Down And Out, But Optimistic

My friends and family are sick of the constant updates on my social media feeds. The truth is I’m in a bit of pain and bored. Anyway, I realized I hadn’t updated the business page in a while, so here’s what’s going down.

Back in May I got the wheels rolling on a home equity loan with the hopes of consolidating some higher interest loans, making some small business investments, and maybe, sort of, buying a motorcycle.

If you’ve been following my story since the beginning, you know that I started this business four years ago with funds I had largely from selling my beloved 1996 Triumph Thunderbird. I rode that thing everywhere I could whenever possible, but I was happy to part with it if it meant having my own screen printing studio and working towards being self-employed.

Quite frankly through the month of May I had been killing it with home improvement projects. I decided to treat myself and ended up finding a 2014 Triumph Bonneville T100.

Bonneville Triumph T100
“900cc’s of raw winding power. No outstanding warrants for my arrest. Woah, woah, woah! Woah, woah! The pirates life for me!”

It wasn’t the biggest or fastest bike in the world, but it was a good platform for what I had in mind, which was doing some serious one-off customization during the off season. Hand lettered fuel tank with quotes from Kurt Vonnegut and stoic philosophers.

One June 6 I took ownership of the bike, and two weeks later I wiped out on some wet and oily pavement. The doctor seems to think I lost fragments of my ulna on the pavement. But check out the cool hardware I’ve had installed.

Left arm x-ray with plates
Two plates, fifteen screws. How’s your summer going?

So I’m home now. The good news is I can walk. The other good news is that I broke my left arm instead of my right. Unfortunately, in relying so much on the good arm while in the hospital, it seems I have pulled my right shoulder muscle. So I am really pretty limited with what I can do right now.

And of course I’ve been thinking about small business investments. Now that the bike has been written off by the insurance company, I’ll have another check coming my way (and I haven’t spent the first). There are lots of tools and products I have considered, all a different combination of exciting and scary. Exciting because I’m in a position to invest in two or three new things. Scary because for every dollar I spend I have to figure out how to earn that dollar back and then some. So far Neat & Keen still operates in the red, but fortunately the financial expenses are somewhat mitigated by the sweat equity I’ve put into it.

Maybe this break is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for to seize the day and move forward with this business. Maybe the bike being totaled is a sign that I need to make a bigger risk with my small business investments. I have some ideas, but I’m playing this hand pretty close to the chest. Wish me luck.

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