My Pursuit of Happiness
What do I want to be when I grow up? I have lost track of the number of times I have given that question serious consideration. Through the years, I have always had a strong pull towards technology and years ago, if you had asked me that question, I would have quickly replied 'I want to be an information systems manager.' Figuring out how systems / processes work and making them better is something that I've always been keen on. More on that later, perhaps.
The fact is, in some way, shape or form, I was an information systems manager for 20+ years. I had achieved my career objective and worked for one of the largest software companies in the world. So why wasn't I 'happy' having realized my high school / college dreams? Well, that answer is simple. When I would talk about my job with friends, family or perfect strangers they just couldn't understand what it was that I actually did. The only people that would understand were working right beside me. My own mother, for example, would describe what I did for a living to her friends by explaining 'He works in computers.' She wasn't wrong. Not very inspiring.
Along the way I began to realize that my work in IT wasn't having the impact in the world that I wanted to make. I was stuck in a job that paid very well, but wasn't challenging me anymore. Then, one day, my services weren't required anymore and I was set free. Getting laid off in 2014 gave me a lot of time to think about what I wanted my legacy to be. At the time, two ideas dominated my thought process; 1) opening a bbq food truck and 2) search and rescue. I've always had a passion for barbecue and my time volunteering with King County Search and Rescue was very satisfying. In 2014, I just couldn't break away from the fear of not being able to make ends meet with either of those options, so I went back in to IT as an independent contractor and kept punching the proverbial clock.
Which brings me to the present. Since making the frightful decision to open my own business in June 2017, I have been frantically reading everything I can to understand the business of food service in Washington State. My days are filled with looking for temporary employment, scouring Department of Health requirements for mobile food trucks, reading RCWs governing tax laws, applying for operating licenses, writing business plans, forecasting financials, creating websites, considering supply chains, managing a budget, figuring out unfamiliar systems, etc. And I discover . . . suddenly the 20+ years of Information Systems Management experience are paying dividends. Subby's BBQ is just another project. My project, and it is exactly the spark I needed. I thank God for the encouragement and my grandpa for the inspiration. I hear you. I've got this.