What Business Did I Have Starting A Business?

Written by natsusi
I’ve technically been a businessperson for 8 years. I can’t really believe that number when I say it out loud, or in this case, write it down on paper, but it’s true. I feel like I should be so much further along by now. I should be out of debt. I should have saved more money by now. Why don’t I own a house yet? I don’t know the answers to these questions. Perhaps, it’s because I started a business when I knew nothing about business while I was in grad school for a MA in English Literature (that’s not business). Or maybe it’s because I started a company in one of the most competitive and priciest industries to start a new business. Or, that I created a food product… in the kitchen… when I wasn’t even good at making pasta. Or it could also be that my business partner and I could not have been more different, and while that can be a bonus in business, in our case, it truly wasn’t. In short (or maybe at length by now), I did all of the wrong things when I started my first business. I made all of the mistakes. I wasted time, money, and in many cases, what felt like my sanity. Starting this business definitely took at least 5 years off of my life.
But, even with all of this, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I had no knowledge, no experience, and no money. Why did I think I could start a business?
In short, I thought I could start an awesome business because at the ripe age of 24, I had only experienced success. Everything I had said I was going to do up to that point, I did. If I was dedicated enough, and if I worked hard enough, I accomplished my goals without many obstacles. When I ran for class president and vice president of the school, I campaigned, I wrote speeches, I boldly touted my opinions and my ideas for change in front of the whole school. These weren’t things I ever thought I wanted to do or even thought I could do, but I got a bug up my ass one day to be class president, so I did the work to get the votes, and I won. When I graduated, I gave all of my favorite teachers one of those wallet size photos of my senior year photo, and I wrote on the back, “I’ll see you in 4 years when I’m a teacher here.” I was determined to go back to my alma mater and teach. 4 years later, I graduated and a week after that I received a call asking me to come back and teach. When I graduated with my MA at SDSU, the same thing happened. When I decided I wanted to move to San Diego, I got into the one and only program I applied to despite turning in the application in the eleventh hour on the day they were due.
I had experienced success doing the things I was good at, the things I believe I was meant to do. I set goals. I worked hard, and I accomplished them every single time. For the most part, as long as I was determined and motivated, the journey to success had been pretty easy. I only ate shit a few times. When I started a business in the food and beverage industry, I ate shit more times than I can possibly count, and things never felt like they turned out the way I had hoped or expected no matter how strong my sheer will and determination was on any given day. I don’t know why the challenges in business were so much more difficult. One of my theories states that –when you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, things fall into place more easily. I attribute this to my success with all things teaching-related. I think the universe makes things easy for my teaching goals because deep down, I’m a teacher to the core. That is what I was brought here to do, so the universe makes it easier for me to do it. Another theory states that I’m meant to be teaching about business practices, and having gone through all of the dysfunction that I went through, I’m a much better, more well-rounded, and understanding business person that I ever would have been if I had found success easily. And a third theory states simply that I chose a very difficult industry to launch a product in and I did the best that I could with the little that I had. That’s a true story as well.
Anyway, I’m about to share the story of how I started Claudio’s Italian Ice, and my point in telling you all of the above was to show you that we don’t always know our path, we don’t even always know why we choose to get involved in the things we choose to get involved in, but it really is about the journey ont the destination, and driving down these roads to explore is never a bad thing. I wouldn’t change my decisions for anything. I may have found an easier life doing something else. I might have even made a lot of money and been financially free by now had I chosen a different path, but the path was mine alone and I did the best I could with the information I had at any given moment. I trusted myself and my gut and things turned out okay as a result.
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