Jumping off a Cliff (Without a Parachute)

Many months ago, I had a draft for a post that had the same title as this, and I had it almost ready to post. It was around our second or third loan rejection, and the prospects of even opening Griffeys’ Book Emporium was in serious jeopardy. It wasn’t ever posted, though, as my editor, partner, and love of my life deemed it far too depressing to actually post.

The gist was that we had gone in deep on an idea with really no backup plan. We were stuck, the way that we had started this business, and there really wasn’t a way out. Taking influence from Aria’s “minimum viable bookstore” option, I had made a promise in that post that I didn’t know I could keep. I had said that we would open the bookstore even if we had to stack books on the floor, which at that point we had still not received (a reminder that I must eventually make a post about the Flooring Fiasco of 2022.) It was a silly promise to make, and hardly one that would be appealing to people that just want to have a used bookstore in Delaware, Ohio.

And this is not to say that things haven’t been painful. On the contrary, between the numerous mistakes we’ve made along the way and catastrophes outside of our control, I’m surprised even today that Aria and I are able to open this Labor Day. But we have been blessed in many ways. Just before we opened we realized that we had just enough bookcases to fill the space we need, which is wonderful since we had no means, or time, to find any more. We have more than enough books to open with thanks to the incredible generosity of the people of Delaware, and have been encouraged by all of the excitement we have seen surrounding our opening on Labor Day.

So what does it mean to jump off a cliff without a parachute? We were once told that starting a business was like jumping off a cliff; something exhilarating, exciting, and mostly dangerous. I added the parachute bit because we, through numerous decisions of questionable merit, cornered ourselves where there was no safe way down. We had a full commitment in front of us, and no real way out. And in hindsight (though I would have made many decisions differently), I still would prefer it this way. It is no secret that I have trouble seeing things to their conclusion, but now we are about to finish the first stage of our journey into Griffeys’ Book Emporium, thanks to all of the amazing support from this community.

Addendum: This post was drafted before our grand opening, which took place yesterday. The grand opening was absolutely amazing. We met a ton of wonderful people and sold over 200 books during the eight hours we were open. We are now open for our regular business hours, which are 11am-7pm Tuesdays through Saturdays (closed Sundays, and Mondays except for special events). We hope to welcome you into our storefront soon so that you can see what we’ve been creating here at Griffeys’ Book Emporium! Thank you to everyone for your continued support. 📚 ❤️

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