How an Air Force Colonel and his family targeted an exciting new adventure.
Colonel Aaron Maynard spent 26 years of his life serving in the United States Air Force. After decades of serious, stressful work, the 50-year-old planned to retire and try something different. His wife Michele agreed that a change of pace was needed. But they weren’t quite sure what shape that transformation should take. “I wanted to stay active and continue to interact with people,” Aaron explained. “And, I wanted to have fun.”
The answer came when he and Michele purchased a pair of Pedego electric bikes. As Aaron saw it, introducing the public to Pedego would help him continue to work at something that would help others, be a new career, and it would allow him to stick to the fun part of the plan. “It had to be something I was passionate about,” he explains. “And Pedego Electric Bikes was it.”
Gone are the days when the golden age of 65 meant you retired, sat in a rocker, and counted your memories. According to Gallup, a whopping 49 percent of Boomers don’t plan to retire until after age 66. And of those, 10 percent say they’ll never retire at all. But that doesn’t mean they plan to stay in the same jobs. The trick has been to transfer to something fresh, new, energizing and enjoyable — and in the Maynards’ case, their new career is centered on fun.
A big plus is that Aaron’s job skills from his military career transferred nicely into his future as a Pedego store owner. His ability to work well with people, his strong communication skills, and his talents as a problem solver made him a great candidate for small business ownership. Also, his degree in Business/Marketing prepared him to be successful. Of course, this story isn’t just about Aaron. Returning to their home state of South Carolina from London, England, the Maynards made Pedego Myrtle Beach a family adventure. Their sons — Reid, 23, and Max, 21 — work at the store, too. Their daughter Emma, 15, works around her school schedule to help in the store as well. Even their golden retriever Addie serves as the shop mascot, with customers stopping by just to see her. The bonus was the family’s shared interest in health and fitness. It all came together to make them perfect Pedego store owners.
The direction of the Maynards’ career move is not entirely unexpected. Early in life, Aaron imagined business ownership. “I always dreamed of working for myself and including my family in the adventure,” he said. And because it has taken a couple of decades for this entrepreneur to reach for his goal, the rewards are very sweet. He has enjoyed being at the store every day since it opened in April 2015.
“I look forward to coming in every morning. I don’t think of it as work at all. I call it going to fun!” The Maynards have been able to interact with people, as they hoped. In fact, these interactions have been an exceptionally positive part of the experience. “Part of the fun is watching people’s reactions to our amazing bikes,” said Maynard. “They always have a smile, a big wide smile! It’s all about FUN!”
Aaron likes to say that he traded in his military uniform for a new kind — shorts and flip-flops — and from all accounts, it fits just right. Instead of greeting a work day of stress, now he says, “Hello, fun!”