Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Strangely little difference....

To follow up on the previous post; it's strange how little difference this slowdown has made to my lifestyle.


The biggest change, of course, is that I'm working everyday. But there have been compensations. For instance, it only takes me 10 minutes to get to work everyday, instead of 15 minutes a year ago, or 20 minutes two years ago.

It takes a day to do my comic orders each month, instead of two days.

I very purposely simplified my business so that clerking is the main job.

I give myself until 11:00 to finish my coffee, read the newspaper, and make a blog entry. This extra hour is a benefit I gave myself the last time I worked everyday. In other words, I mosey in late morning, and mosey out again after 6:00.

Much of what I was doing at home, perusing the internet for instance, I can do here.

I give myself permission to relax, to sit, to play and talk, and to just take it easy. Even, on a slow Tuesday, to turn off the brain a bit. I don't feel very much stress.

Ultimately, if I have 20% less business, I have 20% less work to do. But it feels like even less, somehow.


I know that I personally prefer to have less work in a day, even if it means working more days. (The opposite of my wife, who prefers to work long hours, but to have whole days off, or more than one day off at a time.)

To be honest, as much as I enjoyed Patrick, he was getting underfoot a little at the end. There just wasn't enough work for both of us. This way, I'm back into the rhythm of the store; after a rocky first two weeks, I've had no blowups or bad situations, which means I just had to get into the swing of things again.

Economically, it has also made almost no difference. I'm taking home the same amount of money. I could conceivably take home the same amount of money if business dropped another third. Most of the money I made over the last few years went to paying off debt and restocking the store. Since that is accomplished, lower sales seem to be having little impact.


I had a couple of benchmarks I was watching; below the first benchmark, I knew I would have to let go my employee. Below the second benchmark, I realized I would have to take more drastic measures, either to blow out material or order less of it. The worst two months of the year have passed, and I stayed safely north of the second benchmark.

Ironically, it could still drop more percentage points, but because the rest of the year is always busier, the actual real money accrued will probably be higher. Another 20 or 30% drop, percentage wise, will still result in totals similar to what I'm seeing now.


It's a mystery. Actually, most of it went toward shoring up the store and paying off the credit cards and getting current on my taxes.

So....this slowdown has had very little real effect.


Anonymous said...

"Much of what I was doing at home, perusing the internet for instance, I can do here. I give myself permission to relax, to sit, to play and talk, and to just take it easy."

Gee, Dunc, you're pretty good at rationalizing your new situation.

I bet if you were thrown in prison you'd be telling us how much you appreciate all the time that they give you to read!

Duncan McGeary said...

The twisted mind of a small business owner....?

As much as I talk about how unrealistic some businesses are...I know it takes a certain mindset to open a store, that won't allow someone to talk them out of it.

tim said...

I'm in a pot of warm water. It's heating up a bit at a time, but I really don't mind because so far it's really not all that hot.

Duncan McGeary said...