Learning

  • How can this be anything but a learning opportunity, if you’ve never done it before?  What I’ve learned:
  • Turning the OPEN” sign on means absolutely nothing.  If it’s not Wal-Mart or a good restaurant, there aren’t going to be people waiting to come in.
  • As the owner you have to focus early on…figure out the mission…stay focused on the vision.  If products and services don’t line up with the mission and vision don’t do it just to be doing something.  My vision is to create a space like a “barbershop” for creatives.  A place for the community to come, be productive and creative.
  • You have to block out the noise all around you.  Meditation has served me well.  
  • The location of your business is important but not as important as the products and services you offer.  I’m on a main road in town, but I’d need some outdoor event or product displayed to get people going 45 miles per hour to stop and notice.
  • When I stay focused on where I was when I was “wishing” I was home, “wishing” I had a space for my art, “wishing” I was a business owner is the best place for me to draw from. When you are in the REALITY of owning a business and just focusing on all the hard work you can lose the excitement if you focus just on the REALITY of the day. You have to stay grounded in the fact that your “wish”, your “dream” it CAME TRUE. Don’t let up on THAT reality, because many people won’t have the opportunity to know what this feels like.

People

  • People who are benefactors have always shown up in my life when I needed them.  Now is no different.  It’s people who have been business owners, are business owners that are giving me tips and ideas.  Giving me contacts and planting seeds.  Gotta love those people and now that I have the business ownership experience (especially retail)  I get it.  If you’ve never done this…you don’t know…but you don’t know you don’t know.
  • Struggling people. Many people are deeply in the struggle. “Life’s a struggle”.  They can’t see or hear non-struggle talk.  I get it.  I’ve been there in the struggle mindset, but I don’t feel like life’s a struggle anymore…and it isn’t. I read a bumper sticker the other day….Don’t delay your joy….I loved that.
  • People waiting.  Waiting to see how things turn out.  Hopeful for me, but not willing to help or support, just watching and waiting.
  • People supporting.  Doing more than asking but following up.  Showing up.  I think about these people and wonder if they know that I ALREADY know what this venture will be.  I don’t know HOW it will get there, or even WHEN, but I can see it morphing like compound interest….slowly then WOW.   I’m actually enjoying this down time, feeling like “I’ve got space to breathe”, solitude in the space, making it my space, getting out the kinks.  It’s not going to last, this place is going to be busy, full of people.  It will be like the “barbershop” or all the people just showing up to my house at 1215 when I was growing up…it was “The Richardson’s”.  Bringing that back.

Planning

  • This is the first business idea that I did not do A BUNCH of PAPER PLANNING for. Good thing because it would have been a waste of time.
  • Now that I’ve been in it for a couple of months I have a better idea of what I want to do/need to do.  First thing I need is HELP.  I’m going to try to get summer help (possible with a program for Newport News youths) to help with:

Marketing

  • Canvassing the community with information about the shop and what we offer
  • Website Development – Research WordPress templates, populate website and mobile
  • Social Media Management – Facebook Page Development; Twitter Account Management
  • Blog – Update blog with postings…have many blogs for many years now.
  • Survey Research – Research and email possible buyers for all the workplace research I’ve been gathering from this blog for four years now.  There are some buyer’s out there…just have to find them.

Retail

  • Gift shop retail operation
  • Cash register programming and operation
  • Pricing items
  • Maintaining inventory

Craft Design

  • Base and back painting for artwork

Workshops

  • Helping set-up for workshops
  • Creating flyers
  • Posting events on Facebook
  • Posting events on Eventbrite

Reading Room

  • Organizing Books
  • Maintaining reading room

So, if I can get this help during the summer I will feel like the car (business) that I have on the road is better manufactured for the long haul and then I can hire one person to keep it running properly.  I can see that.

Life Style