Some people dream of being a professional baseball player, a kick-ass rock star or even a super famous movie actor. Me? At certain points in my life, I had dreams of being all of those things. Alas those dreams were farfetched as I was neither talented enough nor driven enough to pursue those ambitions. But as a youth and young adult, I had one other dream. A dream that seemed less possible than the others at the time, but in reality was always the most achievable – to own a comic book store.
Owning a comic shop is one of those dreams that I kept to myself and didn’t share with too many people other than my wife. Even now, writing these words, it seems like a silly idea. I mean I’m 43 years old for crying out loud, yet I’m as fascinated today with comics as I was when I was first discovered them back in 1979, when I was 6 years old.
So there. I said it. My dream is to own a comic book store.
And dammit, maybe it’s because of my age and the sense that my life is essentially half over (can you say mid-life crisis?), but I’ve never been more motivated to chase down a dream than I am today. So as I write this, I’m compelled to dive into this headfirst and start the long journey of creating my own online comic book shop from scratch.
I’ve been around long enough to see a lot of people chase their dream and throw a bunch of money at it only to watch them not be able to fully realize their vision. With a wife, three kids, a dog and a cat I’m in no position to quit my day job and go on a foolish quest. So as I begin to build my comic book empire, I decided to give myself strict rules and guidelines to follow in order to be successful.
- Family comes first, always.
- My regular job comes second.
- All the time that’s left over can be allocated to starting my online comic book store.
- I will not go into debt to fund this little venture.
- I will not spend our family’s savings to prop up the comic shop.
- I will only invest money earned outside of my job into the store.
- I will publicly share the most intimate details of this undertaking here on my blog.
I think these seven rules makes sense from both a business and personal standpoint. While following these rules may make bringing the Certified Comic Shop to life slower than I’d like, I do feel it will ultimately be for the benefit of everyone.
THE JOURNEY HAS BEGUN
My mission for the comic shop is for it to be a valuable online resource where comic collectors of all ages can buy, sell and trade comic books that are certified and graded by CGC, CBCS and PGX.
About 60 days ago, I started selling certified graded comics on eBay to start earning some cash that would fund the construction of this website (and meet the requirements of rules 4-6 above). While eBay is a great way to get the comics you’re selling in front of a large audience, their fees eat up more of the profit from each sale than I care for.
So the ultimate goal is to have the Certified Comic Shop become a fully functional eCommerce platform that can handle all the transactions directly without the use of a third party.
If I stop to think about all that will entail, it almost makes me want to quit before I even start. Just getting this far along with the website has been a slow process. Building out the framework of what you currently see has taken about three weeks so far.
But like any good super-hero origin story, I know I’ll have to overcome any obstacles that get in my way before I break free and realize potential of my dream.
As I mentioned, I plan to share my journey with anyone who’s interested in following along via blog posts, photos, video and social media. I hope my transparency will not only keep me on track, but maybe someday it will help some other comic book fan turned entrepreneur who’s undertaking a similar quest learn from my successes and failures.
For my next blog post, I’ll provide the details of the income I generated the past 60 days by selling some comics from my personal collection on eBay, and what that money allowed me to purchase for the Certified Comic Shop.
Thanks for reading, and I’d be honored if you left a comment below and/or subscribed to the blog. Talk to you soon!