“And as I try to make my way to the ordinary world, I will learn to survive”

“Ordinary World” by Duran Duran

Leaving the craziness of being a restaurateur & entrepreneur and getting back to an ordinary career path as an employee was important to my recovery, both financially and mentally. Surviving through this period was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

It’s personal

The perception of what is an ordinary world related to one’s career is obviously quite personal. Common, normal, regular, or typical are examples. It’s not necessarily dull though and should not be considered inferior.

What is ordinary?

So, what is ordinary? Ordinary is defined as routine or usual. But what is perceived as ordinary is different for everyone. It’s based on timing and circumstances. And it doesn’t have to be boring either.

Any type of business involves numerous details, but the restaurant business has those extra layers, such as production, volatile ingredients, creativity, staffing, extended hours of operation, and so on that propel it to another level.

Being a restaurateur is not run-of-the-mill, and although exciting and unpredictable, it can wear one down. Ordinary is not a word that comes to mind when describing this industry.


While it seems quite normal or natural to the individual, there are many careers that an outsider will consider extreme. A person’s life experiences and background will determine that. An entrepreneur’s world can be unpredictable at the best of times. The financial exposure and time commitments are outside the world that I would consider ordinary. Anyone that has operated his own business will understand.

A change of plans

With all the financial problems related to my ventures, I was burned out and needed a career change. I was beaten and needed to lick my entrepreneurial wounds. I had to postpone the dream.

After years of trying to make a living by owning and operating various foodservice ventures, I needed to find employment with a steady pay cheque and a simpler lifestyle by entrepreneurial standards, (9–5 days, Mon-Fri).

A regular job

All I wanted to do was simplify my life and relieve the pressure of being an entrepreneur which was constant and unrelenting.

The security and stable environment that I acquired by working for a school district was grounding. It allowed me to slowly recover financially and establish a working life that was, how do I say this without offending anyone, ordinary.

The restaurant world is extraordinary, and as an owner/operator, the craziness is only intensified. Removing the “extra” is therefore warranted at times.

I’m a survivor

I needed to get back to an ordinary world – to slow things down and catch my breath. I needed to get out of the express lane that restaurant entrepreneurs drive. I realized that I would survive the setbacks by doing this.

No sitting back

Being an entrepreneur requires being on edge most of the time. One can’t be complacent. There are so many extra responsibilities. But I get bored easily, so sitting back didn’t last long, although it did provide me with the time to regain my confidence and outlook for my next venture.

Working for someone else removes the financial pressure. The viability of the organization that employs someone is usually not a concern. At the end of the shift, the employee can go home without the stress, have dinner, and work on the next venture. Luckily, I was able to do this while working a day job.

I somehow still consider the constant pursuit of being an entrepreneur as ordinary, though. Don’t tell my wife.