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The Passion of The Drycleaner

Diana Vollmer |

Running a business takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention money. It takes a huge commitment; every aspect of your life is affected.
Drycleaning isn’t an eight-hour-a-day job. Sometimes, it’s 10, 12 or more. Five or six days a week turns into seven. You wake up thinking about work. You go to sleep thinking about it. You might even have nightmares about it. Why do you do it?
Most successful operators have a passion for the business — a real passion. They live and breathe the business, in good times and bad. Passion creates love, joy and even anger, and is a driving force for as long as it exists.
When you’re in the game completely, decisions come easily. You make them with conviction. And when you make a commitment with mind, body and wallet, you put more effort into the project’s success.
When you get up in the morning and are no longer interested, however, the passion is gone. It’s different from feeling exhausted by day-to-day chores. It’s different from being frustrated with the business. Your mind may still be in it, but your heart and soul are not.
Continuing to do what you no longer love can have serious consequences, from depression to ulcers to alcoholism. Or you might distract yourself with projects and hobbies that interest you more.
If you have, in fact, lost your passion and know that you’re more than just a little fed up, there are ways to get the passion back. Remember what it is you liked best about the business and do more of it, and less of the stuff you’ve gotten caught up in over time.
For instance, some operators thrive on opening new stores. Others love the back of the plant. And still others love to spend time at the counter, meeting customers and chatting with them.
Most operators get caught up in other tasks, such as talking to bankers or scheduling staffers. You might be good at these tasks, but it’s not what gave you the passion you once had. Focusing on whatever you first found exciting about the business may reignite your passion.
If you’ve tried everything and still feel trapped in a job you no longer enjoy, it might be time to sell — before the loss of passion starts to show. Someone with a new passion can take the business to the next level.

About the author

Diana Vollmer

Methods for Management (MFM) Inc.

Managing Director

Diana Vollmer is managing director of Methods for Management (MFM) Inc., a consultancy specializing in drycleaning businesses. You may contact her at dvollmer@mfmi.com, 415-577-6544.

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