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Crushing Goals & Supporting Community One Pint At A Time (Interview)

Are you choosing to live a happy, fulfilled life?

That’s right, studies have proven that ninety percent of the factors that make the difference between a happy life and an unhappy life are factors within your control. One life hack proven to help unlock your best life is setting, pursuing, and achieving goals.

Yes, you can choose a happy life, but don’t take my word for it! Here’s an example of how other people – people just like you – are choosing to achieve happiness through their goals.

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I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. My dad joke may be groan-worthy, but it's worth every penny you paid for it, right?

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Crushing Goals & Supporting Community One Pint At A Time (Interview)

Welcome to this week’s Interview with a Goal-Crusher. In these interviews, I sit down with someone accomplishing big things by setting and achieving their goals to learn their secrets. Then I share those secrets with you. It’s like free mentoring from someone already on the road to success. Who doesn’t want that?!

It’s time for me to share a secret. I’m really going out on a limb, but I trust you. So, here goes…

I like beer!

Granted, that may not really be a secret, particularly if you follow me on social media. But I do enjoy delicious craft beer, breweries and independent local businesses.

I am also a part-time resident of Indian Lake in northwest Ohio. Unfortunately, the availability of good craft beers and breweries has been very limited. Finding one normally requires a half-hour or longer drive, which is not ideal for a drinking destination. 

This all changed last year when Indian Lake Brewing Company opened a couple miles from our lake house. When I heard a craft brewery was opening, I was excited but also skeptical. Other breweries have tried but failed to gain a foothold in the lake region. Previous attempts have struggled to produce desirable products and manage the town’s highly seasonal nature. This brewery needed to be a diamond in the ruff or risk being another flash-in-the-pan.

From the first time I stepped into Indian Lake Brewing Company, I was sold. I knew they would be successful, and the town seemed to agree. In a very short time, they have become a cornerstone of the town.

As I have gotten to know the brewery’s owners, I was even more impressed. They aren’t just in it to make money (though they are); they want to be a part of the community. They had an idea, then a vision, and then they tried their best to make it come to life. Now that their goals have become a reality, they are the ideal fit for this week’s Interview with a Goal-Crusher.

Please introduce yourself and tell my readers about you and what you do.

Rebekah Smith here – Indian Lake resident (via Toledo to Columbus). 

I wear a couple of different hats in my day-to-day life. First, I am a partner with GBQ, a public accounting and consulting firm in Columbus, Ohio.

I am also one of the owners of Indian Lake Brewing Company

What motivated you to open Indian Lake Brewing Company? What was your vision? Can you share some/all of your story?

My husband and I share a love of craft beer. Whenever we travel, we seek out craft breweries. We joke that all our big decisions in life were made over craft beer. These decisions included the one where he quit his job as a CFO and decided to combine his superpower (accounting) with his passion (craft beer), which meant opening his own CPA firm that served only craft  breweries.

In 2017, we bought a weekend place at Indian Lake, and shortly thereafter, we discovered Roundhouse Depot Brewing in Bellefontaine. That became our home brewery at the Lake, and the owners, Ron and Kathy Troyer, became clients and then our friends. When they started thinking about a second location at Indian Lake, they approached us to be their business partners. 

For us, this was a little bit about being in the right place at the right time. I’d like to think too that Ron and Kathy knew based on our friendship that we were hard-working, financially savvy, and already running successful businesses, making us good candidates for partnership. 

Our vision also evolved as we got the business up and running. It’s okay not to start with a perfectly clear vision but rather to have some stakes in the ground about who you are. Some of the tenants of our vision were and still are:

  • Bringing high-quality, locally made craft beer to the lake community. We had identified a real absence of it in the community and wanted to be the ones to fill that void. 
  • Customer-centric experience. We were committed to making the customer the center of all decisions, from the type of beer we brewed to the way we serve customers and staff the brewery. It is all about the customer. 
  • Community-based. We have always felt that the craft beer industry is a community. You meet your friends at a brewery and connect; for us, it was a time to talk to each other without screens or other distractions. Therefore, craft beer has always meant community and connections for us, and we made decisions in setting up the brewery around the concept of community (for example, our smaller/more movable tables or our large community table you can rent).

What was the first step you took to get started with your goal?

A location was the first step. 

You cannot make or serve craft beer without a location. Our singular focus was to figure out where. Steve and I lived on the south side of the Lake, so we felt it was imperative to be on that side for ease of helping manage the location. 

If you’re familiar with Indian Lake, you know there is not a lot of commercial real estate. The building we landed was actually the third one we had made an offer on. It was truly a “third time’s the charm” because this is the perfect fit for us.

Interestingly, I mentioned “community” above, and the building we finally landed in was an old community center! It felt like it was meant to be. A lot of our vision for the business is about doing good for the lake community.

We have held multiple fundraising events benefitting organizations such as the Indian Lake Community Church backpack program ,  the Urbana Barely Used Pets and for tornado relief efforts. We have also given countless donations to any organization that asks us to participate – we feel so strongly about supporting the community and reinvesting in it. 

We like to say that the building used to be a community center, and it is once again.

What were your biggest challenges in achieving your goals? How did you overcome them?

As a starting point, construction. Need I say more?

It always takes longer and is more expensive than you think it will be. That’s just the rule, and we were no exception. 

We opened in the dead of winter, January 27th, which is generally not a busy time because it is our “off season” at Indian Lake. It turned out to be a blessing, actually. We had tremendous support from the community, as it was something new and exciting in the winter. But it was also a little slower and allowed us to get our processes and procedures smoothed out before the summer season started.

It also takes a little while to get a brew system dialed in. The beers we are making today are fantastic! I’m really proud of the product. There were certainly some bumps and batches we dumped along the way. That just required a lot of work on Steve’s and Ron’s part to work through those issues and really refine the product.

Perhaps our biggest challenge once we got open was embracing how much of our personal time this was really going to take. The original plan was we’d be a little more hands off – investors and the public face of the brewery, and we’d have employees to take care of everything else. The reality is much different. 

You can’t open a business and think someone else will take care of it the way you will.

We both have very active roles in running the business on a daily basis. Steve has made this his full-time job, and he brews the beer and helps in the taproom. I run social media and the front of the house. If the taproom is open, one us is present for some or all of the hours we are open. 

But I also attribute our hands-on approach to our success. We are in the taproom, talking to customers, supporting our team and actively improving the business every single day.

What goal success tips and techniques have worked well for you that you would like to share with my readers?

I know a lot of people talk about working “on” the business versus working “in” the business. When you have a business such as ours, you have to do both. 

When I work “in” the business – being behind the bar and talking to customers – I actually get a lot of “on” the business ideas. You can never forget who you serve; in our case, it is our customers. Being behind the bar and talking to my customers about what they want next is how we have developed some of our best ideas. From small things like the type of beers they like best to big ideas like our next big idea coming in the fall (a secret for now!).

What is one big goal you are pursuing now?

Our newest venture, which we just announced, is our canned, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails! 

When you are a craft brewery, your licensing allows you to serve products that you make. You have the option to expand that license to sell things other people make. Which is what we did to be able to serve cocktails. We are committed to meeting our customers where they are, and that was a request we heard loud and clear – they wanted cocktails. But we also wanted to do it in a way that stayed true to our brand and the fast customer customer experience we are known for. 

We are continuously looking  for ways to do more of the same – meet our customers’ needs and do it in a way that is consistent with our brand.

What else would you like my Operation Melt readers to know about you, Indian Lake Brewing Company, or about goal success in general?

I’m sure many of your readers are aware that on March 14th, an EF-3 tornado ripped through the south side of the Lake, hitting Lakeview, Russell’s Point, Orchard Island and other areas of our Lake community as it headed East. 

A lot of people have asked how to help, and there are a lot of ways! There are still volunteer efforts being organized and organizations to donate to, like the United Way of Logan County. But one way is to come to the Lake this summer and support the community! The folks who were impacted own or work in the businesses, and coming for a day or a weekend to help lift up the community is a powerful way to show your support. 

The Lake is open for business, and we cannot wait to show off how amazing this community is! 

It will  take  some time to get all the way back, but if there’s something I know about the lake community, we are resilient, and have determination and grit. We will build back better than ever. 

How can people learn more about you?

Follow us on Instagram (@indianlakebrewing) or Facebook.

Visit us online at or email us directly at

This story had everything, right? Beer. Community. Goals. Hard work. Risk-taking. I think it checked all the boxes.

Rebekah and Steve turned their love of craft beer into a successful business and are now community leaders. This was all possible because of their hard work and a little opportunity. How many of us would be willing to take this same kind of plunge?!

Let’s examine some examples of how Rebekah and Steve demonstrated the Project Manage Your Life principles.

  • Set SMART Goals: Indian Lake Brewing Company started with a vision and a goal. The goal had a strong why, which involved more than making money.
  • Build a plan that works for you: Rebekah knew their vision would evolve along the way and remained flexible as this evolution happened. As this evolution occurred, she stayed true to the guiding principles she and Steve defined at the beginning.
  • Measure Progress Every Day: Rebekah is a forensic accountant, and Steve is a former CFO; it is safe to say they are hyper-aware of the numbers associated with their journey.
  • Expect and plan ahead for problems: As Rebekah and Steve progressed, they encountered setbacks, including struggles with finding a location and construction. They were prepared for these challenges, and they turned out to be blessings in disguise.
  • Don’t go it alone: Rebekah and Steve had each other for support throughout their journey, but they had many other partners (formal and informal) along the way. 
  • Enjoy the journey: Rebekah and Steve love craft beer; it is a big part of their lives. They have built a business based on that passion and are significant supporters of the town they love. Despite the hard work this has required, I can tell you that Rebekah and Steve love what they do and are enjoying their journey.

Marc Anthony said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Rebekah and Steve’s story of creating Indian Lake Brewing Company is another example of just how accurate this quote is. They are leaning into something they are passionate about and have turned it into a career – now, an entire town has grown to love the results.

Is there something you love that you aren’t leaning into? Do you have a dream inside you that you’ve been hesitating to pursue? What’s holding you back? Are you ready to work with a partner to help you set that dream free? I am here for you. I am a certified Master Life Coach and would be honored to help you take that first step.

I believe in you; let me help YOU believe in you!

Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 

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Published inDon't Take My Word For ItInterview with a Goal-Crusher