This is a photo of me outside of the restaurant I inherited from my dad.
I haven’t talked about it at all because I’ve felt so incredibly incompetent.
Yes, I’ve studied business and worked in marketing, but I know NOTHING about what it takes to run a restaurant. Literally nothing.
I, somehow, never had the typical “coming of age” job of working a waitress like everyone else. The only time I ever step inside a restaurant is to eat.
And now I am responsible for the success of one and the livelihoods of the 12 people whose work I literally know NOTHING about.
Every week for the past 4 or 5 months, the manager has given me a folder with bills and receipts from the week that I’ve just been stacking in a pile in the corner of my bedroom because I don’t know what to do with them. I write checks when people tell me to because I don’t know better. I have no idea if I’m getting ripped off or what to budget or plan for in the coming months.
This mode of operation is EXTREMELY dangerous because it’s SO easy to STEAL cash from a restaurant. I know that. Needless to say, I’ve been very overwhelmed.
I have felt inadequate.
I’ve felt like I need to ask for permission to do anything because I don’t want to mess things up.
I’ve also felt like I’ve needed to puff up my chest and flex my muscles around staff so that they don’t think I’m as stupid as I feel. (Which actually probably makes me look a lot more stupid than I am LOL)
But then, this week, something happened. We got a bill for something that didn’t feel right to me. I followed my gut, and for the first time told the Manager that I wasn’t going to write the check.
I immediately went home to tell my mom about the situation and sought her advice.
She told me I did the right thing.
I made the right choice.
And I remembered, that even though I don’t know anything about restaurants, I DO know something about business. I DO know something about Leadership.
I have always believed that successful business owners and successful leaders become successful because they make decisions based on STRONG VALUES. This allows them to be consistent by creating a solid foundation for every decision they make.
I also realized that I have a specific role to play in this business, and in that role I don’t have to know very much about restaurants, because I’m not running day to day operations. That’s not my job. Yes, it helps to have a gist of what is going on, but I’m running the business and handling the money. And THAT I can do.
The next day, a bigger problem came up. Someone on staff began to make demands in a very unprofessional way and walked out on us. Quit, right there in the middle of the workday and left.
Last week I would have had a meltdown.
But this week, I remembered my role and my values, and I knew exactly what to do. I talked to the manager. We established what our values were and from there, decided how to handle the situation.
The difference between today’s success and yesterday’s failure is my own attitude.
Realizing what I am ABLE to do, what I am ABLE to learn, and how I am ABLE to grow, has made me more confident and positioned me to be a lot stronger and also a lot more relaxed so I can handle situations as they come up.