As an entrepreneur, I know that to be successful you have to have many things: good service, good product, creativity, enthusiasm, drive, motivation, marketing skill, financial stamina, and a GREAT attitude. It requires risk, dedication, drive, optimism, and luck.
When I owned Mocha Lisa Espresso Bar & Cafe it was a 24/7 lifestyle for almost ten years. The crew and managers got paid first, the stores (there were three) got repaired, the food and supplies were replenished, the licenses and permits were paid, the business insurance, rent and utilities were paid, financial incentives were given to the crew, and then finally….if there was anything left, I got paid. So when they say that entrepreneurs get to work “1/2 time,” they are indeed correct. It’s usually a 12 hour day! There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow either. No matching 401K, no PERS, no retirement plan, no paid vacation…nada, zip. It’s all you baby.
So when I received this video from a friend, I knew I had to add to the conversation. This blog post might even verge on a rant, but I am passionate about where I spend my dollars. (And hopefully you find it apolitical….I did.)
For most of my life I’ve been an entrepreneur. For ten years I operated Mocha Lisa. For two years my sister and I got BeeModern started; a web start up selling green products that is now closed. For the past two years I’ve been part of a three member team driving a local Eugene company, Doug’s Nuts forward. And, you also know me as the sole proprietor of Towerhouse Quilts, my longarm quilting business.
I tell people all the time that they needed to vote with their dollars. When you spend money at one store, know that there is an opportunity cost there; you aren’t spending it at another store (because in the real world unlike the government, we can’t print money!). So if you choose to buy foreign-made goods, those dollars are not going to your American-made products. Granted, these days it is hard to tell the difference. You have to read the labels carefully. A product may be distributed by an American company, but it is actually made overseas. Read carefully. Investigate if you have the time. I do believe that the video (linked to above) is correct in that if we spend money here, we will keep more jobs here. I am a believer!
And one of those jobs might be mine! In addition to my longarm quilting services, I’ve expanded my offerings to include: patterns, classes, handmade gifts and quilts sold at my Etsy store and a local farm store, designing custom quilts, and offering free patterns on my website…all in order to make this a viable business model. I am not succeeding according to my financial analyst (me). But I continue the good fight because I love what I do.
So (and wow….isn’t this long-winded!?) think about where you are spending your dollars. It does matter. Thanks for listening (reading!) and thanks for your support. I have many wonderful customers and I appreciate each and every one of you.
Oh….and happy quilting! (Got to get this back on a positive note! And here is a pretty picture just so you can refocus on quilting before you leave my website!)