The Small Business Movement (Intro)
Before we get started, it’s important to know where my passion for small businesses was born. It was 2005 that my wife Teresa and I decided to journey into entrepreneurship. Well, we weren’t married at the time, but we were about to walk the isle. In fact, we not only got married, but moved to a different state and started new ventures all in the same month. I’d later learn why those are three things one shouldn’t do in one year, yet alone in one month, but that’s a different story for a different day.
Over the next five years, we’d find ourselves in real estate as realtors, lenders and investors, Interior design, HVAC and fashion boutique ownership. We found the journey both liberating and painful. Because we were chamber members, we met many other business owners. We learned that they had many of the same struggles. We all wore many hats and the struggle for time, money and new customers were a common theme.
During the recession, we shut down our boutique. It was tough staring failure in the face, but it was the end of a chapter. In 2009, I began to wonder if there was a way to not only resolve our small business challenges, but the challenges of other entrepreneurs as well. It’s commonly said that 9 out of 10 business fail within the first two years. The ones who survive often struggle for many years simply to make ends meet. Some say that I’m an empath. There’s truth to it. I tend to feel the pain of others on a deep level and I want to make their situation better if I can. Surely, that’s why this mission has stuck with me for so long. I’m under no illusion that we can eradicate that number of businesses that fail; however, I want to help as many as we can. That’s the premise behind the Small Business Movement by GALT.
We’ve explored many different solutions. The formula has been flawed and failed for various different reasons. We basically ended up taking what worked from each attempt and putting it all together in one elaborate plan to make the world a better place. Well, at least the world of entrepreneurship. It’s been a long time coming, but I feel we have the right formula to make a difference. Now that you somewhat understand the why, we can move forward.
On July 13, 2022, I was faced with a major decision. The GALT app had taken far longer than expected to reach completion. My income from Turo car rentals had gone to zero and the movement of the stock market was no longer favorable to my options trading style. I had to generate income from somewhere else, so I decided to fall back on accounting, which had always worked for me in the past.
It was a hard decision for me, because years ago, I decided not to spend too much time doing things that weren’t in alignment with my chosen purpose. However, I convinced myself that it was the right thing to do, so I started searching for available work, which had the added bonus of filling out multiple job applications. Trying to convince the people hiring that I was the best option for them was the pits.
In a couple weeks time, I secured a job doing accounting again. I told myself all the things I needed to hear to be okay with the decision. “Remember to be present. It’s temporary, so on and so forth.” This carried me through the first six weeks. After that, my purpose started to call out to me. By week eight, it became so loud that I could hardly focus.
By week nine, the app was completed, but I didn’t have the capital put away that would have made me comfortable. Yet, my quest to build this thing that I believed would create a better world for small business owners was burning within me. For this reason, I developed a daily mantra, “Just be present! It’s a good company. Just give it a year.”
The mantra would carry me through days, then eventually only hours. The desire to get back to my mission inevitably outweighed the desire for the illusion of job security. Nothing shined the light on my illusion more so than one day while leaving work, seeing a guy being escorted out of the office with his box of belongings in hand.
The next day, I’m listening to motivational videos to help me stay the course. Interestingly enough, this particular video kept saying things like, “You’re not promised tomorrow. All you have is now. Get up and get after your dream. Go now!” I eventually became so disturbed that I could hardly focus. I felt the fire burning within, and the more I tried to doust it, the more raging it became. I eventually had to take a couple days off to try to center myself.
The writing was on the wall, but I wasn’t comfortable with my decision, so I asked for a sign, something I can’t truly say I believe is a thing. I received no sign, but rather the question, “What do you want for your life?” I clearly knew the answer to that question, yet I continued to struggle with the decision. I talked with my wife, who listened and said she would support my decision. Even then, I was still going back and forth, prolonging my misery.
I knew well the degradation and humiliation that comes with failing at a task. I didn’t want to let my family down. I didn’t want to let me down. All of the failed iterations seemed to haunt me day and night. My sleep consisted of roughly 3-5 broken up hours between 9:00pm and 4:30am. From my psychology studies, I knew this was extremely unhealthy. I needed to make a decision.
Finally, and with much effort, the lion in me was reawakened. I decided to get back to my work. I knew well the challenges that awaited. After all, it wasn’t my first rodeo, but I was ready for the task. I gave my two weeks notice and began putting the remaining pieces in place to make the transition. Mentally, it wasn’t smooth sailing. I still had to battle some doubts, but I’d made my decision, and wasn’t going to turn back. My new mantra became, “Just do the work!” I’d already pondered the “what ifs”; now I had a plan in place and action towards execution was to be my only focus. “Just do the work!”
To the benefit of future dreamers and doers who may come after me, I’ve decided to document my journey in hopes that it will inspire hope. Stay tuned for more on the journey.
p.s. the GALT app is available on Android and iOS. If you want to add your business to the app, you can easily do so by visiting JoinGalt.com. Otherwise, we hope you’ll use the app to support other small businesses.