What a trip!

I've been reading 25 years worth of business journals, and while some of it is familiar, a lot of it isn't.

It took me far, far too long to realize that sports cards were going to decline to nothing. I wasn't sure where comics were going to go; or if they would ever come back. Pokemon and Beanie Babies and Pogs weren't sure things until they were.

Basically, I didn't know what was going to happen. Duh. I know what I know from hindsight; at the time I had no knowledge of the future.

I feel almost sorry for the guy in these journals. It's a tangled knot of worry and stress, even considering the journals were created to vent. 

I probably should have been more alarmed in the mid-90's over my debt, but I was managing to pay them right up to 1997, when Congress gave banks the right to jack up rates and penalties. Then, Bam!. It was a problem.

Sold the mall store in 1997, and by 1999, I have the first comment: "I think we're going to make it."

I tried way more things than I remember that didn't work. I had more competition than I remember. I paid attention to every little detail, down to a few bucks. I was hanging on for dear life, and making deals with everyone--customers, wholesalers, landlords--anything to get through. I had a mono-maniacal focus on survival.

There's a fair bit of anger and bitterness toward what I perceived as underhanded and stupid practices by others. 

There was the moment when I started to go my own way, even when it was the opposite of everyone else.

But mostly constant worry and disappointment and an occasional nice day. I don't talk about debt much, even though that was the root of the problem and when that debt was retired in 2004, suddenly everything got better.

I'm glad I read these journals, but I'm never doing it again.