I know with all the killing and lack of morals video games can, and sometimes do, promote, there still can be some good to come from it. I will explain as I go.
My wife and I started this business with money we saved. Totally out of pocket, we were ready to put forth our plan to rent a space and start selling and trading video games and music CDs. With our first attempt, we encountered problems with the space we wanted.
I also needed to get the few thousand dollars I had in my current 401K to finish off what we needed to start the business. Initially, my wife was going to quit her job and run the place even though she made more money than I did at the time.
After further research, we learned that I would have to quit my job in order to cash in my 401K. Otherwise, I could only take a loan from it at 10 percent (or something like that). That meant we would either have to work another six months to a year before attempting this venture, or I would have to start it. The bigger issue was that we had that gut feeling that if we did not act soon, someone else would open a game store ahead of us, thus killing our dream.
I should preface this by highlighting the fact that the town in which we live in is too small for two game stores, so this was a very important decision in our lives and something I felt God was telling us to do.
We waited three more months and then I quit my job after we found a second location that suited us perfectly and fit our budget. This spot not only was a godsend for us, but also for the landlord, who desperately needed to lease the property. Funny how God works not just for us, but for others too, huh?
Once we opened our doors, we started to grow by 20 percent month after month while trying to market our business to the area. Then the devil, in grand fashion, stepped in where I never thought he would, when a GameStop moved in a mile and a half away from us, settling in the exact location we could not afford when we first started looking for locations for our business.
For those that do not know much about GameStop, they are the largest corporation for used video games in the world; 6600 stores worldwide and a multi-billion dollar company. They are huge and have merged with or bought almost every company large enough to compete against them. They are the beast of this industry; the equivalent of Wal-Mart to the local small grocery store.
Growth stopped for a few months. Our trials really started in January of 2012. We had to put any and all extra money into the store just to get by. However, in a town this size, we knew GameStop would not last.
I was hoping they would be gone one year after setting up in our town. June of 2012 was that one year point for them; but they decided to stay. They had been losing money month after month since they set up shop in our town, but apparently tried to get to their second year anniversary.
We were getting ready to close our store in October of 2012. I prayed one morning with a scenario in my mind of how we could stay if this one thing could happen. I was thinking of asking my landlord for help for a month or two. Otherwise, we would have to close and be done with it.
About an hour after I opened the store that morning, my landlord came walking in (knowing we were in trouble) and wrote on a piece of paper an equivalent of a two-month payment breakdown good for up to a year to help us. It was exactly to the “T” what I was thinking when I was praying. NO ONE can tell me that it was a coincidence. THAT, folks, is God the Almighty letting us know we were going to out last our competitor and survive this trial.
The next big mystery is "Why?" Why would God want us to have a game store to benefit Him?
During my time in this store, I have been able to talk about politics and religion to most of my customers. The conversation never gets heated and always is well received. I can help share the messages of God to people that have drifted away and need to hear in order to reconnect. In so doing,I learn just as much from my patrons during these conversations.
The stories of other people’s experiences could fill a book! I have a good reputation thanks to the good people of this community. I have been blessed in more ways than I can even fathom. But when I do think about it, I know God has all of this and is not going to let my feet hit the ground shoeless in a land of broken glass.
He has carried me all of my life and nothing is going to stop him now. We will never be monetarily rich or even wealthy from the store, but we knew that when we opened it. We just wanted to make a living doing it the way we wanted to do it with God in our lives. We will survive this time and will be around for those that need a little fuel for their soul when they least expect it.
Eddie and Julie were married and planned to one day own their own business. After saving their money, and after listening to God, they opened their own video gaming store, The Basement Games & CDs.
Eddie states, "It is always interesting to see the results God gives us when we stop trying to do everything for ourselves and just let Him do it."