Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lessons Learned, Still Breathing

by Lisa Cosmillo
I am just beginning to register the myriad lessons I have learned in the past two years since the inception and subsequent growth and sudden death of my business, Breathe. At this point I know I will never regret a moment I spent building and working on such a worthwhile project. I also know that it was not time wasted. There is a need for more places like Breathe. There is a need for a sense of community in Olympia that transcends the mighty three separate entities in this county.
Breathe served state workers, business folks and students. There was no biases allowed and all were served with love. In any day sitting in the cafe or moving in a class, you could find someone from all walks of life. All equal under that roof.
We need that kind of environment here; we need that kind of environment everywhere.
So lesson one, no time was wasted.
Lesson two, when you start a business, start small. I made the mistake of renting too large a space. We never quite made enough to support the space. Start SMALL.
Lesson three, I am not enough people all by myself to run a business of that magnitude. Partners can be difficult, but partners can be good. I don't need to go it alone.
Lesson four, communicate better. Perhaps if I had reached out instead of trying to support it all on my own, maybe others would have stepped up. I will never know. See Lesson three.
So this is just the beginning of figuring all of this out, and I suspect it's going to be an extended grieving process filled with much reflection.
I am just so grateful that I had the opportunity to do something I loved soooo much. And I'm grateful for the amazing people I got to work with and serve. I am a very fortunate woman.