I like to think that everyone, at some point, says that they want to open their own business. That’s the American spirit! To be entrepreneurial and titans of industry. In real life though, the implications involved with opening your own small business may be more than most people are willing to take on. I own a bar/restaurant featuring a high volume self pour beer system. I was only 28 when I opened it.
The inspiration for me to open a business at such a young age was because I hated being a corporate engineer. I’m a weird dude and didn’t really fit into the corporate culture. I honestly stuck out like a sore thumb. I also wasn’t very good at it.
So I decided to go out on a limb and use my engineering experience to offer a new technology in my local market. I’m weird so I wanted to do it in an extremely unique fashion. And I’m also overly ambitious and bit off way more than I could chew by getting a prime spot (aka expensive) in a thriving downtown location. I sold all my investments (stocks and real estate) to invest everything I had into my business. I also had to have friends and family kick in to to help out, seeing as I couldn’t secure a SBA 7a loan.
Opening up I had every challenge and roadblock you could possibly imagine. By that, I mean I didn’t imagine nearly enough challenges and roadblocks. It’s amazing how many things that’ll pop up that you’d never imagine. If you’re writing a business plan, plan for the worst! Expenses, double it. Project time line, double it. Line of credit, double it. Sales, half it.
The one piece of advice I offer to anyone looking for advice on starting a business is always the same. Be willing to adapt. The entrepreneurial lifestyle is a constantly changing minefield that requires adaption for survival. This requires work and persistence all while dealing with the emotional weight of having your livelihood on the line. There are no excuses and no one cares if you fail (besides you, your family, and your investors). So if you make the plunge, you better toughen up, and learn to deal with whatever this crazy world throws at you! This life ain’t for the faint of heart my friend ;).