Explaining Wants and Needs to a Kindergartner

My son asked an interesting question this morning.
“Dad, do you need to open a motorcycle shop, or do you just want to open a shop?”
I told him that it was a great question, and the answer is yes and no, and that I would have to think about it for a bit to find a way to explain it to him.
What I need to do is to Take Care of and Provide for my Family. There are lots of little things that need to be done to accomplish those goals. Part of getting to that big goal is having the money to pay our bills that we need to pay and to do the things that we want to do.
Dad has been looking for a job. He’s not having much luck finding one around here. Most of the good jobs today go to people that have been to college, and dad made some bad decisions and didn’t get to finish college. When you don’t have a degree from college, it can be hard to find jobs that pay enough money to take care of all the things we need, and it doesn’t leave much time for doing the things we want to do. If dad were able to find a job, we wouldn’t be able to spend as much time together as we do now.
Dudely understands that we are all on a unique path that is colored by our experiences, and that no one person is walking the same path that he is. I use that to explain how the guys that have motorcycle shops have been in business for a long time, and they base their ideas on what they have experienced. He also understand that technology keeps moving things forward; so ecommerce and online marketplaces are sort of new, and some people are scared of things they don’t know about, and tend to stick where they are comfortable. Dad has gone and talked to the other guys that have motorcycle shops. Most of them don’t see things the way that I do, and don’t think my project will work. They are scared to try something that to them, is new.
We saw the trailer for the new Steve Jobs movie that refers to him as the original innovator; I pointed out to Dudely that Mr. Jobs was an innovator, but not the original one. That would have been Henry Ford, or Thomas Edison, or Mr. Harley and Mr. Davidson… or maybe even Archimedes or Michelangelo. Oh wait… It was that guy that invented the WHEEL. Wait, the guy that discovered Fire. We have talked at the very least about innovators, and that they are creative problem solvers that see things in a way that most people don’t.
I explained to him that Dad is an innovator in the powersports industry. I explained to him that they guys that have their own shops have a lot of experience and in many ways are experts. Experts tell Innovators that what they speak of cannot be done. Where his peers and experts told him that fire was dangerous and not to tinkered with, the guy that discovered and mastered fire did so anyhow. My peers and competition view ecommerce in a similar way as the experts of millennia ago… Where they see danger, I see heat, I see change, I see energy and opportunity.
Am I opening a Motorcycle Gear Shop because I need to?
In the basic sense, no.
After thinking about how to explain it to a five year old; Yes.
I do need to open a motorcycle shop.

  • Am I doing it because I see it as an opportunity to provide for my family? Yes.
  • Am I doing it because I am an innovator with something to prove? Yes. To myself.
  • Am I doing it because I care greatly about helping people? Yes.
  • Am I opening my shop because I see an opportunity to provide greater access to safety gear and training? Yes.
  • Am I doing it because I see an opportunity where others only see pitfalls? Yes.

I do have a long list of reasons for wanting to open my shop. I’ll waste no time prioritizing my goals. They are all important to me and contribute to what motivates me to succeed. All of my goals are individual reasons that add up to a synergy far greater than any one goals individual reach.
As I get closer to my goal of opening day, adversity stands in my path. I know that it is a test of my resolve, and now is no time to give up.
When I try to think about what I would do to provide for my family if I were to not open my shop, I get lost. I feel hopelessly lost and without direction without this project on my punch list. Although adversity stands in my path in an effort to toss me and my dreams into the ditch, I sort of feel like I don’t know what else I would do. I know that life would go on and I would find my path again soon enough.
I don’t want to grow old selling riding gear. My goal is to make it to the three year mark, and then to take it from there. I have several ideas about what to do with the business at that point… I have time to decide whether it’s time to stay small or go big. I have lots of ideas and lots of goals. I see the motorcycle shop as a springboard for whatever great adventure lies ahead.