It was January of 1987, and I was living and working in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A local magazine publisher approached me about starting a similar publishing business together in another city. It sounded like a good idea and we began looking for the right place. Based on our search criteria, Fort Wayne looked like the perfect spot.
So, my wife and I sold our house, quit our jobs and, with our two-year-old daughter in tow, headed to Fort Wayne. Starting a business is tough. Moving to a city where you don’t know anyone is tough. Starting a business to publish a magazine in a city where you don’t know anyone is possibly as tough as it gets. In addition, I lost my business partners, the people who knew how to run this type of business, to a horrific automobile crash just eight months after starting the business.
If you don’t think it’s that difficult, just try selling advertising in a place where no one knows you, in a publication that doesn’t exist. Most people wanted to see the first issue or two, and wisely so, before choosing to support this unknown entity.
Soon, more businesses took the leap and began advertising with us. Businesses big and small became important, long-term supporters. Many of those early advertisers are still with us today. And, we continue to attract new advertisers.
It has been 35 years and we are still here. Our mission is to help the businesses of northeast Indiana grow. I believe we have accomplished, and continue to accomplish, that mission.
My business partners were unable to work after their terrible car crash. I somehow managed to carry on without their wisdom and knowledge, making many errors along the way. Any one of those numerous mistakes I made could have (maybe should have) put us out of business. But, they didn’t. We kept going, learning and eventually stopped making the huge mistakes. I try to make smaller ones now. They are a lot easier to overcome.