owning our own businesses

My current thoughts on business ownership.

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While owning your own business does sound quite glamorous, it is not all its cracked up to be. Sure, from the outside looking in, it appears that we have it made. We work outside, among the plants, watering, and laughing, and then we get the winters off to lounge, vacation, and put our feet up. 

I wish. 

This business is hard work. it has proven to be even more challenging throwing a baby into the mix of our family (I wouldn't trade it for the world though!) 

While we do get winters "off" from having open store hours, we are still working in the off season. Ordering, networking, lining up jobs. 

It does, however, have its perks. We get to make our own hours, and essentially are in control of our days. Dave and I both have the same goals. We want to do whatever we can so that we can spend as much time as a family. I don't want to work for someone else all week long while Holtan is at day care only to feel even more exhausted than I do now. I feel both fortunate for the opportunity to be with him daily, but also proud that we have made the choices and put ourselves in a position that makes that possible for our family. 

We work every weekend. We work into the evenings. We sometimes work into the night. 

It's what we have to do to live the life we want. 

And man oh man, is the uncertainty of seasonal, retail income, oh so very scary. But you never get anywhere in life without taking some risks, following your heart, and trusting that it will lead you in the right direction. 

 

Tech Tuesday: Google+

This morning I attended an event put on by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce called "Tech Tuesday."  Every 3rd Tuesday of even months they have seminars about technology and how you can use it to promote your business.Today's topic was "Google Hangouts" presented by Rick Hesse.  I am not sure how applicable using Google + is for Natural Plus, but it did spark some thoughts I'd like to reflect on.1.  The reason I started this blog was to document our journey with the takeover of the nursery.  It's fun to look back at the progress we've made, and we're just getting started.  It will be even more fun in 5 or 10 years.  It's also a way for me to process what we've learned in these classes and organize my thoughts about where the business is going.  They shared a story about a guy who took a picture of a big oak tree in his yard every day for a year.  He posted the pictures on facebook and attracted many followers.  Many people reached out to him, one a cancer survivor who said those pictures helped give her peace through her chemo treatments.  Check it out here.  I'm not healing the world here, but if I can reach just one person, and inspire them and help them, I'm in.2.  Being a part of the community is going to be integral to our success.  I am a people person. I want to be involved. I want to network.  The people that attend these events are the people I need to be talking to.  Get our names out there, let people know what we're doing.  The more people know, the more support we will have.  I have always had a strong desire to be a part of the community.  When I moved here I thought about joining the Jaycees, a group for young professionals.  I think I may still do that.  We also plan to join the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce and attend the "Business After Hours" and other events put on by the Chamber.  Clear Lake seems to be good at getting its community members active and involved and I want to be a part.3.  I need/want to learn about this technology stuff.  I want this blog to be a way for people to visit our website and connect with what we are doing.  I want our customers to feel like they know us. And want to buy from us.  The presenter said your website is a way to educate your customers and make a connection with you.  Dave's parents have a website for the nursery (www.naturalplusnursery.com) but they do not actively seek customers this way.  They have a customer base already.  I plan to take advantage of social media and learn how to manage the website and keep it up to date.  When people are searching the internet, I want Natural Plus Nursery to come up in their search.  I will need to work with a website developer to figure out how to do this.IMG_36704.  The possibilities are endless.  I feel lucky to have this opportunity to take a successful business and continue that, all the while putting our own stamp on it.  I wrote about some of our ideas and dreams here and hope we can make some of those dreams come true.While we may not use "Google+" in the nursery business, going to "Tech Tuesday" definitely got the wheels turning.