Startup Culture Isn’t As Glamorous As I Thought It Would Be

When fantasy does not line up with reality.

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Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash

We made mistakes.

We went with a bay that had been stripped down to the bones. A savvy business owner might have cut a deal with the landlord, asking them to install the air intake system in return for a slightly higher rent price. We, however, did not realize this was an option, so we went at it alone.

Of course, it wasn’t all compliments and kisses: Marco Z from Yelp found our concept “confusing and awkward” and gave us a 1-star rating.

It was our first bad review, and I cried for days over it. I cried like tweenager cries when her dad comes home with the wrong iPhone on her birthday.

Our family lived this way for three years while we ran a semi-successful sandwich shop.

Our food was real and unburdened by the mass production of so many chain restaurants these days, and our loyal customers loved this about us. They also loved that we were a real family business. Some days we’d have the kids scrubbing dishes in the kitchen or bussing tables while schmoozing with the elderly customers who’d come in for coffee each morning.

Opening a business isn’t about the fame or fortune of entrepreneurship despite what so many Hollywood movies tell us.

It is really about the product and setting up relationships and trust between you, and those who want what you can provide.

Written by

Mother, writer, user of too many hastags.

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