Keeping the Coffee in the Mug: How to have a Career AND start a business!

No matter if you work a job, found a career, or want to be your own boss, some days the only accomplishment will be that you stayed and didn’t throw coffee at anyone!

And having a career AND growing a business (like yours truly) means more opportunities (and sometimes desire) to throw coffee, and really should earn you a free stay at a place with padded walls. Or at least a complimentary dunce hat!!

The Entrepreneurial Path

Building a business is like jumping out of an airplane and trying to build a plane on your way down. It’s frightening and exhilarating.

And being an entrepreneur is all about showing up. Candid. Authentic. Real. Even though you’re falling fast and the Earth is close, and you just want to yell “give me a kite“.,

As a business owner, you show up. You smile. You try. (And then you cry.)

The Finite Career World

As an engineer, I also live and work in the “real” world with finite minutes, finite paychecks, and finite opportunities.

You show up. You shouldn’t smile. You try (and then try to sound smart about you tried). And there’s absolutely no crying.

Playing Both Fields

Putting yourself out there as a business owner in the evening and weekend, and showing up in the “real” world during the day (and sometimes also in the evening and weekend), can be summarized in three words.

Coffee. In. Mug.

Not only is it your go-to the evening after an all day audit at work when you still have eight or ten hours of your normal job to do, and your go-to when you’ve discovered that most of the peeps that like your business are night owls, but it is also vital as a buffer. To refrain from throwing the coffee, the stapler, or your shoe at the co-worker or computer, you refrain and buffer by drinking a deep, dark taste of that liquid gold, inhaling that stringent aroma, and trying to recall how much you really love your job and/or business and/or computer!!

Words of Advice

For anyone else out there that knows the sucker punch when you discover that only your best friend (and a stranger from the middle east) watched your Facebook live, or the throat gauge of showing up with business cards to a new networking event and finding out that “networking” in the trendy event and dating scene for young professionals, or the face plant after getting an invitation to speak and having to do an impromptu presentation because your audience is exhausted and hangry, and were forced to attend against their free will, then you should know two things.

One: Your why. Why do you want it. If your why isn’t big enough, you’re going to let that coffee fly out of your cup.

Two: Your why not. The aspiration and perhaps blind faith to want to create something (specifically a business) from a void, is really incredible. It is that trust in “why not” that will fuel you while your mug is empty.


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