I love this time of year. It’s the time for new beginnings and optimism. I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Bar Harbor as I indulged in one of my favorite ice cream flavors at the Mt Desert Island Ice Cream shop on their opening day. While sitting outside enjoying my Mexican chocolate in complete bliss I struck up a conversation with an entrepreneur who was next door laying the floor in his soon to open coffee shop. He was so excited to be opening his new business and I am so excited for him! I did give him this advice, “Make sure you take some time for yourself every day - even if it’s just a 10 minute walk - or you will be completely burned out by mid August!”
I lived and operated businesses in Bar Harbor for more than ten years and this was always my favorite time of year. The hope and promise of a successful season. A reunion of sorts as businesses opened their doors and the streets come alive with returning and new businesses gearing back up.
Owning a seasonal business has its upside and its drawbacks. I’ve never worked as hard as I did as an inn owner and tour boat operator. It is 24/7 and there are no weekend hikes in the park or leisurely afternoons sipping tea and popovers. You are bound to your business - taking care of people, changing sheets, cleaning toilets, baking muffins, managing reservations, hoisting sails, scrubbing decks, being a tour guide and hoping that the season will bring in enough to make it all worth it. Still – the rewards far outweighed the sacrifices and I would do it all again! Today I enjoy visiting Bar Harbor to do all the things and climb all the mountains I never had time to do when I lived and worked there.
But I do miss the adrenalin rush that owning a seasonal business brings this time of year.
So – to all of you who are opening up your existing business or your new one from Bar Harbor to Bangor – I salute you and wish you much success this season. I encourage the rest of us to patronize these businesses. For the most part – these are hard working entrepreneurs who are creating jobs, raising families and re-investing in our communities on a year round basis!