Although all the painting and cleaning I did for three months to convert a historic, abandoned house into a shiny, new school was challenging, I am now realizing just how exciting that time was. It was romantic, really. I saw the results of my hard work immediately. I felt exhausted yet satisfied at the end of the day as I admired the freshly painted walls. I visualized my school’s success as I scrubbed floors and toilets, planted flowers and cuttings, dusted old window sills, and stained furniture.
Now my vision for the building is mostly in place, and the transformation of the building is impressive. A few things are missing—a table, some bookshelves, some decorations—but I’m sitting at my desk answering phones in a workable environment.
Phew. The school is now open. I don’t have textbooks yet, and I don’t have enough students to open a class, but it’s open!
However, I’m still getting the paperwork together for the business side of things, and it’s not so romantic. I’ve spent many hours in lines of government offices, slowly burning through all the red tape. I take a book, receive a few calls forwarded to my cell from the school, think about how I can get students to my school, and pay each office what they demand. The bank required so much paperwork that it took them an hour to process it. The municipality required me to go to five other offices to get paperwork to process my business license, and each of those offices required their own set of paperwork. Even the post office made me jump through several hoops.
At the school, I keep busy laminating level tests and setting up this and that. The silence of the phone is a harsh reality that probably every new business owner has faced. This is not romantic either, but I like the suspense. I know that very soon my school will be noisy with footsteps and laughter, ringing phones and doorbells, so I should relish the peace…and the time to get totally prepared.
That’s all for now – I need to go to the insurance office for the next few hours.