Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Moving at The Speed of Life

I needed a few days to get my head together.

My days are moving at the speed of LIFE.

You know life is a little bit crazy when you have to set calendar reminders to eat during the day.

That's the point I'm at. Every thing has to be scheduled.

I'm holding it all together. It's just another one of those times where several things collide.

In other words, it's just life.

Most of you know the story of how we started the business and then the several years prior to, during and immediately after the recession.

During that time, our house fell into disarray. Now that our sons are both moved out, we have gone back and forth about what we want to do and where we want to live. (JMan will be home for a few weeks and then moves into his first official apartment). We've talked about moving into a high density type of unit. We've talked about building a home on land.

Over the weekend, we decided to stay in our house....the one that is in really bad shape....and remodel it. The reason for the decision is that Googs is in his last year college (in the Fall). He's been on scholarship the entire time. JMan has only 3 years left (in the Fall). Since we had saved for two kids worth of college, well, that put us in a good position when Googs got the scholarships.

This means that when JMan graduates, we can pay off our mortgage (which will have about 10 years left).

After thinking about it, it didn't really make much sense for us to take out of brand new mortgage when we'd have to spend a whole lot more to get the size house we currently have. To make all the repairs and remodel, it won't even cost us $20k....which we can spread out over any length of time that we want.

The decision to stay, ended up being a math equation, after we took all the emotion out of it.

My time has been filled with getting estimates and getting people over to the house to start the work.

Besides work and training (currently 11 hours a week), we moved forward on the purchase of the other company. We ran into some issues at the beginning of the year and negotiations stalled.

Now, it's moving forward. Originally, there were some "location" issues: putting together two different businesses (brick and mortar/internet) with different needs. Neither location worked well for BOTH. The brick and mortar has NO place for customer service/product development team, etc. The warehouse is not zoned for retail. Initially, we were looking at a larger warehouse facility that would function for both. We recently decided to maintain two locations: a retail location that can also function as a warehouse (it's a mullet location-retail in the front, warehouse in the back) and then the office space. When you calculated in buying new furniture, internet, phone (for customer service--so a substantial budget for phone), cleaning services and ALL the other expenses that go along with office space, we found a fully furnished unit that is SUPER nice....very....very nice....that includes all those utilities.

The coolest part is that every single employee gets their own office.....which is kind of a nice thing.

(I don't even want to talk about how difficult it is to hire people right now. The good news, if you can call it good news, is that it's not just us. Every company is having a hard time hiring people. Out of 100 Applicants, only 50% will response to inquires, of that 50%, only 30% have realistic salary requirements, of that 30% only 10% will ACTUALLY show up for an interview. If we get 2 good applicants for every 100.....we're on a roll.)

Right now, we have the best staff that we've ever had. Let me tell you, it was NOT easy for them for awhile. To me, the coolest part is giving employees raises and bonuses.....those employees who have been with us the longest and took the risk on us are now being promoted into the highest level positions.

In fact, one of our employees told us last week that he will be buying his first home ever. That makes me feel really good. We can have such a positive impact on people's lives. They took a risk joining our company. Now, they are getting the pay off.

It's a chaotic time for me. A friend called me on Friday and by Sunday, I still hadn't called him back. Although, I did send a short text telling him I'd get back to him later that day.....which of course, I didn't.

I'm WAY overdue for a haircut and have probably worn the same clothes a few days in a row. But, I make sure to get Miss Ray out for her walk every day and have a few minutes to just be.

In a few weeks, I'm doing an open water swim race. I'm looking forward to it because I get to see people I haven't seen in awhile. I've had to cancel rides with them. I get invitations for coffee and lunch and just plain can't make it.

On a more positive note, it means that I'm not on social media much. I deactivated twitter and check FB about once a week. Although sometimes I feel disconnected from the world, I manage to check Feedly every couple of days to get caught up on news and blogs.

I think I like real life better.

I have to say. Everything is good in the Land of CH. Busy, sometimes chaotic but ultimately very good.