LADING

{31/31 days} what next?

This is the last day of my 31 days of coffee shop stories. Welcome.

Phew. It’s been a month. Give or take a couple of MIA days. It’s been a nice exercise to browse through all my memories (and plans) about the coffee shops.

The last five years were also a very good exercise for me. Very intense, too. I’ve lost some, I’ve won some. I think I won more than I lost, all things considered. What matters most is that I know myself better than five years ago, with all my pluses and minuses.

The most important things I learned about myself are listed below. Some may apply to how you discover yourself once you go freelancer. Actually, most seem kind of universal, now that I think about them a bit harder. Some are all my own. They are stated as general rules, but actually – been there, done that. And I have the coffee shops to thank for that.

  1. Never mix business with personal relationships. There are exceptions (my relationship is one), but it’s always too late when you find out things are going ok and friendships are lost. It’s a pity, actually.
  2. Freelance freedom is a valuable asset. Treat it kindly, use it wisely.
  3. Trust people. Give them the benefit of a doubt and let them help you on your way. The lonely road is not as much fun.
  4. Learn to make fun of your limits.
  5. Once you go freelance, there’s hardly a way back (for me, anyway).
  6. Working with people, for people is hard, tiring, rewarding, challenging, but totally worth it. People help you grow and there is always something to learn from anybody (do’s and don’t’s are equally valuable lessons).
  7. Don’t settle.
  8. Have a hobby.
  9. Remember where you’re coming from, even if it’s not really clear where you’re going quite yet.
  10. Share your joys and sorrows with somebody. It’s infinitely liberating.

Before closing up this series, I want to thank my lovely sister one more time, for all the beautiful photos documenting the history of the coffee shop and these posts. She grew up a dependable, hard-working person and, in part, the first coffee shop is what it is because she poured her heart into it. Sometimes I feel I didn’t thank her enough. But I really appreciate it all.

I have to be honest, this series is not what I imagined it would be. Talking live about all of these things is way funnier and wittier. Which probably means I really shouldn’t write a book about how it is to start and run a coffee shop.

I thank you for sticking through all this. I hope it was just a bit interesting for you to stop by from time to time. The flowers are for you!

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