If it were Easy...
Posted on 14 July 2016
In this day and age starting a business from scratch is hard enough. Try starting one with no financing in a stigmatized subset of the economy along with a manufacturing and service component. Now do it in three months. Sell a product that cannot simply be purchased from a wholesale company, you have to hunt for it, chase down leads, call in favors, all in a diminishing marketplace and a hostile political environment. Any sane business advisor would probably tell you to get a job selling insurance. Fortunately, we’ve never been accused of being sane.
Throughout this project I’ve been reminded of several clichés with which my father frequently assailed me. First, “Nothing is ever as easy as it needs to be.” Problems that are simple in theory often require much more time than originally allotted to solve. In the process of building out the workshop it was not an uncommon occurrence to visit the hardware store three or more times per day. Upon departure I would loudly proclaim that this was certainly the last visit of the day. The sales staff of whichever big box hardware store I happened to be in, who were by now very familiar with my proclivities, would jovially respond, “Sounds great! I’ll see you in an hour.” They were often correct.
A pessimist by nature, I’ve often seen certain tasks or problems as insurmountable. This never kept my father from tackling huge projects by himself, typically without the tools necessary to succeed, evidently the right tool for the right job cliché never occurred to him. At particularly strong head scratching moments he would cast off my doubts of success with these words, “Son, the impossible just takes a little longer.” While there was perhaps a little hyperbole expressed by both parties - on my part for thinking certain projects were beyond our ability, and on my father’s part since, we all admit, there are some things beyond the power of mankind (zero calorie bacon), his message was that simple tenacity and sheer force of will are major components of completing any project or traversing the pitfalls of life.
My father also likes to say that, “nothing worth doing is ever easy. If it were, everyone would do it.” In my limited life experience I have found this too true. And if the difficulty of the task and the happiness achieved by completing it are proportional, then I look forward to seeing the fruits of my labors as this business takes flight.
My purpose for sharing this is threefold. First, I hope that the next time you encounter adversity, be it a stripped screw on a piece of hardware, a 50-page insurance application, or false accusations about your character, you face it head on and don’t give up...ever. I’ve learned more in the past several months than I thought was capable only because I fought the urge to crawl under a stone when things didn’t go my way or were difficult. I believe the best things have always come from doing the right thing. And sure enough, things do turn around. Second, to wet your whistle for the ridiculous posts to follow about building a custom buffing machine, installing a sub panel in the office, how not to move a lathe, and many more. But finally, I suppose what I’m really trying to say is, we’ve got pipes! Lot of pipes! All for sale, so come and get em!Welcome to Blue Room Briars.