Its Hard to Read the Label, When You're Inside the Jar

Dr Jekyll.jpg

Yesterday was a sad day for me. My wife and I took a bike ride to Melbourne’s famous St. Kilda beach suburb to visit our favourite cafe for breakfast. We’ve been regulars there for 8 years. 

It’s winter in Melbourne right now, so our bike ride was a chilly experience and something we haven’t done in a while. Mostly, we have been walking to St Kilda rather than battle the wind and rain on a bicycle. We have even driven down on a couple of occasions due to time constraints or particularly heinous weather.

Our ride was completely uneventful and we arrived in good time. The cafe has a courtyard at its rear and a side entrance which we used to walk our bikes into the courtyard and lock them before removing the bulk of our biking attire. 

I commented to my wife that it was indeed a quiet morning as there was not a single person at any of the tables in the courtyard and the usual plethora of MAMILs and their bikes were not there. (Middle Aged Men In Lycra - in case you were wondering).

As we tried the rear door we realised why. The cafe was closed. Unusual, as it wasn’t a public holiday nor had the owners who we chatted with quite prolifically the week before, didn’t forecast to us.

We walked round to the front of the cafe to see if there was any notice on the window with something like “Sorry, cafe temporarily closed today due to unforeseen circumstances.” or “Renovations due to unanticipated issues” or whatever the case may have been. But; nothing.

Pressing our noses against the glass we peered inside to notice that the coffee machines had been removed from the counter and all the associated equipment and stock was gone. They weren’t temporarily closed, it looked to be closed-down.

Vale - Dr. Jekyll cafe, 107 Grey Street, St Kilda.

Reflecting upon the end of an era (for us anyway) makes me realise that we can sometimes be overtaken by events and subject to forces beyond our control. When you are busy working a business oftentimes making the tough decisions is what sets a successful business apart from a not so successful business. And sometimes making the decision to close is the hardest but best decision.

It’s easy to be consumed in working a business and as the late Dr. Steven Covey once said that working in a business, is a different thing entirely to working on a business. Meaning that you should step back occasionally and take stock of how things are going? In business, in life, in your relationship, in whatever your devotion is.

I heard a nice euphemism this morning that sums this up - “It’s hard to read the label, when you’re inside the jar.”