First Taste of Starting a Business
I’m 3 weeks from exiting the Army, been paying for a space I’ve yet to see and about to drive my car which is loaded down with gym equipment and dogs halfway across the country. What could possibly go wrong?
The drive went extremely well. Took about 18 hours (personal best) and arrived in Tulsa around 11am. At this point I’m running off about of 3 hours of sleep in the last 32 hours (give or take). I felt exhausted, but my resting heart rate was probably around 120 with the amount of caffeine I consumed. There’s also no way in hell I could sleep without seeing this space I’ve been paying for the last 2 months. Thankfully it’s right down the road from the house so I jumped back into the car. It’s in a warehouse district that houses a lot of small businesses. I pulled up to my spot, hop out of the car and take a peek through the window. My heart sinks as all I see is a room and think “shit, looks like I’m knocking walls down”.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
I open the door and what I saw is an office/lobby area and through that is just open space with my bathroom to the back. I can’t stop smiling. I keep muttering “it’s perfect, f#$%#@g perfect”. Time to get some sleep.
1-hour nap, I wake up feeling eager and ready to work. Groggy as all hell but anxious. I head to an equipment distributor I’ve been talking to for the last few weeks to go over game plan, prices and then back to the space. Now It’s time to make this place my own.
The next day I start to get measurements, think about color schemes, equipment layout and all that good stuff. Multiple Lowes trips later, it’s time to paint. I should probably mention the last time I painted, I dropped my flip phone in the paint. It’s safe to say it’s been awhile. Few hours later, repeatedly wanting to go touch up areas that aren’t even dry yet and with the help of my father in law the first project is done. Just in time for the Vikings and Eagles game too. Time to call it a day and I feel pretty good about it.
Monday comes around and there’s a lot to do, with one of those things being catching a flight back North Carolina. I have a shipment coming in sometime around 9am-12pm. I get in the gym early because I wanted to lay flooring down for the office area. I get the music going and really start to move, until I get to the last part of it, which requires something I’ve lost at this point. Patience. And it’s almost 12pm and haven’t heard from the driver for the drop off. 15 minutes later the truck pulls around and the driver hops out and goes “your shipment is heavy as hell”. Sure is, about 2400 lbs. We wrestled it off the truck for about 30 minutes and then had to unload it all to get his dolly out. Fun stuff. So, I clean up my mess, check out a few dumbbells, hop in the car to go shower to do a quick turnaround to the airport. I didn’t make it to take off before I fell asleep.
There’s a lot of time unaccounted for. Many times, I’d be working and wanting to get everything done but the main reason I want this to work is for my family. I’d force myself to stop and go see my girls. I know my wife would have understood if I worked throughout the weekend but that’s not want I want for our family. In most cases there won’t be a work – life balance, but there needs to be a healthy rhythm. I want to see my family every morning and put my daughters to bed every night. I understand there will be times I work late/early, that’s the downside of owning my own business. I also have the ability to make my family the priority and that’s what I did at times this weekend.
2 weeks and I’m back at it. This time for good.