Starting a business is hard. Just over a year ago, I officially retired from the United States Marine Corps which brought big changes to my way of life. I had no idea that a year later I would be planning for yet another, and even bigger life change by becoming a small business owner. If you would have asked me two years ago if I thought I would be an entrepreneur and starting my own small business, I probably would have laughed and thought to myself, “what do I know about running a business.”
When I left the Marine Corps, I did the safe thing, the right thing – I took a new job in a new industry that I had never thought about being a part of before. Although I spent years studying for my passion in sports and for my love of wine, I didn’t take a job in either of those areas. I accepted a great opportunity to work in a meaningful position, and I am a better person because of it, and very thankful for it. What I didn’t realize was that this opportunity would also connect me to the people, the information, and the networks that would give me the courage to know that I was quite capable of starting and running my own business.
So I began taking small steps, more online lessons and classes, reading books and business articles and listening to podcasts and webcasts from all the “experts.” My evenings and weekends became work days for my next career. The funny thing is that the more I read and the more I listened to people tell me how to be a small business owner, the more I wondered again if it was something I could actually do. I finally got to the point where I had to stop listening to all the “expert” advice and start learning on my own. I’m confident that the principles and lessons still resonated with me and that the classes have assisted in my understanding of business concepts, but it was time to actually apply it, myself. Once I reached that point, it was full speed ahead and the thought of starting a business became a reality. This time it came with the commitment, the drive and a renewed passion for a new start.
My evenings are now filled with spreadsheets of costs, to-do lists, business plans, inventory lists, phone calls with lawyers, contractors, and banks…and I love it! I am almost ready to start raising funds and building capital, which is a new part of the process and another new experience – more to come on that front.
The important part of all of this is that Wine Culture is now a reality! Before it has a storefront, it has a story and it has been quite a journey. I look forward to sharing more about those experiences with you in the coming weeks and months, until the storefront opens. I hope you enjoyed this initial blog and I can’t wait to tell you more.