Once More Into The Breach

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks. And every day has been interesting.

We bought a small farm out in wine country here in Oregon. Yamhill County is an hour away from the Portland Metro area, on the way to the Coast. We were supposed to close on it nearly a month ago. But one thing and another led to several extensions.

We’re finally closing today.

In our advancing age, we decided to abandon our home of 40-plus years and try our hands at hobby farming. We’re crazy, of course, but excited to move forward. We will be working on fixing the place up, and creating a new future.

Once more, we open the doors to major change.

We got married just 2 days before I reported for induction into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War. I deploy and 3-1/2 months later, I’m in the hospital in Okinawa. Minor trauma, but war changes you. The effects linger even today.

After the Army stint, I attend school, then buy the business that I have worked at since High School. At the age of 25, I have employees, and the responsibilities they bring. A couple years later, we buy another business, and now, we have 23 employees, and stress.

Economic recessions hit the Nation several times in the 18 years we struggle to stay viable. In the end, we fail. Debt-ridden and cowed, we close the doors with a whimper.

I look for a real job. Who will hire a boss? That’s all I’ve been. Out of the blue, I get a job offer. But, it requires that I travel 200 nights a year. I’ve been a homebody for the previous 20 years. Now, I’ll be a road-warrior. I do this for a few years, then a different company and only 100 nights out. Then 9-11.

During these years, we raise 2 fine young men. We spend major time involved with the Boy Scouts of America, doing National-level training of leaders, and trainers of leaders. I struggle with PTSD, only we didn’t know what that was in those days. I “self-medicate” which means I had a drinking problem. I find Jesus and work hard as a leader in my boyhood church.

After 9-11, my job in the telecom industry goes away. Sandi’s retail management job is eliminated. What are we gonna do? We’re too old to get back into the job-hunt business. We decide to do something online, something on this eBay thing. We get pretty good at it. Hey! We are paying our bills and improving our financial condition. And we’re doing it from home.

As our business expands, we find we kinda like this lifestyle. We’ve always liked being the boss, and having our own business. This worked out well. We can travel and still do business.

At each juncture, we, just like you, have to make adjustments. Sometimes, these adjustments are minor. Sometimes they require a whole new lifestyle. Major shifts in life aren’t the norm, but they come along for all of us now and then.

What we’ve learned is that we will survive. We sit down, pray, and then re-chart a new course. We can’t wait for the right time. We take action right away before things swirl out of control and leave us gasping. Today is the right day.

So, I have my new cowboy hat, my leather gloves, and a pickup full of fencing. Now, to get started on this new opportunity to weather major changes.

Is today the day you decide to take action on that dream you’ve been nurturing? Or will you sit on it for a few more years waiting for the right time?

Take it from me. Today is the right time to get started.

By John Larson

John is an experienced small business owner, management consultant, project manager, and family man. John has been married since 1967 to the same beautiful bride. He has two sons and eight grandchildren. He makes his home in Carlton, Oregon, USA.

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