Someone told me early in my career that I took the ups and downs of business too seriously.
How could I not?
Is it possible I'm still around because I do?
Anyway, over the years, I finally did learn to leave work concerns at work. Once I'm away from the physical presence of the store, I'm good. I learned not to work past posted hours, usually. Get it done at work, or leave it for another day. And I have found ways to work through my angst, as well to tone down my glee.
Still, it always surprises me how much stress I'll feel if business is slow.
Here's the thing, the slowness of the last ten days means that I've lost a few thousand dollars off the top, that is off the profit part. But I still have made a few thousand dollars in profit, nevertheless.
The difference is in expectation. I was probably being unrealistic to think I could get through this with no pain. Just because I saw it coming.
And as I've mentioned before, this is nothing compared to the past.
In the old days, the difference may have been delayed bills, or bounced checks, or borrowing off the credit cards. Now, it's not setting aside as much money as I wanted. In some ways, it's good that I find the setting aside of money to be an imperative. In the old days, I would've felt that was money to spend on the store.
Thing is -- it feels the same. And it shouldn't. I should be able to just shrug it off. "O.K., Dunc. You didn't make a couple thousand in profits this week, you only made a thousand. But you still earned a profit..."
What I've noticed is, if business starts off strong, then the day goes pretty smoothly, no matter the end result. Whereas, if business starts off slow I get in more and more of a funk, even though I might end up with good business at the end of the day.
I've learned to try to work through that funk. Get busy doing something else, engage in conversation with a friend. Quit thinking about it.
But the last ten days were so slow, that the funk sort of settled in -- thus the obsession that Blackdog points to.
So I worked out the details of my August budget, and I'm going to try to get back the money I thought I was going to make in July next month instead. I was hoping to get my IRA contribution out of the way, but I'm only halfway there, dammit.
But actually making plans to deal with it has helped.
5 days ago