COVID-19 Would Have Closed The Doors
Both Bren and I have discussed what we would be doing if we still had the Similkameen News Leader during the current pandemic. We've seen small newspapers across the province and nation either cease printing and shifting to full-time online content to save money or just close down. The lack of advertising and coronavirus restrictions would have spelled the end of the line for us as well.
In a way I'm somewhat relieved we didn't have to go through that although we did end up closing one of our home-based businesses for three months. Luckily it was the business that carries itself and that the closure was only temporary. But it did cause us to look at alternatives if things didn't change. So far, the reopening has been successful and Bren is back to doing what she loves to be doing.
I Am Constantly Reminded About The News Leader
In the past year, I was pleased to see that the Princeton Museum had purchased enough storage boxes to hold all the copies published by the News Leader in their collection. That was a rather proud moment for me when I realized that the work we did at the paper would be preserved forever in Princeton's history. Sure, I knew it would be anyway, but seeing the neatly stacked storage boxes made it real.
Other reminders hit me every so often. I parked on the main street one day last month and Bren pointed out that it was "our old parking spot" that sat outside the front of our office. The other day someone asked me about advertising rates related to print media and I recently started using the old "work computer" at home and have come across tons of files from the final few years of the paper.
A Lot Of Good Has Come Out Of Those Four Years
When I look back at the final few months we were in business with the News Leader I am reminded that both Bren and I were already on our new career paths. Her home-based business (JamBusters!) was already well established and we were vending weekly out of town already. I was picking up steady work as a ghostwriter with several regular clients. In a way, the newspaper was getting in the way.
That is probably why the transition from a full-time storefront business to two part-time/full-time home-based businesses was so easy. At the time it was frightening, but we got through it. Both of us are very happy with what we are doing these days. But we had to experience going through a tough couple of years and a business closure to realize that even the COVID closure we had was just a hurdle.
There Are Several Takeaways I Still Carry
I learned a great deal when I owned the Similkameen News Leader. The positives I still focus on include the ability to write compelling copy that I have turned into a successful home-based business (Looseink Freelance Ninja), that I am better working for myself than being an employee, and that sometimes you have to improvise to get around a technical glitch. Or any kind of glitch in plans.
Probably the biggest takeaway I have is that it doesn't matter what it is you do, as long as you do it to the best of your ability and do it for the right reasons. Will I be sad about this week marking the fourth anniversary of our closure? Not at all. If anything, I'll celebrate that the closure launched Bren and me into our future which has not turned out so bad after all. For me, that's a great takeaway.