Saturday, December 18, 2010

Why now?

A few days ago, I went to the library to pick up a book on wine, and as I was looking for a particular call number noticed a book entitled "What's Stopping You". For all the very drastic steps I've taken in my life to become prepared to start a restaurant, you would think I'd thumb my nose at the generic rah-rah entrepreneurship books. Not true; I borrowed this book from the library:

In one of the first chapters, the book describes "trigger events," those (positive or negative) moments in one's life that makes her reconsider assumptions, the harsh words of her mother, whether to delay starting a business a couple of years in an effort to accumulate "experience." According to this book, I've had several trigger moments over the course of just a few months. My grandfather on my father's side and my favorite uncle on my mother's side passed away from (different) cancers within a month of each other. This was the first time I've experienced loss of this kind and in the emotional turmoil that ensued, I decided that I didn't want to allow my job to dictate when or whether I'm able to step away and spend time with those I love. In fact, I had to battle with my managers to get time off to see my grandfather, which finally happened only a week before he passed. And, because of this same job, I had to return to NYC for two weeks afterwards despite my uncle's worsening condition. At the end of those two weeks, I gave notice to my managers and returned to LA with no plans to work for them in NYC again. This is my uncle at my cousin's (his daughter's) wedding a year before he passed. He had a great appreciation for good food, like me:

The second "trigger event" is admittedly not much of an event, but rather an opportunity for me to read into circumstances and paint them as signs. Since (and for a couple of months prior) to giving notice at my job, I've been looking pretty aggressively for another opportunity, both in the non-profit world and in the restaurant industry. Though I've had several interviews, I've not yet received a job offer. Ultimately, I understand that it's a tough economy and I show little longevity or direction on my resume, but there are reasons for that: I'm an entrepreneur at heart.

The final "trigger event" is the only positive one. Because of my grandfather's death, I've fallen into a small inheritance. Though I've been fortunate to never have struggled in the way some struggle financially, I've chosen a path that has never allowed me the luxury of savings in excess of $10k at any given time. Though my parents have had the luck to be able to prioritize their kids' educations, we've had to take out loans to attend local public universities and our respective graduate schools. I still owe about $150k for business school. Despite this, I'm in a position where if I live in the most conservative way possible, I have about 6 months to plan and fund this restaurant. I'm pretty productive when given a goal and a challenge. Let's see what happens.

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