FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010 AT 8:07AM | ABBEY DUKE
- Cash really is king. It really doesn’t matter if your business is profitable if you don’t have money in the bank to make payroll. Not only that, when cash is really tight, it is paralyzing. I spent two years obsessing about our bank balance. During that time, all of my energy was spent just on keeping things together and not on making progress. Plus I got a lot of headaches.
- Ideas are easy: execution is hard (but rewarding). In the food business, it doesn’t matter that much if you can do something well once. What matters is the ability to do it day after day in a way that is high quality, consistent and profitable.
- Deciding what NOT to do is key. It can be hard to turn down sales, but (see number 2) sales does not equal profits. And everything you spend time on takes time from something else.
- Business is all about people. Nothing is more important than your relationships with everyone you do business with: your vendors, customers, employees. With great relationships you can do great things.
- Your business must fit your life. Every business decision must be tempered with: Does this fit my life? Is this how I want to spend my time? Nobody can (or at least should) work 12 hour days. In fact, I now work in relatively short, but highly productive and focused, bursts. That leaves a lot more time for my family and friends and even, gasp, vacations. I also enjoy my work a lot more. It’s a struggle not to feel like I should work more and that I should suffer for success (the Protestant work ethic runs deep), but I’m working on it.