Construction has begun! But first, I have some thoughts on entrepreneurship. Let’s stroke my ego and see if I can tie the themes together. Last week, I found out that something I had been working towards was delayed by several months. I felt defeated. I ended up eating 17 days worth of my Kinder Chocolate Advent Calendar in one sitting, almost as if I cared only about the goal and not the journey, or as if I cared only about the imaginative Kinder toy and not the silky, smooth chocolate egg made with simple ingredients like high-quality cocoa, real sugar, and a heart of visibly milky filling that melts in your mouth and embraces your taste buds.
The other night, my friend asked me, “How do you stay motivated?” I didn’t have an answer. I’m not feeling particularly motivated right now and the bleak weather has me longing for New Orleans, so I just took a step outside to smoke and listen to Tom Waits. I saw another smoker across the way. She looked miserable. I began wondering why I never smile when I smoke, nor do I smile when I listen to music, which is odd since they’re both sources of pleasure. I forced myself to smile. I stood there grinning like an idiot on our patio for three minutes as the noon traffic rolled by and I started to feel better. (Smiling, even forced, releases serotonin. Give it a try right now.)
As I stood there grinning like I had gone batshit, two businessdudes in peacoats crossed the street to visit The Coastal for lunch. It was closed. They were devastated (understandably so – have you tried their Buffalo Chicken?). The dudes spent a good two minutes double-checking the door lock, hours of operation, windows for any movement… Those poor souls had dreamt of a good lunch all morning, maybe all week. If they could just have this one thing, they thought they would be happy. My ridiculous grimace turned to uncontrollable cackling as I realized how I stay motivated: living for the moment.
When I work, I’m not focused on finishing the work, but rather doing the work. The end goal is just icing on the cake. Right now, we’re not focused on getting our brewing equipment or modelling our taproom. We’re focused on construction, which is fun, especially when you don’t have the proper tools for it.
We received our construction permit last week. A great reward, sure, but the joy was in doing the work ourselves: designing and drafting the systems and contracting out the work to people more capable than us. We tore up our floor to scope out our trench drain. We fixed our bay door arches. We had some beers and did a little crude demolition. We’ve contracted trades to upgrade our trusses, fire-proof our ceiling and upgrade our security system. Soon, we’ll be upgrading HVAC, upgrading to three-phase electrical, upsizing water utility, installing propane lines, digging out a manhole for effluent samples, and otherwise bringing the building up to code. Sure, we’re not ready to brew, but we’re having a pretty damn good time.
Take that guy, in the video. Is he concerned about paychecks, timelines or even basic safety? No. He’s living in the moment. So the next time you see me smoking and cackling like an idiot, or river-dancing on a rotating piece of 2×4, just know I’m enjoying myself. And maybe a little blitzed.