Monthly Archives: July 2016

87% Difficult

I spent the better part of this afternoon working through the blog archives and reviewing the story of PJP.  It seems that lately, 87% of entrepreneurship has been an uphill struggle…except when I review over 500 blog posts from the past two years, I’m reminded that there is nothing new about feeling that way.  NOTHING AT ALL.  It is a common theme in our history and regardless of how much we grow or undertake new ventures in the future, without question it is totally going to feel like an 87% uphill battle.  History does repeat itself, indeed.  (Also, we are both difficult and are wary of anything that feels too easy.  We prefer to wrestle to the ground with any decisions we make and that alone likely contributes to at least 41% of the battle we wage above and beyond the average person.)

But I was also looking through our archive with the underlying theme of starting to put our story together into an outline format.  Have we learned anything in the past two years that makes a cohesive story that is interesting and informational to someone with entrepreneurial goals?  Or have we spun around in circles and are really only inches from where we started in the fall of 2013?  Being so deep in the story means that sometimes, I can’t see the forest for the trees.  I needed our written story to give some perspective.

And thankfully for all of us, I’m pretty sure we’ve learned a few things in the last 27 months.  The obvious things, like staying up all night is hard and everything costs at least 10 times what we think it will are an easy given.  But the not so obvious as well, like changing your life completely is insanely difficult and insanely rewarding.  Perspective is good for that sort of observation.

So I marked 10 posts that meant to something to me…something that marked our progress forward, whether it was working faster or working smarter or maturing in a way that felt small at the time but now in retrospect, WAS HUGE.  And I put them all together to start a story that proves this all is just a two steps forward and one step back journey.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the story when it is finished.  Or maybe it never will finish, because if we are doing this all correctly, this time next year should prove that we are different people with different goals than today.  Or at least, I would think so…right?

Or maybe it will become a book and I’ll give it a catchy title like “Always Running Out of Freaking Boxes and Other Misadventures from Early Entrepreneurship…” and we will self publish for the tens of people interested in reading it.  I suppose that could happen too.

Or maybe I’ll just remember that history promises that entrepreneurship is 87% difficult at least 95% of the time…


Today finished out as our third slowest day of sales in PJP V. 2.0 history.  By 4:30 this afternoon, I just needed a cool compress and a prescription for a single dose of Xanax.  The joys of entrepreneurship, yo.  But in other news…

  1. Our friend Tom from Shillington Box in St. Louis stopped by with another prototype box that could potentially work to sell pie dough in the local grocery stores.  AND he brought us all milkshakes as a surprise.  Tom has moved immediately to the middle of the PJP Inner Circle.
  2. Our dishwasher had preventative maintenance while our fire extinguisher was being tested and approved.  If only the health inspector could have shown up at that moment…it would have been the trifecta of regulatory approval.
  3. Did you know that PJP is #8 of 44 things to do in Columbia, according to Tripadvisor?  COMPLETELY AWESOME.  We couldn’t be more honored.  (I’m competitive enough to covet the number one spot, but I can’t think of a way to knock Rock Bridge State Park out of the way.)
  4. We’ve been experimenting a bit with fried pies in anticipation of Roots and Blues.  Except we went off the rails and deep fried all sorts of candy bars out of sheer curiosity.  So basically, I’m not sure about pies but I can tell you that deep frying a Kit Kat is as embarrassing – and DELICIOUS – as you might expect.
  5. Jeanne accidentally deleted our fancy new gift registry that I created in Square.  I’m not sure how.  And neither is she, actually.  I see binder and scrapbook paper shopping in someone’s future.  And by someone, I mean Jeanne’s…

Dead On Accurate.

You might have noticed that it was approximately 10 billion degrees today.  And at PJP, despite setting our air conditioner on a frosty 68 degrees…it remained a balmy 81 for the majority of the afternoon.  Our air conditioner was installed when the building was constructed and I fear that it is hanging on merely by the new filter we installed a few months ago.  If I could get to the roof, I would scrub it down and tell it how much I love it and to please never quit on us.  I would even consider building a gazebo over it and a cool misting fan to help it along.   And bring it flowers, if necessary.

And before you think I’m crazy, I’ll remind you that our landlord makes no capital improvements to the property.  We are responsible for replacing well, EVERYTHING during the term of our lease.  And the last time I checked, a new commercial air conditioning unit clocked in at $38,000.  Which makes me think the air conditioner business is more lucrative than the pie business.  Except that I don’t know anything about air conditioners…except I like them to work.  And it makes me think I would buy one of those massive shop fans and sweat before paying $38,000 for something I’ll never own, since it would be installed on a building that I don’t own.  So can we all please just send good vibes to our air conditioning unit?  She needs it desperately.

In other news, we were honored to host a group of teen girls from New York City to PJP over the weekend.  They were in town as part of a leadership academy hosted by Stephens College.  They were all super smart and interesting and none had been to Columbia before (and a few had never had pie, which we remedied immediately.)  During our Q&A time, a few asked about my family and wanted to see pictures.  When I showed her one of Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru Jason and I on our recent Caribbean vacation, one girl – in the most innocent way ever – said “wow…you look so much better there…you don’t have dark circles under your eyes!”  TOUCHE, MY FRIEND.  I actually busted out laughing because she was 100% dead on accurate (it is amazing what sleep and makeup does for a girl).  Out of the mouths of babes.

Also, I probably wasn’t really hot when that photo was taken…