So it's been about a month since I've taken over the space and things are going.....ok. Definitely not as planned and a little slower than I hoped for. But I kind of mentally prepared myself so I guess that's where the 'ok' comes from. But yeah, all I can say is it's not horrible, it's not the greatest, it hasn't been that fun, but overall it's going ok.
Most of the build out is being done DIY. I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos and seeking out help from some handy friends. A few lessons I've learned so far...demoing is not that fun. It's not all just slinging a sledge hammer into a wall and feeling the satisfaction of it crumbling beneath you. It's tiring, dirty, gross, and did I mention? Really dirty. And sometimes smelly. It really is a whole project in itself, something I didn't realize until now.
Also, it seems obvious but demoing creates a lot of garbage. What I didn't realize though was how much that garbage literally and figuratively weighed me down. I'm currently without a dumpster so it made disposing of it really hard, not to mention it was all so heavy and I'm just one, tiny woman with lackluster arm strength. So it just sat in there for days, staring at me, reminding me of EVERYTHING I still had to do. To be honest, there were some days where I hated the space and didn't want to be there.
But now the piles of garbage are gone, the wall is knocked down, the carpet is completely ripped up, and all the moldy drywall is replaced. I can finally breathe a little more again and see that small light at the end of the tunnel.
I had hoped for most of the build out to be done by the end of this month, but like I said, I've mentally prepared myself for the unexpected. That mentality seems so cliche but it's so true. I'm beginning to learn that all those entrepreneurial cliches you hear are most definitely all true. Expect the unexpected, you will wear many hats, you will spend more money than you budgeted for, things will take longer than planned, and things will snowball when you least expect it. Yup, all true. My advice to anyone else wanting to do this, 'be like water my friend'.
You really do just have to ride the wave sometimes. You can plan and prioritize and list-make to your heart's content but inevitably something will screw up or play out a different way, and you just have to be ok with it. But you know what? I've been discovering too that no matter how much shit gets messed up, the universe will balance it out for you. It will offer you unexpected gifts to make up for the bull-crap it put you through the other day. And I'm just so grateful for them. Sometimes they come in forms of really nice people like Matt at the IL Secretary of State office helping me figure out where the hell my LLC paperwork went; or my friends offering to help me paint or drive me to the store (I don't own a car); or even the cashier at Home Depot forgetting to charge me for that $100 5-gallon tub of paint. (I feel kind of bad about that last one, but honestly I decided to see it as the universe giving me a small break. And let's be real, Home Depot has been and will be getting a lot more money from me.)
So besides boring lessons like how to legally structure your business or how to obtain a business license or buying business insurance, learning about how to mentally process everything has been the biggest one. It really is half the battle. So yeah, be like water, flow along with purpose and direction. If something comes in your way, observe the situation and figure out what you can do to resolve it and then continue to flow. Oh, and remember to be nice to people. Whatever mood you're in, don't take it out on others. Just be nice.
What's left to do? Well, as you can see above...install bathroom sink/vanity, install utility sink, clean concrete floor, install ventilation system for soldering table, paint EVERYWHERE...and a lot more. Time to see what else I can do with a month.