Friday, April 24, 2009
This is Richard. He's my shop neighbor, mentor, friend--all around superstar in my book. He's the best letterpress printer I know. He's taught me a lot about printing, and I still learn from him everyday. Our conversations don't just involve shop talk, a lot of times they're about life and how we meander through it.
So today, I visited him nextdoor to borrow a base for my vandercook (I pop in there at least a handful of times everyday to borrow ink, paper, or just be a plain bugaboo). And we started talking about how to navigate as a small business during these tough economic times. Simply, he says: "It's all about the last man standing, so never give up. Hang in there and just focus on what's in front of you. If it's one job on your plate, then do it and do it well."
He mentions too that most people focus on the money-making aspect of business: how to make income, where or when it's coming. But business is also about connecting with people in the community and fostering these relationships, and not so much about the bottom line. I never thought about business this way, and then I realize I already do this, quite well actually. I naturally connect with people and make little networks. I just never thought of it as "business." Richard has a way of putting things in perspective for me. The lessons are plain and simple, but quite powerful.
So if my goal for today is to simply talk about Richard and connect him with whoever reads this post. Then I think it's just part of my job to do so, and hopefully I did it well....
I think from now on, I'll plan on having regular posts about my encounters with Mr. Seibert because I think it only makes sense to share him with the rest of you :)
When I visit, there are 2 places I usually find him at the shop:
1) by his press
2) behind his computer