14 May 2014

What Is A Piano And A Boogie Board Doing In The Office?

I have received a couple of comments about the piano and the boogie board in the new BookPals office, so I'll explain why they are there by first asking you a question - why did you start your business in the first place?

If your answer is to make more money - or to get wealthy - that doesn't make sense to me.

Money and wealth are simply tools that allow you to do what you really want to do in your life and this is why the piano and the boogie board have pride of place in the BookPals office.

I'll explain the easy one first - the boogie board!!

I have surfed since my early teens - everything from body boards and "Li-Lows" right through to short boards, long boards and surf skis (the surf ski didn't last very long, though - having to use paddles, lock yourself in with seat belts and all the other "technical" stuff that goes with using a surf ski took the "getting up - falling down - getting up - falling down" fun out of surfing for me, so I "dropped" the ski fairly quickly!! LOL).

As I got older (and due to fact that I hurt myself fairly badly in a car accident back in 1985) I ended up on the old "Esky Lid" (Aussie slang for the boogie board!!) and have been having fun on this ever since.

When I started my first business back in 2006 the goal was (and still is to this day) to have my business set up in a way that will allow me to go surfing anywhere and anytime I want to and this is why the boogie board is in the office - to remind me of why I am doing what I am doing.

The reason for the piano is a little more complex!!

The piano belonged to my father - a small business owner who was based in the Western suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and it represents the "essence" of running a small business to me.

Dad ran his own men's and ladies' hairdressing business during the day and when he first started in business he used to play the piano in hotels and clubs around Melbourne to earn extra income of an evening.

When I was born (I am the oldest child) he stopped playing in the "pubs and clubs" (he told me many years later that he would never subject his family to what he saw go on in these places when he was playing there), but continued playing for his own personal enjoyment and as a release from the stress of each day's work.

As a child, I remember vividly every evening Dad coming down from the shop (we lived behind the business) and sitting down to "belt out" the "Golden Oldie's" on his piano before dinner.

As he got older and started thinking about "retirement" he began talking about playing in public again - only this time he intended to go around to the nursing homes in his area and play music for the elderly citizens there (mind you, he also intended to offer a service where he would cut their hair while he was there for a small fee!! See - business owners never retire - and opportunity is everywhere!!!!! LOL).

There was only one problem - cancer got him at the ripe old age of 62, so he never got the chance to fulfill this dream.

After Dad died, I asked if I could keep the old piano - not so much to learn how to play it (although I have begun taking lessons) - but more to remind me of how good small business has been to me and my family and as a representation of what the "end goal" looks like when the going gets tough (which it always does when you run your own business).

That's the reason why the piano and the boogie board are in the office (I'll be honest though - the boogie board will be going back into the garage the next time it gets wet!!!! LOL).

Do you have something that represents why you are in business and if so, what's your story?

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