Saturday, August 7, 2010

Are we lost yet?

When I was a kid and we were traveling as a family in the car we kids would periodically ask "Are we there yet?" As I got older and more aware of things, I realized that my father (who was always the driver) did not have a good sense of space. That is to say he often got lost. Now to keep things interesting, Dad would never mention that we were lost he wouldn't seek counsel or directions. He would just keep driving and waiting to get lucky or figure things out. I started to ask "Are we lost yet?" He didn't like that question. I know because he would deny it LOUDLY. "NO, WE ARE NOT LOST!" .......Which meant that we were indeed lost.

I bring this up because,being my father's son, I may share that trait with him. I don't like admitting I am lost. I don't seek help for things I think I can do for myself. That is the way I was raised. Hyper self-reliant, I will spend hours figuring out how to do something instead of hiring it out. It is not always the smart choice to tough it out. But given the time, there is very little I cannot learn. So the point is....When to say when? Do I need help or just more information? Could I be spending my time more effectively doing something else? (i think so)

Really all i want to know is..."Am I lost yet?"

Friday, August 6, 2010

corogami redux

We are each of us the architects of our own destruction. The things from which we turn away choose our direction. If you don't care for chicken, you opt for the steak. If you don't like crowds, you stay home. The road not taken is the road we view with the most apprehension.

It doesn't always serve us well. Often we avoid a route because it is daunting and we are not in the mood to be daunted. We settle for good enough because its good enough. (or so we tell ourselves)

So, the last couple days i have spent re-examining some choices I have made in the production of my kayaks. I decided to change the grommets from brass to stainless steel because they hold up better in salty water (even though they cost 3 times as much). Hey a lot of people live close to the ocean. I am also looking at a proprietary method of sealing the end flutes on the corrugated polypropylene hull. Thats progress.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

need for speed

So I've got things in place for selling the corogami Dragonfly folding kayaks, the lightest most portable easiest to use boat you can buy. Now I need to get my website in front of as many eyes as I can. My old school mind wants a publicity action, do something to gain public attention. Yes, I could go to a big chain store like Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas, but I would rather have a direct connection with my customers. I am not convinced that they would treat my customers as well as I do. I really care and I like to know how they use my boats and who uses them and what they like most and least about my boats. Can't get that with a third party in the middle.

So  I blog and seek out public venues to show and demonstrate my boats. I'm starting close to home but think I will benefit by getting further away maybe Minnesota, Wisconsin or maybe Texas.

Today I'm working on boat production and dealing with triple digit temps. Hot times!

Monday, August 2, 2010

good days and less good days

Some days are golden, people tell me how awesomely cool my boats are. My spirits soar and I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. More often I am working on some new thing (alone) and noone is cheering me on. I just keep marching on, taking care of business.

Orders come in and I feel validated. No orders and I start to worry a little. The day to day fluctuations don't mean much, all businesses have ups and downs. What matters more is the long run. Will I sell enough boats to stay self-employed? Or will I have to get a J-O-B to supplement my income and keep my head above water?

As you might guess, the prospect of getting a job after nearly 20 years employing myself is daunting and in a low moment a bit depressing. The job market is tight (I hear) and I am in my 50's which makes it even harder to find a job. So I keep moving forward praying for a miracle... or a great marketing idea.

If you have any ideas, I am ready to hear them, I'm listening.......