Late night ramblings

I can’t believe that Standing Sushi Bar is coming up to its 3 year anniversary.  Where has the time gone?  I can still remember the opening day jitters at OUB Centre.  When was that… back on August 19, 2009?  I was still a Microsoft employee back then with no idea what running a restaurant would entail.

Almost three years later I sit at my desk late at night with a whisky in hand and I think… “Damn, I thought this was going to be easier.”  And I laugh.

The business has lurched from crisis to crisis over and over again.  I have a feeling that anyone in business feels the same about their operation.  There are successes along the way but there’s only a few days of being able to take a breather before something happens to make you want to nip at that whisky bottle again.

At some point I’m going to have to write an anti-entrepreneur post.  You know how university commencement speakers like to make that joke, “Don’t leave!  Stay in school!”  It’s the same thing.  If you’re in a solid corporate job then let me yell out, “Enjoy it!  Heck, milk it!”  Trust me, the “stress” of building a PowerPoint deck because some Vice-President from the overseas headquarters is coming for a visit pales in comparison to figuring out where to find money to pay your staff (note – this was at the early stages of the restaurant, it’s stable now… just in case potential staff are reading this!!).

I like that word… lurched.  I think lots of people like to look back and say they had a plan, they had this map in their mind that took their business from point A to point B.  It reminds me of something I read once; how all super-successful people that get involved with charities think the answer to solving the issue (world hunger, lack of education, etc.) is related to whatever field their expertise is in.

I had a plan too, but that plan obviously didn’t go to… plan.  If it had these words would be written by a corporate communications person who reports to a PR manager who has to e-mail me for my opinions since I would be sipping a margarita while lying in a hammock swinging in the Maldives.  Okay, just kidding, I like writing on the blog.  I just figured that I’d have office staff by now, but I still can’t seem to justify it.

So yes, lurched.  Fumbled, bounced, crashed, whatever words you want to use.  And I don’t mean it in a bad way.  Some stuff works, lots of things don’t.  It’s like those racing video games where you can smack the car into the sides but ultimately you’re always going forward.

So you want to start a business?

These days it seems being an entrepreneur is “fashionable.”  With the proliferation of articles celebrating the success of app developers, internet start-ups, and flashy food trucks, it creates an impression that anyone and everyone should get out there and start their own business.

Should they?  Should you?  Should I have?

I came across two blog entries written by Jay Goltz, who is the owner of a few small businesses in Chicago.  He contributes to the small business section of the New York Times and I’ve referenced many of their contributors here before.

From 2009 – Is starting a business brave, smart, stupid, or nuts?

From 2011 – So you want to start a business?

If you’re thinking of starting a business I highly recommend you read the above entries.