austins woodshedLast night I stopped by the workshop of Austin Mackrill, the man crafting the tables for Jack&June, to survey the final stage and to mark the moment with a bottle of 14yr single malt.  Such an accomplishment requires a commensurate milestone.  The tops are simple, understated and yet so rich with iconic meaning.  To the average person, it will be just a table.  To Austin and a few of us, it will be a part of a much bigger story.

As we sat outside the workshop in the cool night air, sipping the celebratory scotch, Austin asked me this question. He said, “I’ve never done anything like this.  Why did you trust me to take on such a big project?

To which I quickly replied, “And I had never opened a restaurant before either.”

I wonder how many people are capable of doing so much more than they currently do, but just haven’t been given the chance, or more importantly, never been in a position to believe in their own ideas and take the risk to make them happen.

It is in this opportunity that I feel so blessed and fortunate.  I had never been a chef, never cooked professionally and never even managed a restaurant, let alone own one. Who was I to think I could do it?  Why was I willing to jeopardize our life savings, leverage our house and submit our family to unknown amounts of stress?

It’s because I had an idea, and it wouldn’t go away.

Entrepreneurs most often need only one thing to get them started, and that is permission. Sure they need money and financing and equipment and staff, but without permission, the idea will lie dormant and stagnant.  Money follows vision; it doesn’t create it.   It can enable and support the vision it once it’s conceived but money can’t generate the idea.

Permission, on the other hand, invokes the power.  It says, “You can do it.”  Permission believes and inspires. It serves to open the door to new possibilities. And once permission is given, there’s only final important question to answer,

“Will I?”


3 thoughts on “Tables

  • September 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Love. This. So. Much. Thank you for your courage to dream, determination to persevere, and the grace to encourage others.

  • September 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    love that photo. and love that you trusting austin with the project allowed him to step out of what was comfortable, and say “yes” to something he knew he just had to say yes to. it has been so neat to watch the process, both the nature and transfomation of the wood to table, as well as how this project has created other good & community in unanticipated ways. great post 🙂

  • September 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Congratulations on following your dream. Husband Bill and I jumped into a dream job 31 years ago and have been on a train we couldn’t stop or get off ever since. We usually worked til we dropped dead at night and still work way too many hours, but it is our baby. The independent VOICE News is more important today than ever and our readers and advertisers depend on us for so many things, including providing employment for numerous journalists through the years. We just visited the new Railyard area last night and were impressed by the transformation. We wish you success!

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