Saturday, June 7, 2014

Lessons I Learned in Six Months of Business - Owning a Wine Bar

Lessons I Learned in Six Months of Business - Owning a Wine Bar   By: Kristine

Six. Whole. Months.  It may not seem like a long time, but to me, it feels like validation.  We worked (and still work) very hard to provide a great service and great wines.  Today, I feel like reflecting on my accomplishments and failures.  Because I own them both, I feel like sharing.  The universe prefers that I learn my lessons the hard way and for that, I believe I am a more resilient person.  However, if I can save anyone any amount of hardship, I am happy to do that.  In no particular order, here are some of the most important lessons that I have learned:

1)  Adding green onion to ramen noodles will really up the freshness on the flavor.  Even if your business is doing well, there will be no money for yourself in the first six months.  All of it will go to paying down bills or finishing the updates on your space.  No worries.  Ramen comes in many delicious flavors and it really doesn't take much to up the flavor quotient.

2) Even though you will have NO money, everyone will believe that you do.  Almost every day, people will ask you for money to donate to some charity or another. (As I write this, somebody just came in for this very thing).  You will have to say no.  Kindly.  Even though you will kindly say no, some of these people will be angry that you have chosen not to donate.  There is nothing you can do about this.  Conversely, if you find a charity that you can support, you should!  It helps to be involved in the community and it feels good to give back! To read more Click Here! 

3) Know who your friends are.  Many people will take credit for the work that you have put into your success.  Some of these people will deserve credit and some will just be trying to ride your coat tails.  I have found that people who truly deserve credit for their help, don't want to be given credit.  Those that don't deserve credit will tell everyone in the world how they "helped" you.

4)  Stay true to your vision.  It can be very tempting to change certain things to bring in a little more business. Sometimes you should change and sometimes you shouldn't.  Make sure that no matter what happens that you still stay true to yourself and your business.

5)  You can't please everyone.  Some people will love you and some people will hate you.  As long as the people who love you outnumber those that don't, you will be okay.  Listen to your criticisms.  Some of them may be valid.  If there is something that should be changed, do it! For critiques that are unwarranted, let them fly out the door.  For me, this is very difficult.  I like to chew on bad reviews like they are hard nuts until my teeth crack.  This really doesn't do anyone any good.

6)  Have fun!  Remember, there is a reason that you started a business.  Sometimes, you just need to get back to that.  Take some time to enjoy yourself, even if you have no time.  If  you can't enjoy what you have built, then why have you built it?

Ultimately, I am so thankful to be here.  I hope that we will be here for a very long time.


  1. You guys are doing a FANTASTIC job!! It is such a great place and I wish you many more anniversaries. I have yet to read a bad review or hear a bad word about the place, and everyone that we have introduced to the place finds it fantastic.