Wow. It’s only Wednesday. This is the longest week ever. I am still waiting to hear from my developer about moving our ecommerce platform, which is strangling us. I am seriously considering firing them after 10 years or so of working with them. My marketing company can’t track conversions on Yahoo. So, the money we are paying the marketing company might or might not be doing anything. We can’t tell. On Monday we met with the owner of the largest black hair care distributor in the country. A friend connected us with a friend who connected us with him. He was in Cincinnati for a meeting, so we grabbed a quick meeting with him to get some advice. I love the show Shark Tank. Talking to him felt just like being one of those poor unprepared slobs on Shark Tank. He asked us our margins, our marketing strategy, whether we owned our formulas, etc. He gave us all of the pitfalls that were ahead of us if we were to get into retail in a major chain; the amount of product we would have to produce, the buy back of unsold product, the squeeze our co-packer would put on us. After going on for about ten minutes about what a hard road it would be, he concluded that he was not trying to talk us out of it. I had to hold in a laugh. “It sure sounds like you are.”. I walked out of that meeting wondering what direction to go in next. Retail, for now seems like a dead end, or at least a huge hurdle to jump over. It doesn’t appear to be worth it. We have spend the last year getting our product line up just the way we want it, putting bar codes on it, improving the packaging in the hope that we would get into retail. Now, I’m tninking maybe that’s not going to happen.
Today I get a call from my Uncle June. He’s asking if we are going to the family reunion in Philadelphia next year. Next year? I can hardly think about next week. I’m not thinking about a family reunion next summer. Philly is a 9 hour drive from here. He’s trying to organize a bus to take the family. Great idea. But, we’ve already committed to at least one trip next year. Kayla will probably want to go on vacation. And, we really need to start doing some hair shows to try to drum up business. I tell my uncle we’re not going to be able to make the family reunion. Too many other commitments. Not enough money to do it all. He tells me that we really need to think about relaxing and enjoying life. I tell him I’d like to work hard for another 10 years and be in a position to semi-retire at 65. He reminds me that tomorrow is not promised to anyone and I really need to think about enjoying today. I suppress a chuckle. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone? Who knows that better than I do? But, this is where I am. I’m not trying to collect experiences here on this Earth. My parents love to travel. Lots of people love to travel. I hate it. I don’t like packing. I don’t like having to decide which stuff to take and which stuff to leave behind. I don’t like the delays of airports or traffic. I figure I’ll travel in the next life, when we can travel by thought. And as far as living for today goes, there is the reality of life that I have to make a living for myself and Tywana over the next several years. We have no pension to rely on. And I really don’t want to be an old man still packing orders and making product in the basement. In the next 10 years I want to get this business off the ground. That means, for now, I have to continue to sacrifice. Carpe diem just isn’t what it’s about for me, for this moment. And, if I don’t live to enjoy my time here, it’s no big deal. There will be plenty of enjoyment once I’m out of here. Today it’s nose to the grindstone.