A Whole New World
It’s a Wednesday. My third Wednesday, running a cat shop. So far, the feelings seem to be the same; panic because the shop isn’t inundated with people the minute I open. And then relief, when someone comes in and my instinct is to indulge/ suffocate them with my enthusiasm!
Running a little shop, in Chorlton is great. Genuinely. It’s a fab location and I’m surrounded by things that I’m proud of selling. But the truth is, it isn’t mental-busy all the time. And that, unfortunately, is enough to send me into a bit of a frenzy. Sometimes.
I know nothing about running a shop – but figure it’s a bit like learning to drive; you learn properly once you’re actually, actually driving. On your own. And, although it’s a little bit terrifying, you have no choice, but to pick it up. Quickly; it becomes a matter of life and death… So, you know, there isn’t much choice – and I’m definitely learning – all the time. Whether it’s not measuring something (and then unwittingly ordering the teeny-tiniest plant pots – In. The. World) or being overly enthusiastic with an item, (because I love it completely, but nobody else seems that enamoured with it)! Or, just setting up and learning spreadsheet formulas. I am picking things up – quickly and despite inevitable errors, on the whole, it’s good fun!
I never really thought about it, when I was living my ‘other’ life, as a teacher. I’d go into small boutiques and not really consider how business might have been that day. I never took much notice if it was quiet, or if they were reading or straightening things up on shelves (I do a lot of that in my shop); it was always a bit of a blur really – until now. Now I actually see shop owners; we keep ourselves busy, in order to not think too much about the decision we’ve made to start/ run a business. (‘Is this the worst decision I’ve ever made? Oh my God, what have I done?!’ to ‘It’ll be absolutely fine – it always has been… There’s always a lull this time of year…’ etc. etc).
But this is very different to the panic/ stress that I’m accustomed to. There aren’t deadlines, as such, other than the ones I place on myself. There aren’t those difficult conversations that need to be had (with you, or you need to have with other people), there isn’t the relentless marking; an everlasting gobstopper popped in the mouth each evening, and there aren’t the same feelings when I get up. (But there isn’t that busyness either; that constant conversation, on a loop, the banter, the laughter and frustration you have in a classroom). But oh, let’s cover that another day.
As the day wears on, people arrive a bit like buses – no one for ages and then a few, all at the same time. It’s no Aldi or Tesco – so it’s never going to be crazy-busy like that, but that’s how we roll in the small business world -I think (well, that’s what I’m rolling anyway). A bit of an unsteady start, before the rush commences; and then I’m manic busy – and feeling pretty euphoric!