Episode Length: 30 minutes

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How far can seven hours a week take your business?

For Anna Maste and Marianne Edwards, it led to a seven-figure deal that funded Marianne’s retirement.

Learn how this mother-daughter duo bootstrapped a membership site for RVers called Boondockers Welcome — and along the way, redefined what entrepreneurship can look like.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • [1:27] The details of Anna and Marianne’s seven-figure acquisition
  • [3:00] How Marianne and Anna used the couch-surfing model to create a membership site for RVers
  • [9:30] What gave Boondockers Welcome a distinct advantage over companies like Airbnb or VRBO
  • [13:40] How Anna and Marianne achieved slow but steady growth (sometimes with just seven hours a week)
  • [18:32] The scholarship conference ticket that saved Anna and Marianne from taking the wrong deal at the wrong time
  • [21:50] How Anna and Marianne struck a deal that paid for Marianne’s retirement

We’re so grateful that Anna came on the show to share her story. You can connect with Anna on Twitter @skulegirl and her new venture Subscribe Sense.

Thanks to our sponsor, MicroConf, a community for non-venture track startup founders.

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Three people with hats on are standing and smiling at the camera

Boondockers Welcome co-founders Marianne Edwards (left) and Anna Maste (right) with their employee, Carrie Price (center).

How Anna Maste sold Boondockers Welcome

Marianne Edwards and Anna Maste’s success in business was a direct result of prioritizing their family.

In 2012, the mother-daughter duo launched Boondockers Welcome, a community for RVers to connect with hosts to stay overnight on their properties instead of camping at RV parks. They grew the business to 12,000 members before selling it in 2021.

“I had never gone into it like, ‘I’m going to start a company!’,” Maste said on our They Got Acquired podcast. “It was just, here’s something fun for me to do that keeps my brain sharp while I’m on maternity leave or I can play with in evenings after the kids go to bed.”

Maste combined her coding savvy with RVing enthusiast Edwards’ knowledge and network, initially working just seven hours per week on the business, while her mom, Edwards, watched Maste’s two children.

By 2014, Maste quit her day job to focus on Boondockers Welcome and spend more time with her kids. In 2019, she won a scholarship to the MicroConf conference, where she realized by talking with other entrepreneurs that she “had something pretty special.”

Selling Boondockers Welcome to fund Edwards’ retirement

Maste returned from the conference with renewed vigor to grow the business, hiring a marketing specialist as a first step.

Then COVID-19 hit, and brought with it a silver lining: a surge in popularity for RVing. Boondockers Welcome’s growth, plus Maste’s desire to see her mom retire comfortably, prompted their mid-7-figure sale to Harvest Hosts, a competitor in the space that had recently raised funding. The buyer approached Maste and Edwards, so they never had to shop around the business.

“I certainly don’t think that women can have it all. I think the myth of having it all is damaging and drives many of us insane,” Maste said. “But I think that I came as close as I could while keeping my sanity by being able to be there for my family, be there for my kids, and build something that I was proud of.”

Since selling the company, Maste has moved onto a new project: an email marketing tool called Subscribe Sense.

“You don’t have to fit into the mold,” she said. “You don’t have to choose between family and your career.”