Diary of a food vendor

Having a hobby that becomes a business is a blessing and a curse. It is a whole new level when the hobby turned business involves providing food services.

For someone who is thorough, you want to put in your absolute best and maintain quality— one of your core values at the top of every decision you make.

The blessing is in the passion, you do some back-breaking work with ease and joy in your heart because you love what you do. A curse because of compromises. For a food entrepreneur, there’s a limit to how low you can meet your clients “halfway”. It is food, you don’t want to be guilty of poisoning people just to save cost or make a profit and give a pocket-friendly price for your services.

Generally, as an entrepreneur, a smooth ride wasn’t promised, expecting one is preparing for failure. Now I have learned a few lessons, some the easy way, some the bad way. One of which is that the good days come to make the bad days swallow-able. Unlike when it was just a passionate hobby, you only had eyes on the pros, the cons didn’t even matter to you. Once you crossed that bridge over to the business side, suddenly everything matters. I had to deal with friends who had gotten used to enjoying my services for free, now making them take my decision serious wasn’t as easy as I had imagined.

Another hard one I had to take is that when the chips are down it’s just you. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are alone or without support. Sometimes family and a few friends are ready to support you. They’ll give you the “I dey your back” vibe, but even that is not useful when push comes to shove. I remember the day I had an order to deliver to a client the following morning. This order demanded that I work through the night if I were to come through. I sacrificed my sleep willingly because I had the future of the business in mind, though my family supported as much as they could; even a few hours of their sleep. Thankfully, we made the delivery and our client was impressed. If as an entrepreneur, I was quick to give up and sleep on the order, even having my family’s support won’t yield much. I have had several nights like this; it comes with the job description. Note that if your spirit as an entrepreneur is broken, there’s only so little promised support can do, after all, it’s first your dream, not theirs.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, everyone assumes it’s a high-end position. Thinking it exempts you from the woes of being an employee to being the big guy at the top. This assumption is wrong. What they refuse to see is that you’re your employee and employer at the same time. You shuffle between being the chief executive and the cleaner, you’re a one-man team at the same time a team leader. Maybe if we stop believing myths about this subject, we won’t be so quick to drop our bat and run when the first blow hits us.

In conclusion, either passion or business, you will be needing sturdiness and a load of confidence.

Written by Penmah Johnson.

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