Recently, while sitting on the old couch in my office at my Tri-Cities – Atlanta Airport Center, the former owner of the shop I bought to convert to AlphaGraphics shook his head at a thought. Chris and I have become friends, though we are an unlikely pair. He is a Southern born and raised, having grown up in the environs around the Center in East Point. His politics lean right, his business approach is a bit old school. I am from Cuba, grew up on the island, in Spain, and California. My politics lean left, and my approach to business is different. He shook at his while he marveled the stuff with which I have had to deal during my first year as a business owner
I have tackled two very different business paths (my choice in starting a new Center and converting another Center at the same time), challenges with employees, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He then chuckled and wondered if I regretted making the decision to go into business by myself. The short, simple answer is “no.”
Don’t get me wrong, there have been scary and stressful times since I signed the franchise agreement with AlphaGraphics. It is humbling also to think that the livelihoods of six wonderful people plus my husband’s and mine depend on decisions small and large I make every day. Regardless, I would not have made a different decision had I know, though I would have approached a couple of business challenges differently.
Living in the “what could have been,” though is generally a waste of time and emotional resources. As I often tell my teams, we will make mistakes. The measure of a human being is not whether she or he will err. It’s how she or he recovers from the error and learn from it. Further, living in the false lane of what could have been invites regrets about things we have no power to change. Rather, look ahead and far to see where you might be able to go, and find your best way there.