Flour into the big ass bowl. Dough packet. Water. Cut on mixer. Throw the dough on the table. Weight it. Roll it. Cheese. Toppings. Oven. Cut. Box, and now, I’m running out the ay door to freedom.
I delivered pizza for almost two years in my little beat up tan 2001 under the sun ford contour that used to be my great grandfathers. Good times. Well, eh..
After a brief stint in construction work for $10/hr at 21, it seemed that working for Marco’s Pizza was my best bet for making money. The tips, yo.
It was flexible. The team was decently cool. My manager rocked with my music. It was honestly the best job I’ve had. Until.. I got a taste of entrepreneurship.
At the time, I don’t think I recognized that me delivering pizza was for a purpose other than to make money to pay rent on my $550/mo “bachelor” pad in Columbia, SC. It was a nuisance. It was annoying hearing the people complain nonstop. I got internally pissed when little doofuses grabbed the pizza to the rich neighborhood and ran out the door leaving the rest of us with no-tip boxes. I was stuck with the short end of the stick because I was actually a good employee. More was asked of me for no more in return. Ya know, classic service industry b.s.
After being a self-employed entrepreneur for the past 5 years, building multiple businesses from the ground up, & surviving in this crazy world, I can’t help but re-think the experience of delivering pizza. It taught me some lessons that I’ve carried with me through the years.
You Can Get Stuck
By no means is this meant to be disrespect to older folks in the service industry, but as a young man, I couldn’t help but see the people who seemed stuck, either by choice or forced unfortunate situations.
I delivered pizza with several people over 40 and one over 65. I guess if they seemed happy and fulfilled, it would be different. But they didn’t. I was up-and-coming local hip-hop artist and 21 years old when I started so naturally when I met the 65 year old ish band dude (who played in a band outside of work) I immediately thought of how much I DID NOT want to end up like that dude. He was also one of the aforementioned doofuses.
I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to still be there after living on this planet for so long. I was young. I was naive, but I don’t think I was wrong in feeling that way. The difference is now I know what failure feels like. I’ve succeeded and failed multiple times over, and though I can’t fully connect with staying at the job FOREVER. I can connect with having to start over.
If you read my last post, you know I can also now understand the craving for wanting a brainless job to help you survive while you create.
One of my biggest fears outside of striving my entire life to “succeed” and failing until I die is to get stuck in that position. Living groundhog day as a young pizza delivery boy surrounded my pepperoni and doofuses.
I’m so thankful I made the very risky, hard jump to get out and start my own business. I’m never actually stuck, but I’m in this constant state of making sure I’m not. I think I can thank this job specifically for that. #StayUnStuck
It keeps me on my toes. I’m always striving for more. I’m always trying to bush the boundaries. Because even though I may not know EXACTLY what I want to be, I know a lot of things I DON’T want to be.
Some Things Aren’t Worth The Money
As with most service industry jobs, when you find a good employee, you confirm that they are solid, then try to promote them to manager. Thinking this is a win (which sometimes it is), they accept and are locked into this place for MUCH more time, responsibility and (not much more) money.
I luckily didn’t have to experience this personally to see that it was not my cup of tea. I saw the stress of my brand manager. The stress of not being able to trust anyone. The rude regional people that thought they were the sh*t. Everything about it was like “nah, I’m good”. Not worth the very small additional pay.
Thinking about business, it makes me think of two things. Employees & bad clients.
Giving Your Mind Freedom
On a day where I had to stay inside openING the store or mostly making things, the moment I got to step out I felt like Mel Gibson screaming FREEDOMMMMMMMM.
I thought so much during my drives around the city. I would make the trips twice as long just cruising, windows down and under the speed limit. I spent days and days brainstorming song concepts, lyrics, business ideas etc. I swear one day I thought so hard on how to come up with the next social media concept that I broke my brain. I overwhelmed myself to the point where I felt sick. Classic.
What I know now that I didn’t know then is that I get to experience this freedom all the time now (to an extent) and not going to lie, most of the time my mind is STILL the most free when I’m whipping around the city. One of my favorite things to do is a lap around the city. It could be Sumter, SC or Los Angeles, CA. Just know, I’ll be whipping thinking about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Having these moments of mental freedom, is most likely what lead me to the sparks I needed to venture off and creative my own business. To this day, I think I crave those moments of feeling the wind, hearing the music and soaking in city’s energy because it’s the time when a lot of creative ideas hit me.