It's been four months since I've written anything and I'm eager to get back at it. In mid-June we opened our second cafe and that has been the occupier of most of my time. But now that things have settled down a bit I can take a day to focus on writing.
What to write?
That's always the hardest part for me - starting. I usually spend the first few minutes staring at the computer screen, wondering, "what do I write?". Do I post a recipe? Do I write about a recent city we've travelled to? Do I write something inspirational? How do I begin?
When we opened our first cafe three and half years ago, starting was the hardest part. Isn't that with anything in life? I don't know about you, but starting something is always the hardest part. A relationship, having a child, starting a new job, moving away to a new city - it's the fear of the unknown. That feeling of uncertainty, not knowing what to expect, the fear of making a mistake and screwing everything up. We all have it. But all you can do is step out and hope for the best.
I read this quote... "What if I told you ten years from now your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?" -Karen Salmansohn
Isn't that the truth? We want something different. We want to be more successful, have more money, work a better job, be a more positive person, be more generous, etc, etc... but we don't want to step outside of our comfort zone.
"If you want something you've never had, that you've got to do something you've never done."
And that's where it gets scary. But what if I fail? So. What IF I fail? I just start over again. Big deal. Now I start over again smarter and know what mistakes to avoid. Here's how I look at it... I would rather try something and have it fail, then never try at all and wish I did my whole life. Fear is temporary. Regret is forever.
Think about that for a minute. That's heavy. And I don't say all this to make you feel down about your life or wish you were somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else. Not at all. I say this to encourage you.
The biggest life lesson I learned with this whole "anchor coffee house adventure" is the reward of stepping out. Of having a dream and working really really hard to make it come true. It's definitely not easy. You're going to have to work longer hours than all your friends, and never complain about it. There will be bad days when it feels like everything's going wrong and nothing's going right. But then there are awesome days that make all the bad ones seem so insignificant. I can't begin to tell you the feeling of accomplishment you'll experience when you step out and try something scary and it succeeds.
If you have a dream, if there's something you've always wanted to do - just do it. NOW. Don't wait for tomorrow, because tomorrow may not come. We're not promised anything.
So how do I begin?
First, do your research and better your craft.
If you want to open a cafe, like we did, visit the most successful cafes in the country. Find out what makes them successful. What are they doing, that the failing cafes are not? Taste the best coffees in the world. Try out new recipes... again, and again, and again. Don't be content with status quo. You have to be willing to make mistakes and keep pushing yourself to be better. You have to have a vision and direction for what you want.
If you want to paint or make music, become the best artist. Practice, practice, practice. Make time for bettering your craft. Make it a priority. You make time for what's important to you, so turn off netflix, put down your phone and spend time becoming the best at what you do.
Second, surround yourself with people who will inspire you.
Don't surround yourself with people who will bring you down and discourage your dream. There are plenty of people out there just like you, who have a dream and want to accomplish it. FInd them, and encourage each other. I was lucky that both my husband and I had the same dream, so talked about it all the time together. We travelled to different coffee shops and took mental notes on what we liked and didn't like. We DREAMED TOGETHER and had a vision of what we wanted to accomplish together. We found other young people like us, who also started small businesses and shared our successes and challenges with them. We always left feeling inspired and focused and that drove our dream to become bigger.
You can do it. Step out and just try. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take.
"A ship in a harbour is safe, but that's not what ships are created for."