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NOT EVERYONE IS GOOD AT BUSINESS


Saturday, October 05, 2013


On October 12, 1974 I opened my own business. Due to circumstances I had split with my business and 'life' partner. I had been the 'front man' in the business and he took care of all the economics involved. For 8 years I had been a "STAR"--a big fish in a small pond. And I was good at what I did--selling the product. When we split I opened my own business for 3 reasons: the first was that I didn't want to leave Memphis and unless you were black and/or a female you didn't work as a waiter (things have changed since then!) and the second was that I was very good at what I did but the 3rd reason was a stupid one--revenge!!

I had a big following, as did the women who came into the business with me. We took off like gangbusters, better than I had even anticipated but I made a few-- really major--mistakes. The first was opening too many locations, too fast and without a plan. The second was that I was a lousy boss who didn't understand the business of business. If I gave one person a raise I gave everybody a raise. I didn't keep an emergency fund and I didn't compare income with outgo. I, also, was mired in lawsuits with the ex--again showing his smarts--he knew he wouldn't win but it would cost us money and time and we couldn't afford either.

4 years later I realized it was over and wanted out of the business. I offered it for sale, took a very bad offer and that was that. It was pride and nothing else that made me sneak out of town. It is the latter that I truly regret because I didn't have to--I had done my bestandshouldhave left with my head held high.
I did learn that I didn't have a head for business--something I knew but wouldn't/didn't acknowledge--again because of pride. It was a well learned lesson but the basic of it wasn't that I didn't have a head for business but I didn't have a head for dealing with money! It took another 20+ years to learn that lesson. I very quickly went from being a millionaire (on paper at least!) to what I could move down to Fort Lauderdale in a u-haul. I still had, and still do have, good friends there but have lost contact with the ''girls'-- even did the facebook search with 0 results. Of course many might be dead.


I don't regret any of the 12 years I spent in the weight reduction field--I learned a lot--and I really enjoyed the work! I went back to being a server, which I didn’t regret as it, also, was a profession, I loved--never felt like 'work' to me--even when I did get 'in the weeds'. LOL

I did learn that I didn't have a head for business--something I knew but wouldn't/didn't acknowledge--again because of pride.

I don't regret any of the 12 years I spent in the weight reduction field--I learned a lot--and I really enjoyed the work! I went back to being a server, which I didn’t regret as it, also, was a profession, I loved--never felt like 'work' to me--even when I did get 'in the weeds'. LOL

Most important about the weight reduction business, aside from my losing 100+ pounds, was that it brought me to Memphis, a city that I immediately was made to feel at home, where I met some of the best people and fell in love with the South!


I loved my decade in Memphis, being involved with Weight Watchers and Our Weigh, and returned two years later for a stayover on the way to St. Louis to see "A Chorus Line" in 1981. The city was as beautiful as ever. It has been 32 years now since I last was there and don't know if I will ever go back--can you go 'home' again? I don't think so!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
TENNISJIM 10/6/2013 6:12AM

    Thank you for sharing. Being a boss is very tough. You have to be fair YET firm.

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KATRINAKAT23 10/5/2013 7:54PM

  I don't think I would be good having a business either. For one thing, I don't want the responsibility. I like to do my job, come home and forget about it until the next day. I suppose though there are some businesses like that.

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