In a recent conversation with my brother, the topic came up as to why I am opening up an online hobby store and why at this point in my life.
Why a hobby store?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch that I wanted to scratch. That interest was primarily in starting and running my own company. Given my interests in model building, one of the first businesses I had a desire to start was a hobby store. However, the financial barriers to entry, especially for a brick and mortar business, were something I could never overcome.
The need to financially provide for my family of 4 kids also called for something with more financial security than starting a company from scratch was able to provide me. So, I took the safe, but much less rewarding, corporate employment path.
Throughout my corporate carer, I was always on the lookout for opportunities that would fit both my interests and my meager financial resources. Over time, my background in computers and my interest in business along with the rise of the internet and the availability of free websites and software all worked together to allow an ecommerce store to be started and developed with a very low cost of entry. Ecommerce basically overcame the financial barriers I always had to deal with. I always wanted any business I started to be associated with something I enjoyed working with and doing. And an online hobby store fit those criteria.
Raising and providing for a family left very little time to devote to building a side business. As kids flew the nest, more time became available but the job and family issues still imposed heavy time constraints. However, I was able to carve out enough time to start up this blog. Over the past several years, I was able to maintain my FlyBoyz blog and that has helped build a potential customer base for an online hobby store. Now that I have entered retirement, the time that was spent ‘on the job’ has been made available to provide the time necessary to build up a small business. So now, the blog and store can work in conjunction to support each other. The time is right for me and if I’m ever going to do this, I need to do it now!
What does the FlyBoyz Store mean to me?
One thing that I determined right from the start in my business venture is that wanted to share my ‘Joy’ in the hobby with others. I determined that I would never sell anything that I don’t personally enjoy working with or have an interest in. Just like my FlyBoyz blog posts reflect those aviation activities and topics that interest me, so in the FlyBoyz Store, you will only see items for sale that are of interest to me. I will share them thru the store and if you have an interest in them, then we can share that ‘Joy’ together. But if I have no interest, then it won’t be in the store. For example, I have no particular interest in R/C drones and so I have no intentions to carry them in the FlyBoyz Store no matter how financially lucrative they may be. They are just of no interest to me and bring me no ‘Joy’. Financially, I’m not in this to make a fortune at this time in my life but rather to share my interests with others. If in the process of sharing those interests, I can make a few bucks that will help me to support my hobbies and interests, then that is what I’m looking to get out of it financially.
Also, as I’ve stated in past posts, I really do have an interest in returning old kits (and engines, etc.) to the modeling world rather than having them end up in a dumpster somewhere. These kits can still bring a lot of joy to other modelers and collectors and hopefully I can help foster that.
Finally, I will look to add product lines that I find interesting and am personally involved with. I am working right now on something along those lines that has me extremely excited and I think it may excite others in the hobby as well. Stay tuned for more information!
The Bottom line:
So in response to my brothers questions, I would say that the time and circumstances are finally right for me and that the FlyBoyz Store will be a reflection of Mike O’Neill. If you find any of that to be interesting, the door is open and I’d love to have you come in and share those interests! And to paraphrase what I wrote in my original FlyBoyz blog ‘About‘ page: I invite you to join me in the next chapter of my flight of re-discovery!