November 21, 2012

Over The River and Through Our Memories

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I have always loved listening to stories from older family members. Even when I was as young as I can remember I wouldn't go outside and play with my cousins during the Sunday visit to Grama's house. I would stay at the dinning room table during the after dinner coffee and desert time because I loved hearing their stories about times gone by. They were funny, everyone laughing to tears, colorful, wonderful stories that made me want to be inside their stories. This was almost better than television, and that is saying something because TV was everything to a Baby Boomer child of the 1950's.

Thanksgiving to a Baby Boomer conjures up instant feelings of warm fall colors, stopping the race of everyday life, great aromas of food, families getting together, and seeing friends. Yes, even with the normal dysfunctional family situations of dealing with our own oddities seem to be dealt with, diminished, ignored or resolved during this family gathering holiday. The house where the turkey is prepared was the place to wake up to that heavenly aroma of cooking that only Thanksgiving can produce.

To a child of the Boomer Generation, Thanksgiving meant waking to that wonderful smell of the turkey roasting in the oven, then rushing down to watch the Thanksgiving parade on TV and getting primed for Christmas and waiting for Santa to show up at the end of the parade. I am very aware that I was fortunate to have been born who and where I was to enjoy the abundance of food and memories. There were so many who did not have this abundance, who I was oblivious to as a child. Especially during the post World War II, 1950's, Thanksgiving was all about food. I have black and white photos of my Dad's dinning room display of food. He set up this display of fruit, berries, nuts, crackers, cheeses and anything else he could think of. Of course he managed an A&P grocery store at the time, which obviously helped. My Dad was always ready to set up a display of anything, most likely from displaying food in the grocery stores.

Thanksgiving was of course a way of celebrating the year's harvest of the crops, but it seemed logical and appropriate to make it an event of taking some time to give thanks for all the blessings we have.

May you all take time out this November 22, 2012 and give thanks for all the blessings you have and enjoy the day with family and friends.

November 14, 2012

OK...so....I'm backkkk....again.

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It has been May since I posted to this blog.  I have been overwhelmed with running my business, David's Music House, Inc. for the last two years and in these economic times, it has been a spectrum of highs and lows. This is the first business I have ever attempted and I knew it would have to be something that was connected to my passion and love of music, to get me through any difficulties. When a new business is started, it is often said that it will take 3 to even 5 years to see success. The idea is unique, the model is good and being tweaked and developed all the time but it is longevity and resources that are the critical piece. I continue, month to month, looking for ways to keep costs as low as possible while looking for new revenue sources and so far, I have been able to keep things going due to the support and help of a good many people!

In the meantime, I am going to try to amp up my posts on this blog. There's was just too much time spent on it and it has a good foundation to keep building upon to let it go of.  I began blogging to become knowledgeable about social media while discovering that I loved to write so I need to continue developing those skills.

The Baby Boomer Generation is not going away.... yet, that is. We are getting older, to be sure. I was just realizing that I am finding more people who I graduated with who are passing away! I can remember my parents and their friends talking about the fact that they felt that all they were doing is going to funerals of friends.

As I have stated in previous posts about my small business venture and it being something I, as many Boomers are doing, am doing to be my "extended pre-retirement working years". Boomers have been told by financial advisers for quite a few years now, that we will not be enjoying the same type of "retirement" as our parents did. We will be working past 62 or 65 and beyond. I began thinking about this about ten years ago and knew that I really wanted to do something that I was more passionate about, which is music.

With Boomers being the largest segment of the population, whatever they do....is indeed, a factor that has a domino effect on many aspects of the country, with the main one being financial. As we Boomers age, all the aspects of aging will effect everyone in this country. What remains to be seen is how will the younger generation feel, react and care for their parents as we age.  However Boomer children behave and react to their aging parents can not be blamed on how the Boomers raised their children anymore than the Boomers can blame on their parents, the Greatest Generation. We are each responsible for our own actions in our lives and responsible for the decisions we make.



May 10, 2012

It has been quite a while…

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If any readers of this blog have seen my other articles about what I have been doing lately, you may realize why I haven’t been active for quite a while on this blog, especially if any of you own or have ever owned your own business. The saying, “if it were easy, everyone would do it” is as true as true can be!

The purpose of this article will be to speak to why I haven’t been writing for a while and to bring my passion of sharing issues and raising awareness of The Baby Boomer Generation.

The short story from 2008 is that my job of 22+ years was outsourced at the beginnings of our country’s second biggest depression. I was unemployed for two years, while trying to look for a job and also deciding what else I could do. In 2009, I began my journey to create my own business, beginning with a “How to start a small business” course at a local community college, talking to my local SCORE representative and many other business mentors I either knew or just reached out to. I opened my business, David’s Music House, Inc. on October, 10, 2010 (10.10.10) I have now been open for 18 months and it has indeed been a journey of highs and lows! What I have learned is exactly what I was told in the beginning by all my mentors….it would be hard, it would take 3 to 5 years to see success and you can only succeed IF you don’t quit. The key to not quitting is continuing growth and searching for solutions for the dollars to last until success. It is indeed a FACT, that no one can succeed by quitting.

As I continue to search for ways to search for ways to make my business grow, I am also quite aware that I am still moving on the path of extending work years, or delay of retirement. I planned my business to be one that I not only have a passion for but also would be able to continue working beyond what were once considered retirement years. Being a member of the Baby Boomer Generation brings me to think about these actions that I and all of us Boomers are currently going through.

Only time and history will tell the true story of what effect the Baby Boomer Generation has had on our civilization, but there is no doubt that the Boomers effect our country by their sheer numbers. This applies for what this largest segment of the population is going through as we approach the retirement years. Retirement has been re-defined by occurrences of the last decade. Healthcare and new medical advances are continually extending the lifespan. While is definitely a good thing, from the perspective of us Boomers, what we do and go through has a profound effect on the course of all others as well.

Baby Boomers have been caring and dealing with their aging parents while we hit our 4th and 5th decades of life and we well know and wonder how our children will deal with the same issues. Will they even be able to deal with the impact of Boomers aging? One thing is certain and that is that we Boomers should be doing as much as we can to lessen the impact of what our children have to deal with….such as homes not cared for, estates not properly and legally planned, how to make decisions without living wills and legal documents to guide them.

I went into this segway of Boomers aging as that is what I am currently thinking about…..what do I need to do to deal with aging? How can I make it easier for my children to deal with my aging? One thing my wife and I have done is to create all the legal documentation, such as wills, living wills that clearly state and therefore take the decision and issues out of the hands of our children. We are also downsizing our home to one that we can more easily care for, is less of a financial burden for us rather than continue living in a home too large to care for so that they someday have to deal with their homes as well as ours.

It is important for us Boomers to do the same things we have been doing for our children since they were born…and that is everything we can to make them better people, follow the golden rule, try to make the planet better for them by recycling and paying attention to supporting better ways of energy consumption and prepare and clean up our lives so that they don’t have to do it. We are always parents, as long as we are on this planet, even if we don’t have children….all who remain after the Boomer Generation is gone are all of our children and they will benefit or not based on our actions.

June 27, 2011

Boomer Business Brain Drain...

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We all know and hear from all sources that starting your own business is hard. “If it was easy...everyone would do it!” We still never know how hot the stove is until we touch it. Yes, I have touched the stove and yes... it is very hot! I get it. I knew it was going to be and I also knew that due to choosing a business that was a core passion of mine, was THE thing that was going to give me the strength to get through the hard stuff.

There is another aspect to this journey and that is those “passing moments”! We cannot get so absorbed in fixing all of the issues we face in life that we go past these wonderful, blessed moments without enjoying them! For me, that means doing something that is logic brain free. In that, I mean anything that totally distracts my thinking from my daily thoughts of the business. Personally, this is usually some mindless entertainment on TV or at the movies. This merely serves as a “slap of cold water in my face” as it stops me from thinking about the hard stuff. I am then able to purposely focus my thinking on all of the blessings and positive things in my life.

Most of the time in our lives, we can choose how we feel...happy or sad. Sometimes, something as simple as purposely smiling, for no reason, to myself, will snap me out of feeling worried about something. It is an amazing thing...try it sometime! People and situations affect us every day of our lives, but it is how we choose to react to these situations that guides how we feel. This is more easily said than done, many times, but we can choose how we feel, eventually.

Some times, events occur that are more devastating and physically disastrous and none of us know how we will react in these situations, until we actually go through them. Usually time is the determining factor in how we end up feeling with these types of situations. Time allows or helps us eventually determine how we need to think about these more difficult decisions, but in the end, it again, is how we choose to react that determines our outcome.

So, as I know I will continue to face issues that I need to correct and deal with in my start up business, I will continue to give myself that slap in the face with cold water, force that smile, watch some TV Land reruns of the Dick Van Dike show, and remind myself....”enjoy this moment, look at a blue sky, some green trees, listen to some inspiring music, but realize all the many blessings I have....in this moment”!

April 11, 2011

Only Time Really Tells the True Story

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My business, David's Music House, Inc. is now entering it's sixth month of being open and I am realizing a new phase in owning my own business.


The first three months were just pounding in nails, ordering things, paying bills, looking for ways to bring in customers, ya da ya da ya da.....It was a complete whirlwind of emotions of both highs and lows. There weer golden moments and others of complete and utter stress. After three months, we were able to take a break due to the Christmas Holidays. After the break, I saw many things that needed tweaking and we made some changes of focus.


Now that we have hit the sixth month, I am seeing another similar phase. It is now time to do more tweaking, in the area of organization and time. We have hit a huge milestone in offering "A Total Music Experience" to the community as we added a whole new service. We have added dance to our host of services. Dance Etc. is a local dance business that has been in the community for 15 years. My youngest daughter, Savannah went to dance classes at Dance Etc. a few years ago. I was so happy to welcome Megan Beile, owner of Dance Etc. into our music family. This addition will also bring in many new families into our "experience" to see what David's Music House is all about.


Yes indeed, you can plan, get advice, read and research everything you can find to plan and start a business, but nothing but TIME of actually going through the steps and phases of starting a business will show you what it actually feels like. Don't misunderstand, the planning, advice, etc. is absolutely necessary to prepare you for going through the phases, but only going through the steps allows your to gain the true feeling, awareness and experience necessary to know if you're doing good or bad.


All signs point to success! The message is getting out to the community. Musicians are calling to perform in the Coffee House. Local musicians are discovering the recording studio and our helpfulness, comfortability and flexibility.


The main goal and passion to bring to any business is to NOT do the things that make you dislike other businesses when you are a customer. My passion is to ALWAYS present the best appearance of the business and to treat each customer as friendly and helpful as possible. We want to make sure that if anyone remembers anything about coming into David's Music House, it is that they were treated with kindness and made to feel welcome. This along with your expertise and quality service will insure that the word will spread and bring new customers consistently.

January 3, 2011

A New Year and Perfect Time for Reflection

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Let's face it, the first day of a new year is really just another next day, but having a calendar that marks it as the first day of the new year makes it a grand event. As such a grand event, it gives us a great opportunity to make it a day to start something BIG. We all usually make promises to ourselves to do things that we always want to do, but we decide that this is a perfect day to finally do it, such as lose weight or be better organized, etc.

Perhaps starting a new business, as I did in the final quarter of 2010, is making me do a lot of reflection, on what was going right and what needs fixing, but this is making me look at the new year by first, reflecting on what happened in 2010 first. Reflection will directly feed into what the focus for the new year should be. Reflection will provide the goals and resolutions for the coming year.

Starting a new business, especially for the first time, will have you going through a learning period from time you start planning, through when you open your doors and then for a period of at least 3 months. The dust has seemed to settle and the first 3 months are basically tweaking and getting things running. Suddenly, as the dust clears, you find that you begin to see some clear directions that need the most focus. In my case, it has been an awakening of needing to narrow my focus and key in on the original key areas that were in my beginning business plan.

I found myself trying to plug every hole and remedy every situation all at the same time. Since a human being is clearly only one physical body and not capable of being everywhere all the time, I realize that I must define my most important objectives and focus my energy and time into these areas. Doing this will not only insure a better chance of success but it will also take care of other areas, purely through osmosis.

Take some time this first week of the New Year to think about the last one and the lessons that were learned. You will find that it will lay out your goals to begin in the new year. Also, don't worry about setting goals that are forever or for the entire year. Concentrate on some immediate goals, and work on them until you achieve them.

The New Year will always be another year of challenges that will require you to constantly change your goals. The first day of a new year is a great time to refresh but we can and must make new resolutions all the time as we face what life presents to us, and you can be sure that that will always happen.

Thanks to all of the readers and supporters of this website/blog and I wish a prosperous and happy 2011.

David
 

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