When you only make $60 on your first day in business, you could find yourself wondering whether you made the right decision or not.
Luckily for Stevino Vinetti of Italian Guild in Milton, he had a long term vision and his first day of operation out of his mobile coffee van was only the beginning of his journey towards becoming a profitable business owner.
Fast forward three years and Stevino has created a fully licensed wood fire pizza restaurant in the South Coast New South Wales town of Milton, which is finally starting to see the fruits of his hard work.
I caught up with Stevino at the Italian Guild over a local craft beer (that’s right, they have local brews!) and we spoke about his journey from relocating to the south coast, wanting to sell great coffee and gradually scaling up to what is now a popular spot for not only locals but travellers who are looking for some Italian flavour.
What did you get out of this episode? Here’s what I learnt;
1. Long term mentality. – You’ve gotta be in it for the long haul! The likelihood of being an overnight success is very small so its critical to set your expectations correctly, spend time focusing on your vision and remind yourself that you will be working on this continuously for the long term. First day of business is a fizzer? You’re not getting the traction you were hoping for? Don’t sweat! Time will reward your efforts of discipline and patience, so stick at it!
2. Living within your means. – Making the decision to be self employed can bring a lot of unexpected challenges and we can overlook the fact that we may need to reconsider our living expenses and readjust to life running your own business. Budgeting and understanding your needs and wants will help you live within your means and reduce the emotional weight that might hit you when things get tight. It also helps you remain disciplined to re-inject your profits back into the business to help it grow and be sustainable long term.
3. Emotional support. – Times get tough and we should never hesitate to lean on others that are willing to lend their ear to our challenges. While you should always follow your gut and not let anyone stray you from your path, its important to find support in others. Not only will this see you through the more difficult times of your journey in self employment but it will also give you opportunities to learn from others, gain new perspectives and even share some best practices. Inspiration comes from all kinds of people, so don’t be afraid to reach out to others when you need it.
4. Journal it/Start a Blog. – Leading on from the point above, starting a journal or blog of your journey and story are great ways to work through your challenges, identify new ideas and to share your experience with others. You should always consider having a story run alongside your business so people learn about you, why you do what you do and ultimately why others would want to be a part of your business and support it. Check out Stevino’s journal from the Italian Guild website here.
Milton – 3/65 Princes Hwy Milton, New South Wales 2538