I had to bookmark this article after first reading it over on an Etsy forum, because it is worth looking back on any time I get discouraged.
The title "It's not the economy." could have been featuring ME! I mean, she could have been talking about me as the star of this article, the shop owner who didn't "get it".......too late for that particular shop, but I'm so impressed with this article/view point.
Here's how it starts out, just to grab you...
Havi Brooks February 23rd, 2009
It’s not the economy.
So the other day I saw an enormous “going out of business” sign on the window of a neighborhood store. Oh. Sad face.
“Due to the current state of the economy, we are unable to continue ….”
I didn’t even need to read the rest.
But you know what?
Let’s talk about this.
Okay. I’ve walked past this very storefront at least twice a day — every single day — for the past year. And never noticed it.
Seriously. I could not, for the life of me, have told you anything about it. Nothing. What it is, what it sells, or even what it’s called.
Hmmm. And now they’re going out of business.
It must be the economy.
So I spent about ten minutes in the store. Talked to the owner. Poked around. And realized that I loved this place. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t known about it, because it was my kind of thing. I even bought something.
And I still don’t know what they’re called.
That’s how bad the economy is.
A name that’s not memorable — or located anywhere you could read it. A store that’s invisible. But it’s the economy.
I asked what the rent was, because I’m Israeli and don’t have problems doing things like that. Turns out that it’s just over $1200 a month.
On a street with an insane amount of foot traffic. A street that supports yarn stores and hipster cafés.
In fact, the café I sat in — on the same block — was packed. As were most of them.
You know, because the economy is so crappy.
Yes, the economy is crappy. You know what’s really crappy though?
That otherwise smart, goodhearted, well-meaning people start a business out of a labor of love, and no one tells them about the part where you have to learn how to run a business.
Which includes stuff like being visible. Telling me what’s special about you. Being as you as you can be — out loud — so that your Right People (hello, I’m one of them!) can tell people about you.
The fact that these wonderful people who start businesses don’t know how to do that is understandable. I mean, argh, it’s not as though someone sits down and explains it to you when you start your business.