As of today, I’ve been a business owner for a week.
Well…actually, although that’s true, the reality is that I’ve been a business owner for the past 10 years. But…well, considering how much profit I’ve made off of my books over those 10 years, it has become rather easy to forget that I’ve actually been self-employed for the past decade.
The business my wife and I took over last week has already more than doubled the number in gross sales I’ve made for all time in my books. Which, you know, is exciting and all that, but also, a little disappointing.
I guess people just like food more than books…Or maybe it’s that it truly is that much easier to market food. For the past 10 years, I’ve worked on trying to figure out how to convince people to read my books, whereas with food, it turns out that if you can just put up some pretty pictures, people will come in droves. Sure, there’s a lot of work that goes into all of that, and it’s not like this business didn’t already have a customer base in place, and there’s also the concept that food is a quick hitter, whereas books take a heckuva lot longer time investment to enjoy.
Of course, my books are about a quarter of the cost of our average customer’s bill over the course of our first weekend, so that also causes me to think that there may be something I’m missing in this whole concept of how to market books.
All the same, I’ve found that while I was busting my ass to try to help keep this bakery running this weekend and am still exhausted from it, I also need to do far less to convince people to come in. It helps that we have an amazing staff of people who are working tirelessly to give our customers the best experience possible. And so, when I say all that needs to happen is to put up some pretty pictures of food to get people to come in, the reality is that there were a lot of (wo)man hours that went into getting those items made and pretty enough for the pictures in the first place. And then the front of house staff had to work tirelessly and quickly to get all those hundreds of customers through the door while managing to keep them happy, all while I simply sat in the back trying to wash dishes as quickly as possible.
In other words, while I like to pretend I had something to do with the success of our first opening weekend, the reality is that this business already had all of the primary keys for success. Here’s hoping we can just give them those few extra things that might make getting to success that much easier.
And, you know, my wife…who keeps working harder and harder to try to get the place there.
So, maybe, the real issue here is that these people are working hard to make success happen for their food, while I slowly write and barely market my books. Perhaps the real issue here is that they’re simply putting in the work?
Of course, there’s not much better than a ham and bechamel croissant, even as someone who absolutely loves to read.