Food Truck . . . Or third child?
Don't panic. BeauxJax is not going anywhere and my wife and I are not expecting. Over the last several days, however, I have noticed some remarkable similarities to running a food truck and raising my own children. There are probably many small business owners out there who feel the same about their business, and there may be a few folks out there kicking the idea around, or just starting up their own venture. While my experience is limited to three years a food tucker and 6 years a parent, maybe its worth sharing my little insight for any of you out there looking to start a business, a family, or both (in any particular order). Whichever of these paths you may be on these are the things I would tell you to be ready for:
BUY A COFFEE POT. Sleepless nights are ahead. There is something deeply similar for me about the worry I carry for my kids and the worry I have for my business when my head hits the pillow at night. The majority of the time it's never anything serious but more about how I can be better and things I should have done better through the day. Then there are those crazy days where it's way past bedtime and you are hard at it parenting at the ER or cleaning the grill at 3am after you've just fed the bar. Either way sleep is at a premium.
YOU ARN'T PERFECT AND YOU ARE GOING TO KNOW IT. When you start any journey in life you are going to feel confident, empowered, and excited. Parenting and Business both have a way of popping those bubbles out of nowhere. I promise, no matter how much of your heart you put into loving your kids or growing your business, you are going to make mistakes. Kids are going to tell you they don't like you at times, and customers are going to let you (and possibly the world) know when you mess up. It's those moments in both kinds of situations that you have to swallow your pride and fix your mistake so you can quickly re-inflate that confidence, empowerment, and excitement. You are going to need those things to succeed.
GET READY TO GROW. The day my daughter was born and the day I quit my oilfield job to work on a food truck the same phrase was stuck on repeat in my brain - "Oh crap, What have I gotten myself into?" There is no doubt when you transfer from planning to the action part, you feel the weight of how much you have to learn. There is no formula to growing into what you think you want to be in either circumstance, and that's because your ideas of how you want to perform change as you grow. The only advice I can muster is - Listen and be open-minded (but hey I'm still growing, that advice may change). If you are committed to being a parent and/or business owner, I believe the keys to growth in both are right in front of you. Your kids and your customers will both tell you how to be your best if you listen and stay engaged.
YOUR FAITH WILL BE PUT TO THE TEST. There will be times as a business owner and a parent that the unexpected will come. Be ready for your plans to fly out the window. You are going to face some pretty paralyzing moments in either and for me hitting my knees in prayer was the only way I could move forward. Wherever you find that strength I suggest you have that put together before you ever try either. As rough as that may sound the great part is seeing how much stronger your soul becomes when you come out on the other side.
THE LITTLE REWARDS ARE GOING TO BE BIGGER THAN IT ALL. When I became a parent my kids lives were mapped out in my head. My boy was going to be a pro ballplayer and my daughter was getting a full ride to Yale. With the business the image in the beginning was about the millions of dollars we were going to make. Stupid me. The biggest thing I have learned has been to slowdown and appreciate every little victory from my kids first steps, the excitement they find in a bedtime story, or the reward they find in passing a spelling test. In business it's the same. The reward of owning the grill on a busy night, reading a moving review, or getting time to sit at one of our dining tables with a newly made friend. Don't miss these little moments. Of all the measures of success these moments sit at the top.
So if you misread the title and wanted to know if we were deciding between a food truck or having another kid, the answer is no. We already have two beautiful kids and a food truck. So, I guess you could kinda say we have three kids, and we are grateful for all three.