Tuesday, November 18

Let It Snowww

It's that time of year again - yesterday was temperatures dropped like a chicks panties at a Phish Concert.  Literally my local news is on and it shows 3 below zero outside here on the banks of the Ohio River.  Seriously - makes you want to move to the equator!

With that said many of us just get ourselves into that rut and depression quickly.  We have to shop for Christmas, we trudge along to the job we hate and despise, and then just bury ourselves in the house for a few months with the exception of a quick trip to the store and wait for our bodies and mind to adjust and the grass to begin to grow.  Hell - we actually are ok with just roads that are drivable within about 2 weeks.

I hate unproductive time.  It literally drives me crazy when life gets stuck in 'idle'.  I love being at the barber shop and cutting hair, but I basically only get to be there on Saturdays and the guy I have that rents my shop has been really shorting me each week because the business just isn't there during the week.  The tanning salon reached its slow season as well, but the use of Black Friday specials has worked out the past few years as well so hopefully that helps this go around.

Personally I have found myself in a bit of a funk already this year.  I have hated my corporate gig since the merger and acquisition of another company the beginning of this year, but I find myself there for shitty insurance and just to make a steady income for my family- but it's not worth it.  When people talk about the rat race, or getting into that 9-5 job - this really is it.  It's that stuck in a rut and down season time that creates that feeling that can wear a entrepreneur minded individual out. 

So what do I say to that?  HELL WITH IT!  Get a side project going.  Try to find your passion.  Make some appropriate changes to put you where you want to be.  Society tells you to make New Years Resolutions.  Take a serious look at all the resolutions you have made the past few years and how many reasonable resolutions have you made that actually worked out?  Go against the grain and make short term goals when the weather folds.  You don't have to say you're going to create that overnight success business, because in all actually when it doesn't work out you'll end up beating yourself up over it.  Small goals like - I'm going to have a thousand dollars in my savings account inside of 6 months can have a huge impact on your longer term goals and dreams.

Use this 'idle season' to make moves to burst out of the igloo!

love life
.j

Monday, November 10

The Rumor Mill and Small Business in a Small Town

It started Saturday morning at the Barber Shop when having a pre 6am talk with a customer and local business fellow.  "You know, people really hate you," he said. "They say all kind of stuff on facebook.  People are ruthless."

"I know, I'm just stay too busy to care," was my response. 

The rest of the weekend that really stewed in my mind.  Small business owners all go through the same thing.  You have a slow period and you automatically start thinking that you said something or messed something up.  Some how it is your fault that business is slow.

It's a little different at this point in time for me.  My barber shop is steady when I'm there - I've been at the same shop for almost 5 years, thank gosh.  But I can't help to think what I have done or said to get that statement said to me.  Not only that, with that playing in my brain I had to go to a couple places and noticed (or at least projected it in my head) people staring at me and not waiving or saying random shit to people loud enough for me to hear it.

This is definetly a disadvantage of living and conducting business in a small town.  The Rumor Mill always seems to be churning.  The problem being is that I have absolutely no idea what rumor would have been started this time about me.  All I do is go to work, try to keep the doors open at my businesses, help people out when I can, and spend the rest of the time hanging out with my wife and my son.

Some people would rather spend more energy creating negativety or talking crazy about people instead of promoting the area or helping make things better.

It's simple.  If you say something messed up or do something inappropriate you are an adult.  You own it.  If it's just a wreckless rumor - you just try to squash it and move on.

Regardless, I  am sure I will find out within the next week or two what crazy rumor was fired up and I'll shake my head and move on.  Afterall - that's all you can really do.  There's not enough time in the day to swordfight assholes that don't do business with you or know you in the first place.

love life.
.j

Monday, November 3

Costumes for Kids 2014 a Success

The average household spent a little over 100 bucks on Halloween this year.  Not all households can afford it.
Each year we put together a costume drive and hand costumes out to local kids whose parents or caregivers might be having a rough time and couldn't really afford a costume.

In a nutshell I beg for costumes all year long from people.  Once October hits I go into focus mode and that really is all I talk about.  Some people donate costumes, some people toss us a couple bucks, and then a week before I take some of my own cash and buy a bunch of costumes.  We setup inside our tanning salon, get the word out, and kids or parents come in and take what they want completely free.

Last year I was contacted by a guy that I went to school with who came down and got costumes for a family that he knew.  He liked the idea and this year he spread the love to the northern part of our county.

Where I live is a more repressed area.  He lives in an area that obviously still has been hurt by the economy, but the houses are nicer, the town is clean, and the people show a little more pride.  With that said - he got a lot more news coverage and publicity.  This not only helped with his donations, but also with getting the word out a little more.

I relied more on social media and good old fashioned word of mouth. 

It worked out great though.  Together we gave out a little over 400 costumes.  It was awesome.

I've thought about really making this a countrywide thing.  Starting with an official website and mailing address for donated costumes and then taking applications across the world for donation spots that we put together a large shipment of recycled costumes, send them offical posters and instructions on how to organize the handout, and go from there.  I may take a real hard look at this at the first of the year to make it happen.

It really is awesome to see those kids that typically wouldn't have anything just given to them - especially a costume - come and pick out what they want.

love life
.j