One month ago I wrote:
As I mentioned in the previous entry, I am desiring to find a way to work for the local vintage bicycle store, and so I have come up with an idea. I am going to try my best to offer a proposal, ie: What I have to offer, what I desire, my thoughts, observations, etc. Here is what I have so far…. Of course this “proposal” is in the preliminary stages, but it’s a start…
March 25th, 2011
Before I walked into the store, I recorded my thoughts onto a personal hand-held miniature recorder:
“I would like to say, “What is your mission, and what would you like to see happen with this store?”
Also maybe, “Do you care to see it better?”
Thought: “I am determined to get my foot in the door.”
Also, “What do you hope to see happen with the store?” ie, what changes, if any, have you thought about and are interested in making?”
Acknowledged that he may be happy with the way that things are set up. Inner dialog: “Do I need to work somewhere where change is welcome?” (I believe I benefit from being heard and having my ideas taken seriously).
I need to find out the mission; the over all aim, and what it comes down to is whether or not he wants to expand upon it.
Inner dialog: I should call myself a “solutions specialist” because I can see what areas need improvement and am quick to spot inefficiency and uselessness. I excel where change is needed.
I also need to be clear on my motives, what it is I am looking for, and what it is I have to offer.
Notes taken while at the shop:
Wanted: Part-time (2-3 days a week) work w/the potential of full-time
I can walk into a room and instantly size-up a person or situation
-Want to have keys on me while I work
“Everyone can use a bicycle,” I thought to myself
Customer advice: Cash only!
As good as your word (my observation of the place, and especially the owner’s behavior)
Intuitive, great sense of humor, thrifty, health focus (in terms of Curtis)
Been in business nearly 3 decades; 13 years at this location – history of 3 locations.
To do/interested in:
-Selling Note: Organization + Selling = Marketing! (Interested in marketing approaches)
-Create Q&A guide (physical and online) w/simple but practical buying information for customers
-Would like to create visual aids (part of marketing) Note: The visual aids will provide an additional tool to help customers understand and learn the differences about bikes and help them better be able to choose/select a bike that is right for them, and it will seek to educate (inform) the public and potential shoppers on the options for choosing a bike and even enhancing the bike. I can (have the ability/strength) to take something complex and turn it into something simple, easy-to-understand, and effective, increasing customer satisfaction and sales.
All of the employees are thrifty (observation)
“Humanitarian” feel- owner, employees, customers
Observation: Close to Whole Foods (Ideal location; practical, where I eat/buy groceries, meet good like-minded, similar valued people)
Friendly, knowledgeable staff
“Mechanically sound” – I like this, and I believe it (integrity is demonstrated 100% — this is rare, phenomenal)
Look up: Gear usage
Look up/research in order to learn about and be able to sell:
-Type of handle bars
-Type of rims
-Grips for handle bars
-Type/color (options) of reflectors
-Tires – Research thoroughly
I would like to be able (Knowledge + Experience) to disassemble and re-assemble my entire bike AND all the bikes in the store
I like that the men are real and down-to-earth – they are knowledgeable, sincere, and passionate
My belief: Bikes are beautiful and practical
I would absolutely love to go to bike swaps (I love travel, and I could also learn this way, as well as meet people)
I am eager to learn
I need to know the over all goal – the mission
So that I can work towards –
to attaining it
Strength of Mine: Pro’s/Con’s focus
Ability to identify Ability to quickly size up situations
My belief: Everyone can benefit from a bicycle and trying one is the first step, which can then lead to owning one! (This is the belief that I will operate from, that will go on in the back of my mind, which will inevitably and involuntarily fuel sales)
Recorded thoughts after meeting with Curtis:
I don’t want to sound too eager; I want to fix up my bike, and then help others fix up theirs so that they’re happy. I think I would really enjoy working with bikes; I’m going to do some research tonight to learn more. I could really digg it working there. I like that a bicycle is not just a “thing;” it’s practical – and not only is it practical, but it’s useful so it aligns with my values.
I want to say to him, “What do you want from me; I can deliver.” If it’s quick turn around, I can do it. “If it’s organization, I can do it. If it’s leadership/management, I can do it.” I just want to be happy and love the work that I do. If I have to put together a proposal or plan in order to get this job I will do it. I want to say “teach me everything there is to know about bicycles.”
I’m going to say to him, “Alright this is what I have for you…” and show him the notes and research.
“One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”
I think I can learn a lot from Curtis.
He apparently can size people up; I wonder what he thinks about me.
If he provides the opportunity, I will give back.
If he tells me the goal, I will do my best to satisfy and fulfill the mission.
I can be his “go-to” person.
I will do what it takes to learn the trade inside out.
I can only learn work under certain people, and I am willing to work under him (that is rare; I have to trust that someone is knowledge and knows what they’re talking about)
I would rather make less money working for him more hours than working somewhere else less hours making more money.
Notes taken at home that evening:
Yes, I am doing my homework ;)
I was interested in doing some research on the bikes, and so when I arrived back home I eagerly googled:
- Everything you need to know when working at a bicycle shop
- Everything you need to know when working with bicycles
- Everything you need to know when first learning about bicycles
Note: As I researched articles I found it helpful to specify my search to “used” bicycles, and moreover, “vintage” bicycles (1930’s-1980’s).
The good thing is I don’t want someone to just take my bike to a shop and have someone“fix” my bike for me, but rather, I would like to be shown how to fix it on my own, which shows a high-level of commitment and passion to learning about, maintaining, and retailing bicycles.
The benefits of owning a bicycle are timeless… They include:
(Further researching). I demonstrate a commitment to learning about bicycles and preserving their beautiful nature and marketing them to individuals for their personal satisfaction and fulfillment. I am interested in customer retention and know naturally how to increase sales and revenue, as I have worked for many retailers and been a top seller, knowledgeable, thorough, productive, and insightful.
SKILLS & STRENGTHS
- Honest, passionate, creative, self-aware, self-motivated
- Bright, intellectually curious, hardworking, persistent
- Excellent leader, drive, organization, vision
- Excellent communication—written and verbal
Email sent to Curtis May 4th, 2011:
I would like to take up the offer of organizing your store. I see potential with the store and would like the opportunity to make it better. I am interested in improvement and efficiency. I am interested in learning of your vision and mission for the store and aligning things with your mission and vision.
I have been working as an organizational coach for nearly 2 years now and would like the opportunity to work as a consultant. I have a natural affinity for it and believe I am talented and can offer you something that you and your employees, as well as customers would greatly benefit from.
I want to help make the store the best — that means better reviews, ie: 5-star and more money for the business.
I understand and recognize that you are on a tight budget and that you also like to save money. I would be happy to work with you at the same rate as your other employees and come in as an outsider. I would like to work at your store externally a few times a week. I am happy to come off hours as well when it’s quite and there’s breathing room and space. I am okay working when it’s busy as well.
I would like to be given the opportunity.