Friday, December 2, 2011

Trust your instincts and think for yourself.

Easy to say, hard to do.

A major task of a small business owner is to compensate for the stupidity and shortsightedness of those higher up the food chain.

When I started, I had an assumption that those bigger and richer than me were somehow smarter and more savvy and experienced.

It took way too long for me to realized the fallacy of that notion.

Watching the card companies disappear, one by one. Watching Marvel go bankrupt. Watching one publisher after another fail. Watching my banks get bought up, once, twice, trice. Watching the comic industry shrink to one supplier. And on and on.

It now doesn't surprise me at all that the local city officials make boneheaded decisions; and it certainly was no revelation that the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street are a bunch of shortsighted, greedy pricks.

I now carefully watch my bigger brothers to see what direction they're headed and if I think they are going off the rails, I start to look for ways to compensate for their decisions.

You can't wait until it's obvious, or until someone tells you to. This is the kind of thing you have to think of yourself, and have enough faith in your own reasoning to make decisions.

So idiotic as I think it is for comic and book companies to rush into the digital publishing realm. (Have they figured out that -- if they succeed -- creators won't need them anymore?) I have to recognize the trends and adjust accordingly.

Way back in 1992, I made the decision -- at a time when sports cards were 85% of my sales -- to get out of them. To stop buying directly in large quantities at discounts. To stop trading and buying off the street. To stop selling singles and sets and boxes. And so on.

Every time I made a hundred bucks selling cards, I spent 20% to keep the cards going, and diverted 80% into other product.

No one else I knew made those decisions. And none of them are around anymore.

So I just keep trying to make these decisions on my own, trusting in my instincts.

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