8 UNEXPECTED TRIALS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
(AND THE LESSONS I LEARNED FROM THEM)
1) Having the passion, but not the knowledge.
I opened Reverie in June 2013, thinking that a line would automatically form right outside our door. I had a thirst for creating positive experiences, but I wasn’t equipped with the tools I needed to make my business successful.
I pressed on, and began to learn.
2) Dwelling on missed opportunities.
Each day, we got better at what we did. But as we moved forward, I realized we had missed tons of opportunities to do it right the first time. In the life of an entrepreneur, our sights are often set on keeping things running, instead of actually growing.
I set my sights on growth.
3) Striking a balance in marketing and promotions.
Early on, I realized we were not doing what we needed in the way of marketing and promoting our business. For years, we budgeted too little for promotion work, and have constantly been chasing the right amount that allows us to grow.
We need to do more.
4) Creating loyalty with customers.
Wichita is a relatively underserved coffee community. Kansas City has about double the amount of coffee shops per capita. But even with the wide-open market here in Wichita, we underestimated the value of customer loyalty. It took awhile, I believe we have become successful in creating a deeper connection with the community.
We found our place.
5) Underestimating the time commitment.
When I finally left my day job to work for myself, I thought it was going to make my life simpler and allow me to get ahead with my business. I quickly realized that Reverie needed much more time than I was prepared to give.
I buckled down and worked.
In the life of an entrepreneur, our sights are often set on keeping things running, instead of actually growing.
6) Learning from those around me.
When I transitioned from my full-time job, I began soaking up new information about business. I wasn't very book-savvy, but I was fortunate to discover a few networking opportunities through 1 Million Cups, which eventually led to my introduction to the e2e Accelerator. Reaching out for help is what really got me energized to learn the art of doing business.
People want to help.
7) Learning how to be a boss.
I have really enjoyed being free to do whatever, and be whomever, I wish. But the role I truly desire to play is one of a leader who values his employees and the craft of coffee. I want to be the boss the team looks up to because of the sacrifices I've made for the coffee community we so desire to grow.
I love my team.
8) Keeping my identity.
As I get further into developing the future of the business, I realize there is a growing need to educate myself on the other pieces that make business leaders successful. The challenge, for me, is doing this while keeping my identity. I still want to have a deep love for specialty coffee and creating exceptional experiences for customers. After all, what is life without good coffee?
I love my job.