Last week something momentous happened: Jen and I signed the closing documents for a loan that we’d been working on for almost a year.
Why did it take that long? The answer would take a novella (or at least a Kindle Single) to fully explain; but suffice it to say that aside from the grueling requirements of the application – life insurance for the amount of the loan is one of them – we hit almost every possible obstacle along the way. Deadline problems, endless revisions due to varying departments’ requirements, a freak citizenship issue, a government shutdown…yup, almost everything I could possibly imagine .* I’m relieved, of course, that the loan process is over; but it’s also an enormous, scary proposition.
In the five years of running a business, we’ve never had our own space. We’ve run into all kinds of complications sharing kitchens, from a 24-hours-notice, no-reason-given eviction to a sociopath landlord who moved us into ever-smaller quarters with shorter shifts while steadily raising our rent. We’ve worked out of five different kitchens in the span of five years, and it’s exhausting. This loan is going to build out a new kitchen – just for us – in Sunset Park. Obviously the prospect of a permanent home is unbelievably exciting to us; it’s beautiful, we’ll teach classes, we’ll rent out space to our friends working on other projects, it’s gonna be great.
And yet. We’re about to take the biggest leap yet for our business. We’re about to go into a previously-unthinkable (for us) amount of debt to the government. We have literally** signed our lives over on the gamble that this will all work out. Because it is a gamble: the lender is betting that we won’t default. We’re betting we won’t default. (We won’t default.) But you never really – I mean really really – know for sure. And that’s the scary part.
To an extent every day of being a business owner is like this. You make a plan; things go how they go; you adjust accordingly. But it’s the big stuff that really makes you pause and think, “Oh, shit. What if this all goes pear-shaped? What if we have to shut down the business and sell everything we own? What if our eyeballs fall out then and we can’t find our way to the workhouse/orphanage/other terribly Dickensian fate to which we are now resigned?”
The trick is to not get stuck there, and just plunge ahead. Things will go how they go, and we will adjust accordingly.
We’re so, SO excited to share this news with you, and we can’t wait to keep you updated on the new space as it progresses. Keep your fingers crossed for a smooth buildout, and we’ll see you in Sunset Park!
*Okay, I can IMAGINE a giant purple snorklewacker appearing in the middle of the table at closing and peeing all over the unsigned documents, but you get my drift.
**I repeat: life insurance.