So Monday was National Boss’s Day and I didn’t even know it until I saw a few acknowledgments on Facebook. I cannot believe I am my own boss! I’ve only been telling whoever would listen at all my old jobs that I wouldn’t be working for someone else long. I just didn’t know at the time exactly how much those words I spoke would resonate in my life, nor did I know how to make it happen. I look back at all the jobs I’ve worked, none of which really correlate with any other, and I still can’t believe I’ve made it this far. However, at the same time, something deep within me always knew that I would not be working to help anyone else live out there dreams. Call it the law of attraction if you will!
I went from working at CVS in high school, to the child support call center, to being a receptionist for a computer sales company and a car title loan officer for LoanMax both in Virginia Beach, back to five years in the hell hole child support place, to a brief stint at Plygem glass factory, to Danville City where I went from Parks & Rec Secretary to Parks & Rec Afterschool Supervisor to Community Development Senior Secretary. Now can you tell me where these jobs align into making me be something great later down the road? I couldn’t at all. My dream was always to be a fashion editor and stylist, write a book, and somehow be able to read as many books as I could in the process. Oh and to not work for someone else. I still have unfulfilled dreams that will come to fruition in the future (claiming it!), but I have somehow willed my thoughts to believe that I deserved and WOULD work for myself soon. I STILL can’t believe my words have come to pass, but we all know there is power in the tongue. Once you think something can happen, you start to speak life into it and when it’s God’s will, He will always make a way.
I’ve had a few of my close blog followers ask me to post an update on how everything is going since I opened the store. I actually just realized that my opening was exactly a month ago today, time flies! Anywho, I have one word for how things have been going since I opened… STRESSFUL! Lol! Aside from my love for books, I don’t think I considered how much I would be dealing with the public now. Nor did I realize that people would recognize my face from the newspaper and Star News. Well they do; and there’s always someone in the grocery store after 6 pm, when I’m trying to be in and out so I can get home, who wants to talk to me about the store. But they’ve never been lol. I don’t mind the congratulatory words or even people letting me know they intend to stop by when they can; but I do mind my personal time being utilized for business when I spend so much of my day to day actually working ON and IN the store. I know people have good intentions, so I’m never short or anything but it does get draining being away from my family life at home for so many hours during the day and still having people hinder me from getting there as fast as I can.
Speaking of the public, they’re a tough crowd to please aren’t they?! I’ve only had one complaint since I’ve opened and that was due to Amazon carrying books at a cheaper price than mine. Well considering that Amazon is a huge corporation and I’m a small business, I think that’s pretty self explanatory. With Amazon you cannot get the warm, heartfelt greeting I give my customers or the intimacy you get from any independent bookstore. There is no relative bonding whatsoever and Lord knows I try to cater to my customers. I also have those who order books and don’t pick them up. And let’s not forget those who want to drop off every book they’ve ever owned to me in exchange for store credit (not happening lol). On the flip side, I’ve met some pretty amazing people within the last month, a few whom I would call future friends. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling I get when someone tells me I have a book in stock that they’ve searched for everywhere to no avail. It’s a feeling of euphoria when little kids and teens come to the store gushing over their favorite titles, making lists of what they want, and begging their parents to buy them a book right then and there. I went from having barely any time at all to read, to reading all day every day in between customers and handling odd jobs in the store.
I’ve learned some useful tactics already such as placing special orders in a group rather than as the requests come… boy it didn’t take long to realize free shipping is worth a one or two day delay to receive the orders. I didn’t initially realize that once I place my order for new inventory, my bill is sent once the items are shipped and I have three days to pay the invoice. After you receive a late fee of over $60, it doesn’t take much to remember to pay the invoice as soon as possible either lol.
I’m still working out the kinks of finding a balance to my everyday life. I have to take Trey to football practice on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so while he’s at practice I try to get all my errands ran and do grocery shopping if needed. On those days we don’t get home until almost 8:30 pm. Everyone who looks at my hours says “Woah your hours are so long, you’ll get burnt out and change those soon”. What they fail to realize is that I’m gone the same number of hours I would be gone if I still worked in Danville. My laundry seems to sort of take a backseat to me laying on the coach once I’m home and have cooked (if I even cooked for that day) and my catch up days end up being on Saturdays and Sundays. I have missed every one of Trey’s football games this season with the exception of the first game simply because I’ve been working the store and don’t feel comfortable actually hiring anyone just yet. Good thing I have an understanding kid. I went from being a night owl to barely being able to keep my eyes open while catching up on my favorite shows with bae. Books and Crannies has actually taken over my life when I think about it; but hey so did my other jobs to a certain extent. The silver lining is always the fact that I work for myself and this is MY bookstore; something I can pass down to my child to have as his own when the time comes. You can’t beat that no matter what.
So as you can see, it’s not easy at all being your own boss. Did I mention I paid my first month of sales taxes to the IRS two days ago? Yeah, life is real lol. But I love the fact that I’m only depending on myself now! Once you start your own business, it becomes your livelihood and it almost feels like life or death for your business to survive. You push yourself THAT much harder because you don’t have a crutch to fall back on anymore. In the working world, if you lose your job of course you’ll be devastated, but there’s always more jobs in the world. If your business doesn’t survive, it becomes just like that relationship you’ve put all your time and energy into that failed and now you’re left picking up the pieces. Hats off to everyone pursuing your dreams, it’s not easy but it’s very much possible and it’s the most exhilarating feeling you could imagine!