A year and a half in and I finally manage to write a blog post. In my first months plan of having the coffee shop I had a to do list including but not exclusive to –
To produce and promote a website for the coffee shop
To write a blog post introducing myself and the shop properly
To set up all my social media pages, get 500 likes/follows on each
All this time on and I’ve probably ticked off half the list for January 2017. And I’m slowly learning that actually, that’s okay. That list is in my head, not yours. That list of things will get done eventually. That list of things is probably better done now rather than then because I’m better at pretending I know what I’m doing now than I was then.
I’d always wanted my own coffee shop and although I absolutely love it and am so grateful to have it every day, its not really what I imagined. Here’s some things I’ve been busy learning instead of ticking things of my Jan ’17 to do list…
When you care about something so much, sometimes the smallest problem can seem like the end of the world. I find it hard not to take things personally and not to dwell on them. But I’m learning to take a step back and look at the bigger picture – and realise that it’s actually just coffee beans and paninis. I’ll always continue to try my best and put my all into the things I do but sometimes things go wrong and sometimes that’s not disastrous.
You can’t please everyone.
Not everyone likes turkey and avocado bagels. I don’t understand it myself but apparently some people just don’t like them. I sometimes spend a fair amount of time the night before planning a menu, go out early the next morning to buy the ingredients for it, feel super smug that I’ve rediscovered the wheel & then not sell any all week. But actually, that’s also okay.
Sometimes people don’t like my chairs because they’re a bit wonky, sometimes people don’t like my plates because they’re not conventional and the cutlery doesn’t sit on them quite right, sometimes people think the rooms too dark, sometimes people think my music’s weird, sometimes people just don’t want to talk to me about the weather. I mean, seriously, I have nothing else to talk about people, please help me out here.
Its alright though, it really is. You just can’t please ’em all and as long as I stay true to what I’m trying to achieve, I guess that is also just okay.
It’s a coffee shop, its not your whole life.
I love working. I know its weird, but I do. I love being busy and feeling like Ive got a purpose and like I’m doing something good. I love looking back on my day and thinking about all the things I’ve achieved. If it wasn’t for lovely friends and family, I’d happily work myself away 24/7. But apparently life’s not just about working. Its a real learning curve. Apparently it’s okay not to work until midnight. Apparently it’s okay to get up half an hour later in the morning. Apparently it’s okay to go out after work and not plan an event for next month. Apparently it’s okay to go for a swim in THE AFTERNOON!!!! I know, I know, literally ridiculous.
But maybe these crazy’s actually have a point? After a couple of holidays recently where I felt the need to continue to ‘work on the business blah blah’ while I was sitting around the pool or in a local bar (its amazing the ideas you have after a few Aperol Sprtiz’s), talk continuously about what I was going to do when I got back, I realised that actually nothing bad was going to happen if I just played card games for half an hour. Apart from losing badly at card games. Which in the grand scheme of things, is actually terrible and far worse than someone not liking my avocado and turkey bagel.
I love that I’m always thinking about the coffee shop. I think about it because I love it and I care about it and I always want it to be better and I’m motivated and inspired by new things I see. I also hate that I’m always thinking about the coffee shop. So I’ve realised learning to sometimes switch off is okay and actually it makes you fresher and more balanced and much less boring…
Not keeping on top of your admin is bad news brown.
Learnt this lesson in about November last year when I woke up in the middle of the night every night for a week thinking about spreadsheets, receipts & rotas. For one reason or another (mostly because I was thinking up the genius avocado and turkey bagel. Sorry guys, I know I said it didn’t matter but there is a teeny tiny (!) part of me struggling to let this one go) I’d let a few weeks worth of admin build up and I felt out of control. It’s really not my favourite part of running my own business and because I find it boring, sometimes I put it off. But this is 100%, absolutely, definitely (not maybe), categorially NOT a good idea. Doing a little bit every day makes me feel in control and not worry about it and after a while of doing this now and staying on top of things, it’s really not so bad and it’s really not so scary. Although spreadsheets will always be hideous no matter how many pretty colours you cover them in.
Humans are awesome.
Having a customer facing job means that even if you feel totally rubbish, you mostly have to pretend that everything’s okay. I don’t mean that I’m pretending to be something I’m not here – just that it doesn’t seem to be good for business if I’m crying into someone’s latte as I explain to them that my cat is just not getting on with the next door neighbours cats and its causing all sorts of first world problems.
It’s amazing though what a positive impact being surrounded by lovely people has on me. I can come in to work some mornings, not feeling like talking to anyone, feeling a bit shy and a bit like having my own business is just too scary today and within a few minutes of being with my team & customers, everything is in perspective, its okay that you can’t please everyone, it’s just a coffee shop not my whole life, your admin is doing just fine and humans can just be bloody awesome.