National Small Business Day Reflections
When I think back to where I was just two years ago, I instantly get hit with stress. We had just moved into our first commercial kitchen space back in February of 2021 and nothing was going right. I could not get the recipe scaled up properly for the life of me. I had to ask my mom (and eventually my dad) to come in and help me and it was still taking us over 8 hours to make 200 burgers…and they usually didn’t turn out right.
I was brought to near mental breakdown every time we went into the kitchen. My parents will always say how impressed they were with how I handled everything going to shit, but they had no idea the frustration, anger, and panic I was masking (and would end up coming out in sobs on the late night car ride home).
So what kept me going? This innate KNOWING that it would all work out one day. I always had a vision of where I would be in the future and it’s exactly where I am now. I have a confidence in myself, instilled by my parents, that I can make anything work. I’m the most stubborn person you'll ever meet and it's really worked out for me in building this small business. Once I’ve said I’m going to do something, I put everything I have into seeing it through.
Two years and a few months later and I have someone else producing 2300 burgers at a time and we can’t product them fast enough!
Fellow small business owners...if you're in a similar place I was 2 years ago, remind yourself every day of your vision and know in your soul that you WILL bring it to life one day. It just might require a little elbow grease.
Here's a list of all the things that have helped me grow to the business owner I am today:
-Ask for help: you'd be surprised how many people are so excited by what you're doing that they'd love to step in and help you out!
-Network: getting to know other people who are in the same position or have gone through what you're going through is the fastest and easiest way to get to know what you don't know.
-Grit: you really have to burrow down and spend some time in the mud before you can really start to grow. I've spend hundreds of hours in the kitchen, many of them on the verge of a mental breakdown. I spent every Sunday for 6 months last year (plus one Saturday a month) working Farmer's Markets and events. Lugging product and equipment back and forth to the kitchen. I missed out on a lot of fun things, but I always knew it'd be worth it.
-Constant Education: there are several free courses you can take. I'm currently in a free accelerator program and plan to be in one every year until I'm no longer considered in need of accelerating.
Business owners, keep pushing! You got this! And everyone else, go support your favorite small businesses in any way you can :)