A Whirlwind 48 Hours

2 comments / Posted on by Ashley Thompson

The famous green penguins at 21C Hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Celebrating Walmart's Made in America Initiative with the owners of Crazy Richards Peanut Butter and RedHead Wines!

The hiking trails of Bentonville, Arkansas.

The past 48 hours have been a bit of a blur for us.  This is a travel week, which seems to put the ultimate strain on being both an entrepreneur and a parent (and trying not to completely screw up either role).  Into a 48 hour time period, we crammed a lot of action.  Here’s a summary:

Tuesday evening: Panic when I realize that I haven’t packed for myself or our kids (who stay with my parents when we travel), haven’t filled out forms for school picture day (which was the next day) or figured out what the kids would wear.  I also had a lengthy To Do list of projects that I needed to get accomplished because I would be out of the office for the next two days.  In other words … it was a late night!

Wednesday: Up early, take the kids to school, drop off their bags at my parents’ house, drive to Columbus, give a speech at an event sponsored by Walmart highlighting 50 Strong’s growth at Walmart and how Walmart’s Made in America initiate has helped our company to grow, quick press interview with a local tv station, and finally record a soundbite for Walmart about the event.  Then, quick lunch, change in the car, drive to Dayton, sit in the airport while our flight is delayed due to mechanical issues, fly to Chicago, make a quick connection at O’Hare and finally arrive in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Once we arrive, we ate a delicious meal at one of our favorite restaurants downtown and I fell asleep at a ridiculously early hour.

Thursday: Up early to start working on few work-related projects that I needed to get done, work a little too long and realize that we are running late for our 9 AM meeting, grab a quick breakfast through the Einstein Bros. drive through and then meet up with our team members based in Bentonville that help us with our Walmart business.  After two hours of meetings, we head for lunch and then a walk a Walmart store to identify new opportunities.  We recap our next steps in the car ride back to the office and, as soon as we get there, we load up our bags and jump into our rental car to head back to the airport. 

The skies in Bentonville look pretty ominous and we had another delay.  I started to panic thinking about another tight connection in Chicago and worrying that we may get stuck in O’Hare.  We arrive in O’Hare with 2 minutes to spare before the doors were scheduled to close on our connecting flight (not good!).  Luckily for us, the plane for our flight back to Dayton was also delayed in arriving to Chicago, so we ended up having about 15 minutes to catch our breath before we boarded.  We arrived home just in time to put our kids to bed

Friday: I am exhausted, my throat hurts, and I have zero motivation to get anything done. 

These are the mornings when I ask myself “What in the world are we doing? Why do we keep doing this?”  I have a choice in this moment.  I can either complain about the chaos or I can force myself to focus on the things that I have to be grateful for in the past 48 hours.  I decided on the latter. Here’s my gratitude list:

(1)    Having amazing parents who watch our children while we travel so that we never have to worry about them;

(2)    Having an incredible team in Ohio that consistently crushes it and, in doing so, allows us to keep winning additional business and pursuing new opportunities;

(3)    Having a team on the ground in Bentonville that aren’t just colleagues, but are also great friends;

(4)    The super soft sheets at the 21C Hotel in Bentonville.  Don’t laugh – the sheets are amazing!  Getting a good night’s sleep while travelling is critical for me.

(5)    I get to enjoy this wild ride of building a brand with my best friend ❤.

So, next time that you find yourself in a world of chaos, I challenge you to take a quick second and make a list of things that you are grateful for!  It won’t stop the chaos, but it may just allow you to enjoy it a little!



  • Posted on by Holly

    Glad you enjoyed our little town of Bentonville! I love your water bottles! I received one of them in a race loot bag and after months of seeing in my kitchen drawer amd passing over it, I reluctantly tried it (my favorite was in the dishwasher). After years of being a N**gene addict I can now say I have made the switch. This fits perfectly on my spin bike and in my car console. Thanks for a great product!

  • Posted on by Merry Jarrell

    Thank you Ashley and Brandon for all your hard work and sacrifices to provide orders for our crew at PTC so we can take care of our families and also proudly manufacture products that are good for our environment.

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