What Went Wrong (bad business practices)

When I was in high school, I thought about suicide a lot.  Not me personally committing it, but thinking about other people who wanted to do it.

Me thinking – “How awesome would that be?  To have absolutely no fear of death.  I would be able to do or try ANYTHING without any fear of the consequences.”

My reasoning was that if you’re not afraid to die, that means you have nothing to lose.  You’re at rock bottom.  Complete and utter freedom.

But then depression hit me much later on in life and I found out the truth about suicide.  It’s not about not fearing death, it’s about fearing life.

When you’re suicidal, you don’t care about anything or anyone but yourself, it’s selfish.

And it’s debilitating, like having a physical illness that keeps you in bed all day, keeps you from going out and doing things, learning things.  It’s the opposite of bravery, opposite what I thought it meant in high school.

I had a suicidal friend in high school.  She was a closet lesbian, in love with a girl in her class.  I couldn’t for the life of me understand why she was miserable and wanted to off herself.

Me – “You have no fear of dying.  Don’t you understand how freeing that is?  You can do anything with your life, not fear the consequences, go anywhere, do anything.  Why waste it on killing yourself?  You have no fear now, so why waste it?  Aren’t you curious to see what happens?  You’re already at rock bottom so anything that happens to you would be better than where you are now.”

Her – “Have you been planning this speech?”

No, I have not been planning this speech, but I’ve thought about it a lot.  And whatever I said to her made her think twice.  She had no argument and actually started to feel hopeful.

I’m thinking about this now, not because I’m suicidal, but because it reminds me of what I’m going through with my business.

It’s like I keep fighting for selfish reasons and the more I fight, the more scared, anxious and depressed I become.  Suicide is all about being scared, not brave.  It’s not about being curious about where your journey takes you, it’s about being in control of when it ends.  The ending is all you’re able to control and you want the tourture to stop.

I’m on a journey, that’s all.  Curiosity is the key in this battle, not fear.

I was talking to an old friend with whom I worked with at the Aquaturf (a banquet facility).

Her – “I hated that job.  I hated going outside to see how beautiful it was and I was stuck there working missing the day.”

Me – “I loved working there.  I loved going outside to see how beautiful it was and I was appreciative that I was there working with people I loved, all in the same boat.”

I felt her mind shift and she said – “Yeah, I need to be more appreciative.”

I felt her entire perspective change in an instant.  Just like it did with the suicidal girl in high school.

I have to remember who I am.  I’m someone who appreciates and loves life and can easily love everyone around me.  I’ve always been thankful, always thankful, always loved.  I got freaking employee of the year at the Aquaturf my first year there (out of hundreds!).  That shows you a bit of just how loved I was, and how much I loved the place.

Owning a business takes all that appreciation and thankfulness away and replaces it with anxiety and fear of losing it all, but my advice to the suicidal girl makes me think twice;  Aren’t I curious to see what happens next?”

It’s like saying “fuck this shit” and going off to actually do something about your problems.

Since August, I’ve been doing everything I can to save my business.  I started washing sheets, changed employee’s to independent contractors, cut hours, I’m in the process of downsizing to a cheaper place that just so happens to be an improvement to where I am now.  And I’m not selling online deals anymore.  Fuck this shit, you know?  Shit’s gotta change.

And here I am on the brink of the precipice.  Waiting for the zoning permit to go through, waiting until next month when the last of the online deals have expired.

I’m waiting for the last of my keys, my two last chances, to open new doors;  No more online deals and a better, more visible location.

I just slept for 12 hours.  It’s Saturday and I have no clients.  But my employee’s have 10 altogether, 3 of which are online deals.  I have to pull $60 out of my ass to pay the therapists who massaged them.

Four of the clients today are members – that money is already gone too, but one of them is paying extra for a bonus birthday massage and another is adding a $25 upgrade for a 90-minute massage.  Two clients are random new clients and the last of the ten scheduled today bought a package of 3 massages at my old business, Massage by Melanie, and that money is definitely gone.

According to the schedule, I’ll make about $190 today.  Plus I need to charge John’s card, a member client whom I massaged yesterday for his birthday massage so that brings me up to $245.

If not for the online deals, my employee’s would be massaging more birthday people and random new clients.  I won’t be negative $60, but plus $120.  And when we move to the better location, we’ll be massaging more new people due to better signage.

I strongly believe that my actions as of late has changed the fate of my business.

Where I went wrong:

  • I let my broken armed therapist sit and answer phones.
  • I hired Anthony to replace her.
  • Sold more online deals to cover the cost of my broken armed therapist now turned receptionist.
  • Had to hire another therapist to help with all the new online deal clients.
  • Hired an esthetician and added facials thinking it would bring in more members.
  • Rented the two empty rooms upstairs because I needed an extra room for facials.

One bad decision, turning my broken armed therapist into a receptionist, snowballed into making more bad decisions.  These decisions cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The upside is, I know exactly what happened.  I know exactly what went wrong.

The first three bullet points are taken care of, now it’s just the last 3 to contend with.  The forth bullet point won’t be cause for concern once the online deals are done with.

Once I move, I won’t be renting the two extra rooms anymore which leaves me with my last problem, my esthetician.

One remedy I thought up is to buy an inferred sauna.  Clients who spend money to use it, will cover the cost of my esthetician to be there.

Right now my esthetician is giving facials to mostly online deal people and once those deals have expired, she’d be lucky to get 3 clients a week.  Facials are not as popular as massage – something I wish I knew before hiring her.

I’m paying her over $800 a month to do facials on people who already bought their facial and who’s money is already gone.  Over $800 a month I have to pull out of my ass, until that is, after next month when the deals expire.  That leaves me with my only idea, the inferred sauna idea.  And to have her preform mini eye-lifts to clients after their massage.

I can’t have her do mini eye-lifts now because I’d hate to have her come in only for a 10-minute session – the cost is too great and I’d lose money.  But with the sauna, it’s more likely I’d get a return on investment.  Plus she can answer phones.

Ugh, owning a business…..shit sucks.  Well, right now it sucks.

You want to see what happens when you ignore problems?

teeth

Calcified plaque, hard as rock.  A lifetime of not brushing your teeth.

I have to remember who I am.  I’m actually quite obsessed with oral hygiene.  I’m NOT this person.

And I’ll never give up on anything.

 

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