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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

My wife asked me the other day what it was I REALLY wanted to do for a living if I could do anything in the world. I'm in the midst of a career change right now - any career at all will do since mine is apparently withering on the vine under the new administration. 

I do this thing where I spend about 10 minutes thinking the question over and then suddenly, the answer jumps out at me about 24 to 48 hours later.  Well, that happened to me this morning as I was looking through my Demand Studios assignment list - 10 barely doable story titles gleaned from 50 pages of impossible titles like "How to Replace the Engine in a 1968 Chevy Impala".  Don't get me wrong I'd take the story on, but they want me to do it in 400 to 500 words for $15. Most of the story titles are like that, so I spend almost as much time looking for titles as I do working.

Anyway, all that to tell you this.  One of the titles was "How to Start a Canoe Livery Business".  I am studying that one diligently because that is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life.  First off, I don't want to live anywhere near town. I could cheerfully skip the morning commute forever. The noise and the traffic are gradually eroding the ventricles of my heart.

Ah, but I could really get into the canoe/kayak rental business.  I know just where I'd put it.  I'd find a little piece of land beside the main road that crosses Lake o' the Pines dam.  I'd need sheds to hold the canoes and kayaks, a small office for transacting business, a pickup and two 8 place canoe trailers. I'd need a shop for building and repairing boats and a place for the basic tools and equipment for maintaining things.  I already have a lot of that and could acquire more tools as I need them.

Finally, I'd need a small cottage in the pines behind the livery for me and my sweetie to live in. 

And an Internet connection - for advertising and promotional purposes, of course.

I would rent canoes, kayaks and sailboats to use on the lake and on the river below the dam that runs from the Lake to Jefferson Texas.  I'd set up a variety of trip packages so paddlers could have long trips, short trips or easy trips that avoid hazards in the river. They could take out in downtown Jefferson at the landing and walk up the hill to a nice restaurant for supper. I'd promote it on the web and through local news organizations.  I'd offer guided trips for youth groups, bird-watching societies and families.

I have a motorboat to use for rescuing overturned sailboats or stuck canoes or tired kids.  I'd get a fan boat to use on the river where there are shallow spots.  I'd sell equipment like life jackets, fishing rod supports, pre-packed lunches.  I'd build custom cedar strip and fiberglass canoes for folks that want something fancy.  I'd offer canoe safety classes two or three times a year on various lakes about the area and invite Scouts, Pathfinders, Royal Ambassadors, Campfire Boys and Girls, Boys and Girls Clubs and other youth groups and teach the classes for free, paying for it with sponsor dollars.

I'd hire kids to wax the boats and teach them to do repairs and to help load and launch groups.  As they got older, I'd turn them into river guides. I'd be outside most of the time and we'd work hard from spring till fall. In the winter, we'd catch up on boat repairs and maintenance. 

It would be a lovely sort of life to lead. Just need 50 to 100K to get started.

Ah, well. Just one man dreamin'

Tom King

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