We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Kingman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I think through time my life has become work. As a parent of two young children and owner of 3 growing businesses with my husband; I often feel the line between life and work is blurry at best. However, I think finding joy in what you do and appreciation for those you do it with is how to really find “balance”.
Before I worked for myself there was a very clear line between life and work, however I would say that the satisfaction I gained from work was less integral to who I am. I also think that prior to having children my ideas of “busy” or “stressed” were so casually skewed. I see now that although my free time is absorbed by my children and work often seems like “free time”, that small victories (time alone, exercise, friends) can go a long way. Ultimately your mindset is what makes all the difference. I also see the importance of my mental state, communication, and ultimately work ethic as fundamental in the development of who my children are. Having children has made me realize what I am working for. I am working every day to be a good person for them; to create a happy life with my husband; and to have a livelihood to enable us to show our children what great things there are in the world to work for; and boy is this the most challenging form of work I’ve ever had!
“Work” is more than my job these days. Work is who I am. I thrive off of challenges, accomplishments and find satisfaction in mental stimulus. I also thrive off of my family and sharing our love for the outdoors together and with friends. So on a daily basis I find my balance in trying to do my best at all of that and ultimately trying to come out of it unfrazzled. To say this is easy would be to say that I have an easy job; and let’s just say I think my job is one of the challenges I live for.
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?
My husband and I purchased CKS Main Street in Buena Vista, CO from friends of ours in 2016 with the desire to own our own business and be able to work in the whitewater industry- something we are both passionate about. At that time I had no idea what owning a business in a small town meant. As a business owner in a small town so much of what you do is impactful on the community. You have the platform to have a voice, you have the resources to make things happen. Through this platform we have helped grow non-profits in our area and put on an event over Memorial Day Weekend called CKS Paddlefest.
There are so many opportunities to be involved in and ways to be impactful in our community. We are only at the beginning of what we would like to do. Since buying CKS we have built properties to use for rentals, and partnered with friends of ours to start a Fly Fishing Retail business- Upriver Fly Fishing. We hope to use all of these mediums in our own way to be impactful and help out with our community.
As a graduate of the 2008 Recession I saw what it was to struggle to get a job and to be taken advantage of by employers. It is a personal ambition of ours to, through our businesses, be able to help our employees take life steps for themselves. To be fair, kind, and generous in what we do. To use our businesses to better other people’s lives. Although we are constantly working on the business side of what we have going on; we constantly keep this thought in our minds when we make decisions. I feel very fortunate to be able to be impactful and that, above all else, is why I enjoy owning my own businesses.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh man. My best friend would have an action-packed itinerary!
Day 1: Breakfast at Bread+Salt followed by a Midland Hike and some afternoon relaxation outside by a river, creek, pond, or in the grass.
Day 2: Family float trip with Fly Fishing (to Upriver Fly Fishing’s amazing private take out!!) – pick up Sorelle’s Deli sandwiches and Elevation Beer Co beers before leaving to enjoy a tasty lunch on the river!
Day 3: Mountain biking on the Midland Trail system and grill some dinner at one of the pavilions – by the river or the Collegiate Peaks Overlook. Scanga Meat Co. in Salida has some wonderful local meat offerings!
Day 4-5: Backpacking overnight to a mountain lake (off the North Cottonwood trailhead)
Day 6: Hot Springs relaxation followed by some Main Street shopping and dinner at The Buena Viking with Deerhammer Distillery Cocktails!
Day 7: Raft (or Ducky or SUP if you’re brave!) down Brown’s Canyon and get home to a pre-made dinner post-rafting from The Asian Palate Marketplace or Spark Provisions.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I feel like my bravery stems from knowing that no matter what I had the love and support of my parents. They were never bashful of my daring nature and instead of cautioning me to be more conservative, gave me the encouragement to take leaps, risks, and be brave.
In daring to live an alternative life, I met my husband, Brad Kingman, who is a perfect match to my untamed nature. Although he loves to play Devil’s Advocate and is far more calculated then I ever will be, he also has an undaunting sense of ambition and willingness to take risks. His work ethic and ability to take on any challenge without a complaint is something that inspires me to focus and charge. He is an inspiring work partner, loving husband, and fun father. I couldn’t do any of this without him.