Monday, March 21, 2011

You gotta work

When I owned my store, at least once a week someone would approach me all starry eyed, and I knew it was coming.

"I've always wanted to own a store like this."

I got it, my position as a gift store owner looked like a fun job. And it was. Inevitably, they'd want to know how I did it, and for the most part I didn't mind sharing this information. I'd tell them about business licenses and tax ID's and how to become a buyer and find locations and negotiate leases.

But my number one advice? Before you do it, spend a year working for someone who has a business like the one you'd like to open. I did exactly that and it saved me from so many problems that a new business runs into. In fact, I actually made money my first year, likely because I'd learned so much from that experience.

That was usually the point when they'd start to look disappointed. Working for someone who had a business didn't sound like fun. It sounded like work.


Even the dream job involves a ton of work. Not just any work, but work you don't always want to do. It was true when I started a retail store, and it is true about becoming a published writer.
There is still so much I don't know about this writing gig. Let's pretend for the sake of this discussion, that I have talent. I have been so busy worrying about the how and the why and whether this is an art or a business that I have forgotten my own advice. Really, I just have to do the work.

Easy enough, no?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


And Amen.