Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And then there was one

Since 2002, I have owned a total of five different Curves locations with my husband, parents, and sister. The most we ever operated at the same time was four clubs. The first two locations we opened have been with us the longest: over six years. In 2004, we opened another club near the first two, and sold it a year later. At about the same time, one of our most outstanding employees was forced to move to Eastern Washington because her danged husband's job was transferred. We told her he wasn't worth leaving us, but she insisted on following. When she returned for a visit complaining about the wretched state of her local Curves, my dad suggested she inquire as to whether any of them were for sale. Two of them were, so we secured them both and re-hired our exceptionally talented friend to manage them for us 250 miles away. Last year we sold one of those two clubs, and we are currently making arrangements with our manager/friend to help her purchase the other location from us.

Less than 30 days has passed since new owners officially took possession of our flagship Curves location; the very first club we opened. Unfortunately, the sale of my "baby" Curves was depressingly anti-climactic. This club, and its employees and members, was a very important fixture in my life for what feels to me like a significant period. At certain times my life seemed to literally revolve around the needs of this club; her challenges were both demanding and edifying.

Unfortunately, the sale process was needlessly drawn out due to various errors and mundane details, leaving us all eager to simply see it finished. This anxiety overshadowed my once prominent emotional perspective on having to let go of the establishment I nurtured to success. Then our intentions to solemnly share and celebrate the news with our team members in person were dashed by Jack Frost's unruly December snowstorm.

Assumed friendships suddenly evaporated into the bleak reality of mere acquaintanceship, and I feel as though something was missing from the conclusion of my tenure. I don't mean to sound like I expected a lavish farewell event or parting gifts. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what I expected, but the experience leaves me with a sense of disorder. It rings with a lack of finality.

I have never fooled myself into believing I am the perfect business owner or boss--the life lessons I have endured at Curves are innumerable. I've been through rough times where I wasn't able to give what I once did to Curves--precisely the reason we sought excited new minds to expand upon its potential with their fresh perspectives. But I feel like I made a difference for a lot of women. And perhaps my knowledge of that should be enough.


Mikael said...

wait... so do you just own 1 curves at this moment? What are you doing with your time? haha, JK! I am sure you are PLENTY busy.
Like me, I "only work" 10 hrs a week. But those classes I teach seem to take up my days and keep me REALLY busy along with my 3 kids. So I am sure you have plenty to do!
ps. I loved working at curves. except that dang morning shift!!! I think that cursed me because now I ALWAYS have to get up at 4am and feed TWINS!!!

guentherfamilynews said...

I just want you to know I thought about some sort of going away thing, but I didn't want you to feel like I was trying to get rid of you! I still want to see you and be friend and hang out, and I felt like giving you a farewell gift or party might come across as "get out of my life!" which is not what I want! Plus with all the weather and everything we were always closed so it was like, uh wait she is gone now...
Anyhow, I do miss you there, though I think you did a great job finding someone to take over for you, but I am glad we can remain friends and still see each other! :)


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