Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Why would you bother?

Every once in a while, I conduct what I consider a science experiment. There is no real science involved. It’s just me attempting something new, without any surety of the outcome.

Several experiments have taken place in the kitchen, as cooking is like a second language to me. I get the basics, but I’ll never be fluent. 

Among my bench tests are these:
  • Roasted peppers—Easy peasey, so they say. Ingredients? One: peppers. Process? “Blister” the peppers and let them cool. Then magic is supposed to happen, as the skins just peel away. In reality, fingers blister, pepper skins turn stubborn, and cursing ensues. My result was edible, but I spent way too much time on what is essentially a condiment. Never again.
  • Bagels—New York-style bagels are the gold standard. So what makes them different? The care put into each of three cooking steps: boiling, baking, and broiling. Some recipes leave out the last step, but broiling adds a delicious golden crisp to the crust. I’ll admit I didn’t mind the process, but buying bagels is so much easier and tastier, at least in my kitchen.
  • Wheat bread—I have come to the revelation that I will never get along with yeast. It’s too temperamental. Yeast is the Goldilocks of baking; it can’t be too hot or too cold—it has to be just right. I can’t be bothered, which is how my loaf of wheat bread became a wheat brick.
  •  Fingerless gloves—Escaping the kitchen, I turned to YouTube to learn how to knit with circular needles. Then I tackled a pair of fingerless gloves. The pattern I chose was adorable. The instructions claimed ease and simplicity. The result was wearable. Then I wore them. Word to the wise: If it’s cold enough to need gloves, you really need gloves with fingers.
Why do I keep pursuing my version of the scientific process? 
—If producing items fit for purpose is the benchmark, then I’m barely making the mark.
—If we learn more from our mistakes than successes, then I’ve earned an advanced degree.
—If the journey is truly more important than the destination, then there was value gained.

If trying something new and different is what’s important throughout life, then it certainly is worth all the bother.

Monday, February 5, 2018

How much would you pay?

Twice in recent weeks I’ve heard from organizations that want to help me sell my business. Not that AMY INK is for sale. But firms are out there encouraging me to plan my exit strategy. One asks:
  • Are you tired of the day-to-day grind of running your business?
  • Are you interested in new challenges?
  • Do you want to spend more time with your family?
If I can answer “yes” to any of these questions, it’s the start of the end. They don’t want me to risk burning out or face a declining business that hurts a final selling price. How thoughtful!

So I checked another source, “4 Signs That It’s Time to Sell Your Business.” Apparently, you’re primed to sell if:
…You’re on 4 or 5 different medications.
… The company has outgrown your skill set.
…The market might be moving against you.
…A lucrative opportunity presents itself.

With that last thought in mind: How much would you pay for AMY INK? Granted, there is nothing really to buy. It’s just me. In my home office. Tapping away on my computer. Helping clients tell their stories.

If you wanted to buy the business, would you move into my house? Use my well-worn equipment (my printer can send faxes!). Try to mimic my writing style.

I do have an exit strategy. It's just not one any outside consultant can help plan or execute. It’s me deciding when I can no longer string two thoughts together to write a cogent story.

That may not be the most profitable way to monetize what so far has been 18 successful years of AMY INK. But it works for me.
UPDATE 2/7/18: Now I'm getting followup calls from these business-sales consultants. They would be better served by doing more homework on their prospect list.