Ruminations on the Entrepreneurial Life
While we all recover from the PTSD of the Trump years, I'm noticing the relief in small ways. For instance, I'm now finding myself listening to long Audible books while driving instead of circling around news and talk news radio stations for the latest outrage, source of comfort, hope for the future. I used to devour long history books on tapes, starting with the 50 hour Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich back in 2013. The narrators voice on that one became as familiar as my wife's (and since I still look for books he speaks, and my wife and I are long divorced), his voice proved to have more longevity. The current book I'm listening to in on Roosevelt and mostly the war years. Fascinating guy and times. And writer Doris Kearns Goodwin, of Team of Rivals (lincoln) fame and others, writes well, and interestingly.
That's not fair though. I hear my ex's voice all the time. How my lunch packing skills and choices are bizarre, how the lost socks mystery that surrounds Lucas is somehow my fault, how the movie we watched over the weekend was inappropriate, etc.... I'm just joking - we have a great and valued relationship that we work on daily.
I'm also reading Britian at Bay, which is a story of Britain from 1939-42. One of the things it tries to do, as least over the first 150 pages, is give the Chamberlain as an appeaser and failure another look, and recast him as a more 3 dimensional character
A lot of you close readers are probably remarking about how 'wow, looks like Chuck got the picture thing figured out'. That would not be correct, I'm posting in my old blog and copy and pasting in my new blog, because my new blog hosted on my new website doesn't upload/fancy the HEIC format that is automatic on Iphones.
That's right, I paid $15k for a fancy new website which I love and I go to blog and celebrate my victory, and, boom, issue with photo uploads.
Couple of drone shots -
One would think that would turn me off to my web designer, who is locked down outside of London somewhere with his girlfriend and baby. But no way, in my business, life ain't perfect, and since I deal with literally 100 vendors a week, results that aren't what I wholly expected are par for the course. Vendors coming up short is par for the course. Shit not working the way it's supposed to is par for the course. But anyone in my position knows that even the best laid plans don't always work out, and typically you aren't working with the best laid plans, so the idea that it's not working out how you had it pictured in your mind's eye, well, that's just something you get used to. The real trick is not letting it go too far, calibrating the anticipated imperfection so it actually works, maybe just not exactly how you thought it might. And giving your partners a break - christ, they are a hardworking bunch. Of all the attributes that help vendors make the cut with Catskill Farms for mutual benefit, hardworking is at the very top. Everything else comes after that.
My baseball coach growing up (ages 8-14) told me that my competitive advantage will always be that I know how to work harder than other people, inherently, because coming from Lancaster PA, you are surrounded by hard-working people, small businesses, etc... Everyone seems to be industrious, and have a side hustle.
I've been also having fascinating conversations with leaders in their field this week - my bank president and I caught up, then a super interesting conversation with a client we are building a home for who is a producer at a well-known news program. Perspective and insights from a broad range of people has always kept us safe from -'owner knows best' trap many small business get caught in. Though, I do think that I know best, it's just that I know best because I'm tapping into and listening to a very broad range of market participants.