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Starting a Business Is Lonely Work

I've been thinking about my work lately. I don't think I realized how lonely it would get starting a business. Its not just that I do everything by myself, but that every decision, every move, every effort is just me...I'm a social person, so this is hard for me. I want to change this, but I'm not sure how to go about it...

This first thing that is really hard about starting a business is that I don't see my family as much I use to. I get about 45 - 60 minutes with my wife each night. 2/3 of those nights are spend filtering cold brew. I get about an hour and half with my daughter after dinner (if all goes well), 2/3 of those days are spent measuring and grinding for cold brew (I have a small grinder and a lot of coffee to go through, so it takes way longer than I'd like). I use to cook breakfast for my girls every Saturday and Sunday. I no longer do that because I sell coffee on Sat and I roast coffee on Sundays. I try to get up early on Sunday so I can still make breakfast, but it's hard because I'm exhausted.

Which brings me to the 2nd aspect that leads to loneliness...exhaustion. I know that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, and maybe it is just me, but when I'm super tired, I tend to get really cranky and alienate those around me. I don't have the patience I'm usually known for and rather than snap at people or kick my dog, I separate myself for their sake. This seems bass-akwards, but it's what I do.

Lastly, I am the type of person who likes to make decisions with a group. I like to gather information, analyze feedback and gain consensus. I can't do any of those things when I'm by myself. I'm learning a lot by making decisions and messing up most of them, but I don't feel these lessons would not come by working with a small team.

So, what do I plan to do about this?

Well...for starters, I believe I want to move back towards wholesale, rather than retail. My coffee stand has been a huge help in driving revenue, but it isn't converting to whole bean like I hoped it would. As it starts to cool down, I'm not sure if cold brew will decrease like whole bean does when it gets hotter. Cold Brew is not my passion, but it makes money, so I will need to decide how I want to proceed there. If I move to wholesale cold brew, I can do them in blocks of time and get some of my nights and weekend back.

I also want to start looking into how I can do a pop up cafe. If I can set up somewhere with chairs and tables, then my family can join me when I brew and it won't be so lonely.

What I think will be one of my goals for 2018, is to find the right people to put around me. I need a team. I need someone who is good at marketing/sales and I need someone who is good with IT/Media. Both of these individuals can be taught to manage the roaster and do tastings. I need people who really want to grow a brand and can get behind the approach. Before I can do this, I need to start hammering out who the company is (i.e. mission statement, goals, visions, etc). It will always be evolving, but I need the 3 Laws to guide us in our decision making (assuming the 3 laws are not then reinterpreted and used for the robot revolution).

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