Why I Started a New Business – At My Age

Posted: October 7, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Remember the Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty Four”? I never thought I’d get to that age, but here I am. Still alive!

In my working years, I had jobs I hated that didn’t pay me enough to support my kids – and I had jobs I loved that didn’t pay me enough to support myself, let alone my kids. Still, though I lived at, and sometimes below, the poverty level, I made it through, longing always for retirement.

Ah, retirement. How nice it would be to sit on a front porch overlooking a lake. How inspired I would feel as I looked out upon my lake, sipping a cup of coffee while I wrote and crocheted all day long. How lovely I would feel to melt into relaxation mode and, whenever I felt sleepy, napped in the luxurious comfort of a warm soft blanket.

Um, no! Not there yet. I can’t nap – ever, unless my day brings me to the brink of exhaustion. I still have too much energy to slow down. I don’t want to sit on a front porch gazing across the lake all day long, at least not every day. I don’t have a lake outside my yard anyway. And I still don’t have enough money to support myself. Yes, in that respect, I’m like a lot of other 64-year-olds.

But my youngest daughter pays me to care for a few of my grandkids, and I sell a couple of things now and then at her consignment boutique, so I’m getting by.

Getting by. Wow! Could I be more complacent? No! You know why? Something shook me to my core about a week and a half ago. Something woke me out of my well-I’m-getting-closer-to-death-anyway numbness, and prompted me to get out of myself and try again to make some money, And, because it would be MY business, a business I would enjoy running, I felt renewed energy!

So what was it that prompted me to begin the business I had earlier tried, but that had failed to work for me? POTATOES! Yes, potatoes. I caught the last few minutes of the September 24th Steve Harvey show that showed an entrepreneur who came up with the idea of sending potatoes with anonymous messages. The kid who came up with the idea said he made $20,000 last month SENDING POTATOES WITH MESSAGES WRITTEN ON THEM!

Sorry if I seem infuriated, but I was. Why did HIS idea work and mine failed? 

Time to reassess my current situation (lack of money). Sitting on my laptop are messages I wrote back in the 70s when I wanted to start my own greeting card company. I sent those message to a hundred different greeting card companies and NOBODY wanted them. The reason, they stated (those who responded with more than a rejection post card, that is), was that no market existed for what I was writing.

“I KNOW!” I wanted to scream, “I’M CREATING THE MARKET!” Back in the 70s, all that existed on shelves were lovey-dovey sweet messages. You wouldn’t find sarcastic cards anywhere.

A couple of years later I discovered that two girls from New York (ironically, where I was living when I sent my ideas to those 100 companies) came up with the idea for Bittersweet Cards (no longer in existence from what I can tell). Their cards were similar to mine, and People Magazine showcased the two women. I remembered thinking that if I had had the money to invest in my cards, I, too, might be successful, but I didn’t and I wasn’t. As you know, those types of cards are now in existence everywhere.

Feeling like a failure, I tucked my messages away and brought them out again in the 90s.  At that time, I thought, why not roll them up, tie them up, and put them inside a bottle? But I had no marketing skills whatsoever and I had no clue about how to let anyone know about them, so I put them away again.

BottleDSCN2105

THEN came the potato guy! Well, in my garage sit two bins of bottles I’ve been carrying with me from home to home wherever I move. In my cabinet I have the paper I bought to write the messages. And I thought, why not try it again? If people are willing to pay $10 for a messaged potato AND pay more for postage, I should be able to ask $14.95, offer messages that nobody will find anywhere else, and include shipping and handling in the cost.

So, at 64, I’m reinventing myself as an entrepreneur. Not all messages are sarcastic in nature, and I’ve come up with new categories for messages I haven’t found anywhere else. Interested? Please check out Crystal Butterfly Message In a Bottle.

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Comments
  1. Theresa, if you want to share your business from time to time … you are welcomed to do so on my Facebook! Love, Gloria

  2. I admire you! I wish you success!

  3. Coral says:

    Oh, Theresa!! This is FANTABULOUS!!! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! It is brilliant.

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