When Jason and I started this business, it was both of our first times heading into entrepreneurship and building something from the ground up. I had already been toying with the idea of "Low-Co Motion" for a few years, but all of a sudden it was no longer a pipe dream. It was, in fact, happening...coming to life more quickly than I had anticipated. The thought of becoming a small business owner, of being my own boss, was exciting!
And scary. Very, very scary.
And sometimes, it still is. There are huge benefits to breaking away from the norm and taking a huge part of your life into your own hands. There are some drawbacks that you won't see until you're 2 years into the thick of it. And it's still always...just a little bit scary, a lot awesome, and a constant opportunity to adapt and improve yourself.
You learn your strengths; some of which will surprise you (both good and bad).
If you're lucky and can remain open...you'll learn where you have some weakness. If you're strong and willing...you'll learn and make them your strengths.
Each "thing" or "task" that you do for the first time is a milestone, fun and exciting. Sometimes, if you manage to flood the sinks and set a small fire in your food truck on the first day, there might be an element of danger involved! No matter what, though, I try to remember that I'm lucky enough to be doing all these things for us; for our company...and not some huge corporation. When I'm only ten emails in to a list of over 100, that can be hard to recall. But then it only takes one excited email from a bride as we develop the menu for her big day, or a positive bit of feedback from a guest via our processing company, or the healthy deposit that goes in after a long festival weekend of hard work that means I can FINALLY buy a computer to do all this work from...and I'm in love with the whole thing all over again.
I won't lie and say there aren't days when I want to go back to the safety of not having all the responsibility. There's days when we joke about lives that we 'used to have'. There are days when we threaten to call significant others and tattle!
I am a realist. Some days we all want to hide in a blankie fort.
But I will tell you that my worst days in this business are better than any mediocre days at any other job I've held. And I don't think a lot of people can say that. I know I'm lucky in the simple fact that I love what I do, and we've made everything with our own hands (except for the truck...we totally let someone else build her!).
We're coming up on three years and there are things I still love, things I still don't love, and things that I like more and less than I did when we launched in 2016. And I feel like those lists will all ebb, flow, and completely change as life (and our business) evolve.
Like tattoos, there's a belief that being an entrepreneur is addictive in some way. We constantly talk about getting a second truck. Or a store front. Or a dessert trailer. Sometimes the possibilities seem endless; probably because they are!
I have truly loved the recipe development part of Low-Co Motion. My aunt gave me her pickle recipe....and I started pickling everything! I made a spice rub for a pork sandwich we carried the first two years....and then I developed rubs for every protein that we cook. I started out with four soups on rotation....and built that menu up to 12 this year (even adjusting my homemade broth recipes for each base).
For the last year, I've been going through bouts of obsession where I'm devouring recipe books, cooking manuals, canning and preserving binders from around the country. I try multiple new recipes a week; making multiple batches at a time of any new recipe or spice mix. . I have no shortage of willing taste testers...friends and family who are happy to be culinary guinea pigs!
So, while I'm still a baby in the realm of entrepreneurs, I've decided to pull the trigger. I'll be launching a small batch retail line of things that I've been developing ever since we hit the streets in Low-La. Probably before.
Because of everything that building Low-Co Motion has taught us, I'm going down this particular path with a better understanding of what I'm in for and a better cache of knowledge in my pockets. And a WHOLE lot more to learn. I'm still excited, still scared, and still thinking about what else could come along or change down the road!
Maybe not a runaway train.
But one that isn't slowing down.
When we were first starting Low-Co, I read every single things I could get my hands on about food trucks and small business ownership in general. I messaged other Atlanta truck owners, I went to events, I printed out statistical research sheets, I went and visited friends who had all started their own companies, and I realized that no matter what...I could never learn everything I wanted or needed to know.
This industry is so young. It will change and develop in massive strides over the years to come. I, as a person, will change and develop (in hopefully equal strides!) over the next few years. And I will still find times where I'm scared. I will still find times where I'm so excited that it seems to be all I can talk about and I'm sure that my friends and family are about to tell me to shut up!
And hopefully, the next step on my journey will be as incredible and as successful as the first one. I just know that its time to grow and finally answer the question,"Where do we go from here?"
What you focus on...expands. Make it amazing.