Loving What You Do and Covering the Nut…

There was a really good point was made in Adam Davidson’s “It’s the Economy” column which appears on Sundays in The New York Times Magazine.

He was discussing the survival of mom-and-pop shops in the Greenwich Village. In fact, he set out on a mission to find out how in the world some of the old timers managed to stay in business (How have they innovated? How were they shrewd enough to overcome the rising rents and profit off a new, wealthy clientele?).

He spoke with one the oldest Village business he could think of, McNulty’s Tea & Coffee Co., which was established on Christopher Street in 1895. The owner David Wong, whose family bought the place in 1980, didn’t have any savvy business secrets. He adapted to the tastes of the neighborhood but that was it.

Davidson also visited Imperial Vintner, a liquor store that has been in the same skinny storefront for about 70 years. Its manager, Louis Walker, who has been there for the last 27 of them, “was happy to reminisce about the old neighborhood (“We’re the only mom-and-pop left,” he said) before revealing that Imperial hasn’t changed much, either.” Apparently the folks in the neighborhood like good stuff.

After speaking to a few more businesses, he began wondering why these proprietors were in his observation, disavowing economic theory and not trying to maximize profits. Then the light bulb came on in his head.

“I remembered one fascinating statistic about our economy. There are more than 27 million businesses in the United States. About a thousand are huge conglomerates seeking to increase profits. Another several thousand are small or medium-size companies seeking their big score.

A vast majority, however, are what economists call lifestyle businesses. They are owned by people whose goal is to do what they like and to cover their nut.

These surviving proprietors hadn’t merely been lucky. They loved their businesses so much that they found a way to hold on to them, even if it meant making bad business decisions. It’s a remarkable accomplishment in its own right.

Yeah. They do what they love and clearly the love comes through in what they deliver. They have the courage to continuously It’s a great way to make a living! Sure it takes a lot of courage, but oh what a feeling!


Enjoyed this read? Want more ponderables?

Sign up to our mailing list!

Our weekly DragonBustR Reader will provide you with a nice snapshot of what’s new and ponderable at Jedemi. Plus, you will get updates on The Jedemi Chronicles (Trilogy & Series).


Speak Your Mind