Day 11: Revisiting My Do-Over

About 6 months ago I declared a do-over. I decided that the direction my life was going sucked, and I wanted to live differently. I think I’ve largely done so.

About a year ago I became interested in entrepreneurship. I listened to podcasts, read books, watched videos, and I was pumped. I never found an idea that was it, but I didn’t actively pursue it. I just trawled, hoping to stumble upon an innovative business concept. I think I’m ready to revisit that. I’d like to offer a good or service which is useful, and improves lives. I’ll make some time to sit down with a notebook to do some scrawling and plotting. I feel settled enough in life in Albuquerque to start doing stuff-making friends, trying new things, exploring. I am looking forward to being out more since the weather has cooled, and not merely surviving, which has been the major theme of my life for the past 3 years.

About 10 years ago, I almost left the military for culinary school. I love cooking, and I think it’s one of the few things I enjoy which I could do for a living without disliking it. I toyed with the idea of starting a food blog, and even attempted to have a logo commissioned by an artist. A friend in ABQ is starting a food truck. I feel as if I’m moving into a place where food is more of a focus of how I socialize, and with it, a healthier approach to and relationship with food than I’ve had in the past. I can do something related to food as a business. I had an idea for writing about truck stop/gas station/convenience store coffee. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the coffees in these unassuming venues. I haven’t encountered delicate floral notes, but strong “cowboy coffee” can be beautiful.

 

I would like to be involved in books, but not runnning a used bookstore-that sounds like a surefire way to hoarderdom. I did have an idea, but it seemed unoriginal and with low ROI.

I’ve intentionally avoided mixing money and jiu jitsu. I don’t want it to become a chore, I need bjj to be a positive part of my life. A lot of people start a gi company or something similar, I don’t want to do that.

This isn’t causing me anxiety- I have options, and space to explore them. My life is nowhere near perfect, and I am a deeply-flawed individual, but I am living the life I’ve planned. I am humbled and grateful.

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Entrepreneurship

Photo credit: pheezy on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/pheezy

Photo credit: pheezy on Flickr
(https://www.flickr.com/photos/pheezy

I’ve been reading and listening to podcasts and thinking about starting a business. This is one of the reasons I’ve started to take my blogging more seriously.

I don’t want to be rich, I just want to do something fun with my time that can earn me a little income. Something largely hands-off after a initial burst of effort, or in the words of Martin Eden,”money for work performed”. Some good or service that adds value and solves a problem, and at least tangentially connected to something I like.

At the same time, I didn’t want my side business to wring the fun out of something I cared about by making it be about minutiae. I also am still working on being a DOER, and not just a dreamer. I want to make rad things happen. I want to have adventures.

I had a problem. Not a PROBLEM problem, but I wanted to do something that was difficult and not at all convenient. I believe there are others in the same position as me, and thus, an existing underserved market.

There was a book Lindsay wanted about a subject she’s interested in, but has only had a handful of books written about it. The book is long out of print, with used copies costing around $200 Ebay and Amazon.

If the cost is that high, it’s likely because the sellers believe people are willing to pay as much.

I am fairly certain, outside of collectors and bibliophiles, there are a few people that wouldn’t be able to pay $200 for a leatherbound book about a little-known part of American history, but would be comfortable buying a $5.99 ebook or a $20 paperback copy.

I saw a few other books about the same subject that are also OOP, and were only printed in Spain. In Spanish.

I can’t read Spanish, at least, not to the level where I can read for pleasure learn something. However, many of my favorite books have been translated from Spanish. I read those books because an American publisher decided the cost of translating the work prior to sending it to print would be a good investment, because people like me would buy it.

I believe there are authors telling stories in other languages that would resonate, and we’d never get to read them if they don’t get the blessing of a big publishing house.

I’ve heard more than a few times a summary of a business and it’s goals shouuld be able to fit in one sentence. Here is mine: Connecting readers to emerging authors and to rare/unavailable content, often translated from languages other than English”.

It’s still in the dreaming stage, where I’m planning and researching. Other people have done similar things, focusing on genre fiction or serialized stories from old magazines. I can make this happen.

Wait what? If I start a publishing company, can I put out  my friend’s and I’s projects?

Yep.

Can a publishing company also be run like a DIY punk rock record label, while using existing means of distribution?

Also yep.

Ok then. Let’s do it.