This Week: Making Something Out of Nothing

This week I learned a lot about type of people here in Kansas City, and I have nothing but good thoughts for this town.

This week my time was spent fixing bicycles, truing wheels, and cleaning parts. There was big, free bike swap meet in KC today and I worked my butt off this week getting ready. It was quite the ordeal, but I am committed to making my life more simple and if I can get this stuff all sold, I will be that much closer. I guess I need to share, if you hadn't guessed already that a great love in my life is riding bikes. When I was in high school on through college, I think I had 2 mountain bikes, a road bike, 3 BMX bikes, a unicycle, and 5-6 huge Rubbermaid bins of bike parts. Well in the past 5 years I have sold all of that stuff down and am down to 2 bins of parts and 3 bikes, 2 of which I am trying to sell right now. So this week was pushing to get more and more of that sold off, and so far, so good.

This week I was amazed by how powerful Craigslist has become. I predict Ebay is going to fall out, if you have your money in there stock, pull it out ASAP. After preparing all of this bike stuff for Saturday's swap meet, Thursday night I posted my four ads on Craigslist late that night and by 6AM the next morning, I had an inbox full of potential customers. Craigslist is the new king for me. Another story to share about Craigslist is that you can post your resume there anonymously, which I did weeks ago, and (other than the random weird emails) someone shot me a lead for a job here in KC that isn't posted anywhere. No idea why or who, or if it will check out, but it was a solid lead. He said he was just helping out a fellow machinist, kind of cool.

This week I felt the great sense of community at the swap meet. I have never been around a bike group at large that wasn't snobby, uptight, and think that they are faster than you. Traditionally bicycling is a deeply personal sport. How many miles I did, what my bike is, how fast I am, etc. Lots of non-team sport kids that grew up. However, I am amazed to say I saw just the opposite. Lots of friendly people, that just love to ride, like to shop talk, and work on bikes. Bicycle community is definitely the best way to describe it, I really felt like I met 20 new friends this weekend. This has to be what it feels like to be a Star Trek fan for a long time and then to finally go to a Trek convention.

This week I have decided to start a small no cost business. Can you guess it? Bike repair out of my home, it will be kind of a litmus test to see if it is an avenue I would like to pursue for a real business. This swap meet probably put together a small list of clients for me to start with and I can see how it goes. If it feels right and like something I can actually make money with, I might step forward with something more bold. Either way it will feel like I am progressing again, it will be fun to make something out of nothing.

Yup this week was pretty fun. And next week, Dyslexic Research will have a contest!!! Details coming soon...


Guzzo said...

I had a feeling it was going to be something with biking. If you can make money at doing something you love, then I say GO FOR IT!

I don't remember where I read it, but bike repair is supposedly a booming business right now. I'll bet you'll be turning customers away in no time.

Plus, it's an all cash business, and you're in control of your hours. When a benefit-paying engineering job comes your way, you can always continue bike repair at your leisure.

David Csonka said...

I don't use EBay as much as I use too, but maybe that is because I already sold most of my clutter. But general vibes on the Web seem to indicate that people are dissatisfied with it's long term development, and changes.

I do love Half.com however, which EBay bought out some time ago. It made buying college textbooks affordable.

MJ @ Dyslexic Research said...

@ Dave, glad to see you comment here, I am a fan of your new blog as well. I infer from your blog that you too believe in value inversting?