Lessons Learned After My Dream Business Failed To Open

A little over 4 years of my life went towards opening a Brewery. My failures propelled me to success.

Sacrifices I Made

I made sacrifice after sacrifice for 4 years.

I worked full-time jobs and tried to work on the Brewery during my free time. My two business partners and myself did all we could. A lot of time, energy and money went in to trying to make our dream of owning our own Brewery come to fruition.

Yet, I know we all could have done a lot more. We could have given more of our time. We could have given more of our energy. We could have invested more of our hard earned money.

I know we could have done more.

And when I say “we”, I’m talking about myself especially.

I could have said no to more social outings with friends. I could have learned from my mistakes faster. I could have invested more of my own personal money in to business. I was only 23 years old when I first started to embark on this Entrepreneurship journey.

Going to school to learn about business and ACTUALLY trying to open up your own business are two completely different things.

Could have, would have, should have….

But I didn’t.

I Left Behind Everything I Ever Loved

I moved to Wilmington, North Carolina a little over 4 years ago with the dream of opening up this Brewery with 2 of my best friends. I left behind everything in my life to move here.

I left behind my family and friends.

I quit my high paying sales job.

I packed up my SUV with all my possessions that would fit inside of it. Then I drove 15 hours straight from Detroit to Wilmington.

I left behind everything I loved.

My friend Josh had moved to Wilmington 3 months prior and he had a job lined up for me at Hertz.

I was moving on to bigger and better things. The road ahead was unknown.

I was anxious about what kind of ups and downs we would face together. I had never even visited Wilmington before. I was terrified of what my life would turn in to here.

I was terrified of the unknown. I was afraid to fail. But I figured oh what the hell. I’m going to see if we can make this thing happen. I wanted us to create a better life for ourselves.

“How in the world am I going to make it in this town?”

But I was going to travel that road with Josh.

Josh, myself and Laren were going to own our own Brewery I thought.

Laren moved down to Wilmington 2 years later.

We kept working on our dream. We kept trying. We made a lot of connections along the way. But we weren’t able to lock down the investors we needed and we couldn’t raise the capital we needed. Therefore, our dream of opening up a Brewery turned in to a figment of our imagination. The group disassembled and we all went our separate ways.

The Brewery died.

And so did a part of me for a while.

Things I Learned

I learned many valuable lessons along the way.

I learned that not everybody you meet is trustworthy. Some people are out to scam you. We got scammed by a guy who owned his own Marketing business. He talked a great game but did nothing to help us promote our business.

That lesson cost us $5,000.

I learned that there will always be distractions that will tempt you.

For the first 6 months after I moved to Wilmington…

Josh and I partied every weekend. We were making tons of new friends and having a blast. Life was great. We both worked together at a Hertz branch that was an hour and half commute each way. Yet, we always made time on the weekends to party and enjoy our life. I should have spent a lot more time working on getting the Brewery going instead of partying.

I got caught up in the moment. I let the distractions take away my focus. I learned that if you want to be an Entrepreneur then you need to have a laser focus. You can’t let the distractions win. You can’t forget about your business. You have to keep your eyes on the prize.

I learned not to let the distractions win ever again.

This lesson cost me 4 years of my life.

I also learned that you need to choose your friends carefully. I don’t hang out with some of the people I used to hang out with in the early days. All they ever wanted to do was drink and spend money. I had to learn to associate myself with people that had similar goals.

Winners hang out with winners.

When the people in your life push you to want to better yourself…

Guess what?

You will push your limits. You will raise yourself to your friend’s standards and they will do the same for you.

This lesson cost me several hundred dollars that I spent at the bars.

Another lesson I learned was that everything happens for a reason…

This was the best lesson of them all.

This lesson was free.

Failing Showed Me How To Succeed

I was heart-broken for several months after our dream burst in to flames. I am on my 3rd job since then. Yet, I’m grateful for my failures and shortcomings.

For the past couple of years I have been working hard to figure out where I want to go next. I have finally figured out what I enjoy doing. I have learned what I want to do moving forward.

Here is snapshot of where I am at in life currently:

I have this blog which has been having consistent growth for the past 2 months (thank you to all my supporters).

I am marrying the woman of my dreams on September 15, 2018.

My Fiancee, her Dad and myself opened a family business together a couple of months ago.

I am successfully working 2 jobs right now.

I have a very good circle of friends and a great support network.

I have worked tirelessly to rebuild myself and keep moving forward. I still have a long way to go but I’m proud of how far I have come.

I took the sadness and anger I used to feel and channeled it in to something more positive. I am working hard to make a better life for myself and my Fiancee.

Below is an inspirational Ted Talk that Entrepreneur Paul Tasner gives on how he became an Entrepreneur at the age of 66. He is living proof that it’s never too late to chase after your Entrepreneurial dreams.

Learn From My Mistakes

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life.

Who hasn’t?

I want everyone that reads this post to learn from my mistakes. Especially, the mistakes I made along the way of opening my own Brewery.

Don’t let the distractions win.

Don’t lose focus of what is truly important.

Figure out what you want in life and then go after it.

Don’t blindly trust people.

Associate yourself with high-quality people.

Don’t fucking quit. Never quit. There were a lot of times I wanted to give up my dreams of being an Entrepreneur. I spent 4 years trying to open up a Brewery and I don’t have a brewery.

I failed.

So what?

I am in a much better place in my life now just 2 years after the Brewery failed to open.

Learn from my mistakes.

Through our failures, we become better people.

Conclusion

  • I made a lot of sacrifices when I tried to open up my own business
  • I left behind everything I ever loved to move to Wilmington
  • I learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way
  • Failing showed me how to succeed
  • Learn from my mistakes and don’t repeat them

Keep hustlin’

Your Turn

What are some mistakes you have made in your life and learned from?

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