you due to you-know-what. We had hoped to attend another RVE Summit in the future, but we may be moving on to new and different things shortly, so I just wanted to say thank you very much, and I’m glad you are simplifying, travelling, and taking care of your mental health.

    Thanks,
    Kelsey, Dan, and Kirby

    • Thank you for this amazing comment Kelsey and bummed we didn’t get to officially meet in 2020. Maybe our paths will cross another time! So glad this blog and the podcast have been helpful during your transition.

  • This is all excellent news so excited for all of you. Family is so important and I respect that you see that. Enjoy. Cant wait to see the next adventure.

  • This is amazing. Congratulations on selling, but more than that, congrats on simplifying and honing your focus. That’s my current goal as well.

  • There’s a new book that helps entrepreneurs figure out when is the right time to sell. It can be a really hard decision for people to make.

    The book “Exit Like A Winner” is available on Amazon and I wrote it.

  • I cried so hard last night because the realization that my baby turns 7 in a few months hit me harder than I was ready for.

    I wished for the time back and knowing that I couldn’t have it vowed to take more time in the time I have left with her.

    You guys have meant a lot to my family and we’ve never even met. I listened to every show on my way to work and read Alyssa’s book cover to cover. We’re 2 years full-time now and wouldn’t have made the jump without you. We will keep following along and rooting for great things.

    Seeing the picture of you two with your babies and reading this made my day. You’ve given me plenty of encouragement and advice over the years so let me return the favor, Dad to Dad: You’re doing the right thing. There is always another thing to do. And you can always put your head down to make more money, but you can NEVER repurchase spent time, so spend wisely and invest in those 3 amazing assets around you.

    Thanks as always for your open and honest updates. ❤️

    • Thank you for sharing this. I love the idea of never being able to repurchase time. It’s so true. Hope you make a lot more beautiful memories with your little one.

  • Good for you, now is time to stop and smell the roses. Y’all have been doing/giving so much over the past 8 years I’m glad you can afford to slow down and enjoy ( or I truly hope so) . Now is the time to enjoy your children and yes travel, travel, and travel some more. Take your kids to see all the places you loved most while on the road, and write about that. Also maybe just kick back and learn to play the guitar or the banjo or whatever makes you happy thats not work. And thanks for all the inspiration over the years. You guys ROCK!

  • Heath,
    Oh my fellow ginger you have done what many successful people should do, prioritize what is important in your life. Sometimes less is more and I am certain you already see this.
    I believe Emerson or maybe it was Thoreau who said “For everything you’ve missed you have experienced something else”
    So it will be as you shed those parts that have been so much a part of your and Alyss’s lives. New adventures and experiences especially with your kids.
    All the best to you and your family.

  • I know all of these big decisions have been hard to make but you won’t regret the time with your family and some space to breathe. Y’all have worked SO freaking hard and you should be so proud of that. Now it’s time to enjoy a little fun time without so many responsibilities. You both have earned it! Go travel and keep living the dream!

  • Good for you!!! I have a saying “Life takes courage.” And YOU HAVE SO MUCH COURAGE! Making decisions takes courage and what is life all about if we don’t make decisions, have experiences? You two have been an inspiration. Thank you!

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