First off, let me make it clear that I am not anti-arena
I am referring to the story that appeared in INC magazine last week that describes the effects that the Pinnacle Bank Arena has had on our business in the last nine months. If you have not read it, here is the link to the article, else the rest of this post may not have context.
As described in the story, the opening of the arena brought about some very sudden changes in the Haymarket, most of which had to do with infrastructure and parking. Guests can recall the good old days of coming downtown and easily finding a street side parking stall near the destination of their choice on any day of the week. Those days are now gone.
Our story can be interpreted as one of grumbling and complaint, or it can be seen as two entrepreneurs trying to find a solution to help a thriving little business keep thriving. I’ve been in business long enough to know that there is no business as usual. Every season brings its new challenges. Soon after we opened our doors in 2007, wheat prices skyrocketed, and the Atkins “carbs are evil” fad was in full swing. Now beef prices are through the roof and everyone is celiac. There will always be something that requires adaptation and a fresh set of eyes to discover new solutions.
You may wonder how Inc Magazine found us? It all started with Twitter and an act of gratitude. In January, I tweeted @dhmeyer for book suggestions I should read in the upcoming year. He immediately replied Small Giants by @boburlingham. After only a few pages into the book, I sent a tweet to Bo telling him how much his work was resonating with me. He then asked me to send him my thoughts once I finished reading.
And so I did. In my two page reply I briefly mentioned the season of change and the struggles we were having, to which he wrote back and asked if I could elaborate a little more. This is when he explained his role with Inc and the article he writes for entrepreneurs. He asked if I would be interested in a phone conversation with him and his friend @normbrodsky. Of course I said yes.
This is what I appreciate about the fraternity of entrepreneurs. Wherever you go, you’ll find the resonant understanding that comes from shouldering the weight of a small business first hand. They know those sleepless nights of worry over payroll, and inadequate cashflow. They have stared into the abyss of bankruptcy and have dug their heels in deep and hung on for dear life. They, too, used every possible resource at their disposal to keep from sliding over that edge.
Thank you, Bo, for taking interest and reaching out to us.
And if you haven’t’ read his book, you’re missing a gem.