Lessons Learned on a Pizza Shop Owner’s Long Entrepreneurial Journey | Entrepreneur.com
Entrepreneurship is the engine of this great nation. It starts with a good idea and grows when you add the right ingredients. Then, it’s about tinkering with the recipe to make it just right. While entrepreneurship is not expressly listed on a Papa John’s menu, it is something we, like most small businesses, serve up every day.
Like most entrepreneurs, I have made my share of business mistakes. If missteps were a dart board, I promise you I’ve filled up the target many times over. But Ishare my story of entrepreneurship because every business starts with one person, one idea and one set of priorities.
Entrepreneurship is in my DNA and comes from the three most important men in my life – my great-grandfather, Papaw and daddy. They taught me the value of a hard day’s work, the thrill of reward that comes with great risk and the importance of having a loving family and great people behind you to catch you when you stumble.
When I was 15, I took my first job making pizza. I knew if the tray came back half full of pizza, I didn’t make the pizza right. But when the tray came back empty, then I knew I made the pizza well. As a teenager, I learnedquality mattered.
Later, when I was 23, I started selling pizza out of the broom closet of my daddy’s lounge As my pizza business grew, I decided to knock down the broom closet to make more room and build the very first Papa John’s, which today is the third-largest pizza delivery company in the world with 4,400 restaurants in all 50 states and 35 countries. I look at my business today as a small business: one store, 4,400 times.