It's just a cafe, how hard can it be?
Nat, I love this so much and feel so validated and seen! Been struggling with my career choices and its been a topic of discussion a lot with my family, who wants me to have a stable career/life and me wanting to do something that speaks to my soul!
Its a privilege to be able to take risks when you are young, healthy with no dependents.
Completely agree with this sentiment. I felt like I have and loved 5 different careers in 15 years. Sometimes it hurts to look at the cash you lost if you didn’t stick with it, but there’s far more value in the inner knowing that you’re doing what you want as early as you can in life and enjoying the ride vs. sticking it out. I’ve always felt like taking the startup MVP mindset to your career early on is a good idea. Fail and learn fast, and iterate
Would that tea cafe have worked if you could have stayed open at the start of the pandemic?
Probably one of your greatest writings! It was so good to read such an earthy and straight-up honest to goodness rendition of a thing that went pear-shaped. And to an outsider who don't know who and what you are it would be a terrific read, with the added bonus of learning later that this is actually one incredibly learned and erudite guy. You are a good man.
How did you validate the consumer interest for the cafe, if at all?
My dream tea cafe isn't much of a cafe at all. Rather, it's a beautiful office I work out of that just so happens to have a tea room in the front. Break-even is all I'd hope for.
I'll need a few more dollars stacked up in the ole' bank before this happens, but perhaps not so many as I might believe.
P.S. I'm living in Austin as well, with more tea than I can possibly hope to drink by myself. I'd love to have a session together some time early this year before the summer furnace kicks on. Let me know if you're into the idea.
As long as you lump doughnut shops in with cafes, I totally agree.
Great article. Makes me realize I need to travel more.
Yeesh. I totally wanted to open a cafe in my community so we could all have a place to hang out with snacks. Although MAYBE 2023 is a better time to do it than January 2020, I'll listen to your advice and take it as a sign to stick with my online community plans instead. Thank you!
There is never a right time. Ain't that the truth? I just wrote this down yesterday. Every big move I made in life, I felt unprepared to make. I did it anyway. Sometimes it works out and other times, not so much. I just turned 50, on the verge of divorce after 23 years and most days feel like an adventure. What's next? I don't know. Only time will tell. This was interesting and inspiring. I'm glad you realized your dream of opening the cafe, even if it was short-lived. thank you
> It’s worth it to delay the compounding interest of a career by 5 or 7 years so you can make sure you have picked the right one.
This idea of finding a good “match fit” is one of the key lessons from David Epstein’s Range. He argues that a lot of the value of college is simply giving you a few years to experiment.
Enjoyed the read and great advice! Thank you for sharing.
Such an important lesson, thanks for sharing your personal experience
Brilliant Nat, just brilliant!!!
I learnt this lesson too !!