Thursday, July 08, 2010
Counting Some Blessings
Another late night hard at it before I am able to decompress and either sleep or write something here. I guess I don't need to tell you which way it went.
My wife informed me the other day that the gross sales at the bike shop were up 75% over the same January to June period last year.
I have learned not to get too excited over news like this. Gross sales are a far cry from what actually ends up in my pocket. Especially in the economy we have now saddled with the debt I incurred over the period 2006 through 2007.
Certainly good news considering where I could be. But again, I temper my enthusiasm because the better I do, the more I have to spend to do better. There seems to be a finite profit margin I can squeeze out of the store. And unfortunately, no matter how much there is left at the end of each week, it all goes to pay down debt or buy product to sell to pay down more debt in the future.
Funny where I turned up at the age of 58. Given the fact I never had a plan, I guess owning a struggling bike shop is as good a place to end up as any. While there is not much folding money to bank at the end of the year, I do have many bennies I would never have working for someone else.
I often overlook the blessings that come from owning my own business when constantly striving to overcome the obstacles that are inherent in a small retail operation in a struggling part of the country. So, I guess it's time to count some blessings.
I wear what I want - When the Sun grows hot and the grass begins to wilt, you will find me daily wearing shorts, a tee, and flip flops. Okay, so I don't present a very professional front. Hey, it's a bike shop. People expect eccentricities.
I sell fun and fitness. What I do often creates true pleasure for my customers. No one can know the satisfaction I derive from placing that first bike under the butt of some 3 foot scamp, or outfitting an adult coming full circle back to a conveyance they enjoyed as a youth. I have had grown men hug me. And yeah, it was weird. But how could I pop their bubble?
I get to work with my hands and my brain. Twisting wrenches and twisting my cranial abilities trying to keep it all going is about as rewarding an occupation as I have ever had.
I meet some seriously odd folks. From the town drunks who have lost their licenses, to the pillars of the community and pretty much every kid in town under the age of 15. Every one of them has a story and often I get to take the time to hear them.
My shop is but a short down hill drive or ride of 8 miles from my house. No lights, just some slow poke or lost tourists in the summer to impede my progress.
I am sure there are more benefits lurking in the shadows, but I just hit my exhaustion wall. I need to go to sleep. Let's just say no matter how overwhelmed or twisted around I become, there is always an upside to the situation provided I take the time to look for it.