1766 Brewing Co.

So I had the chance to do something really cool recently. As i have been talking about a lot recently is wanting to start my own bar. Well i got to sit down with a Master Brewer who works for 1766 Brewing company. following is the final project i wrote for the interview. I hope you all enjoy it as much as i did!

            For this project I chose to focus on 1766 Brewing Co. 1766 is as its name states, a brewery that produces a variety of different beers. However, it is split between that and a restaurant while also distributing to a few local areas. The owner of the company, Dave Sanborn, owns several businesses to include: a construction company, 1766 brewing and the restaurant, and The Last Chair.

            Unlike most micro-breweries, 1766 is split between two locations: The Brewery 5 NH25, Plymouth, Nh and the restaurant 1766 Brewing Company 61 Main St, Plymouth, NH. The brewery focuses on brewing the beer and distributing it directly to the downtown location and The Last Chair. Although they do distribute small amounts elsewhere, this keeps the production costs low and profits high.

            The Brewery started several years ago as Sublime Brewing but due to some copyright issues they were forced to change the name. 1766 as a company brand was founded in 2017 when they opened the brewery location next to The Last Chair. They tapped into the rich history of Plymouth NH to drive the company forward. 1766 being the year of the first Plymouth town meeting, the company decided what better way to celebrate the history then by naming it accordingly.

            As a bartender myself, I had the privilege of working for the company for a short while where I got to know most of the staff including the owner Dave. I chose this company for that reason along with the fact that the General Manager is my best friend of 10 years. I had the privilege of meeting with the man behind the scenes who I have previously never met. Craig Yergeau is the Master Brewer at 1766 and has been a brewer for 6 years. The following will be a brief synopsis of what we covered in our meeting.

            The process from idea to beer. Throughout his day to day life, Craig is always looking for the next idea for his beer. These ideas come from foods he may have had or even other craft beers along the way. Once he has a general idea of the taste he wants, he will ask others if it sounds good. After it is establish and he knows what he wants, he uses a program called Beersmith which is designed to help create flavors. This program will generate a list of ingredients needed to reach the desired flavor. The rest is up to the imagination, whether it’s adding more of this or less of that.

            Once the taste is established and the ingredients list is produced, it’s time to place the order. Craig will have to call their distributer (of whom I will not mention) and place the order of exactly what he needs. Once the order is received they begin what is called “the brew day”. This is where Craig goes to work in creating the end product. The actual brewing process takes roughly 8 hours and this consists of adding the direct materials at the appropriate time throughout the process. This is important because adding, let’s say the hops at the wrong time in the process will dramatically change the end flavor. After everything has been added with precision and boiled to a very exact temperature, it’s time to separate the yeast then carbonate. This portion is the fermenting process which depending on the beer can take a few days. Finally once the yeast has fermented then separated and the beer is carbonated it’s time to keg the beer and the process is complete.

            In regards to the accounting and job order costing, for 1766 it is quite simple. Because of their size and the quantity of product produced, they are able to use a simple excel spreadsheet that has the equations embedded so all they have to do now is punch in the numbers and the sheet does the rest. He had mentioned the wide variety of programs out there that can do this, but again due to the nature of the product it would be an unnecessary waste of money.

            Now how this process relates to ordering the direct material, well really, it doesn’t. The reason they use this is to track the cost of everything they purchased and how much they use as a form of receipt for the accountant they have. Whereas Craig is the one placing all the orders and making all the beer, he finds it easier and more efficient to hand count the material on hand and order accordingly. However, because each beer is different and requires different material, they typically do not order more then they need for the specific batch. This means once that batch is done, theoretically there will be no materials left.

            The service engagement. To reiterate, the beer idea is born, or they received an order. The ingredients list is made and immediately ordered. Once arrived, the brew day begins utilizing all materials ordered. Once completed the beer is kegged and sent to their own restaurant where it is inventoried and severed. Because of this, the brewery’s work in progress inventory is not of the individual material but instead the actual beer sitting in the fermenter fermenting. Lastly, the finished goods are shipped immediately which states the turnover is immediate and the service engagement is complete.

            After discussing the actual process of making the beer and how the direct materials are inventoried, we briefly touched on labor and overhead. This conversation was a quick one. Labor is tracked through a payroll which is basically where Craig sends the GM his hours and it is logged. As for overhead, the building and property is all owned by Dave and not rented by the brewery. As Craig described, basically Dave just takes from his accounts and pays whatever needs to be paid.

            This all led to my final question and that is, how is the selling price determined? In response, because the beer is made and sold right from their own restaurant, they can basically price it however they’d like. However, pricing it too low will end in them losing money and to high will stunt sales. So they have a price tier system in place of low, medium, and high. Each beer is determined by how long it takes to make, how high the alcohol by volume (ABV) is, and a few other minor variables.

            In conclusion, I walked away from this meeting with something in mind. Based off of the meeting and what I knew about the company from working there, I can see now that they operate in a state of controlled chaos. Now some may look at this and shutter in fear of failure, but I don’t see it that way. I see a company that has adapted to their ever changing environment and found a process that works for them. So to them I say keep doing what you’re doing, there is no need to fix something that is not broken.

Am I Ready?

I have been preaching this for a few posts now but what can I say, stress stinks! We are nearing the end and all of the big projects are due and final exams are right around the corner. So am I ready? Absolutely not, but that’s OK. Life isn’t always fair and more often than not we need to take our hits, lick our wounds, and carry on.

I have been putting my resolve to the test recently and so far it has not let me down. They always say “don’t smell the barn just yet,” well I smell it and I’m ready for the end game. I feel that it’s a motivator for me and often times others as well. So now that I really think about it, yea, I think I am ready!

Personal Career Plan

As a part of another class I am taking I had to write a personal career plan. I feel that this is a suitable topic to share with you all. Enjoy!

Introduction

            In this paper I will take the time to explain my personal career plan and everything that entails. I will cover such thangs as my personal history and how I got to where I am, as well as my skills, talents, and abilities that lead me to believe I will be successful. I will also share my personal values that help drive my ambitions along with what I see to be my concrete career goals. After I will try to explain the integration of my personal characteristics and occupational goals followed by a few potential organizational choices that will sustain me in to my end goal.

            End state of the paper would be for the reader to understand fully my goals and aspirations. Furthermore, allow the reader to understand what drove me to this decision.

Personal History

            So there I was, 18 years young (mind you I am 30 year old now) and ready to take on the world. Except I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed mommas boy and she was not about to let her little boy run fearlessly toward the enemy. So I did what most kids do right after high school. Went to college. Ok let’s just end that there. I hated it! I’ve known for about three years by that point that I wanted to join the Marine Corps and the only reason I went to college was for my mother. So after a year of that I went home and told them the news. I had joined the United States Marine Corps and was shipping off to Paris Island before the years end.

            Year one. Boot camp and infantry school was a blur of getting yelled at, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Year two. Deployment was a blur of getting yelled at, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Year three. I’m a squad leader now! So it was a blur of yelling at people, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Year 4-9. Basically the same as year three but more responsibility. So it was a blur of yelling at people, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Notice anything?

            So I joke about it but I must say I absolutely love the Marine Corps, If I didn’t I don’t think I would currently be serving my third full contract going on 10 beautiful years. I learned more in my time serving then I think a college could ever teach me. About myself, the world, and people. However, the PT we went through had a resonating effect on me. It’s the reason I decided to give college a second shot. Can’t lie, still hate it but I’ve realized that this world just may have more in store for me then totting a gun in questionable countries.

            The first thing I realized was that I wanted to start my own gym. So I went to school for Exercise Science and became a personal trainer. I worked in a small gym as a trainer and group instructor and loved it. But yet again I realized that I wanted more. So I decided it was time to make a shift to a more business oriented degree program. And this is where I was introduced to Interdisciplinary Studies. After spending about 2 years in that program I realized that it wasn’t that I wanted to own a gym, in fact I just wanted to be my own boss. I believe I got this idea from working for other people and realizing I could do their job better than them. I really noticed that while working in the restaurant business. I have worked in just about every job a bar/restaurant has to offer, and my favorite would have to be bartending.

            Once I fully realized this, that’s when it clicked. I need to start my own bar and or restaurant. So here I am getting ready to graduate and yet again ready to take on the world. Coincidentally I’m actually deploying again only one month after graduating so I guess I’ll hold off for a year. But then, you bet I’ll be ready for it when I return!

Skills, Talents, & Abilities

            So I have had a pretty interesting and adventure packed life thus far and because of that I have learned a slew of neat things. Now I say this in the broadest meaning of the term but also very specifically. Ill break this into two parts: things learned from the Marines, and things learned from the job force. Starting with the job force simply because there is a lot less, I spent years in the food industry so I’ve absorbed a few things. For starters, management trends. I saw this because having seen how other handle their positions I can help but feel I can do it better. Now that I have some actual schooling in business management I don’t feel that idea is to farfetched. While in the industry I had worked just about every job available so I have a really good idea of the ins and outs.

            Now to what I would say are some of my more promising acquired skills. The Marines taught me more than how to just shoot. I went though some of the most severe stress one could imagine. I feel that this level of stress management will only save me in the future. Beyond that, discipline. The level of discipline that one needed just to make through one day was astronomical. That being said, I can transfer that to a slew of other traits such as, self-motivation, self-discipline, determination, hard work etc. And the list goes on. All of this I feel can only set me up for success in the future.

            Beyond what I have just mention these skills can be broken down even further in to several categories such as: functional skills (i.e., transferable competencies), work content skills (i.e., job-specific skills), and lastly adaptive skills (i.e., personal qualities and work performance traits.) All of which are further explored in Career Actions 2-3, 2-4, 3-1, 3-2, and 3-4.

Functional Skills

            Functional skills are the skills that once they are acquired you can take then anywhere you go and will always remain valuable. Some of these skills that I have acquired over the years are:

  • Leadership
  • Discipline
  • Attention to detail
  • Listening skills
  • Public speaking

            Having these skills at my disposal going forward will only add to my chances of being successful not only in a working environment but in life as well.

Work Content Skills

            These work content skills are all skills that are directly related to the career I have chosen which is to run my own bar/restaurant. Some skills that I find will be important are:

  • Strong understanding of managerial duties as to create the environment for others to emulate.
  • Have a complete understanding of the inner working of a restaurant.
  • Understanding financials and money handling.
  • Customer service

            It is these basic skills that I believe will help me to succeed anywhere I decide to start, even if that means starting under different supervision then my own.

Adaptive Skills

            Lastly the adaptive skills. Here we look at some skills that are driven by personal qualities. Some of these skills for myself are:

  • Ability to adapt and overcome.
  • Improvisation
  • Flexibility
  • Intelligence
  • Determination

Just like the other categories, these skills are solid and transferable. Not matter what life has in store for me, with these skills I do not fear that I will fail.

Personal Value

            To me in this respect, I feel that personal value and work value should go pretty similarly hand in hand. I also feel that living by a set of values whether it be personal or work or both is very important. So for me when I think about it my overall values would be:

  • Trust
  • Loyalty
  • Pride
  • Ambition

To go even further, trust can be seen in that of family and friends or in employees and management. This also applies to loyalty. Moreover, having pride in self can reflect in one work or their work itself. Lastly ambition, the desire to achieve and succeed in life in any aspect.

            Looking at my Choice of career I see that depending on the situation it can be quite lucrative. However, again depending on the situation it can be quite taxing financially. For a management position one can be looking at anywhere from 40-60K annually. Whereas an owner may not even see a paycheck for the first few years. This is due to a variety of reasons but mostly the startup. An owner will have to pay back all business loans as well as investors so the majority of the revenue may have to go right back into the business.

            Although that may be a stopping point for many I see it as a way to challenge myself. On top of that, starting my own business gives me the opportunity to choose my location. Having lived in the south for over half a decade I decided that the south is where I want to go. Specifically the South Carolina-Georgia line. Aside from having lived there before some of the reasons for that choice is the friendly environment, warm climate, and beautiful scenery.

Concrete Career Goals

Long Term:

            Because of how my schedule is working with my upcoming deployment, I feel my long term goals are actually very obtainable. After the deployment and this 3 year obligated contract is up I plan to move down south to begin my process. I see by the year 2022 I will have my business up and running. This may just be a bare bones shell of what my overall goal is but it is the start. Beyond that I plan to build the business, hopefully starting a second location. My overall goal would be to have a bar/restaurant opened in both Charleston SC and Savannah GA.

Short Term:

            This is an easy one. Due to my military service, the first year of this short term plan is to deploy for a full year. Beyond that, once I return in June of 2020 I plan to move back to Hooksett NH where I will start working part time as a bartender to maintain proficiency in the bar environment through repetitions. All the while I will be building my business plan and saving for the move down south and the startup fees. I don’t have any particular job that I would want to go for simply because I have the military to cover my living expenses. The only reason to work part time again is to maintain proficiency and that I would want to be in Manchester NH to work with a large volume of people.

Integration of Personal Characteristics & Occupational Goals

            Looking at my end state career goals, I wish to be my own boss. Specifically owning my own bar/restaurant. How do I get there? Well if we look back at some of my skills and values I believe it is all spelled out for us. As an entrepreneur you can expect to face long hours, possibly low pay at first, stressful work environments etc. I have already been face to face with a lot of the adversities and have triumphed. I am not going to sit here and say that it will be easy for me. I expect it to give me one of the biggest challenges I will have ever faced. But at the same time that is exactly why I feel like I will do really well in this realm.

            To become an owner you do not need a college education. In all honesty you don’t even really need certificates. Yes it will be helpful and probably make the journey that much easier but it is not required. However, it is because of this I feel that a lot of small businesses fail within the first few years of opening. So in an outlook perspective it does not look to great.

Conclusion

            I feel as though I am ready for any sort of challenge that may try to present itself to me. Having gone through my personal history, some skills, talents, and abilities along with my personal values and concrete career goals and how I plan to integrate them all. I hope that my personal career plan is clear to those who may be looking in from the outside.

My journey to this point has been quite an interesting one to say the least. Having gotten my associates in Exercise Science I was fully expecting that to be my direction of travel. My how wrong I was. Once I switched to IDS my major focus became business. Again I planned to focus even that around fitness. After a few classes I realized that I was no longer as passionate about that and found a new passion.

Realizing I wanted to start my own bar was a big leap for me. So what better way to make the best of this situation then to focus all of my projects around it. I decided to do my APPLIED PROJECT on how to start a business. I used a basic “6 step” program and gave a brief description on each step and what it entailed. The main reason for that was to further my knowledge on what I had to do to start my own business.

I followed the same concept for my RESEARCH ARTICLE . However, for this I decided to look into why small businesses failed. I wanted to focus on this so I know what I would potentially need to look out for in the future. I know it sounds selfish but using the blog platform I knew I would be able to share my findings with the public. There’s no point in not sharing the wealth.

Having the chance to do these 2 major projects has really opened my eyes. I know the projects themselves may not be my best work, but the way I see it is that it is a stepping stone for me and I now have a solid path to follow considering I just spent the last few months laying out the ground work for my future endeavors. It has been a long and stressful road but this portion is coming to an end and the next door is already open for me.

PLN Portfolio

            Over the years I have had a very love hate relationship with social media. To me it is very much a sort of time machine where as you open it and begin to explore and next thing you know you are several hours in the future. It was not until just recently that I realized it could be used for good. By good I mean using it as a personal learning network. I have discussed this a few times in my previous posts but this time I plan to fully explain my stance on it.

            I have been using twitter now for about a year and some change. The only reason I am using it is because of the program that I am in which is interdisciplinary studies. I have learned some of the many values that it can bring to those who are using it correctly. However, having cruised the inner workings of Twitter I can also see how it may get some folks in trouble if not used correctly.

            I have recently switched my professional career choice and found it to be rather challenging to get my PLN back on track. So unfortunately I have been slacking in that department as I had previously mentioned in a previous post. With the stressors of life and my upcoming deployment I have to say honestly I do not plan to continue with my twitter account. I may possibly even delete it only because I do not have any plan to use it while I am gone. However, when I return and actually get back on my career path and begin my adventures, I may just look into restarting it with a fresh start. If not twitter then some other form of social media that I can turn into my PLN.

           I will not leave this blog hanging so I will attach some pictures and my twitter thread for everyone to see. How I am looking at it now is as a form of reminder to the struggle that I have endured over the past few years on my intellectual journey. Life will always have some crazy new plot twist to throw at you, so maybe I will keep it to look back and reflect on that.

My PLN

Applied Project: The basic six step guide to starting a business

For my applied project I have decided to make my own simple guide to starting a business.

So you are thinking of starting your own business, well let me be the first to say congratulations! But before we all get too excited there has to be a reason why you are here. Have you done your homework? Do you know where to start? Do you know exactly what you want to do yet? Don’t worry, everyone who has ever thought about starting a business has been in your shoes.

I’m here to help you today. You see I too am in your shoes. I have been playing with these ideas for years. During that time I have worked for many successful small business owners and have dug deep into their journey to see what had worked for them. Along with that I have done my own research on why some small businesses fail and why others succeed. So without any further ado I present to you my six basic steps to successfully start your business.

The Idea

Everything great in this world starts with an idea. What in your life do you find excites you? Is there a pulling sensation that keeps nagging you? If so this might very well be the best place for you to start. Once you have found this idea, write it down and walk away. Yes, walk away. Revisit this idea tomorrow, then again next week. Place yourself in that idea and see what your mind comes up with. If this looks good, set the hook! It’s time to press forward.

The Research

Great! We have our idea. Now it’s time to do some homework. Take the next few days or weeks really looking into those other businesses that will be your direct competitors. Do some market research and get out there! This is where you need to meet some people in the industry, set up some face to face meetings etc. You cannot rely strictly on one type of research so explore. After all this will be your lively hood.  

The Plan

Ok so our idea is still looking promising and we’ve now done our research. Let’s make this dream a reality! Grab your pens or computers and start the planning. In this section we will be facing a lot of legalities so be sure you are ready. We need to name the brand, find our licensing, tax information along with finalizing your business plan which includes:

  • The executive summary
  • The business description
  • Industry trends
  • Target market and competition
  • Marketing plan
  • Development plan
  • Management plan
  • Financial plan

The Finance

Now that the business plan is complete it is time to put your finance plan into motion. There are countless ways to go about this so whatever you feel comfortable with will work. However, keep in mind if you rely on anything other than personal savings, grants, or some form of fund raising i.e. go fund me pages or fund raisers you will have to pay it all back. With that being said some ideas may include:

  • Venture capital investors
  • Partnerships
  • Bank loans or line of credit

The Location

We are set and ready to roll! Now we need to find where we want to set up shop. A few key considerations to think about when choosing our location:

  • Demographics
  • What type of business you are starting
  • Convenience
  • Competition

Most importantly does this location really make sense for what we are trying to accomplish.

The Start

We have finally made it! It’s time to open those doors and begin our journey. Now that you’ve made it to this part, my final and most important piece of advice is to never stop trying to grow. Always be pushing to reach that next level and you will find that success is right in front of you waiting to be yours! Good luck!

References

Abrams, Rhonda M. Successful Business Plan Secrets & Strategies: America’s Best-Selling Business Plan Guide! PlanningShop, 2014.

Research Article: Why do small businesses fail?

            Have you ever driven through your town on a nice relaxing day and thought to yourself, “Hmm where did that store go?” Or plan to take a trip down memory lane and grab breakfast at your favorite childhood diner only to find it’s been replaced with a mom and pop furniture shop. It’s quite frustrating isn’t it? Well imagine how those owners felt going out of business. Before you go on reading this, take a second and try to think of how or why they went out of business. Did you come up with anything? Chances are you can think of a few reasons why and I’m here to tell you those are all exactly right. There is no one specific reason for a business to “go under”, in fact it’s usually a long list of reasons why. Each failed business will have their own specific list of reasons, but it is a list none the less. I plan to take you on a small journey to hopefully give you a better understanding why small businesses fail. Maybe the next time you see one of your favorite stores just “up and left” you’ll have a pretty good understanding as to why.

            Before we can really jump in to the deep end and figure out why these businesses fail, we should take a few minutes to understand why they started in the first place. Just as there is an endless list of reasons why small businesses fail, there is an equal sized list as to why they begin in the first place. Considering this is not the driving topic, I will break this in to two sections and briefly discuss each. The first broad list of reasons to start is: All the right reasons. I say this not to be facetious but mean it sincerely. Some of these reasons may include:

  • Carrying on the family tradition and picking up where they left off.
  • It is a business or plan you are passionate about (Which can be good or bad).
  • The timing, finances, and resources align with your interests.

            On the other hand, and my second section is: All the wrong reasons. Now as I talk about this I do not want people to get things twisted and think that if they fall in this category they will fail. I would prefer people to think of this category as a “warning, caution ahead” sign. Some of these reasons may include:

  • Desperation
  • Having spent years working for someone, they feel stressed and believe the way to fix it is to start their own business.
  • Feel they need immediate income.

            These are all just a few reasons as to why some may decide to start the life of an entrepreneur. Having now seen what may drive people to begin, we can already see where some road bumps could arise in the future.
From “Successful Business Plan Secrets” By Rhonda M. Abrams

            So how to begin. Well in order to start a business, one must first draft a solid business plan. This step right here is a giant hurdle and if one can overcome it then they are on the right path. Now listen to what I just said, IF they make it past that step. Meaning many, if not most people who try to start a business do not make it past this point. So here is the first unmeasurable sum of failed businesses which fell at the idea. There is no way to know how many people have succumb to this part, but it gives us a good idea as to why this is the first of many reasons businesses fail, and that is a poor business plan.

            If the young business makes it past that, the next step is financing. This can be broken up into many different categories but for the sake of time we will mention just a few. Now that we have a plan we need to look for the money to start the plan and this includes investors, personal savings, business loans etc. once they owner has acquired the first allotment of money they can begin the process. However, it is this moment that goes unnoticed. There needs to be a solid plan to pay back whatever is owed in a timely fashion or it will pull the business under.

            Beyond that we can start looking at location. I have personally seen this happen in many of my previous jobs. The location you choose needs to make sense for the business you are running. You may have the best business plan and what seems to be an endless stream of money from loans and investors, but if you are not making a profit that debt will tower and crumble leaving you in the wake of bankruptcy. “When looking for a location, check for traffic and convenience. This will give you an idea of how many potential customers pass through the area and when. Moreover, it will let you know if the area is convenient for your average customer” (Caribbean Business)

            Ok so the business has made it this far. We have a great business plan, our investors and loans are paid or being paid in a timely manner. Our location is good and we’ve made it past the first year or two. Nothing can go wrong now, right? Wrong. I want to take a minute and talk about a few minor things that up front may pose little to no threat but over time will inevitably combust.

Perception:

            Here we look at how the owner’s character plays into the success or failure of the business. There are two very important character traits that need to be present in running a business and that is being a “doer” and being a “dreamer”. It is very important for the owner to be both. However, they cannot be one or the other. A dreamer is the entrepreneur that has aspirations of reaching new heights and has a seemingly endless supply of great ideas. This person can get the business up and running but once it’s moving they lose sight of their path thus far and veer too far to return. The doer on the other hand is the hard worker who will grind until the objective is met. However, there is a level of near sidedness to this where they do not see the future and which direction to go once the objective is done. This phenomenon of being one or the other I believe leads to my next combustible issue and that is failure to adapt. From “Running Your Own Business: Totally Changing Your Perspective Could Make the Difference.” By New Hampshire Business Review

Failure to adapt

            Having started the business is the first of many obstacles one is faced with. As a small business owner, one needs to keep up with our ever changing society and if they do not adapt they will be left in the dust like the last generation of smart phones. We live in a society that is continuously stimulated by change and if something stays stagnant for too long people will inevitably get bored and move on. This is not to say you need to make drastic changes every week, but those who do not reevaluate stimulating features will be left behind. These features may include things like a social media presence, or the level of involvement with the community. Maybe it’s something as simple as a restaurant adding playing cards to the bar and tables. The business needs to constantly look for what excites people and go for it. Furthermore, As the Business grows, so do the owners. It is important to understand that once the business takes off they need to delegate those responsibilities. From “Why Small Businesses Fail.” By Abdelsamad, Moustafa H., and Alexander T. Kindling.

            So here we are. We have seen a few reasons why someone might want to embark on this journey along with a few reasons why it may not last. This list could go on and we could be looking at an informational text that rivals the word count of the epic novel Game of Thrones. However I don’t think I could keep ones attention that long so I will leave you with these parting words. No matter the outcome of the small businesses in your town, they are a driving force for our economy. So before you become discouraged and decide against starting your own business, do your research and make sure it makes sense and that you are willing to stand behind it  

References

Abdelsamad, Moustafa H., and Alexander T. Kindling. “Why Small Businesses Fail.” Advanced        Management Journal (03621863), vol. 43, no. 2, Spring 1978, p. 24. EBSCOhost,    search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=4603971&site=ehost-live.

Abrams, Rhonda M. Successful Business Plan Secrets & Strategies: America’s Best-Selling Business Plan Guide! PlanningShop, 2014.

França, Mariana Carla Lima, et al. “Factors Conditioning Failure of Micro and Small Businesses      of the Information Technology and Communication (ICT): Study of Multiple Cases,          Aracaju (SE), Brazil.” Business Management Dynamics, vol. 3, no. 8, Feb. 2014, pp. 40–        50. EBSCOhost,          search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=110238183&site=ehost-l           ive.

Goltz, Jay. “Why Small Businesses Fail.” FSB: Fortune Small Business, vol. 19, no. 4, May     2009, p. 17. EBSCOhost,        search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=42318320&site=ehost-live.

“Running Your Own Business: Totally Changing Your Perspective Could Make the Difference.”    New Hampshire Business Review, vol. 22, no. 12, June 2000, p. 12. EBSCOhost,    search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bwh&AN=3181744&site=ehost-live.

“Why Do Small Businesses Fail?” Caribbean Business, vol. 34, no. 11, Mar. 2006, p. C6.      EBSCOhost,    search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=buh&AN=20303174&site=ehost-live.

My Co-Pilot, Stress

In my previous post I spent a little time talking about stress and how it has affected me. Well I just found an assignment that I wrote for a stress management class just over one year ago. The assignment was a reflection of the class and some thoughts we had on stress. I want to share this with everyone to maybe start a talking point or to get others to reflect on how they look at stress and how they can manage it better.

Reflection

            Having now spent a few months in the class (Stress Management) I have had the chance to learn a few things about myself. I have always known how I handle stress but I have never taken the time to understand why it is that way. All of our exercises have shown me that there are many ways one can go about managing stress along with different mind sets. Stress can be a real bummer at times but if we know how to focus that stress we can channel it in a positive direction.

            I am not going to say “when I grow up” simply because I am pushing thirty years old. However, I will say that from this day forward I fully plan to use my stress in a positive manor. I still have a lot going on in my life with education, work, and my military service so transitioning my thought process will be no easy task. This of course leads me to my number one change I wish to make in my life and that is to maintain a positive mental attitude. I do believe that is a manageable task.

            Moving forward I want to be known as the person that shows no sign of mental and emotional fatigue. I say this knowing fully that everyone at some point or another will face these adversities, but I do not want them to leave me crippled or at a standstill like they have in the past. I want to be able to use my stressors as a means of motivation and drive to keep pushing forward. I feel the ability to do so is the key difference between being successful and staying stagnant. 

            I hope that by accomplishing these two tasks in life I can be that barer of light many people may need to kick start their journeys to success. I want my positive attitude, along with those I can affect, to be a standard that many can emulate in their own lives. Whether that is changing a bad habit, living healthier, or just changing their opinion on stress. I feel if I can reach at least half of this quota, then that alone is a success. (End)

Having reread this I am able to reflect upon my reflection and I am happy to say I have kept my word. In almost everything I’ve faced in the past year I pushed forward with a positive mental attitude. I haven’t always been able to smile through the grind but my mind stayed strong and my wits sharp. I hope that anyone who reads this can take a piece of that with them.

The Art of Procrastination.

As I’m sure you are aware, and if not then you are now, but this is NOT a scientific study or peer reviewed article. No, this is my thoughts on procrastination and how it has gotten me through college.

I have always been bit of a procrastinator, but in recent days my true colors have vibrantly shined. First let me give you all a bit of background. If you have taken any amount of time and looked at any of my previous posts I’m sure you’re aware that I am in the Marine Corps. If not then here it is, I am a U.S. Marine of about 10 years and I’ve loved almost every second of it. Through my journey I received a smorgasbord of invaluable life lessons that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Along with that, I also learned a tremendous amount about myself.

One of the first things that the Marine Corps does is it introduces you to an unhealthy amount of stress to break you down only to then build you back up. As a Marine, one becomes intimate friends with adversity and can do some of their best work under copious amounts of stress. This is essential for a Marine on the battlefield. To have hardened nerves and steadfast patience’s in the face of severe adversity is one of the greatest lessons I received while active duty. However, prolonged stress is a serious issue that can lead to a multitude of health complications.

I learned this very serious fact about stress the hard way. I believe that I was one of the lucky ones though. My dealings with stress left me with “Stress Induced Alopecia”. That for those who do not know is where one losses random patches of hair all over the body, primarily on the scalp. Unfortunately, not all are that lucky. Severe stress can lead to health complications to include metabolic syndrome, sleeplessness, depression, and or anxiety etc.

OK so how did this help me with college? Good question! Well aside from dealing with hair loss at the ripe young age of 27, I also worked several jobs and am still a component of the Marine Corps plus a full time student. So to answer your question, I prioritized based of the level of stress each thing gave me. As you can imagine from my experiences in life, school was pretty low on that list. Some may say that’s a recipe for disaster and I couldn’t agree more. However, I have a little secret and professors around the world are about to hate me. I call it “The Stress Induced Timeline”. I know that I can handle myself very well in stressful situations and my focus is through the roof when under these conditions. Considering these school related assignments were not a matter of life or death or the difference between a paycheck and food, they were always the last thing I would address right before the due date.

I am be no means saying that others should follow my lead, in fact if they do I can almost guarantee failure. This is just my brief memoir on how procrastination got me through college. So by following my prioritization I was able to do and complete some of my best work. Even started and finish a 10 page report to include all of the research the night prior and still received one of the highest grades in the class! Ok that’s just bragging, my bad.

My Intellectual Journey Thus Far.

Cliché, but where do I start. Plymouth state university? Nope, too soon. Manchester Community College? Nah. Oh, I know, how about the Marine Corps. Sounds about right.

So there I was, 18 years young and ready to take on the world. Except I’m a bit of a self-proclaimed mommas boy and she was not about to let her little boy run fearlessly toward the enemy. So I did what most kids do right after high school. Went to college. Ok let’s just end that there. I hated it! I’ve known for about three years by that point that I wanted to join the Marine Corps and the only reason I went to college was for my mother. So after a year of that I went home and told them the news. I had joined the United States Marine Corps and was shipping off to Paris Island before the years end.

Year one. Boot camp and infantry school was a blur of getting yelled at, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Year two. Deployment was a blur of getting yelled at, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Year three. I’m a squad leader now! So it was a blur of yelling at people, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Year 4-9. Basically the same as year three but more responsibility. So it was a blur of yelling at people, headaches, and “hazing.” PT (physical training) happened every morning and possibly again later in the day. Notice anything?

So I joke about it but I must say I absolutely love the Marine Corps, If I didn’t I don’t think I would currently be serving my third full contract going on 10 beautiful years. I learned more in my time serving then I think a college could ever teach me. About myself, the world, and people. However, the PT we went through had a resonating effect on me. It’s the reason I decided to give college a second shot. Can’t lie, still hate it (audibly laughing as I write this… LOL I believe is the correct term) but I’ve realized that this world just may have more in store for me then totting a gun in questionable countries.

The first thing I realized was that I wanted to start my own gym. So I went to school for Exercise Science and became a personal trainer. I worked in a small gym as a trainer and group instructor and loved it. But yet again I realized that I wanted more. So I decided it was time to make a shift to a more business oriented degree program. And this is where I was introduced to Interdisciplinary Studies. You can read about that shift HERE. After spending about 2 years in that program I realized that it wasn’t that I wanted to own a gym, in fact I just wanted to be my own boss. I believe I got this idea from working for other people and realizing I could do their job better than them. I really noticed that while working in the restaurant business. I have worked in just about every job a bar/restaurant has to offer, and my favorite would have to be bartending.

Once I fully realized this, that’s when it clicked. I need to start my own bar and or restaurant. So here I am getting ready to graduate and yet again ready to take on the world. Coincidentally I’m actually deploying again only one month after graduating (that’s an LOL moment if I’ve seen one) so I guess I’ll hold off for a year. But then, you bet I’ll be ready for it when I return!