First Blog post: Fearing Competition
I have always been interested in owning a local business. I remember sitting at my grandfather’s desk as a child. Day after day I would read a pillow on his couch that said “I golf every day that ends in Y”. From the age of about 8, I thought “I want to be able golf everyday too.” At that age, I assumed when you own a business you don’t have to work, that you just get to golf every day and reap the benefits.... I hadn’t seen the time, money, and sacrifices he had made to get to that point. I just wanted to “golf”. Now, my golf days are over (bad back) & a terrible temper, but I could think of a lot of things to do besides work. Can’t you? I could stay at home with my two boys, run, take yoga classes at Asana, workout, paint, eat, travel, and drink coffee. That’s what that pillow meant. Right? No!
The saying on the pillow was obviously referring retirement. My grandfather turned one dump truck into a multi-million-dollar business before he retired. Taking something to that level does not come without risk, grit, tears, long days, and years of sacrifice. It also does not come without competition, and people that want to see you fail. Attaining success at that level requires devotion, loyalty, customer relations, reputation, discipline, and integrity, to name a few traits. My grandfather has all of those; which he instilled in me!
I saw the donations to 4H, and the multiple other community organizations and projects he donated to over the many years. I saw the jobs he created for this community. I saw the life he built for our family. I wanted to contribute something to this community like that! I am proud to say that we, The Hanger, have donated thousands of dollars to local parks, schools, and many other institutions over our three short years of operation.
Over the years, my grandfather has talked to me about competition, partnerships, greed, and all the positives and negatives that come with owning a business. I value his advice, the advice from attorneys, competitors, friends, and all entrepreneurs alike.
So, let's get to the point: Competition. The best advice I have been given about competition was given to me recently by my attorney. It is the simplest concept, but it changed my life. My attorney said "put your focus and energy into what makes your store unique, focus on what has made your store successful, do not stop innovating and changing like you have, continue to develop your reputation and customer relationships, and lastly believe in what you have built. WHAT? BELIEVE IN MYSELF AND MY STORE? Now that sounds like the easiest thing to do, but why didn't I think of that?
It has been almost 3 years in this business, and believing in myself and my company would have saved me from the worst emotion of them all, FEAR. If you would have asked me 3 years ago when I was selling clothes wrapped in black garbage bags if I was going to be running a six-figure business I would have spit that black coffee right out. That alone didn't give me confidence until I heard it from someone else. So, I started focusing on the positives and began believing in what I have built. I am now trusting that my ideas and dreams will continue to grow this store like they have. TJ MAX doesn't scare me. New Moto: I have no fear, only love.
I had to ask myself: Why have I had a hard time believing in my store, my products, and myself? Well owning a business has not been a walk on the beach.... The competition has been brutal. Retail is brutal. Exactly why, until recently I feared the word competition. I let myself become a victim of manipulation, coercion, greed, extortion, slander, breach of a non-compete contract, and trade secret theft. All because I trusted people and taught them everything I knew about the business and what I have learned about running a store. It is not that I didn't believe in my store, but it was because I had been so betrayed that I no longer believed in anything.
My hair is grayer and my waistline is thicker (I eat my Feelings), but I finally am at peace and believe in the unique shopping experience myself and my amazing employees bring to Klamath Falls, Oregon. I am also grateful, because I am practicing what those with more experience in life and business have taught me. It has brought me such peace to be able to believe in what I have built.
Once I started to believe, I started to take bigger risks, and I now understand that fear, really is a liar. Because of my new found peace of mind, trust, hard work, and belief in my brand sales are up 29% so far in August 2019! If you are facing the fear of competition or a fear of anything, face it head on with love, kindness, and confidence in what product you may have. Remember the moto: I have no fear, only love.
Thank you, Klamath Falls for your continued love and support of shopping local at The Hanger Boutique, LLC. Expect to see the same great brands with expansion on some of 2019 and 2020's greatest trends in women, baby, and home decor.