If it seems like business talk is the only sort of thing to be found on this here blog...well, for now you would be right.
I use it to ruminate on life and at this moment...work is life.
Recently, I read a sad story. It wasn't fiction, on the contrary it was all too real and all to common these days. The one in which a man starts a business and then loses his business. You can read a bit here.
It got me thinking about the nature of business. Recently, I have been approached by a few different outlets to discuss my business publicly-to share my experience with a group of entrepreneurial minded men and women. I have yet to accept this offer as I don't feel quite ready to go there. Not because I lack experience-I ran and currently run a successful graphic design business and have done so for the last 10 years. But this economy has changed things. For consumers and business owners alike and I still feel like I am navigating some pretty murky waters.
The subject of the above article is owner of the now closed Velocity Art and Design here in Seattle. I don't know him but I feel sad that a reputation built on years of knowledge, experience and great service is now being memorialized by what happened in the end. He addressed many of my questions...like...didn't he see it coming? There were things that he said that made me think he indeed saw it coming but did little to adapt. We all know that hindsight is 20/20 and he makes mention of that himself. He seems like he is doing his very best to speak truthfully and I appreciated that. There is a great deal to learn from both his success and failure. I too have wondered about things like expansion, brick and mortar vs online and so much more. I feel deeply satisfied that up until now I have made the very best decisions for me and my business and they seem to be working...but I am always seeking out ways to improve. To be better. I do so with the knowledge that being a good business person requires the ability to acknowledge when something isn't working. Changing, shifting, adapting...they are all necessary to growth. Even ending...is really just change.
Business is tough. It is flinty and if you leave yourself exposed, you're gonna get cut. How can a very small business learn from the misfortunes of others? Be open to the truth and your own instincts. Where ever you go to get it, to find it, you must be willing to listen and learn. I have no other advice.