From Teacher To Business Owner...What Am I Doing?
I need more coffee. You will too. Driving home, pulling my dad's motorcycle trailer filled with items I didn't sell, I have a lot to ponder. How did I end up here? Is this the right path? I ask God, "Lord, I am scared, I know failure- believe you me, I know failure. Are you sure I can handle this?" Don't get me wrong, I am a glass half full girl, but also a realist. I know God has a plan. I know that. I also know businesses fail regularly, I know because it has happened to me already. So what in all that's holy am I doing now when I swore I'd never own another business?
The day after a show as tired as I am, my brain is firing. So many thoughts as to the weekend, the business, conversations, hopes, promises and thoughts of 'what could I have done differently?' to 'How will I make this work?'.
I am a history teacher. I know squat about business. Years of studying, teaching, thinking one way of what I was do until I retired, it all changed. It was not my idea of starting a business. Been there, done that. So how the heck did the dream morph from my husband's to mine? It was his idea! I'm a teacher, was a teacher. So how the heck did I end up here doing starting a blog, running a business (when I swore I'd never do it again) and not teach?
Refill your coffee. Here's the condensed version of why I'd never start of business. My dad bought my brother a business, they sold it as their business partner was a cheat. My husband went in to business with his good friend and that failed, not from lack of success but lack of partnership. Somehow again we found a way to be tied to a person who failed to live up to the partnership. We asked all the right questions before making the transition from his job to the business. What I learned quickly is that my husband and I (newly married) were not on the same page. We didn't communicate. Well that business went sour quickly when his friend/business partner failed us from darn near the start. I mean, come on, we asked the right questions; hard questions, direct and specific. Well, you guessed it, he failed us. Failed to pay my husband, etc. How the heck would we pay our mortgage? Fifteen years later, I still can't look at him. They were friends for years, through high school, in each-other's wedding. He failed us. I still blame him for never being honest with us. I blame him for so much. Needless to say that went sour and my husband had to venture off on his own.
This time he brought on the accountant from the other business. I couldn't stand that guy (just so we are clear). We were successful from the start. My husband is a hard worker. We were getting clients, work, etc. immediately. We had employees and even my father-in-law retired early to work with my husband. Little did we know the accountant was really not an account.
Lord that is one helluva story. Fast forward a year and let's just say the FBI, an Asst. District Attorney, drunk redneck repo-men and bankruptcy were involved. It was horrible. It changed my husband forever. He's never been the same. We had to pick ourselves up, through the haze of confusion, depression, shock...you have to understand, everything was gone; the home we built as newlyweds, our pride and dignity. Gone. All gone.
I swore I'd never own a business again. So how the heck did I end up here? My husband is a great builder. He built our home, his father's barn, many things over the years.
After we moved to Georgia he tinkered with a few things. He built our entertainment center (barn red with chicken wire doors..oh how I love it), as well as tables for our bedroom. (See image below). They were so cool (past tense...ya they got sold). He built the pieces and I finished them. My ignorance of painting, staining and sealing actually worked out great! To top it off, we were an awesome team together. He even used the metal tin left over from the tree house he built our kids for the doors. Oh ya! We had two girls after everything that happened. We realized life of short, so much can change and be taken so quickly so we said the heck with it and had some kids. Honestly, they say kids don't save a marriage, but those girls did, they gave us life, laughter and joy.
Anyways, a friend saw those tables and showed them to her friend that owned a store and they asked us to put those pieces in her store. So we did. It was exciting, someone wanted to sell our pieces! She asked us for some more pieces and we came up with a farm table and cabinet (I ended up keeping the cabinet...hehehe). We thought maybe we'd try to "expand" and sell at another store as a vendor so I went to another friends store to give it a shot.
Then someone one asked me to join them at a craft show...OH.MY.LORD...I loved it! I was hooked. The first year it was a couple shows, the next year it was a few more. This year, we are doing over 24 shows from Young Harris all the way down to historic Savannah!
I quit teaching. I miss the kids, not the politics of education. I still sub, I guess to keep "one foot in the door". My back up plan. But does a back up plan really prevent you from giving it your all? I don't know but here I am, not only changing careers, but literally starting a whole new chapter in life.
And that my friends is how it has started...told you you'd need more coffee.
The table that started it all.