To be a successful business owner, you rely on a little bit of luck. That's what it felt like when I found my small business lawyer. Well, he found me.
In 2016, a man stopped me in a cafe to find out "who I was and what I was doing." Caught off guard I humored him. We had a great conversation and at the end he handed me a business card and said, "You'll need me one day. I'm here for you."
Little did I know this man was my saving grace. Older and wiser, with about 50 years of small business law under his belt, he knew exactly how to handle my separation.
Yeah, the separation. I'd gone from a 50/50 ownership to being 100% owner.
I hit the pavement looking for investors. Our Motor City Match grant required that we had the financial ability to open our doors, so I went searching. My lawyer also mentored me with this, helping me learn the ropes of negotiation.
A crash course in entrepreneurship, all the while trying to manage a love life. The woman I was with motivated me in so many ways and taught me a lot along the way. But after 3 years we called it quits. We made a choice to separate. Not an easy decision to chase my dream and let this business consume me. Since I became sole owner of the business, I didn't have much free time and definitely didn't have the energy to maintain a relationship. So I packed my shit and moved out.
After the relationship ended I was still unsure if the cafe was going to happen. I spent a couple months getting my shit together. During my search for a room to rent I was offered a rather unique living situation: a tour bus. After about 7 months living on the bus summer was coming to an end and it was time find a place and get settled in. But damn that was some of the best sleep I've ever had.
I wasn't sure Bikes & Coffee was going to make it. I had a timeline, and if I didn't find the cash I was going to have to call it quits. In June I found people that were interested in investing in Bikes & Coffee. I finalized the partner separation and sealed the deal with my investors. Finally, with both investor deals closed, I secured funding and begin renovating the cafe in November.
Late nights and early mornings. The year was scary, enlightening, frustrating, trying, sleepless, adventurous, tireless and incredibly rewarding.