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Play Milwaukee

Julie and Louisa are the founders of Play Milwaukee, a deck of cards full of family fun and huge savings. Each card represents an activity in Milwaukee guaranteeing not only a great family experience but also a great deal.


Play Milwaukee with Founders, Louisa Marks & Julie Stephens

Keeping Momentum in 2016

New Year, new goals. Sounds familiar, right?

When it comes to creating New Year’s resolutions, forming new habits or even setting aggressive targets for a business, this proverbial thinking does have some merit. The beginning of the year is commonly used by individuals and organizations alike to set goals for the upcoming twelve months; however, entrepreneurs Julie Stephens and Louisa Marks are far from just setting goals in January.

play-milwaukee-family-fun-logo-imageJulie and Louisa are the founders of Play Milwaukee, a deck of cards full of family fun and huge savings. Each card represents an activity in Milwaukee guaranteeing not only a great family experience, but also a great deal. Now every family has a way to get out and explore their town.

Launched in August of 2015, this young company has already seen much success. A key to that success may be their fluid and continuous approach to setting goals.

“Every week we usually meet on Monday morning and map out what we need to do for the upcoming week. We prioritize what absolutely needs to be done, note the lesser priorities, schedule it all out, and then decide when each item will have to get done,” explains Louisa. This continuous planning allows the business to keep momentum week after week.

As lifelong educators starting their first company, trial and error has guided them the most. They can’t rely solely on long-term visions because they are constantly learning and adjusting their strategy, leading to goals that are constantly changing.

According to Julie, “It’s a lot of casual goal setting on a daily basis, whether a quick text or even a voicemail. Goal setting is probably 50 percent of our effort because it leads to everything we do, and everything we do has a huge impact on our company.”

play-milwaukee-cards-family-fun-imageThat being said, the duo still takes time for longer-term planning. In the beginning stages, they brought together a “think tank” of successful women in diverse industries to help form the bigger picture of what they want Play Milwaukee to be. They’ve set sales goals for 2016 and are looking ahead to 2017, aiming to retain current partners and add new companies that make up each card in the deck.

The big picture items are important because as Julie points out, “It’s easy to get caught up in the short term tasks,” as well as to, “get storming down a road” not needed to be traveled.

Working out of their homes with no official office space can also lead to distractions, so they’re tough on themselves and hold each other accountable for every objective and the tasks that lead them there. “Accountability is even more important when you don’t have somewhere to go to clock in and out,” Louisa says.

Maybe the most important aspect of setting goals? Being realistic. “You have to be realistic in how you’ll get there, making sure there are realistic and specific steps in the process,” says Julie. Louisa continues, “You have to give yourself a realistic deadline to achieve your goals. Then, work really hard to get there.”

Even after an accomplishment, there’s no time to celebrate. For them, it’s all about one thing: always moving forward.

For more information on Julie Stephens, Louisa Marks and Play Milwaukee, visit their website at

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