How bad do you want to start an online store?
It is a question that you should not have to think too long about. Starting an online store is hard. Starting anything is hard for that matter. So I will ask you again. How bad do you want to start an online store?
I remember when my wife was thinking about starting her own business. She was pregnant with our third child. Let me paint a clearer picture, our two other children were 3 years old and one and a half years old at the time. My wife was the primary caregiver for our children, and if you don’t think that is a full time job, you probably do not have children. We had our hands full as is and we were about to get even busier.
At the time I was surprised she had the time to think about starting a business. I was even more impressed that she stuck with it and developed some of the ideas she was interested in pursuing.
My wife was taking care of two toddlers while pregnant with your third and still pursuing starting a business. She must have really wanted to start a business. I tried my best to be supportive. My wife always supported me as I was building my own businesses. I know I had to do the same for her.
Fast forward about a month or so and we welcome a healthy bouncing baby boy to our family. After settling in to our new routine with 3 children instead of 2 children my wife starts hitting the topic of starting a business hard again. It’s clear to me that she is going to start a business. She does not have the exact concept down yet, but she is refining her potential ideas.
Am I Crazy?
At certain points she would stop mid-sentence and ask me, “Am I crazy for starting a business right now?” I would carefully consider the question and respond quickly, “no.” There is no “right time” to start a business. There are too many cliches and proverbs I can use here. I will use a yiddish one,
Man plans and God Laughs
Initially my wife wanted to start a clothing line. More specifically she wanted to start a children’s clothing line. With limited experience in clothing production, this idea seemed like it would take a lot of time and resources to get started. The amount of time required to start the concept then actually have a product available to sell was probably close to around 6 months and that is probably only in the best case.
I did not like the idea of getting into production as her first foray into business. My preference was retail. With a online retail store we can order the products and have them for sale within 2 months. Master the art of selling and then we can expand into production, if that is something that she really wanted to do.
Refine the idea
After some back and forth my wife decided she was going to start an online store. Her online store would sell baby pajamas. I liked the idea for a few reasons. First, it was laser focused on a specific product. There is no confusion about what she was selling. Second, it fit extremely well with her current stage in life. We are in the birthing stage of our lives. Everyone we know is having babies. It kind of makes sense. Why start a company selling high fashion skiing clothes when we live on Miami Beach and will probably not ski again for another 10 years?
We set the launch plan in action in early January when our son was about a month old. Our goal was to have the online store up and running by February 1. We decided to use Shopify for our online store. We used a free template and I modified it to match my wifes desired clean aesthetic. She started reaching out to vendors and placing orders for product.
A speed bump
It was a normal Monday morning. I dropped my oldest daughter off at school and made my way into the office. A new client had flown into town and I knew that I would be stuck in meetings all day. My wife called me at around 10:00 AM, which is not unusual as we speak frequently throughout the day. She told me that she was not feeling well and that she felt as though she might faint. She had an intense pain and could not stand or bend over.
I live about a mile from the office so I ran over to the house to check on my wife. When I got there I could tell that she was in rough shape and was in a lot of pain. We made some calls to her doctors and the consensus was to go to the emergency room for immediate attention.
I quickly scrambled to arrange babysitters for the children and we made our way to the hospital. I dropped my then 8 week old son off with my sister and told her I would be back to pick him up in a few hours.
Once in the emergency room it was clear that something was wrong. My wife can deal with pain. She had three kids no sweat. She was now sweating as we were waiting to see the emergency room doctor.
Ok, a bit worse than a speed bump
After a few hours and some tests the doctors were unable to confirm my wife’s ailment. What was clear is that her condition was worsening. In addition to the unbearable pain she now also had a fever. Everyone decided it was best to admit her into the hospital to manage her pain and monitor her.
It was not going to be a few hours as I originally thought. We were checking in. Over the next few hours things got worse, much worse. Her fever spiked to over 105 degrees. They had to bring in ice bags to cool her down. The pain had gotten so bad that her only relief was morphine. As soon as the morphine started to wear off she would wake up and start feeling the intense pain again.
When someone is on morphine and heavy doses of medicine they are barely conscious. Our first few days in the hospital my wife might have been awake for a total of 2 or 3 hours. Probably best given the amount of pain she was in.
Starting a business was more important than her own health
On her third or fourth day in the hospital her condition started to improve. The inflammation that was causing the pain started to subside and her fever broke. On that day we had what I thought was our first lucid conversation since she was hospitalized. She asked me how the kids were doing, where they were staying and the like.
Then she asked me, “what about my business?” I responded, “what do you mean?” How am I going to launch my business on time? Here is my wife that has been in a medically induced coma for the last 3 days and before she asked me about her own condition, she asked me about the business she was trying to start. Yeah, she wanted it pretty bad.
I knew right then and there that there was no doubt she was going to start her online store.
After a week in the hospital she was released and returned home. She was still in pain, but not as severe. If my memory serves me, she had about two weeks to add more products to the site and her online baby pajama store was live.
So, how bad do you want to start an online store?
It takes a lot of work and there is no guarantee of success, but if you want it bad enough nothing should stop you from starting your online store.
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