I read some helpful advice recently that said don't try to figure out what the world needs, find something you're passionate about, because what the world needs is more passionate people. That assuages a lot of "what if" guilt I tend to have about other things I could be doing with my time. What has me most passionate is this game, the game of running a small business, which often resembles the more complex hobby games I enjoy.
What game does it resemble the most? I would guess that most board gamers would find the constantly shifting rules and strategies not to their liking, although I was just thinking it felt like a game of Caylus, with complexity and upgrades at higher levels of play or a constantly changing, brutal game of Small World. I had over six competitors when we started in our new location. It doesn't quite feel like a roleplaying game, although trying to leverage a complex, existing system to do something completely new sure feels like D&D.
If you like your game rules shaken up every few months, like Magic or Yugioh, you might enjoy the shifting sands of retail. How about miniatures? You know how you paint an army and by the time you've finished you're such a better painter than when you started that you're almost embarrassed by your work? There's a lot of that too. I could write a book about the mistakes and start a second store with just the money I blew figuring this business out over the years. There's still a constant, nagging feeling that I'm leaving money on the table in any given moment.
Our anniversary party is November 4th with some great food, fun games and a relaxed vibe where we celebrate what we've accomplished. I've been doing this for eight years now and I want to thank you for playing with me. Although this is my favorite game, I see our staff and customers as far more than pieces on my board. I've seen some amazing young people develop as solid employees before my eyes. I've seen children grow up and go off to college. I've seen young adults marry and have children of their own. It has been just long enough to where I've experienced inter-generational gaming between some people who weren't alive when I started. My own son was born six months into the business and occasionally tries his hand at dungeon master.
So thank you for playing! If you get a chance, please come to our party and have some amazing food and some fun in the back. And if you feel the need for advice: Let the world sort itself out. Just do what you love.