Minding the Front of the Building . . .

Whenever we are  in Waynesville driving down Soco Road, we notice this fairly new ice cream parlor. Actually, it’s also a “We Buy Gold!” joint, too. We saw it as they painted it and put up signs. As the weeks passed, they began to add more and more menu items and services: unlimited talk, wi-fi, hot chocolate, hot dogs, delivery, et cetera.

We can’t drive now without looking to see what they’ve added or changed. I told GMR, “Look how hard they are working. Look at all they are doing to pull people into their shop.”

I wonder, are they having success despite all their efforts? There doesn’t seem to be many cars there when we pass – of course, this is the time of year when the tourists have gone home and many of the “part timers” have left. Still, I wonder. These people are trying HARD. They are doing all they can with marketing and promotion and “let’s try this and this and this.” They are not giving up.

Have GMR and I gone inside yet? I admit: no. What’s keeping us from going inside? I’ve thought about this. First, the color of the place is off-putting. And all the signage over-whelms–some of the signs droop. The “We Buy Gold” doesn’t inspire me to go inside. I don’t know – something about it causes me to hesitate to go in and check them out, even though I admire them for their tenacity and spirit.

We may try this and try that and try the other, and still something isn’t quite right. People aren’t coming in. The parking lot isn’t full. What may seem wonderful to one is not so wonderful to another. What may be welcoming to a person here doesn’t feel welcoming to a person there.

I sometimes want to go in and say, “Step back from what you are doing and really look at the image your place is reflecting . . .” and maybe they could see what I see. But another part of me imagines them inside, happy and excited; getting together and discussing: “what next!” with a fever of happiness that they have their very own business and look at how beautiful it is — that image makes me smile. That image makes me want to go in – every time I see a new angle, I want to go in. But still I have not. I want them to be successful. I want to see the parking lot full, but if I don’t go in myself to support them, then . . . well, you see my point.

Sometimes, despite your best effort, despite all you put into your work, still the parking lot doesn’t seem as full as you’d like. So you change something, and something else, and add something and fiddle and change. When all along, there is that glaring one thing you haven’t noticed: the front of your building.

I think there’s a lesson or a moral or a metaphor in this, even though I’d only thought to come talk about this little ice cream shop.

What do you think?
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