November 21, 2009

ups and downs

I read with sadness this morning in Jack Knox's article in the Times Colonist that
Cabin 12, the little restaurant near the corner of Pandora and Government, has shut its doors.

I had been tracking their progress on and off since they opened.  I was inspired by their story.  A story about someone who had a dream and was working hard to make it happen.  I also have been starting a new business over the last year, and I felt a connection.  Possibly I had it that if they could succeed in this economic time, that was a good indicator for my own success.

I made a point of eating lunch there a few times when I was downtown.  The food was good, the atmosphere was great, the staff were friendly.

That wasn't enough.

As they are shutting their doors, Corey Judd, who started it, is focussed on how much he learned from the experience. How great it was to see his staff pull together, and make mistakes, and learn.  Jack writes about Corey:  He talks a lot about developing a "safe" work environment built on respect, an anger-free zone where people are allowed to make mistakes. And quotes him as saying: "In that respect, it's been the most successful thing I've ever done.  Even if it all crumbles tomorrow we'll walk away far better than we were."

Starting a business at any time is hard. During a recession, it is harder. It would be easy to blame the economic times, or be angry, or bitter.  Not him, and that impresses me.  He has focussed on what has been learned, rather than what has been lost.

Life is full of ups and downs.  The downs are often where the best lessons are, for all of us.

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