We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Youngquist and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mark, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Favorite quote: “Do or do not, there is no try”. Yoda

There is great power in commitment, and virtually none in anything less. Many people say they are committed, just as many people say they Want. As in “I want to lose weight, I want a better relationship, I want to start my own business”. What separates the want and the creation of a new reality is willingness. We all want things we aren’t willing to create, because willing means 100% commitment, and that scares the bejesus out of us. It means being uncomfortable, it means facing failure, it means being judged by our harshest critics, ourselves. Commitment means you’ll get to have conversations with yourself daily about doubt, about choice, about worthiness, and belonging. It’s agonizing, glorious, and tremendously rewarding work, and it’s for everyone, but not everyone will choose it.

Whatever your vision for yourself may be, If you are standing on the dock of the shore of your known world, and you’re not willing to step with Both Feet onto the boat that is sailing into the unknown, across a vast expanse of exhilarating and terrifying ocean, where storms and beasts may need be faced to reach your destination, your dream, then you’re not committed. Read the Odyssey, or even Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. No one is courageous all the time, but courage is often only the first step away. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. Lao Tzu

Most of us have stories of failure, Willingness to risk failure, to fall down, to face our fears of not being enough or worthy is the difference between living creatively or reactively. “Do or do not, there is no try”.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I wasn’t the kid who knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up, unless of course there was an opening for astronaut, and like so many others of my era, I went to college to “grow up” and hopefully learn how to think. I held multiple menial positions early on that taught me it’s easy to find a job, but harder to love what you do.
What I wanted deep down was to be fascinated, to be challenged, to belong somewhere, and to feel a part of something bigger, a quest. I had no idea what it looked like, or even where to look. I couldn’t have told you what I wanted back then, and having a “vision” wasn’t part of the modern vernacular. What I had going for me was curiosity and virtually nothing to lose. And then my whole world changed one day, in one conversation, a conversation that landed me in a career that I’ve loved for 35 years.

If you were blessed with a father like mine, you probably heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. And like most fatherly wisdom, when I heard it, I was not ready to hear it. I had strongly embraced the notion that I was my own man, and that I would independently create something magnificent, or at least make my mom proud. I raged against the anecdotes and sayings that seemed overly simple minded and derivative. My life, I decided would be a creative work rather than a reactive one, and my role models would be the brooding Independent thinkers that did it all on their own. Then I found out that they didn’t.

The word competition comes from the Latin competrerei which literally means “striving together”. Western interpretation of the idea of competition naturally creates a winner, and a loser; You know, “the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat” blah blah blah. What we miss is the idea that in losing, we are learning. There are no “winners or losers” if the prize is learning. Competition then serves a higher more Nobel cause, elevation, personal mastery, and communion. My greatest assets, when I had virtually nothing of material value to my name, were my community, my friends and our striving together.

The funny thing about starting a business, or life for that matter, is how one either learns to let go over and over, or get thrashed by the mundane. Never has this truth resonated more loudly than in the last 2 years during the pandemic. Like raising a child, the promises you make, the intentions you have, and the destination you think you’re headed towards continually change. I’ve become completely comfortable with the fact that I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. I listen, I act, I pause and I listen again. I follow a direction, not a destination, like pursuing a star rather than a mountain peak. I’ll never “arrive”, because there is no where to arrive to. This is my purpose, my “what I’m here to do”. There is vision, yes, but underneath it, there is purpose. The difference is, when your vision has been realized, or not, it is purpose that draws you forward again.

I have a deep love of curiosity, it is the place I feel most at home. Exploring with others in the expanse of curiosity brings me a joy that I cannot adequately describe, it’s like finally seeing the man behind the curtain, the ghost in my machine, the witness that is me. What are you curious about?

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s Colorado, which in my mind isn’t about the city, but the diverse outdoor spaces available. Where I live, in the SW, we are blessed with both huge national forests filled with 14K peaks, and rich red rock deserts with canyons deep enough to blow your mind. There are the marvels of Mesa Verde and Hovenweep, the Colorado Trail which seems to meander everywhere, and Lake McPhee, Colorado’s second largest body of water. Whether your jam is hiking, boating, biking, walking, skiing, or exploring, you’ll find plenty to do here. when your done, swing by the Dolores River Brewery for a beer with friends, they’ll be waiting for you here.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To Jimmy Carter and Alan Cranston for legalizing home brewing, to Fritz Maytag for his unwavering belief that people are our most valuable asset, to Karl Ockert for inviting me to play in his world, To Charles Finkel whose vision and connections shattered conventional ideas in the US, to all my brothers and sisters at BridgePort, Rock Bottom, and Boulder Breweries, my collaborators and friends. To Krista Petty, fierce leader who challenged me to be more. To my children Moki, Emma, Vassar and Lupine who are my greatest teachers, and to my wife Nikki, my muse, my guide, my challenger, and my best friend.

Website: www.doloresriverbrewery.com

Instagram: doloresriverbrewery

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.