First a bit of breaking news: We’re taking this show on the road. And by “show” we mean the entire circus: Our Find Everything Historic business. Our lives. Our marriage. Our laptops. Our two dogs. And we’re doing it in an Airstream.
If you’re like everyone who already knows us your first question is likely: Who in their right minds would do that? Why would one willingly squeeze their life into a 28’ aluminum tube and live without laundry? Most of my friends’ marriages wouldn’t even survive the first week. Then there’s the running of the business. It wouldn’t be illogical for one of our board of advisors to ask if running a start-up from a mobile command center on wheels in a campground is the most prudent way to increase revenue and market share.
The first answer is simple: Because we can. Vast segments of the economy, and by extension today’s workforce, have gone almost entirely mobile. The ‘telecommuting’ of the 1990s has been replaced by the ability to completely and responsibly run an entire company’s operations with remote talent, GoToMeetings, an iPhone, and a wireless signal. And as far as overhead and burn rate goes you can’t get much more lean and mean than an Airstream in a $25 per night campground.
The longer answer is best summed up by a three-word metaphor: farm-to-table. We’re reckoning that the historic lifestyle is no different than the early days farm-to-table movement. It just doesn’t have a name and a following yet. So we’re going to start the Live Historic movement. Right now. We say it all the time when it comes to our own business: Call it vintage, throwback, classic, retro, old school, whatever. Everyone loves something historic. They just don’t know it yet. So we’re bringing it to them. State by state. Town by town.
Now that you’re up to speed, every adventure begins with the proverbial first step. Ours is more like cliff diving. The first order of business is cleaning house, literally. We’re putting our historic 1926 Dutch Colonial on the market in a few weeks, and selling a home any time, anywhere is generally not something people look forward to. Ours also happens to currently have a collapsed sewer pipe and a basement full of eleven years of stuff we don’t even think is ours. The clock is ticking to get it listed by mid-April. We want out by July. So here are a few tips to get your historic house sold quickly:
The first and arguably most important step is finding the right real estate agent. Think of them more like a surgeon. When people sell their houses and move lives change. So your realtor isn’t just marketing your house. They have your life and future in their hands. If you think we’re exaggerating you probably haven’t sold a house recently.
The second and arguably most obnoxious step is a massive clean up inside and out. Seriously, have you taken off any of your light fixtures lately? Looked at the blades of your ceiling fans in the last few months? I spent most of this past weekend having Microbiology and Public Health class flashbacks knowing what I was stirring up and inhaling, and my fingers are literally blistered and raw days later from the bleach. Remember a potential buyer’s first impression is everything and like it or not when you’re selling your house most people do see the grubby hand stains on the wall.
Step number three: De-clutter, no matter how emotionally-wrenching it may be. For us this exorcism began in our basement where my gear-loving husband has squirreled away enough outdoor gear to outfit a six-month Outward Bound expedition. If I haven’t shared the fact that my husband used to be a professional writer, photographer, explorer, and science junky, well, now you know. But come on. Who needs 12 sets of crampons and five scuba tanks (and that’s just a partial inventory)? Time to pay it forward I told him, but the karmic appeal didn’t get him to budge. How about we agree that you can get all new gear for our new adventure if you just get rid of everything else? Sold. Philadelphia Outward Bound School literally sent a cargo van to take everything away last weekend. They’re coming back next weekend to pick up another van full of maps, guidebooks, and power tools. Purge complete.
Step number four? Breathe. For every cathartic moment of cleansing, de-cluttering, and hope while you’re selling your house there will be counter-moments of total anxiety, chaos, mess, uncertainty, and doubt. Roll with it—and we’re using that metaphor literally Airstream-style. Better, freer times are ahead.
We’ll keep you posted on what happens next. Whatever it is we’re sure we won’t see it coming. And that’s exactly why we’re taking this show on the road. Because we can.