Friday, March 12, 2010

The American Dream - one step at a time.

I love to dream big. I love to take a small idea and figure out how to turn it into a winning enterprise. I am an American. That's what we do.

Sometimes I have been successful and sometimes I fail. I am learning what makes the difference and a big part of it is taking things one step at a time.

Let me tell you a story. We live in a very small rural community. A few months ago a Japanese restaurant opened. The minute the doors opened I knew it would fail. Sadly, because I love teriyaki.

The cook and waitress showed up everyday and everyday as I walked past there were only a couple of customers at the most. They leaned on the counter, they put a sign on the corner, everyone who ate there said the food was great.

How did I know it would fail? The quick numbers just didn't add up. Just taking the minimum expenses into consideration they were not going to get enough customers a day to keep the doors open. Unless the owner could cover expenses and sustain the lack of income until they were able to build the clientele it just wasn't going to work. The business lasted about three months. I cannot help but wonder how long they will be paying the bills.

Another story.

I decided to raise and sell chickens. (Please understand that I was raised in the suburbs and city so this was a big new project for me and it had to be easy, right?) I bought a 200 egg incubator and put dozens of eggs in it. 21 days later I had chicks! Lots of chicks! It was exciting to watch all the little peepers come out. They were such cute little puff balls.

Then the problems began. I had underestimated how quickly they would grow and it was too cold outside so I ended up moving the brooder upstairs and some boxes with lights. And, the chicks grew and grew and the whole house smelled like chickens and their waste and they made some kind of dusty stuff that covered everything. It was loud, and smelly, and the chicks just kept growing. Finally the day came when I could put them outside! I had to clean and clean. It was truly a miserable experience and I totally do not recommend raising chickens upstairs.

I did go on to make a very nice bird business with peacocks, ornamental pheasants, ducks, and, of course, chickens.

Now there has got to be something that can be learned from these stories.

When you are In The Trenches you will be learning new things. Good things. Everything from food storage to gardening, to maybe starting your own business.

Dream big! But, start small.

1. Do your research.
2. Make a plan.
3. Review the plan with others who have more experience than you.
4. Get as much advice as you can from friends, family, books, and professionals.
5. Then start small and build slowly.
6. Each step will teach you something new. You will find questions you never even thought to ask.
7. Have fun along the way.
8. Repeat steps 1 - 7 over and over until you are able to achieve your dreams and goals.

A small success is better than a big failure.

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