My journey of helping my dad create and found our business Meredith Maple Liqueurs started with a horrible nightmare.
I’m 76 years old, sitting on my porch in my rocking chair. I lived a good life. I have a husband and two kids. I retired right on time, got a little social security, finally paid off my house, and now I’m supposed to be living the golden years. But why is it so empty? Why does it feel like I got cheated out of “real life”? My mind races back to my 20s while I sip on a small bit of coffee. This is the realm I always try to avoid but somehow it catches up with me, the “what ifs.” My 20’s were a time when I had my whole life in front of me, including the decisions I made, and how they lead me here. I made all the “normal” choices, I stayed safe from failure and rejection. But in return, here I am, I’m nothing spectacular, nothing abnormal, nothing great. I’m just your regular American woman reaching the end of life. Why do I feel like I could have been so much more? I take another sip of my warm coffee while rocking slowly back and forth. My house is getting old but the pains in my back and knees have the usual ache that prevent me from making repairs, and my social security isn’t enough to pay someone to repair it. I’ve considered moving into assisted living. What could I have done differently if I had another chance, I thought to myself? I took another sip of my coffee which had now cooled down to a nice warm temperature. Well, if I could do things over, I would have lived life full of color – my mind wandered back to what it was like to be young, I would have lived to be a vibrant, fearless, risk taker and a builder of new things and businesses. I would have wanted to inspire others; I would have wanted to create something that I’m proud of so that I could educate young people to build their dreams as well. I could have become a speaker, a book writer, a business owner… Maybe it’s not too late, I thought to myself. Maybe I still have time…
“Honey!?” The usual beckoning from the kitchen rudely awoke me from my daydream and reminded me of the reality I so desperately tried to avoid. My husband is hungry for lunch, and he needed his meds. He doesn’t get around very well these days. I got up to put together another sandwich for lunch as I tried to put all these thoughts behind me. My knees ached as I got up from my chair, I felt dizzy and before I reached the door, I lost consciousness.
I awoke in a nervous sweat; it was only a dream. I’m 33, working a business called Meredith Maple Liqueurs, living my dreams, the world ahead of me, but the fear felt so real. Is that future what I really wanted? Is that story all I wanted to become? Thoughts of quitting plagued me on a regular basis. Why don’t you stop being so different and just be like everyone else? It would be a lot easier. What’s the point of all this suffering if there are no guarantees that we will ever make it?
These thoughts of quitting were met with this vivid dream. The reason I won’t quit is for one reason, and that reason is “regret.” If I quit and choose the easy path, I know I’ll become that old lady sitting on the porch, regretting NOT trying. I’ll forever harbor the guilt of knowing I was too cowardly to even try. That sentiment scared me more than the terror of possible failure, poverty, or of other difficulties.
Steve Jobs once said:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
In the reality of looking back on your life from the perspective of retirement, or even death, failure is not a big deal, rejection fades in the horizon, mistakes can be corrected with time. However, regret is something that someone can never outlive. That is the reason I decided to become an entrepreneur in the beginning, and the reason that kept me from quitting.
This nightmare was what inspired me. I began building Meredith Maple Liqueurs with my dad after receiving a master’s degree in Business Management from Azusa Pacific University in Southern California. My thought was, if I didn’t try then, I never would. So, I did. Our business started as nothing more than a liqueur recipe that my dad invented from his college years but perfected over the decades and became a family favorite. Business started slowly, as a simple dream. I put together samples for friends and family, patented our recipe and trademarks, built meredithmaple.com (our website), and helped apply for and receive our Wholesale License and my personal State Liquor License. My dad supported me every step of the way as we hired a distillery, a glass company, label artists, flavor chemists, and a distributor to finally create the opportunity to put our product on store shelves.
Fast forward, I have an award-winning brand of liqueurs with my dad (we won Silver the LA Spirits Awards!), and have been featured in local newspapers, magazines, News Channels (see our Channel 2 interview here: and billboards. I have weekly tastings where I market our product and autograph bottles just for fun! I bring Meredith Maple Liqueur to parties and events with friends and family, and I get the honor of mixing drinks, and they always love what I make! Someday, I would love to write about my journey and use it as a platform to educate other aspiring entrepreneurs and help them make a positive difference in the world. Someday, I would love to distribute our product to the military and around the United States. The possibilities keep me getting up in the morning, keep me dreaming, keep me believing in better things and a better future.
The journey of being an entrepreneur feels a lot like being suspended in space. You have a space suit and a line of oxygen leading to your spaceship but after that, you’re just surrounded by weightless darkness. You have no guarantee of making it back to the ship, no road map outlining where to find consistent resources, no promise of having a story that will ever be heard, or of making any difference in the world. You’re simply suspended, weightless, over time and space trying to figure out how to find a solid footing on something… anything. Then you realize that a solid footing is NOT coming your way. You must CREATE your solid footing, a way back to the ship, a story that people need to hear, and most of all, your own REASON for doing so. From that moment forward, the struggle to simply find your reason to FIGHT is the entire battle. You start flailing about rather ridiculously, and somehow you find your footing.
Once you find your “Why,” your body and mind can achieve more than you ever thought possible. Pushing the limits, and creating your own reality are some of the perks of this journey. However, the ultimate reward if you do make it, if you somehow find a way, is ultimate freedom and peace. You will get to dictate your future, you will get to decide where to go, what to do, and when to do it. Nothing will limit you from having everything your heart desires. You only must be willing, to be suspended in darkness over space and time, with no guarantees. You will find a way back and the reward is YOURS.
I love what I do. I’ve been working Meredith Maple with my family for over 6 years now and I wake up in the mornings and yes, I’m tired, but I also feel so lucky. Lucky to be tired for something that inspires me, gives me hope. It gives me a platform to speak to those around me about achieving a better future. Talk is cheap, but I live this lifestyle. If you are wondering what I’m doing today, I’m getting up and grinding to have a chance to build a beautiful future.
I hope this article, my experience, my journey with my business, Meredith Maple Liqueurs, and my family, have inspired YOU, to never give up on your own dreams for your future. I hope this motivates you to take risks, to face the future unafraid, and to conquer all your greatest aspirations for this life. If you make it back to the ship, the reward is FREEDOM.
Cheers to you! Thank YOU! May you make it through all the many struggles and in this life to be truly blessed, not just financially, but with love, joy, peace and reaching your golden years knowing you have lived a happy and fulfilling life. If even one person decides to keep going and not give up, then all my work is worth it. If you need a little help believing in yourself from time to time, try Meredith Maple Liqueurs, and chase it with a little orange juice or add it to your coffee (More recipes are on https://meredithmaple.com and on facebook at Meredith Maple LiqueursMeredith Maple Liqueurs | Facebook). Remember our story, because if we can make it this far, then so can you. Refuse to doubt your abilities and choose to believe in your dreams. If you’re willing to work hard and persist through all of life’s challenges, then anything is possible. Sending all our love, from the Meredith Household to yours, may all your Fridays be a little bit brighter.
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