Becoming a big wheel

I had a long lunch yesterday with many beers and afterwards had to come into the shop to work. It became dark and with the dark a chill spread. I sat here bored and sleepy staring out into the dark street. Customers came in to wake me and at the end of the night I said goodnight to the girls and locked up.

It was near 9 when I headed home. The streets were Sunday night quiet. I motored along with the peculiar satisfaction I have at such times. I like having the road to myself and power on the sole of my foot. The radio is on in the background, which I listen to consciously when a notable song comes on, or tune out from when other thoughts come creeping into my mind. I do a lot of thinking, a lot of planning at such times.

I’m here again this morning. Up early I sent an email to the real estate agent hoping to defuse a situation. I drove in early and sat down for a fine hot breakfast ahead of a long day. I opened up then, attending to all the details – firing up the PC, getting the music going, the oil burner, preparing a pot of herbal tea for front of house, getting the heating running to take the chill off.

Throughout this last 18 hour period something has crystallised for me. I’m not a massage professional, and I’m not particularly good in my stand-in role as shop receptionist. I have some talents in other areas, but by and large both my inclinations and expertise lie in different areas.

True as that is there is a special satisfaction to have your own shop. To have a physical presence, a shopfront, and people who come into the shop to work for you is rewarding. I’ve sensed that before without ever articulating it, or even thinking to articulate it. It’s only just now that it has presented itself to me fully formed.

It’s not simply about working for yourself; being your own boss. I’ve had a consulting business, and while I felt some professional pride, and pleasure being engaged for my expertise, it was very different to this. It was just me then, and what I did was carried around and contained within my skin.

It’s different because here I am responsible for others. I employ people who look to me to provide them a living. I have premises to which the consuming public visit to enjoy the services we offer. We have a presence on the street, and virtually through half a dozen different avenues.

Working for someone else you feel like a small fly-wheel in the big machine. Becoming your own boss upgrades that situation. You feel a more significant cog, though only occasionally engaged. When you have a business like this though you are in perpetual motion. You’re part of a sequence of events, a flow, a cog that is both turned and which turns over other smaller cogs. It’s probably an illusion of sorts, but you feel like a creator, a real contributor to the commerce that makes society possible.

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