By Grant McGee: Local columnist
“For Rent” read the sign taped to the big plate glass window of an empty store in Clovis. It’s one of a number of empty stores around town. Some have “For Rent” signs, others are just empty, lifeless.
This particular storefront caught my eye because not too long ago it had been occupied. No need to go into what they sold and such, but this was someone’s dream and they were following it. Time passed, and they apparently thought better of it.
I wondered about the little store. Did they think they’d get rich? Were they simply trying to create their own job doing something that they liked to do? Was it a hobby that they hoped to turn into a career?
What it all came down to was it was someone’s dream and they tried to make it fly.
Starting your own business takes guts. Every now and then I tell my boss at my day job, “Thanks for starting your own business, chief. Thanks for the job.”
Some folks would call that “kissing up” or some phrase I can’t print here, but I’m sincere. In my 20s, I thought having a job was something I was entitled to. Now, here in the future, I’ve come to realize I wouldn’t have a job if it hadn’t been for a man deciding he was going to have his own business.
I partnered in businesses a couple of times, but I never made enough money to quit my day job.
There was that time I partnered with two women in a knickknack shop in Roswell. They were sure that once the women of Roswell discovered their all-cotton tie-dyed duds, it would launch a hippie fashion revival and they’d be rolling in the dough.
They brought me on board because they thought the crazy guy they heard on the radio could lure people in the shop. They let me have a little corner to sell used vinyl records and cassettes. From this small venture I thought I would make big coin and retire in the Caribbean. After all, everyone wants used LPs and cassettes, don’t they?
Within a couple of days of the shop’s opening, the two life-long friends got into an argument, then they swore they’d never speak to each other again. That’s when half the store became vacant. A month later I was packing the store up in the back of a buddy’s borrowed pickup.
After we left the place, a woman rented it and set up an antique store. I think she made big coin.
Then I was an investor in a dance studio. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t dance, skip or even dribble a basketball (that’s another story). But invest in a dance studio I did.
I invested and invested and invested. I asked my partner why the thing needed so much cash, why it wasn’t making it on its own. It turned out many of the students were being given free classes. She was also bartering classes for such household necessities as paintings and sculptures.
So here’s a tip of the hat to those folks who started a business and made it take off. And here’s a tip of the hat to those who tried and didn’t make it. Either way you followed your dreams. That’s some of the good stuff of life.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: