When we were younger, we used to tell a lot of scary stories. For the best effect, we’d tell them in the dark and be sure to include tales of vicious monsters and mysterious creatures of the night. There was always this sense of terror that something like ManWolf might one day snatch us from our tents and sneak us to his lair under the bushes. Fortunately, alongside that fear was the comforting notion that at least our parents might be able to protect or save us. They were practically super heros, after all!
Those stories don’t scare us so much anymore. Our reason tells us that ManWolf is no more real than vampires, goblins, or zombies. But as entrepreneurs, the terror never really left; it has only changed form. Here we stand just 16 days away from closing on the sale of our home in Denver, CO, to move out to Washington D.C. We are taking this huge leap of faith for one simple goal: The pursuit of our dreams. We’re leaving stable, lucrative jobs in a city we love to chase the dream of owning and operating a brewery without the promise of income or any other small measure of success.
This is true fear: We’re putting just about everything we own on the line with the belief that this venture will turn enough of a profit to enable us to provide a roof and food for our family. The idea of this is romanticized in Hollywood and rooted deeply in this concept that is the American Dream. Let us tell you from experience: It’s far more romantic in story books and movies than it is in real life.
As of May 26th, 2016, we will no longer be covered by employer sponsored health insurance. On May 31st, we will not have a permanent address. On June 3rd, our final paycheck will be deposited into our bank account. We have no jobs waiting for us. We have no promise of income or healthcare. All we’ll have is the generous offer to live rent free in Brendan’s parents’ house for a year while we sort this all out. There is something truly humbling about accepting that sort of gracious offer from one’s parents long after having moved out and built an independent life–especially when married with a child.
While it all sounds crazy, we believe in one simple thing: We will succeed. That doesn’t stop us from being absolutely terrified as we take these concrete steps to move forward without any real certainty on what the future holds. But through our work ethic, through our dedication, and through our willingness to sacrifice the comfort that so many hold dearly, we truly believe we will be successful. We will create a brewery that connects with our customers. We will create a brand that proudly displays our culture and our values. We will create a product that makes our customers proud to be regular patrons. We will create a business that is profitable, sustainable, and that fulfills our personal dreams. We will succeed.
You, as our customers, deserve it. We, as entrepreneurs, will earn it. Together, we believe that these sacrifices and this fear will not have been in vain. Together, we’ll create something much greater than ourselves. And for that, all of this fear and sacrifice is worth it.
UPDATE (5/24/2016): We recently got some great news that helps quell a small amount of the terror in this scary story–Bailey was offered a work-from-home position with her current company, allowing us to move to DC and keep our health insurance and her income while we continue to pursue our last investors! This takes a massive weight off of our shoulders and makes this adventure slightly less scary. It’s amazing how quickly change happens in this world of the unknown!