The ski bum lifestyle is a dangerously addicting attraction of career procrastination held accountable by unlimited powder chasing. It’s glory cannot be celebrated too much.  But that glory also doesn’t pay those expensive winter heating bills and a diet based on more than Top Ramen.  So what are you to do if you have the desire to keep chasing powdery dreams while having a real career in a mountain town?  Perhaps you should start your own business.


Arcade Belt in red, green, and yellow.
As a founder of the mountain town start-up, Arcade Belts, I can tell you that starting your own business is not easy.  Here are some tips, in no particular order, to getting your own business off the ground in a mountain town so you can keep chasing the dream and maybe add some vegetables to your Top Ramen.

Arcade Belts in the desert under the stars next to a cactus.

  1. Happy People: Maybe it’s the thin air, maybe it’s the snow, perhaps the water is just cleaner, what ever it is mountain town people are full of life, happy and enriched on many levels.  As any boss will tell you, happy workers make good workers.
  2. Then Zen Idea Machine: Often good ideas come to you while your mind is clear, hence why they often come right as you are falling asleep.  They also come when you’re hoofing your mountain bike up a trail, skiing pow or fly-fishing a lonely alpine stream. Take advantage of the mind clearing abilities of your surroundings
  3. Good Photos: Mountain towns are chalk full of great photographers. Use them to make a creative visual language for your brand.
  4. Community Support: Mountain towns are tight knit communities. Get them behind your product and you’ll have a grassroots following, one of the most important foundations of any business
  5. Product Testing: If you live in a mountain town you’re probably an active individual which probably means your making something for active people. Get it in the hands of those around you and get their feedback.
  6. Influencers: The person everyone knows in a mountain town isn’t the local drunk, it’s the guy who just sent the biggest cliff that day or pedaled the fastest up Mount Danger, get them behind your product and people will follow.
  7. It’s not about the money: You live in a mountain town already for the lifestyle, which provides a unique perspective on business because your focus in life isn’t about chasing the money allowing you to be creative, be individualistic and create something unique, not something solely for profit.
  8. Partner with Events: There are lots of cool outdoor events in the mountains, get out there, be involved and grow your business with those coming from out of town for the event.
  9. Tourists: There are lots of them and they come from all over the world to visit your town. Get your product in front of them on key weekends and holidays
  10. Have fun: No need in burying yourself in an office when out your backdoor is a plethora of outdoor activities. Work hard. Play hard.

Arcade Belts

As you can see, what mountain towns don’t offer in terms of venture capital connections, they more than make up for in creativity, grassroots support and the ability to lay a solid foundation for a business.  But more than anything, they let you work where others vacation.  That my friends, is worth more than millions.

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