Originally Published : March 17, 2020
Everyone we work with is very scared. The first-timers, the big restaurant groups, the hoteliers, all wondering if we can survive this. After a life of paying dues on the line, all the toil and endless hours busting ass on the floor to finally achieve the American dream of owning a business and then, poof, a deadly virus scuttles around the world and lands in our lap and that’s it? We shut it all down, your customers eat spaghettios for four months and we all come out of our caves to what? Will it even be a thing to own and operate a restaurant or bar in this city anymore?
This is not how it’s going to end. We won’t let that happen. We’re supposed to burn out naturally from run of the mill stress, sell the whole thing and go open a diner in the Catskills and chop wood and build bird houses and rest for once.
I know, this is the time to talk about perseverance and coming back stronger and never say die and all of that. Yes, we lived through 9-11 and Sandy and crack and Santa Con and yes, we came back strong but, damn, this thing is different. A hurricane comes and goes in a few days. Buildings flood and come down and you rebuild them and you open your business back up quickly. But this contagious loiterer just hangs around infecting and harming people and it changes the whole world and we don’t know how to kill it or how long it will last. How can we not be scared?
Here’s the thing, it’s ok to be scared. And this is beyond the typical fear that motivates us and pushes us forward as part of our daily entrepreneurial lives. This is a bigger fish. It’s Moby Dick. Embrace the angst and admit it and be angry and anxious and cranky for a while. Have a (virtual) pity party and invite your friends. Scream at the lack of understanding and help that the industry is getting from our political leaders, cry for the people you had to lay off and for yourself at your sidetracked plans. It’s good to get it out. You’re a boss but you’re human.
Then, when you have emptied the tank, move forward and get to work. Like you always do. And very soon in the big picture of it all, you will all be working again doing what you love. Starting and running businesses and winning and losing and making mistakes and hitting homeruns and doing it all on your own terms. Just like you planned.
Hang in there and we are here for you always.