We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittany Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittany, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
This is a very difficult question. In my business, RVR 2 RVR, we wrestled with this a lot. We had to either localize our business (which is difficult when we live three hours apart) or dissolve it. A mobile stand up paddling instructional business was not sustainable financially or emotionally. Once we started feeling like we consistently had to prove our worth we knew it was time to let go. I don’t like the term give up, society has made the term “giving up” feel like something we should be ashamed of, dissolving the business was the best thing we could have done for our personal well-being and our relationships. I feel proud that we were able to let go of something that we really put our hearts into over the course of four or five years. That takes courage and a healthy self-awareness that can be difficult to conjure up.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I decide to go back to school at age 30, I’m in my second year pursuing a degree in Sustainability Studies. I spent the past decade living the life of my dreams, I traveled around the world, lived in my van, immersed myself in the paddling and river surfing community, and lived in Costa Rica during the Winter. After those enriching experiences I finally felt like I knew what I wanted to do and that is environmental work, I want to give back to “natural world” as it has given so much to me. Along with going to school full-time I am an intern at a non-profit called the Eagle River Watershed Council, doing work in water efficiency, quality, and river restoration. I am also a Chapter Leader for Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. I do some freelance writing and have transitioned from writing about stand up paddling to environmental issues. I got to where I am today through dedication, talking through my ideas and goals with my support system, and reaching out to the companies or organizations that inspire me and simply asking how I can be involved. I think people tend to over complicate things, they think you need all of these connections, an impressive resume but really all you need to do is ask and show initiative. When you do that there is almost always a door to walk through that will take you in the direction you want to go. That is not to say everything afterwards is going to be easy but sometimes all it takes to get it started is starting a conversation.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a shoutout to Natali Zollinger, one of my best friends and former business partner. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, the hard conversations were never hard. I’d like to give another shout out to co-founder and owner of Badfish SUP Mike Harvey. He has been somewhat of a mentor to me over the past decade. His candid advice and feedback always kicks me into shape and helps me see my blind spots. There are so many people I could give a shoutout too, we had a great deal of support in our journey, but a blanket shoutout must be given to all of the outfitters, shops, and instructor trainers that supported us and encouraged us along the way. Thank you!
Heather Jackson and Laura Borichevsky