Entrepreneurship = Roller Coaster

I wish I could tell you how great entrepreneurship is every time you ask.

I wish I could tell you that I’m living the dream 24/7

I wish I could say that money is always steady and that I never think about going back to being employed by someone else.

I wish I could say that I have tons of free time and that I could come and go as I please.

I wish I could tell you that I’m 100% sure I’m doing the right thing.

But I can’t, cuz that would be a lie.

I’m a hands on entrepreneur. It’s just who I am. I guess I just have a passion for people. I like to give direct guidance and leadership. I like to make lists, cross off tasks, and get things done.
I like my team to see me, active, in the trenches with them. I like to be completely transparent with them. Some days are good, some days are bad. At times you’ll have a lot, other times you won’t have enough. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. That’s the nature of the beast. Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. Every day is a new adventure, every day is a new challenge. 

Last week I was doing my weekly live stream with my friend Heather. I was telling her about how this past month has been a challenge for our restaurant business mostly because here in California, specifically Los Angeles, minimum wage increases every July until we hit $15 by 2021. With the team of 12 (not including share holders) I have at Ninong’s, our business has to make about $350 more per week to keep up with the hike. Not to mention, our prices from our vendors have increased across the board so our Cost of Goods Sold has increased as well which has resulted in an approximate increase of $750 per week. *insert panic face here*

Now don’t me wrong, I’m a firm believer of a fair wage for all workers. But really, minimum wage earners should really consider their cost of living not just the dollar amount of their checks before they think they’re winning in this scenario. Your wage goes up (yay!), your prices go up (boo!). Another possibility is prices may stay the same but portions may go down. What used to be $1 for 10 oz. might be $1 for 6 oz. now. I know it’s going to take more work to see whether or not you’re actually netting more in the end, but we all should really know so we can make educated decisions. It’s worth it, trust me.

Another thing that is interesting to me is that medium and large businesses with more than 25 employees are required to increase their minimum wage $12 but small businesses are not required until January of 2018. While some small business can celebrate for a mere 6 months I challenge small business owners to do the same as wage earners. Think about if it will really benefit you by holding off your price increases until January if others have already increased theirs on you. Moreover, if an employee looking for work has a chance to work at a bigger company for $12/hour and I’m hiring for $10.50/hour who would want to work for me? Yes, there will always be applicants but remember sometimes longevity of an employee can sometimes be more beneficial and economical. Quick turnover of employees is always difficult. Something to think about.

Like I said, I’m a firm believer of a fair living wage for all. Everyone that works hard deserves to be able to make a livable income. But let’s be realistic here. Let’s think about a way for that to really be possible. I’m no economist, so I don’t have a solution. I really wish I did.

Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster. Not just a roller coaster of events but emotions too. You have to find that perfect balance of keeping your doors open and your employees happy. At least I try to. Sigh, the struggle is real.

Thanks for letting me dish! Is there something that you struggle with too in your business? Would love to hear about it!


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Soon They Won’t Know Who She Is

My mom was one of the people that started Ninong’s in 2008. Even after my mom stopped working there she would visit often and have breakfast or lunch with my dad there. Almost once a week. Case in point is, my team knew my mom and they loved her.

There’s my mom in the very back middle with the super white, short hair and striped sweater – with the team at Ninong’s Christmas Party 2014

This was important to me.

My mom is a huge part of what endearingly call “The Shop.” She was 1 of the 4 people that started the business, she put in countless hours, and worked really hard to make it successful.

But not only that, she’s a huge part of who I am. She played a big role in my growth as a business woman. Heck, she’s my mom!

Since Ninong’s has had continued growth, I’ve had to hire more and more employees and also replace the employees we’ve had that have moved on to their careers. Slowly but steadily. A couple months ago it dawned on me that the generation of employees that I’m starting to train never got to meet my mom, which makes me kinda sad.

My team will never get to meet an amazing, loving, and gracious woman. Sometimes too nice for her own good. They would never get to witness her contagious and ever popular smile. That means, they’ll only have to hear from my stories about how great she was, what she did for our business, and how big of an influence she had on our success.

I’m going to have to carry on her can-do entrepreneurial spirit. I’m going to have to keep smiling even in times of trouble. I’m going to be the person that people can turn to so that her legacy of love and kindness carries on.

Look at that smile

Miss you, Mom. Every day. I never want people to forget you because you touched so many of our lives in a big way.



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Dear Mom, I Just had to Tell You

Dear Mommy,

You know I think about you always and miss you every day. There are days or moments where I remember something from my childhood, from my wedding, or something after you were diagnosed. Sometimes the memories are good, sometimes they are sad, and sometimes they’re wishes that you were around for the new memories we are experiencing. One of those was the segment that showed on ABC7 last night.

Mom, we were part of a segment on channel 7 called “Global Gourmet” and I talked about Ninong’s and what our shop has to offer. I channeled you and told Tina (link) all about you, the family, and our little shop. I think you would have been so excited to talk to her. She asked about you too. I think you would be proud about how we have changed. I hope you would be proud.

I can already imagine seeing you cry from happiness. You cry about everything (I get that from you!). Dad and I would always tease you for that. But look at that, now I’m doing it! When big things happen like this I always wish you were here. I guess my consolation prize is knowing that you’re proud no matter what.

Miss you Mommy.


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