Choosing your problems.

Choosing your problems.

Everyone* wants to be their own boss. Everyone wants to see their idea turn into reality. But no one wants to think about the problems that they will encounter when they open their business.

To quote Ronnie Coleman:

Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.

The hospitality sector is viewed with possibly more rose-tainted glasses than other sectors. Food is something we can all relate to; a key part of our existence and one that tugs at our emotional strings.

Everyone has a favourite food or cuisine, and often has a family recipe that makes better pizza than 400 Gradi. Hospitality also suffers from a strong revenue bias; you don't have to hustle to get sales if you open a shop exposed to foot traffic. There's also ample specialised debt financing available for persons interested in opening a shop. 

The combination of these factors (and others) means that there are always people waiting in line to open a store. So when a shop owner defaults on their lease, the landlord will have a high degree of confidence of finding someone else to takeover.

When you open a business, you're not just choosing how you will make money and generate revenue (your business model), you're also choosing the problems you will have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. 

In the hospitality industry, that means dealing with pissed off staff, payroll issues, unhappy customers, dodgy tradies and builders, unhelpful councils, difficult suppliers, having to wash dishes and mop floors, driving around buying supplies when something runs out, not sleeping, cashflow issues, trying to navigate the complexities of employment legislation...

You may be lucky enough to avoid a lot of the problems I mentioned above (God knows, we have been), but fundamentally, when something goes wrong, it'll most likely be fall in one of those categories. 

Before you let your dreams of running a restaurant and becoming Instagram famous take hold, ask yourself: Are those the types of problems you want to be solving?

An experienced [poker] player can make ten times as much money sitting at a table with nine mediocre players who are tired and have a lot of chips compared with sitting at a table with nine really good players who are focused and don’t have that many chips in front of them. In business, one of the most important decisions for an entrepreneur or a CEO to make is what business to be in. It doesn’t matter how flawlessly a business is executed if it’s the wrong business or if it’s in too small a market.
— Tony Hseih

"So, what do you do?"

"Focus."

"Focus."