The week since the ADU Tour has been a blur. We have been hopping from house to house in between AirBnB guests. One night sleeping in the bus, a few nights sleeping on the floor of the demoed but not yet rebuilt studio, a few nights back at the garage in between guests.... We have definitely moved into a slightly different type of nomadic lifestyle these days.
The funny thing is, I don't seem to mind. When we were on the road during our trip it drove me crazy to have to pack up and move every day, or every few days. The constant change without a home base made me feel completely homeless and made me long for a home base. Now, we're hopping place to place even more frequently and it doesn't bother me at all. It feels more like we have several comfortable homes and were just moving between them.
I trust this will all start to wear on us eventually, but for now we have a chance to start turning our years of losing money every month around toward an actual income. That's an awesome feeling and a window we are happy to run through as long as it exists. When we grow tired of the current phase, or have a strong desire to sit at home... that's exactly what we'll do.
We have been taking advantage of the fact that we cant do a lot of noisy work when guests are around, so our days have finally begun to slow down to a pace we like again. We've treated ourselves to a few nice meals and treats, been able to make it to bbqs and event again and feel almost like ourselves (finally).
We have however still also been running around like crazy for zenbox. We've had meetings with potential clients almost every day, sometimes multiple a day. These meetings where we meet new people, hear about their project and talk about whats possible are actually some of our favorite parts of zenbox. Always fun because the people we are meeting are so excited for a new project and new phase. Many look at their ADU as a way to help offset their mortgage, gain some personal freedom, possibly to downsize and minimize and for many to start traveling more or chasing other dreams.
We have met a family looking for a place to let their son live but remain close to home after school, a couple looking to travel extensively but have a home base to return to (sounds familiar), another looking for a place for mom to move into and age gracefully near the grandkids and many, many others simply looking for extra income to payoff their mortgage early and buy their own freedom. How could these NOT be fun conversations??
That said, I'm realizing that at some point it has to stop. I seem to be running after every potential client that comes our way and jen keeps asking me why. Pointing out that we couldn't possibly take all the interest we currently have and curious what my goal is every time I answer another call or setup another meeting. She makes a good point and I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out an answer. I don't want to make this business huge. Have no desire to hire multiple employees or to be so busy that the freedom we have fought for is filled with long days of work. These things are a given. So...why am I so focused on reaching out to anyone who shows interest in ADUs, a house remodel or any design related project??
Yesterday it finally hit me. It's all I know how to do. Most of professional life was focused on sales and marketing. My skillset has always been about taking a product to market, generating a fervor of interest and closing sales. I was good at it. Like, "selling ice to an eskimo" good at it... and apparently the habit dies hard. It feels like an almost hard wired response for me- to market and gain exposure for what i'm doing, to respond within minutes to anyone who writes or calls looking for info, to introduce myself into any conversation or to send out emails to the pages and pages of names we have on a sign up sheet from the tour. I know logically that we already have more than we can handle, but it's like my hard wired work brain just can't turn off the switch. It's very odd.
In my old word it didn't matter how many new clients i brought onboard or how many new territories i expanded our market to. The company would simply hire more people to serve those new customers. Our goal was word domination and we did a pretty good job at it. Now it seems, i struggle to remind myself that there is nobody to hand that new client to. Nobody else to work the hours to make then happy. When it comes with a several month process of, well...work.
Well, they say admitting a problem is the first step in fixing the problem.