The Cost of Success and Paying Your Dues

I’ve studied an entrepreneur all my life. I know the habits, the highs, and lows, and the dedication. My father, the number 1 man in my life, has taught me more about entrepreneurship than I have learned anywhere else. One lesson that he repeats to me, is that success has a price and every successful person has paid their dues.

I have to remind myself every day, that I am one step closer to paying off that debt.

Currently, I work as a waitress at a ($$) restaurant.  It’s finer dining than your Outback but not as upscale as a Fogo de Chao. There was a point where I was hosting, but I realized that wasn’t where the money is. For a hostess that’s typically……we’ll say $12/hr. Usually, the hostess is there when the restaurant opens until about an hour before the kitchen closes, give or take some minutes. SO! At a restaurant with a kitchen that operates from 4pm-11pm ($12x7hrs), that’s $84 before tax and assuming the hostess stays for the entire night. As a server, $150 for the night is a slow night. I quickly picked that up while I was hosting and shadowing other servers. Now, you tell me. Would you rather make $84, or upwards of $150? I took the $150 route.

However, the amount of drama that I deal with as a server is 10x worse than what it was as a host. Now, I’m trying to make wine suggestions for people who describe what they typically drink as loud and vibrant. (The woman basically described the color neon orange) I have to answer questions like, what’s good here? And as I go through the list of my top choices, I get their list of things that they don’t like, can’t eat, and are allergic to. Also, I constantly have people who go back in forth on the menu with one another, after they called me over because they were ready to order. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I found out fairly quickly that more money does not mean a better job.

But, although I hate my job (I practiced over 20 ways to quit), a server is not too far off from an entrepreneur. You’re dealing with customer service, handling dissatisfied customers. Keeping count on what dishes are in stock. Learning to deal with staff that you don’t like, in a way that doesn’t affect your bottom line. And, you get back what you put in. I’ve gone into work with a bad attitude and came out with horrible tips and I’ve gone to work with a great attitude and cashed out. Being a server has given me some great experience as an entrepreneur. 

My “Tip”: Pay your dues in full, there is always a lesson.

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