Are you happy at the moment?
I am happy, though I have to admit that some days are easier than others. It’s hard not to get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of running a business– the paperwork, the management of employees, the beer orders… But when I step back to look at the whole picture, I’m happy with where I am and what I’ve achieved. And I’m not done yet!
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now– what would it be?
First off, I would tell myself to focus my energies on positive relationships; stick with the people who believe in you and want to build you up, not break you down. I would also remind myself that family is the most important thing and that those relationships are the ones that endure throughout one’s life. I would also encourage my 16-year-old self to explore and push the boundaries socially and creatively. There’s a kind of magic that you can experience in youth that is harder, maybe impossible, to capture as an adult.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I opened my business, Rincon Beer Company on January 2nd and have been learning ever since, sometimes the hard way! I’ve learned that I can do what I set my mind to, that I am smart and capable, and that things usually turn out okay. I’ve honed my communication skills with my husband, with my friends, and perhaps most of all with my staff. I’ve learned that I need to take time for myself, and especially that sleep is crucial to function as a non-deranged human!
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Over the next year, I want Rincon Beer Company to grow to be Puerto Rico’s premier brewpub! I hope to continue to have happy employees and happy customers. I want to have time to improve my Spanish skills and enjoy Puerto Rico’s vibrant culture. By 2015, I hope to have achieved a balance of sorts between running a business and living a life outside of work; I realize, though, that this is an ongoing struggle for pretty much everyone.
What’s your secret to happiness?
Happiness is sunshine and waves… Lying in my hammock with a good book… Snuggling with my puppies… Alone time with my craft supplies, creating cards or little surprises for my friends and family… These are what make me happy. Sometimes it’s hard to make time for them, but I’m working on it.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Talking to my mother keeps me sane. She’s always on my side, and she believes in me no matter what. Even though she’s 2,000 miles away, she’s always there to offer advice or to just listen. I got lucky. My mom’s the best.
What’s your biggest regret?
I don’t think I have a big regret. I’ve made missteps along the way, but without those misadventures, I wouldn’t be who or where I am. You have to live life day by day; there’s not a lot of value in regret.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kids?
Currently I’m trying to teach them not to bark when cars go by. They’ve got “sit” and “stay” down pat though. Just kidding, I don’t have any children, just three loveable dogs.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I tend to stress about things before they’ve happened– I take the worst “what if” scenarios and dwell on them. As my husband points out, if there’s nothing I can do to change the outcome, I may as well wait to see what actually happens before worrying about it. It’s easier to say than to do, but I’m trying.
Aside from motherhood, what are you most proud of in your life?
I’m most proud of moving to Puerto Rico. In fact, we wrote a blog about it ( puertoricoloves.us )! My husband and I sold our house, our cars, and most of our belongings, packed up our dogs, and moved. Living in Arkansas was easy and comfortable, but we were a little bored. Living in PR has been an adventure, and not always an easy one, but every day is different, and we have great stories to tell! I mean, where else in the U.S. can you see ox-cart parades, pick passion fruit off the vine, or visit a tropical rainforest? I love it here!
When were you happiest?
Life is a series of moments. My happiest moments are when I’m spending time with family and friends and with my puppies.
What ten words best describe you?
Creative, passionate, snarky, empathic, artistic, social, bookish, adventurous, friendly, open.
Naomi Hobbs owns Rincon Beer Company, a brewpub in Rincon, Puerto Rico. She also runs a childcare service called Rincon Babysitting. Since moving from Arkansas to Puerto Rico in 2011, she’s enjoyed learning the language and about local culture. When she’s not slinging beer at RBC or taking care of kids, she can be found working on craft projects, baking up a batch of cupcakes, or hanging out on the beach with her husband and three pups.