Not sure if it’s a factor of the recent economy or just my myopic focus on just trying to build a best-in-class business, but few things are further off my radar than the details of retirement.
Don’t get me wrong, I have semi-regular inner dialogues questioning just how I’ll accumulate the needed funds to afford a nice lifestyle and support my family at some point in the future, but it’s such a far-off and out-of-my-comfort-zone concept that it doesn’t occupy much time.
I have such a drive to build Grooming Lounge into even more of a solid and self-sufficient business — one that readily supports my staff’s families and my family’s well-being — that it’s hard to look that far ahead. I consider myself a young guy at 41. As unstrategic as it sounds, I know that if we structure Grooming Lounge’s business the “right way” and support our people the same, when the time comes, I’ll have the resources to retire in comfort.
Of course, it’s easier to push off when taking into account that I just can’t see not working day to day with our team. I enjoy it, get great pride from it and earn a respectable living. I’d rather put my thoughts toward how to make our guests and team happy today and tomorrow and next week — that’ll ensure the business will continue to thrive and I’ll be content down the line.
If the economy were going gang busters over the past several years, perhaps I’d have a slightly different take. I strive to live well within my means and have invested excess monies regularly in the market via mutual funds (those monies still left over after re-investment in Grooming Lounge). If returns from those funds were over-flowing, would I be a little more comfortable and less focused on monthly and yearly company profits? Perhaps. Doubtful. But hard to say since it’s not a reality.
Just like many small business owners, my small business is my retirement fund. Its curve is what will determine my retirement ark.
Continuing to build it will bring value and comfort for my families — both blood and business. Since I’ve pushed all my chips to the table on our business, I’ll plow forward solidifying the business up for the foreseeable future.
We’ll see what happens from there. The growth on principle of any side investments is just gravy.
Michael Gilman is founder and chief executive of the D.C.-based Grooming Lounge and Groominglounge.com .