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I am so excited to introduce you to another guest for What Inspires You Wednesday tonight! Meet Alicia...

I’m sitting at gate 21 at the Minneapolis airport waiting for people to deplane so I can get to my next destination. It’s mid-morning on a Thursday in February and the airport is bustling with spring breakers. There’s only standing room left and I was lucky to find a seat. The man to the left of me has a suit on and ear buds in, the other man to the left of me is traveling with his wife. He asks me about Hoover’s Hatchery. I’m wearing a branded pullover because 1. I only purchase simultaneously the most comfortable and business casual apparel and 2. I hate packing more clothes than I will ever wear causing me to drag and extra heavy bag across all the gates and terminals, and 3. My Hoover’s apparel currently outnumbers my “street” apparel. I work in marketing, whatever.

I give him my typical elevator speech, “We’re a small hatchery in northern Iowa that supplies and ships baby chicks to farm stores and customers nationwide.”

I get the typical response, “Really!? You ship chicks nationwide? Wow! How does that work? I mean, they make it??” I look at him and know that he’s seeing the familiar small grin that forms on my face each time people ask me this very question.

The joy and amazement that people get when they learn about baby chicks, the hatching and shipping process, and how we support farm stores in their mission to supply customers with backyard poultry keeps me going every day. My job isn’t a job, it’s an opportunity to support and educate others that they too can raise their own animals that give them breakfast. They too can learn the ups and downs about animal agriculture, and hopefully someday have a greater appreciation for those that raise animals on a larger scale.

The hardest question for me to answer by far is, “So what do you do at Hoover’s?” A job title to me is just a title. I don’t like job titles, it seems like no matter what position you’re in, you always feel like your title never justifies all the other work you’re helping with. That expectation should just come with working at a growing company.

So, what do I do? I’m the marketing manager, and here at Hoover’s part of that means managing our fantastic customer service team and arming them with tools and the ability to serve our customers in the best way possible. We have tough days, and difficult customers, but I couldn’t ask for a better team to help solve their problems. We’re in the business of putting smiles on people’s faces when they get a happy peeping box of baby chicks, and its our job to turn their day around on the rare occasion that things go wrong.

I work day-in-and and day out promoting our brand and defending it. Every day I wake up at 6 and check my email on my phone sitting on my nightstand. I glance at my calendar and start mentally making lists. Sometimes, if I see I have a flurry of notifications I’ll check social to make sure everything is right in that world. I get ready, get my two girls out the door/dropped off, and head to work.  I get to work and dump my mental list into my planner. I live by lists. It’s the only way I can prioritize and make sure I haven’t missed anything. I open my email and take care of the “quick kills” to make me feel like I’m accomplishing things. Usually by 8:30 other items have come up that our team is looking for help with, and my day has officially started. This is why I write things down, usually by 8:30 my day is completely full of distraction, and that’s just life, its ok, we’re keeping customers happy, remember? It is our number one priority.

The other things I do that aren’t so day-to-day include creating email campaigns every other week. I’m the editor of our blog and I communicate regularly with our team of writers. They truly are chicken crusaders that give our customers information about troubleshooting and raising chickens. I check and schedule social posts out, and make sure that we are following our content calendar.  I come up with new and different ways to interact and reach our customers and many, many more things wherever our brand is represented. When you look at my job under a microscope, each task seems so trivial, but when its all put together into a big puzzle throughout the year the real magic happens, all those little projects  and day-to-day tasks come together into one big canvas that becomes our brand voice and story.

Our spirit of ingenuity here at Hoover’s drives my hunger for more each day. No two days are alike for me, and the promise of each of those days being different keeps me going. What inspires me is my love for the Hoover’s brand, the promise of a better tomorrow through our ingenuity, and the hustle it takes to meet our customers needs.

Thank you, Alicia, for sharing what inspires you!

Be sure to follow Hoover's Hatchery on Facebook and check out their website! It's where we get our chicks and they never disappoint!

The what inspires you Wednesday post isn't by a guest this week, it is from yours truly!

My students inspire me. My past students, present kids I get to work with, and the students I am sure to work with in the future ALL inspire me. They all have different abilities and I am amazed by daily. They inspire me to be more giving and loving.

Recently, a student gave me a sack full of rocks. When she gave them to me she acted like she was giving me a bag full of diamonds and I acted just as I was receiving a bag full of diamonds. 🙂 Why? A better question is why not? She was showing her giving heart which is an AMAZING ability of hers. Sure, it was a bag of rocks that were from the playground, but I wanted to make sure she knew how thoughtful and kind her act of giving was in hopes of encouraging her to continue to share that ability!

A past student that inspires me ALWAYS entered my classroom with a "Hi, Miss Bushbaum!" This was my first teaching job and this students ability to light up a room with her singing and cheerful greeting always made my day! I would not be the educator that I am today if it wasn't for all of the things she taught me in that first year.

Another, had the most difficult time catching on to math concepts, but could read any story that was put in front of her. She had the ability to act out those stories like she was on a Broadway stage. She comprehended what she read well behind the expectations for her grade level and her abilities in literacy always inspired me to find other ways for students to find their voice in the classroom!

These are just a few of the examples of students that have inspired me and they also inspired me to write You Will Do Great Things. Every single student, child, teacher, parent, PERSON in this world has different abilities. What a difference it makes when we see them, truly see them for their abilities!

I challenge each of you reading this to share it with someone that needs to hear the message to SEE the abilities in others and I challenge you to do the same.

From the gravel road-


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