As a little girl, I always dreamed of opening up my own bakery and calling it, “Sugga Mommas.” My dad has always been a great cook and my mom has been amazing at both baking and cooking. Growing up, my mom and I always had a bond through baking. She would be so patient as she was teaching me. Ever since, it has become one of my favorite memories as a kid. My parents were such great cooks, they decided to open up a restaurant in San Pedro. I saw my parents struggle through the hardships of owning a restaurant due to the lack of knowledge on owning a business and sadly losing it after about a year. Seeing their dreams crushed has inspired me to one day open a successful business.
The Art of War, written by Sun Tzu has been a great guide not only for military personnel, but for business, political, and sport personnel as well. He gives excellent advice as to how to be the best and stay the best. After reading The Art of War, I have come to realize that my parents made a lot of mistakes while running this restaurant.
Sun Tzu said that “The art of war… is governed by five constant factors…These are (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline,” (1:3-4). He also said that “The Commander stands for virtues of wisdom,” (1:9). As owner’s, or “Commander’s,” of this restaurant, my parents had no wisdom on how to run a business. They have always worked for someone who told them what to do in the nursing field. Although they were great cooks, they had never had to deal with being completely in charge, making food, and attracting customer’s. They failed as “Commander’s” and for that reason failed the restaurant. Without a wise Commander, a war can not be won.
Sun Tzu’s second chapter is based on finances. He emphasizes that you need to be very carful on how you spend the little money you have to wage the war. Sun Tzu gives several tips that my parent’s never used towards running their business. For example, Sun Tzu said, “The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice,” (2:8) He says that on the aspect of money, you should not be wasting it and getting more supplies then what is needed. My father on the other hand was the complete opposite. We had more food then was needed even as we started getting less and less customers. He always said, “You have to be prepared.” Due to this excess amount of food and no customers to consume it, a lot of the food would go bad. Not only was this a waste of money and food, it was a waste of a lot of money that did not have to be spent. If he had not spent all this money, there might have been a possibility of hanging on to the restaurant a little longer and maybe finding a way to save it.
Although my aspirations have shifted and now I wish to become a Forensic Nurse, I would still love to open a bakery some day in the future. This is my dream. I would like to do this, not only for myself, but for my parents as well. However, unlike my parents I plan to run this business the right way. Having great leaders such as Sun Tzu and Machiavelli will certainly be a great foundation to our dream.