I had known for a long time that I was interested in starting a business. I was doing contract work for someone who was selling guides on running Estate Sale businesses. After learning about how estate sales are run, I decided this was something I could start with my current financial situation. I figured it couldn't hurt to have some business experience before starting a software startup.
Lots and lots of extremely hard work. I learned more about myself and running a business than I ever expected to. Logistically speaking, this business was based out of Denver while I was still living in East Vail. A friend letting me stay on his couch near downtown Denver was a big help. Thanks Mike!
While the enterprise could have continued to support me, after three months I decided that the earnings weren't worth the stress and strain on my personal life. I "closed up shop" and returned to Vail to get a job collecting a paycheck. Not to say that I didn't come away with a plethora of lessons about both business and myself.
What I Learned
I could write a book covering everything I learned while running an estate sale business, as I'm sure is the case for anyone who has singlehandedly started and ran a service business. Besides learning a lot about myself and my personal capacity for perseverance, self-motivation, and determination, I learned a little bit about a lot of different areas of running a business. I did everything: marketing, sales, hiring, managing, scheduling, advertising, moving, organizing, outsourcing, listing, bookkeeping, payroll, systemization, and anything else that needed to get done. While I wouldn't say that I became a master in any of these areas, I certainly learned enough about all of them to get me by. This only increased my respect for all of these different fields and areas of a business.