Updated: Feb 12, 2019
I didn’t sit down to write this column planning on telling you a story about how at 21, a kid’s brain is still not fully developed. But it seems now that that is what you are going to get!
“So do you think dropping out is a bad idea?” my daughter asked me via text. Studying abroad in Barcelona, she explains she is learning more from the travel on the weekends than the classes during the week. Dropping out to focus just on traveling around Europe seems wise (to her at least).
“So?? What do you think?” That was my sign that she was serious. I’m glad she gave me that sign because up until then, I was not so sure!
Her bank account is filled with money from Ohio State: her scholarship which she owes to the school in Barcelona. But at the moment that money is hers! Kind of like when I get paid on a big job but I have not paid Ben Moore yet!
With that big scholarship deposited in her account, she felt rich. If she dropped out now, BEFORE she handed that money over to the school in Barcelona, she reasoned she could live off that money and travel around Europe on it.
It never occurred to her that if she dropped out of school now, Ohio State would want their money back! There’s obviously a lot about the world I forgot to teach her! She should have spent a little more time contemplating that plan! You've got to love the confidence though! Even AFTER I told her it was a bad idea....she insisted on knowing "why?"
Our lives as independent paint retailers tend towards the pedantic: turn the key, order the paint, sell the paint, turn the key! While it’s easy to fall into this pattern, it’s important that you fight that hazard by leaving yourself contemplative time! That time will help you grow your business and entrepreneurial skills.
Chances are you were not trained to be a paint dealer. I have never met a dealer who told me she bought her stores after receiving her Master’s in paint retailing. But I have come across many dealers who understand the need to grow their “retailer’s intellect.” They are on the lookout for opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience: and therefore their profits. You should be too.
These opportunities come in different ways for each of us. Some join networking groups where they can speak to other business people who have aligned experiences. Others join dealer co-ops like Allpro or get involved with the PDRA, so they can interact specifically with other paint retailers.
For me, while I do both of the above, I still find that I need more. I need quiet contemplative time. It’s during this time (often spent hiking the woods near me, listening to music) that I can consider all the information I take in and what I feel helps me and my business best.