54 Months.

Rather unceremoniously, PJP turned 54 months old yesterday. And I only mention it here because short of a national economic collapse, natural disaster, or personal tragedy…it is safe to say we are on track to celebrate our 5th anniversary next spring. FIVE YEARS, PEOPLE.

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And look, if you know me, you know that I love a milestone and always consider “ability to wax poetic” well within my skill set. Also, I’ve had my sights set on our five year anniversary since our very early days. It only takes a hot second on the Internet to be reminded that half of all small businesses fail within their first five years. And while I originally planned to relax just a bit every year as we moved from our first anniversary, I never have…primarily because entrepreneurship is a tenuous game to play and I’m keenly aware that we can never take anything for granted.

Though, what is interesting is that I’ve never thought significantly past our five year anniversary. I would like PJP in major cities across the United States, but beyond that…well, I haven’t even made up our menu for Roots and Blues and that is NEXT WEEKEND, so I’m a complete fail in the long-term planning department. Honestly, I remember working so hard to get our store open and then thinking that once it did, it would sort of run itself. (Spoiler alert: Not so much.) And likewise, I’ve spent the last 24 months or so just low-key thinking that once we got to five years, the store would run itself. Sometimes I’m slow on the uptake that way.

And while we are deep dive into the philosophy of small business, how do we actually measure entrepreneurial success? By data, like months open, revenue, and growth? Or by more subjective standards, like personal satisfaction and contribution to the community? (Forbes says that it is a) financial statements, b) customer feedback, and c) number of new customers, in case you are curious. Personally, I much more prefer subjective measures because who needs data when you can solely use intuition and emotion, right?)

As usual, I have no solid answers…probably because I’m not a entrepreneurial expert, though I am an expert in PJP. And PJP continues to roll forward toward 60 months despite all the times things could have gone so awry (gah, so many things). I 100% credit our unique style of helicopter parenting her for her ability to make it so far.

(I’m only sorta kidding.)