I appreciated this little inspirational piece in the latest XBiz magazine, “Focusing on Your Own Four Walls”:
It’s a good reminder with the summer slowdown approaching (whether we believe it exists or not), and especially pertinent as a small-business person in general. I get less freaked out than other people do about changing trends or new challenges that are out of my control, but I *always* feel like I’m missing out on so many opportunities and am so limited in what we can do and that other people are going to get there (wherever that is) before I can!
I try to remember that one of the cool things about having a small relatively-undiscovered network of sites is that there is so much room to grow. So many things to try before we’re anywhere NEAR maxing out our potential! I already know tons of things we can do to improve business so it’s not like we’re at a loss as to what to do. There’s a lot we DO have control over, and that’s awesome.
We were just walking downtown and saw a sign up in the window of a beloved indie bookstore. After twenty-five years the owner is throwing in the towel.
People like him have obstacles we’ve never had to face and probably never will. Insane rent increases, the limitations of running a brick and mortar store in a small out-of-the-way town that has been virtually inaccessible for many months over the past few years due to bridge closures and retired ferry boats, competition from the internet and ebooks (yay us! we have tons of competition, but we’re on the internet too and not selling costly tangible goods!), and a shitty landlord that fucked the sale of his business by declaring the lease invalid because it hadn’t been notarized. We’ve got it easy compared to folks like him, and there are LOTS of folks like him out there.
Lots of people in this business blame lots of outside factors for their problems. Many of those factors are real challenges, but I’m 99% certain those things cannot make my business fail. Maybe I’m deluded and that’s why I’ve hung in here so long, but I still see a million possibilities and ways to succeed or at least improve business. It makes sense to focus on all of the positive improvements and changes we can make and ideas we can try instead of wasting energy on the negative stuff we can’t control.