I keep writing to you because I want there to be at least one positive voice amid the negative ones you hear in your head. You know what they are. They are the voices of the detractors, the spies, those demons of self-doubt that create a dizzying cacophony echoing between your ears in your quieter moments. Everyone has them. Some are louder than others. Some people do a better job ignoring or silencing them, but they are present nonetheless.
You are an entrepreneur because you are the Keeper of an Idea. Keep forever in mind that ideas are … more »
You are only as successful as the people you hire.
As you assemble your team and grow your business, always keep in mind that the success of your business is directly related to the success of your personnel. As an employer, your staff is under your watch and care. Even if your business is struggling and can’t pay top notch wages, you can still help them grow professionally and personally and make them feel like a valuable part of the family.
Amanda has been an unsung hero of our Little Restaurant That Could. Starting out as a kitchen … more »
“How do you do it?” he asked.
I replied, “It requires being surrounded with a good team, a whole lot of trust, a deep respect and commitment to the idea….”
He interrupted, “No, not that. How do you do it? How do you work with your spouse? How do you keep together through all the stress and demands of owning a small business?”
I said yes, and repeated what I just said.
Karen and I are in the minority. Doing business with family is a difficult endeavor. Owning your own business is hard enough. Doing it with blood kin increases … more »
I can mark eras in my life by the music I listened to during those times. The dark, brooding sounds I gravitated toward in the early 2000’s reflected the state of my troubled personal life. There are certain songs that I can still return to and remember what life felt like back then. They serve as milestones to help me mark my journey.
In 2001, Jack White wrote and recorded a little :50 sec song titled Little Room, on the album White Blood Cells that remains one of my favorite and most important songs on my personal Top 10 … more »
No business plan survives the first customer.
No matter how much you plan, how hard you work, there is always something that you will not foresee when you open your doors for business.
Like grilled cheese sandwiches.
Such a simple item, right? Cheese and bread, toasted til gooey, just like mom made. Shouldn’t be that big of a deal. But when 60% of the lunch orders included grilled cheese, we found a flaw in the plan. We’re gonna need a bigger grill.
It’s been a full week since we opened our doors at Jack&June. We officially started last Sunday at … more »
Its 4:45am, and sleep feels like a luxury at this point in the process of opening our new restaurant. When the baby needs attention, even in the middle of the night, somebody has to get up and take care of it. When both of our kids were born, we were fortunate to have lots of help; grandparents, neighbors and other friends would pitch in to help with miscellaneous duties. The strength derived from this support became extremely helpful when the going got tough
And the going has gotten tough in this opening week. The stress is starting to mount. The … more »
Now that Jack&June is open, I am often asked what it feels like to own and operate two restaurants, and if I am twice as busy as before. From the outside, it would appear that way, but in order to grow as we have, it requires some critical factors, one of which is a devoted team. It is this team that I feel most fortunate to lead.
As my leadership responsibilities grow, I am most humbled by the obligation I have to those who have decided that our vision is worth adopting. The work in our industry is hard and … more »
I posted on Twitter last week how opening a restaurant is akin to having a child; Lots of fun to conceive, lots of labor pains, but tremendous joy and pride in seeing it grow up. I received quite a bit of feedback from that tweet, which caused me to reflect a little further on it.
Joy to conceive. I would officially mark January 2012 on the calendar as the day Jack&June was formally conceived, even though the idea for a second restaurant had been in my mind for longer than that. I clearly remember that chilly day in January … more »
In any narrative, words used to define it are sure to include descriptors such as heartland, hardworking, commitment, and good honest folks. It’s a place to sink down roots and establish a career. It’s a state in which to raise a family and build upon old traditions as well as create new ones. It’s a land you can be proud of.
We know this from first-hand experience. Karen and I moved to Nebraska in 1990, thinking we would only stay for 2-3 years before we moved off to greener pastures. But it wasn’t long until we saw how green … more »
This is a guest blog from Austin Mackrill, the man who made the tables at which you will dine at Jack&June
The story began with an idea from some friends…like a Ray of Hope. The goal was to create community via outdoor dining in our neighborhoods on 10 foot farm tables. That was just a year ago, but those four handcrafted tables have created what feels like years of rich memories. Memories within community that occurred while gathering up the reclaimed wood and constructing them. Memories within community that occurred while dining at them. Memories of birthday gatherings, a … more »