So here we are at the end of January (finally) and that means we are inching closer to our 5th birthday in April. I just took a deep dive back into our blog archives for this week in 2014 and jeesh, we didn’t know what we were doing. CLUELESS.

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One post is about our quest to get a liquor license and then next post was a love letter to the gate we would eventually purchase for our front counter (and then not use because we would later fall in love with a better gate and purchase it, throwing the former gate to the wayside…which sounds remarkably like something we would do). We were also very stressed out about baking 130 tarts to sample at Lucky’s over the weekend. Five years later, I promise you that I could bake 130 tarts in a blindfold and with one arm tied behind me and still be finished faster than it took five years ago.

Today I was talking to someone about Potential New Space and I mentioned that I wished I was as naive as I was five years ago and he said that I really didn’t because I’ve learned too much in the past 60 months. Touche.

Here’s what I wish I knew then:

  1. Nothing is easy. I brought a whole suitcase of entitlement to PJP and expected we would never struggle. GOODNESS GRACIOUS. So, so, so, so dumb. Spoiler alert: everyone struggles now and then. And if they say they don’t, they are deluding themselves or trying to impress you.

  2. Everything you like and don’t like about yourself will play out in your storefront and reflect back like an enormous mirror that can’t be escaped. Roll into it with too much swagger or too little self-esteem and it will become apparent fairly soon in your brand. That took me a while to grasp.

  3. Doing the thing you love means you do a whole list of things you hate. I love PJP, but I hate Quickbooks, spreadsheets, bills, and ordering inventory. I spent three years ignoring it all, but like a relentless killer in a B level movie…it kept following me. We finally made peace, but I was stubborn to the bitter end. Now we live in peaceful detente and that makes PJP all the easier to enjoy.

  4. I can basically figure out how to do anything…or at least how to get help to do anything. I spent a lot of time in the early years relying on Behind-The-Scenes Jason to do stuff for me or requiring Jeanne and I be in 100% agreement on every decision. In part, I think it was because leadership skills take a while to develop. Also, I think working with your mom still puts you into those default familial rolls before you even realize it. In other words, I wasted a lot of time looking for validation I didn’t really need. No joke though - this is a hard one for me still. Validation seeker, Party of One.

  5. Everyone thinks they know everything. If you hang around enough people long enough to discuss your business, everyone will have an opinion about what you are doing and how you are doing it. It will straight up make you crazy, if you let it.

I can’t even imagine what the 10 year anniversary version of ourselves will say about the five year version. But I hope at least that we don’t have any regrets about front gate purchases. And that I’m still loyal to logging Quickbooks transactions.