Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Big happenings

I haven't posted for a while, but not because nothing has been happening. Quite the contrary, the last five months have been quite eventful.

My middle son became engaged to a fine young woman, whose family we have known for over ten years. And there was much rejoicing.

I had a long visit from the daughter and grandkids, and then spent over a week with them in Tucson.

The baby son started college.

And on that very same day, my husband had a heart attack. It could have been really, really bad, but thanks to fast action by him and by the doctors who cared for him, he is doing very well.

Most recently, my oldest son became engaged to a fine young woman, whose family we have known for over ten years. (She is, literally, the girl next door.) There was, again, much rejoicing.

I spent my summer having fun. I enjoyed my family, my friends, and my pool. We had almost constant house guests.  But in the back of my mind the whole time was the nagging thought, "Fall is coming. What are you going to be doing?" No more kids to homeschool or drive from one place to another. So I decided that it was time to move forward with a business that I had been researching and thinking about for six or seven years.

I started taking some steps. I researched the availability of my chosen business name, reserved it with the Secretary of State, and purchased a couple of domain names. I started talking about a website and making lots of lists. I was planning to launch my business in early October, but I decided while I was in Tucson to put it off by about a month so that I could try to get my house and life under control after our busy summer.

Then the heart attack.

I didn't realize until last week how badly that messed with my head. It really sent me into a tailspin. I decided that there was just NO WAY that I could start a business. Messy house. Medical bills. Too much to do. I spent most of two months cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry. I have never in my life spent so much time in my house or in my kitchen. And at the end of two months, I'm not much beyond where I started. It's still in worse shape than it's ever been. I've been trying to convince myself that by staying home I can keep a nicer house and economize in lots of little ways.

Except for one problem: That's not me.

I have always thrived when I am busy. Really busy. With lots of places to go and people to talk to. My house stays cleaner when I have two hours a week to clean it than when I have twenty. (Plus, if I make enough money, I can pay someone else to do it and then two of us will be happy!)

And yes, there are medical bills. And tuition. And rent and a mortgage and car repairs. And, oh, by the way, two weddings next summer. So, maybe I should think about making some money.

All of the sudden last week, I came out of the fog that I had been walking around in. I knew that it was time to get busy and move forward with my business. We need the money. I need the outlet. Our current financial situation is making the start-up very much of a shoe-string endeavor. I am spending money on nothing that isn't absolutely vital to starting and running the business.

My biggest still-extant issues are getting a website up and running and securing insurance.Both have to happen before I can start earning, so they are a priority.

But you all wanted to know what I am going to be doing, right? I am starting a personal and business concierge service, Boulevard Concierge Services, LLC. I will be providing services like errand running, personal shopping, relocation/moving assistance, and event planning, just to name a few. I plan to focus marketing at first to real estate agents, families of senior citizens, and busy professionals. I will do anything that someone wants to pay me to do that is not illegal, unethical, or immoral.

And I am really excited about it. I have SO MANY ideas about services that I could provide. And concierge is not just a service for the wealthy. In fact, I think that my main customer base will be middle to upper middle class women with families, for whom an hour of extra time is a very valuable thing. You hate shopping? I love it and am good at it, and I'll do it for you. You can't leave work to wait for Dish Network for four hours? I'll wait. And while I'm there I'll make homemade mac and cheese and address your Christmas cards. Need a Christmas present for Grandma who doesn't need another scarf or any more chocolates? How about a couple of hours of errand running or of organizing all that stuff that needs to go to Goodwill?

Basically, I am going to get paid for helping people, which, when it comes right down to it, is one of my favorite things to do.

I think that I am going to enjoy the networking and marketing almost as much as the work. And I know it will be a lot of work. And that it won't all be fun. And I know that the money crunch won't ease immediately. But I believe it will ease, because I know that I am going to be successful with this business. I am going to make my customers wonder how they ever lived without me.