Bitter Sweet

I wrote the following on our first Monday of unemployment!

Friday was our last day at Habanero. It wasn’t until about 11 PM–in the middle of an amazing going away party–that it hit home that I wasn’t going to be coming back on Monday. As exciting as starting a new business and opening our brewery is going to be, it’s going to be equally hard not seeing all of the people at Habanero on a daily basis. I consider many of them to be some of my closest friends and family and I miss them immensely already.

I’ve been told that I must be very confident and/or crazy to leave a leadership role at the one of the best companies to work for in Canada–but it’s because of this job that I have the confidence to do this. I’ve learned so much from everyone at Habanero and have had the amazing opportunity to serve as part of the leadership over the last three years. The time was right though. I’ve wanted to start my own business for a long time and it was only recently that my family and I came to peace with the facts that there would be no “right” time to do this and that all we were risking was just stuff–if things went south, we’d still have each other (sappy, but true). With this new found peace, I knew it was time to leave this amazing job and do something crazy.

Now the new task begins. Now we get to learn how to apply our experience and background in IT and consulting to building, opening, and running a brewery.

So, this morning, after shaking off the grogginess and remembering that I didn’t have to go to the office today, I headed out for the first day of our fundraising blitz. We are working on getting our financing all in place before the end of March so that we can commit to the lease we’ve negotiated.

So, how was day one? It was a great day in what I’m sure will prove to be a roller coaster of good and bad days. We received verbal approval on our bank loan today. The timing couldn’t be better given the number of investor conversations we have this week, and as good as our plan is, it helps to have the bank on board. Things are moving in the right direction!

This week we will be putting deposits on our fermentors and kettle. We will also be sending in our liquor license application to the LCLB, brewing test batches, meeting with a number of potential investors, and trying to spend as little money as possible. We are unemployed after all.