I remember when I successfully qualified for an entrepreneurship support program and through it received additional funding to open my own business. My goal was to open a restaurant. On the day the results were announced, I was the happiest man in the world. I spend a long time working on the business plan, on emergency plans and on all the documents required for the funding. I was proud of my hard work. I was 20 at the time and had no experience in business, let alone in the food industry. I had no guarantee that the business would be successful, the only thing I had was a vision, determination and a dream.
After finding the right premises, getting stuff like plumbing, additional sinks, walls and rooms ready, after assembling the necessary equipment and completing all other things necessary to open the restaurant and finally after hundreds of food tests, I was ready to open.
The first days after opening the restaurant were like coming down from a drug high. My own business quickly gave me a reality check. Before, I was convinced that I was great at dealing with stress but then I experienced on my own skin, that it really can be like in the movies. That you can wake up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, only to wonder if you’re even in your own bed. That’s what the first days looked like.
Constant challenges, failures, the incompetence of staff, the enormous amount of work and pressure of huge monthly bills – I did not included any of them in my business plan.
I had a major flaw. I thought that if something needed to be done, I would best do it myself. I didn’t understand the concept of delegating. Despite having all the staff, I constantly burdened myself with the largest amount of work. This is a curse of all perfectionists who, unless they realize it, start to slowly sabotage their own business. They focus their energy and time on insignificant matters and lose themselves in their obsession to control everything.
I worked from morning till late in the evening, every day also running around the city and delivering my leaflets into every single mailbox. I had very high restaurant costs, so I also needed enough profits to cover them. I worked all year long, morning till evening, virtually for free. We were earning basically just enough to cover all the expenses. I noticed that work, stress and sacrifice were over-weighing the profits. As a friend of mine, who currently has 3 restaurants, once said: “two first years scratched out of life”. That’s when I realised that own business isn’t for people who look for comfort in their lives.
That’s why if you really want to start your business, first make sure, that you’re doing what you like, because first of all, you won’t count the time you’re spending, and second of all you will not be discouraged, if you don’t earn anything during your first period.
And if it gets really hard, you’ll find the motivation to keep moving forward.
Thanks for reading! It means the absolute world to me.