The journey to finding our business started many years ago. When we launched the search for a business, we pursued those linked to grocery retail because we already knew the ins and outs of the grocery business. Our journey turned into weeks, months and then years. It opened our eyes to skills we never knew we possessed. It forced us to look beyond our narrow minds and embrace new ideas. It plummeted us from the familiar and forced us into unfamiliar territory.
First, we identified the reason for wanting our own business. Darrell’s lifelong dream included owning a business. However, our first priority triumphed any dreams of his. We lacked quality time to spend with our family. Darrell worked as store manager of a local grocery chain. He worked long hours including every holiday (except Christmas Day), and most weekends. Before our children were born, I worked in the office of the same grocery chain. Our only experience consisted of grocery retail. We surveyed three stores and cooperated with banks to complete the necessary paperwork. Three times our plans unraveled. Discouraged? You bet, but we continued to press forward.
We prayed. We questioned why God allowed us to go through this process and disappointment. No answers surfaced. God remained silent. The one thing we knew in our hearts, the wish to own a business deepened. We discussed our reasons for pursuing a business and aligned them with our priorities. We realized, if we bought a grocery store, our family time would decrease. We opened our minds and explored all of our experiences. We let go of previous thoughts and watched our true personalities surface. We acknowledged the gifts and talents we developed over the years. It was astonishing to realize we possessed more experience than previously thought.
Second, we refused to limit ourselves to our prior, professional experiences. We thought the only possibilities available to must be linked to our grocery retail experiences. It made logical sense. However, this theory failed. We then sat down together and poured over our likes and dislikes including our strengths and weaknesses. We listed each other’s gifts, talents and abilities. The possibilities proved limitless. The revelation of this new knowledge grew our opportunities and expanded our boundaries.
Third, we kept an open mind. In the beginning, we possessed one goal, and that was to purchase a grocery store. With our new knowledge, we observed all businesses in our desired location, and discerned which ones best fit our priorities, personalities, strengths and abilities. These skills are important, because a business becomes your livelihood. Once it is yours, it requires attention. Absentee management destroys a business before it grows a chance to prove its success. Keeping an open mind presented opportunities we never gave a second thought. We contacted owners and scheduled times to meet with him/her. We asked questions and recorded notes. To our surprise, we purchased a business we never would have detected with our closed minds.
Someone informed my husband of a business for sale and provided him with the contact name and number. My husband lacked interest at first, but he decided to call the owner. His excitement soared with the information he received including the cost of the business. It margined well within our budget. We met with the owner and became educated with the operations of the business. It proved doable with our abilities. We then made an offer and he accepted. Next, we entered the bank and spoke with a loan officer. He listened to us, and then disappeared for a few minutes. He returned with a check in his hand and wished us the best. My husband and I gazed at one other for a moment, and then decided we better deposit the money before he changed his mind. We couldn’t believe how easy it was to obtain the money. After many times of failing to look good on paper, this banker just handed over the money, no questions asked!
We began our journey looking for a grocery store, and we purchased a concrete precasting company. In a nutshell, my husband makes septic tanks and storm shelters. He also sells the pipe and other items needed to install the tanks. How did this come about? We identified our reason for wanting a business. We refused to limit ourselves to prior experiences, and we kept an open mind to explore all possibilities.
We purchased our business January 1st, 2000, and we still own it today. It continues to bless our family financially, but most importantly it blesses us with quality family time. We now enjoy weekends off as well as major holidays. God answered our prayers, but not before teaching us these valuable lessons He reminded us, He is in control and in His perfect timing, He takes the impossible and makes it possible.