A Passion for Diners Ends Up in the Gutters (Startup Story)

Eric Braun Blog

Starting a business has a lot of ups and downs. The future is unknown, and many things are unpredictable. Sometimes, the most important decision is staring you right in the face. Today, I discovered a new story about entrepreneurship when I sat down for coffee with John. The path of his journey is exactly the way the path should go. As we sat at Starbucks at a tiny, rickety table talking about a project, John glossed over a “5-year break” he had taken in the 1990’s. After a few minutes, I stopped  him to rewind. “What did you do during those 5 years?” I asked. He laughed slightly and proceeded to tell me, through his lingering smile, about how he had always wanted to own a diner.  When an investor friend told him to write a business plan, he felt he was off to the races. Soon, he found that writing a business plan was a lot of work, but he plowed through and then presented it to his friend. “What do you think?” he asked. “Not bad, not bad. But where does it explain the impact of the rising price of tomatoes in March? What will you do when that happens? You’re better off selling something simple like donuts.” This question, which seemed to indicate that he needed all the answers before starting his diner, stopped him in his tracks. It made him think about his idea, reflect about his passion and engulf himself with doubt. It was the nail in the coffin …