Self doubt is at the forefront of most small business owners. Even more so with those who are starting. What makes this even worse is when it is perpetuated by those who may doubt you…this is a short story about that toxic doubt and insecurity.Read More
This might be a little bit of a rant…
New years day is quickly approaching and I’m taking time to review the business. For those of you whom have met me, you know there are a couple different sides to me. One that is completely oblivious to absolutely obvious situations, and one that is so hyper focused in a situation that your own thoughts are known to me before you have them. Reviewing company performance and metrics takes on the hyper focused side of that dichotomy.
Looking back at the business a lot of shit happened. We launched, we brought on a couple wholesale accounts, we did A LOT of farmers markets… its been interesting to say the least. In the end, I realized that there has been a lot of investment into growth. A lot of investment into marketing, but overall some great successes and losses.
One thing is for sure, this deal has been a ton of work and it was the furthest thing from easy that I’ve ever experienced in my life. Having been a professional chef, and in the military, I’m well versed in difficult jobs. Being a small business owner in a cash based (0 company debt) business is the most difficult way to approach staring a company. You become reliant on driving any and most profits back into the business. You begin to ration things in your own personal life in order to divert funds to the business… Thoughts like, “do we really need a new tie to go to the wedding…do we need to go to the wedding at all?” It all counts, every penny.
Being tired is just the beginning. This whole journey started, I had a full-time job. Now I don’t… Is it a measure of success? Its terrifying to say the least. Doing 3 farmers markets a week, working 60 hours a week for someone else…attempting to grow social media for the company, and a million other tasks that you know you need to do, but just don’t have the time…sleeping 3 hours a night for weeks on end… this shit is not easy.
Relying on sheer hustle and talent (perceived?). That is the hardest part. Being a small-business owner you realize that it’s all on you. You only have 1 at-bat. Is there room for error? Only a little. The real question is how hard you are on yourself. Do you see the opportunities that you miss in a day? A week? A month? Then to notice how quickly time passes by… reflecting on that time I’ve come to realize not only growth but also the opportunities missed. That is the hardest part, second only to the art of making a decision (I could write a book on that).
But what I’ve come to realize most about this short journey (yes, it is still under a year) is that the reward is only what you seek. Which metric of review do you, as the business owner, value most? Sales dollars? Amount of pounds or cups of coffee sold? Social media growth? I can’t answer that question. But what I can say, I’ve taken great joy this year in putting the effort into doing this deal. Working harder than ever. And more and more, It’s looking like this is a game that I’m playing against myself.
Building company culture and brand is the #1 key to building a company that you plan on keeping around for a long long time. This is how we’re doing it. By implementing our corporate fellowship program, we are planning on serving our clientele, our community and most importantly, our team (a bit more on that in the future).Read More
I had to say something about this. Service has been bothering me lately. So many dont understand that no matter what industry you are in, you provide service. Internal to the company or external. Service is the most important aspect to business in the United States. It is what makes us special as compared to the rest of the world. It is about time we revive it before we lose it entirely.Read More
And these are the Top 5 issues that have given me the most grief in starting up this coffee roastery. I hope they help you in finding perspective if you decide to go forward and open a business of your own.Read More
Socially conscious companies are changing the world. FAIRTRADE USA is one of those companies. Keep an eye on them, they are doing great things. That being said, CIty Roasters - Chicago is proud to partner with them and support them in their mission.Read More
This blog is intended to be more than just about coffee. If you’ve read more than one entry, I'm certain you’ve deduced that. You can see its actually (well...currently) less to do about coffee than it is a collection of stories inspiring an action that will be reflected within the organization. Is that not the actual function of coffee?Read More
Everyone thinks that the military is the type of job that one necessarily takes to 20 years. Earns a pension, and hangs out from 40 years old until death. essentially, you have it made. I had it made more than once. I was a professional chef. I was a good Marine. And yet, both times I left on my own terms to step outside of my comfort zone. Perhaps my passion is the pursuit and the journey to something bigger. I break it down a little in this post.Read More
There is always that point in life where you contemplate your next move. For some it is a logical decision, but for others it may take an introspective journey. I suppose this is a little story about how I decided to build a coffee roasting company.Read More