I am So Great-full
Opening The Wisdom Tree has been an, well, interesting process. Even though I've taken classes, workshops, and online courses, talked with local mentors, business owners, and organizations, and have a lot of background in retail management and the healing arts, I still wasn't prepared for all the ups and downs from this first year (I think this is the longest sentence I've ever written). I knew a lot about what I wanted to do and what direction I wanted to go. Thank goodness I'm someone who is open to whatever shows up! While TWT's structure is basically the same, the way it's morphed into some thing different surprises me every day.
Be careful what you wish for, right?
A year ago in August I pulled up an old business plan template and played with it until The Wisdom Tree was formed. We've set up a 'trilateral' format which all hangs under the same umbrella -- classes/workshops, massage/body/energy work, and a spiritually based store with many locally made arts and crafts. The idea was to have something for everyone, with a good mix of body, mind, and spirit action. Of course, some of the things I thought were going to be a big draw (like yoga classes) have become a small but steady part. Some of the things I thought were going to be a little add on (like chair massage) have become a large part of the scheme.
But the biggest surprise of all has been what people are buying in the store. Locally made items don’t seem to be as much of a draw as things like crystals and stones, Tarot/Oracle cards, and books. What people are telling me, by words and actions, that they really need an open space to share and learn.
So of course we've tweaked a few things, added different programs and shop items, and let a few more go. And we're in the process of adding a new community outreach program, which hopefully will be up and running in 2014.
Here are some of the surprises I’ve had this year.
· Permits, Licenses, permits, licenses, PERMITS, LICENSES!
· Learning which people say what they mean, and which ones mean what they say. And which ones are ‘just saying.’
· There’s never enough money in the bank. Banks are in the business of protecting their interests, not yours (even the ones who say they’re ‘small business friendly’).
· I still can’t quite get the sales tax thing. Every couple of months I seem to owe NC more money for sales tax. They never let me know if I overpay though, so if I don’t hear back from them I guess everything is OK.
· Money/funding seems to turn up in the most unusual ways. Don’t underestimate it!
· I still need to play around with my ‘saboteur’ archetype!
· Great expectations can lead to great falls. Great expectations can lead to great heights, as long as you’re a little flexible about the outcome.
· Just when you think you’re ready to break, someone or something shows up to patch you back together. Thanks for all the ice cream, massages, chocolate, cheerleading, and coffee, y’all.
· It’s a lot less frustrating to just hire someone to do the dang thing than try to figure out how to do it yourself.
· I never want to paint a wall, window, trim, etc. ever again.
· If I believed half of what people have said to me I would never have opened the store. While I’ve had many many supporters and encouragers I’ve had an equal amount of ‘are you sure you know what you’re doing’ and ‘aren’t you taking on too much.’ Well, what ya say now?
I am so incredibly great-full for so many many many many lessons and learnings in the last year. Some have been downright glee-ful. Some have been completely stress-ful. But it’s all been fun-ful.
Here’s to an excellent adventure for the next 6 months.
Nancy Elizabeth Green
thinks that anything is possible. She loves to explore life with an open heart and a quantum mind. Come and enjoy the magic!