Well, it's been over a year and the shop has survived! December 7th was the 1 year anniversary and the shop made it through with it's head above water. Not that it didn't choke on a few gulps here and there but for the most part I'd say it came out ahead.
There are definitely some changes in the new year for the shop though. The biggest being the parting of one of its founding members. My friend Cari gave me the news that she didn't have it in her heart to continue with the shop and so in January we began the careful process of transferring the business to a sole proprietorship.
After finalizing all the details, as of February 1st I began to run the shop officially by myself. It's definitely had it's challenges but it's had some great liberties as well. The biggest challenges revolve around keeping a day job. I still needed to earn an income while maintaining a business open and running with consistency.
It's at times like these that I am so appreciative for having my mother as an example of what to do when the going gets tough. I'm always eternally grateful (and I tell her as much) that she was always so strict with my brother and I about only speaking Spanish in the house when we were growing up. Though I didn't value the rule as much back then, it now allows me to be able to hold a job as a contractor for several agencies providing interpreting and translation services. One of the perks in this line of work is the flexibility to set your own hours and work remotely so it gives me the freedom to continue earning a modest living while working full time at developing the shop.
So now, a typical day for me is something like 2 to 3 appointments starting around 8 in the morning in which I physically show up at a location to provide interpreting services. Next, I show up at 12pm to open the shop, log in to a phone system to receive conference calls for telephonic interpretations until 2, and work on all aspects of the shop in between until I close it down at 10pm on the weekdays or 8pm on the weekends. Sounds like long days right? Right. But, I love it. I thrive on the multitasking and truth be told, it's time well spent. It's time spent on things I like to be doing anyway. Everyday I get to practice my Spanish while helping people through all things regarding their health. Everyday I get to hang out at the shop, learn about business, talk about gear, and sell some of it too. Almost everyday I get to do something creative through photography, writing, climbing lessons or through artwork. It's also no problem to find the time to train and I get to climb with all my friends at least 2 to 3 times a week.
Now that's not to say that it's all fun and games. Despite all the pros, my actual free time away from anything work related is reduced to just a half day on Mondays. There's the pressure of keeping a very complicated machine running as smoothly as possible. My calendar is constantly filled in red with appointments to keep, checks to mail out, preseason orders to submit, preseason orders to review, bank accounts to balance, and of course making sure that I find time to sleep and recharge. But, it's during these times that I rely on my family's past experiences as motivation to keep working hard and to enjoy the good and learn from the frustration. It's hard to complain about not having many days off when my mom has worked 6-7 days a week for decades with very little complaining. It's hard to complain about a tight budget when I remember how my grandmother used to squirrel away pesos (literally pennies) at a time until she made her way into a situation where she could live a comfortable lifestyle in the midst of Mexico City's poverty. I also rely on the support of my friends who keep the social calendar full of fun things to do whenever the opportunity presents itself.
And I know that it won't always be like this. Win, lose, or draw? Only time will reveal that outcome. Until then, I have no problem putting my nose to the grindstone to see where all this will take me. Wherever that may be I need to make sure I can look back on it and say I gave it my best. Here's to another year!