Ah... 2009. Mightily did you suck like an 82nd avenue ho with a detachable jaw.
There were high highs, low lows and rich creamy middles.
And I shall now enumerate them for whatever bored office rats that have stumbled upon this blog, most likely while they are on someone else's clock. Shame on you.
2009, in a business where so many fail in the first year I am happy and proud to say I am in my second year of business. Tanuki started primarily as a double dog dare I made against myself. Now, as I stand here with my tongue stuck to the proverbial frozen flagpole I take pause to reflect.
As I said, Tanuki was basically a dare. Having always advocated absolute laissez-faire capitalism and minimal government the challenge was to open a business being self sufficient, debt free and paying as I go. No fucking affirmative-action SBA loans.
Cash money and a 17k Amex Line of Credit. Four fast food tables, plastic chairs, built two bars out of Home Depot clearance bamboo flooring. A used Ipod, 2 suzy homemaker electric hotplates and a $3 cheapo kiwi brand knife bought from the corner Asian grocery. Oh yes, and a couple Sears 18 cubic foot fridges. Also, my wife not only enjoys counting shekels but is also good at it so no accounting fees!
How much did I learn? Honestly I learned less than I thought I would. Mostly this experience has just re-enforced what I already believed. It has certainly firmed up my contempt for those who whine and whinge for entitlements. I learned a bit about the flexibilty of my personality..those who've borne witness to the jackassery of the Nuki probably wouldn't suspect or believe that I used to be one of those ultra-serious no talking on the line "chefs". The Nuki is a shape shifter indeed.
The lessons of the year?
1) Bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell.
2) Dealing honorably does not mean you will be dealt with honorably. Trust no one...but don't tell people you don't trust them or they'll just get sneakier.
3) Ayn Rand was right about everything... except sex maybe..I still fall firmly in the "rape is bad" camp. Except for jokes. Rape jokes, especially in the kitchen, will ALWAYS be funny.
4) Don't open a business in a city with liberal policies towards vagrancy and panhandling. Just don't.
5) Owning a bar gives access to chicks much better looking than you would normally merit.
6) "Don't get high off your own supply"- excellent in theory, impossible to practice. My liver is now as large and as dangerous as a foamed mouth pitbull. I am the human foie...don't try this at home.
7) Call no one by their given name. Giving nicknames is fun and puts the help in their place..also, when you call them by their real name they know they're in trouble without you having to yell.
8) Being productive in this stage of the American experiment doesn't pay. You will spend your whole waking life casting pearls and not even getting a pork chop in return. If you don't love the work for its own sake do something else.
9) Be a good neighbor and a respectful tenant. Your momma shoulda taught you this but she probably didn't. You're welcome.
10) Nothing is so simple that is can't go horribly aft a gley in the blink of an eye. Take nothing for granted. Shit will still hit the fan but at least you won't be suprised.
11) There is nothing a person hates more than a business that says to them "actually, I don't need you as a customer". This can lead to hilarity, drama or hilarious drama. Either way... it's a nice way to go if you have the onions.
12) NOTHING in this world is free. Again, yo momma should have taught you that and probably didn't. Everything costs SOMETHING. If you got something you didn't pay for that means someone else had to pay for it. This goes for bread baskets, ice water, round on the house, and of course government handouts.
13) Be kind to the people that protect our way of life... write a soldier overseas a letter, buy a cop a beer.
14) Every good business plan includes planning for success..but also planning for failure. An exit strategy is built into every good business plan.
15) If you own a bar get your new employees very drunk early on. That way you know if you can rely on them even hungover.
16) That midget in Bad Santa? Best. Midget. Ever.
17) If you are comfortable in what you're doing you have gotten complacent. Rock that boat you lazy shitstick!
18) If it's easier than it looks you aren't trying hard enough.
19) The second amendment exists in case our elected officials ignore the first.
20) We are the sum total of our actions.When doing any given thing whether it be a work task or a personal interaction it is good to take that split second to ask yourself- is this something I want to become?
I hope soon to have leisure time to take up a hobby... outsider art seems a natch. I will start taking bids for my life-size statue of Nancy Pelosi made of rat teeth, ants and hobo feces.