The Art of Programming

Don’t Give Up

8. February 2014 17:36 by Scott in Inspiration, Startups  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I'd like to share a story of a sushi restaurant owner that I know. I was a bartender there, many, many years ago.

This restaurant owner came from Japan with his wife when they were in their twenties. They both spoke limited English and settled down in a part of New York that is predominantly Caucasian. For many years, he worked as a dishwasher while saving up diligently.

When he saved up enough money, he entered into a partnership with 2 others to open up a restaurant. One of the partners screwed the other two and he had to declare bankruptcy.

He went back to being a dishwasher, then later a cook, as he saved up money again. Finally, he had a chance to purchase a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that he thought he could improve. Unfortunately, that one also failed. And he declared bankruptcy for a second time.

That still didn't deter him. He worked again, saved up again, and opened up his third restaurant, a sushi restaurant. And for him, the third time was the charm.

This one became a success. It grew to 3 locations total. Every morning, he drove for hours to the fish market at 4am to select the best fish, then transported it to his restaurants in the back of his truck. He still has that truck. We all called it his "fishmobile" because it stunk of fish like you wouldn't believe.

He didn't reach this success until his 50s. Through it all, his wife was amazingly supportive. She worked alongside him in these restaurants too. They are retired now. He shared his story with me when I told him I was starting a business of my own.

I can't imagine having to lose so much, but in his perspective, he started out with nothing, so it wasn't that painful to return to nothing. I'm not saying I would want to do this with my wife and daughter, but hearing his story definitely gave me perspective.