I was fortunate that my parents started a business before WW II, and that when I was old enough, I joined them. I am fortunate because it is perhaps not so much a business, more a way of life that I enjoy and cannot see myself wanting to relinquish – despite my next birthday being my 70th. Being in charge of one’s own destiny, working or playing as and when the mood dictates, either enables a relaxed view of life to be taken, or it is more worry than many can cope with. Fortunately I come in the former category, in part because I have surrounded myself with excellent back-up – legal, banking, accounting, and of course, all the ancillary services a business needs to function, but also because I have the mind-set that enjoys a challenge and taking risks.
Of course being one’s own boss is not only a bed of roses. In June of this year, I sold nothing at all – and mine is a retail business. The consequences of the global economy percolate every workplace, and selling luxuries (to some, but essentials to others) can be the first to take a hit. In my case the serious concern was ameliorated by a good sale early in July, but the experience of a retail dessert can be devastatingly miserable unless it is realised that misery is always followed by joy. But perhaps this knowledge is borne of 50 years’ experience.
Robin Butler has the world’s leading business dealing in Antique Wine Accessories – decanters, corkscrews, wine funnels etc. It is Internet-based and can be seen on www.butlersantiques.com