Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I began this back in May. Tonight, I re-visited it and decided to finish it, or at least complete the thought.

"Early to bed, Early to rise" might ryhme nicely with "Makes a man healthy wealthy and wise". But like most slogans canned for public consumption, the sentiment neglects to fill in the details. Like for instance, the actual work and abilities needed to attain wealth, health, and wisdom.

Regardless, this AM I have awakened early and by 5 had completed my morning rituals, such as they are. And now I find myself at loose ends. This is unusual. Most mornings are spent in a semi frantic state trying to be where I need to be on time. Insomnia has been a mainstay in my life for several years now. Sleeping a solid 6 or 7 hours is an unusual occurence. My best sleep comes when other folks are getting up. So I wake and have to go full bore out of the gate just to catch up.

I run my own business. It is a small bike shop located in a small town in Maine. When I opened up 7 seasons ago, I was sure I would be successful. I am not sure the success I envisioned at the beginning is what I will end up with. At this point in time, I am hoping to survive another season. Success being able to open my doors next year in better shape than I did this year. It is frustrating to put so much labor into something for such little reward. I am tired of living like a Laotian immigrant.

But I chose this. I gave up a decent job to pursue my dream. If blame is laid, I must bear the full brunt of it. And I do. My problem right now is finding the energy to attack another season. I have slowly lost my enthusiasim over the last 6 seasons. Will I have or be able to find the necessary energy level to get through this one coming up? I have no choice. I have to. Too much money and effort invested to this point.

I know I cannot continue like I have forever. To address this, I have finally come up with an exit strategy. I fought the need to have one. I viewed admiiting I needed one as a type of failure by itself. But I guess every business in trouble needs to plan for a sane and orderly closure. Just closing the doors and walking away might feed the fantasy in my mind, but the reality is it would cause more pain and discontent than closing with a plan. So I have a plan in place now. I hope to not implement it, but it is there when and if I need it.

The problem with failure is all in the mind. We have been ingrained with the idea that failure is a bad thing. Certainly it is not as good as success, but it is not as bad as we paint it out to be. Failure will often suck the life out of us. But often failure shows us what we are made of. Tenaciously, many of us hang in there until they pry that last great idea out of our cold dead hands. Timidly, many will be smart and find an easier way through the flow. Which ever avenue we choose, failure will teach us a lot about ourselves. The problem lies in paying attention.

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