As a youngster, one of the most agonizing questions I remember was the standard – what do you want to be when you grow up? It feels like this question often haunts people, as though it sets people up to chase after dreams. I always answered the question with some of the standard responses that make people ooh and aah: fireman, police officer, pilot, etc. Deep down, though, I always wanted something different.
I remember one of my dream jobs was to open a fly fishing shop where I could spend a few days tying flies and a few more days out guiding people to “the big fish.” I would buy a cabin on a lake or river and turn it into a fly in bed and breakfast for float plane pilots. If I was not at the lake, I would be out on a mission trip or doing something that served the community. After I graduated college, I was determined to join a mission aviation organization and head to Africa or some foreign country. If it was not the missions field I was going to buy a plane and volunteer to fly animals (or anything) across the country. Obviously, I am not exactly there, because these were dreams of my younger self.
This dream of being a small business owner is, however, growing. One step at a time. There are definitely more difficult days than there “easy” days. As a sole proprietor, I become the CEO that makes all the business decisions. The path that I choose has profound impacts on everything. Tomorrow, I am launching photo card sets. To any other person, this may appear to be a small task. Yet if it fails, I have to choose a different path that will lead to putting food on the table. That is a slight exaggeration. However, it is a reality.
Marketing becomes a part of life. I am doing my own market research to determine whether a product or service has value. This works in partnership with research and development, finances, etc… Once my product is created, I also ensure that it meets a high standard of quality. Business partnerships and the corporate world have independent resources/departments that often handle these tasks. I am tackling them all, for the most part, as a single person.
The other day, I was up at two in the morning fixing design issues with the photo cards that are about to launch for sale. I was about ready to throw in the towel on the entire project. The thing that kept me going was the fact that I am making one small step toward that dream I had as a kid. It is a step toward making my dream a reality.