If you’re reading this right now, I’m proud of you. I know that sounds condescending, but you’d be surprised how many managers I come across in my work who are intensely unmotivated and spend their time lurking in the back office playing computer solitaire or surfing Facebook and the thought of doing something like Becoming a Bar Consultant would never enter their reality.
Not you, of course. I’m sure you’re amazing. In fact, I’d be surprised if you and I don’t have a lot in common…
I’m not sure whether you’re a bar/restaurant manager or a bartender or server, and I’m not sure how happy you are with your life and career…with the money you make or the late hours you work…and I’m not sure how long you’ve been in this industry or whether you have a family or are getting ready to start one, but what I do know is that in the summer of 2010, I was at the end of my rope.
I’m talking curled-up-in-the-corner-sucking-my-thumb end of the rope. Two decades I had spent serving food and drinks to people for tips, and though it had been good to me, I now had a 7 and 5-year-old in school and my wife was a school teacher at the time, which meant as soon as they got home, I was off to run the bar at night. I never saw them. My kids were growing up fatherless and my quality of life was shit.
At one point I literally went into breakdown mode. I’m talking on the verge of divorce. I’m not going to go into the full story of how one hot August afternoon I chucked a stenograph machine right through my sliding glass door and fell to my knees in dramatic, theatrical fashion…there will be plenty of time to learn about that later as we get to know each other better.
And it wasn’t like I hadn’t tried other things to get out of the industry. I had tried just about everything:
1. I gave basketball lessons to kids (I played in college)
2. I started an online kids directory with my wife (places kids could go to have fun)
3. I worked for my brother-in-law lifting and loading pallets onto a truck (but those things are heavy)
4. I started my own in-home tutoring company and employed 8 – 10 Cal Berkeley students to drive all over the Bay Area and tutor junior high and high school students
5. I started practicing to become a court reporter
Yeah, don’t clean your glasses off or rub your eyes. You read that right. COURT REPORTER. That job that’s almost extinct because of technology and that is saturated with beehive-haired ladies in polyester dresses.
All this is to say that once you go into the bar and restaurant industry, it’s not that easy to get out. As a lifer we are simply not qualified to do much else, so starting a new career isn’t exactly ideal, especially considering the pay-cut we have to take by starting at an entry level position in another field. Lame!
Finally, in the summer of 2010, just after the stenographer went through the glass and just before I was ready to shove an ice pick in my eye socket, my wife, still looking for a solution to finding me a new career, came across a company called Bevinco that helped bar owners make more profits by providing inventory services.
This particular company was a franchise and was training its franchisees how to help bars save money by counting and weighing bottles and kegs to find out how much the bar was losing in profits because of bartender over-pours and theft.
Bevinco was teaching people like me the ins and outs of their business. In a nutshell, if I were to sign up, I would be basically using their inventory software to help bar owners make more profits.
Shortly thereafter, my wife and I found a 2nd company doing the same thing called Barmetrix, and as soon as I understood what they were doing to help bars, I told my wife, “I can do that. I can TOTALLY do that.”
I clicked around their website and eventually discovered that they could teach me to be a bar inventory consultant for the bargain price of $50,000!
Hey, no problem! Let me go ahead and mortgage my house and put my first born child up on the black market and I’ll get started.
I was frustrated to be back at square one, but it was short-lived. After all, I had a TON of bar management experience. I had taken plenty of inventories. All I had to do was find some decent inventory software, so later that night I declared to my wife, “I’m going to do it.”
“What?” she said. “Where are we going to get $50,000?”
“No, I mean I’m going to do it myself. I’m going to figure out what they’re doing and I’m going to go help bars save money.”
She gave me one of those pitiful “We’ve been through this before” looks, but with my burning desire to change my life and create something better, I was off and running.
I studied and learned like a man possessed. I read books, I took classes, I went to seminars and events.
It took me about 18 months of experimenting with remedial software and figuring out how to land clients who needed my services until I finally started gaining some traction, but once I did, my momentum was unstoppable.
I started building clients, from dive bars to sports bars to lounges and clubs, all the way to corporate giants like P.F. Chang’s and Outback Steakhouse. I was able to land them all. And as a result my income soared. There were literally thousands of bars that needed help and at that time, I hadn’t come across one that had met someone like me. There was absolutely ZERO competition.
Thus, Bar Patrol (the name of my company) was officially born and it was thriving.
18 months after chucking my steno machine through the window I was maintaining 8 – 10 full service clients at all times, averaging about $1,000 per month per client.
$100,000 – $120,000 per year.
In addition, I was still helping manage my bar, so the money flowing into my life was better than ever.
I started vacationing with the family and I was able to go to barbecues at friends houses on the weekends because I wasn’t in a bar working until 2:00 a.m.
And the pride I felt was (and still is) absolutely indescribable.
By 2012 I knew I needed better software, and I wanted my own anyway so I could license it out to bars, so I bit the bullet and partnered with my brother-in-law, borrowed a lot of money (over $100,000) and found a development team to create the perfect inventory app and online software so I could do inventory faster and have powerful analytics to help bar owners save a lot of money (You can check out Bar Patrol App at Barpatrol.net …it is also thriving now and helping bar owners/managers throughout the U.S. and a dozen other countries across the world save time and money on their inventory).
From 2012 – 2016 my daily job consisted of: counting, analyzing and reporting the results to the owner for 8 – 10 clients. That’s it. And the best part was that I was done by 12:00 – 1:00 every day and I rarely worked weekends unless I chose to. I was earning $125 – $150 per hour taking inventory which means I had the money and freedom to do anything I want.
In 2015 I moved Bar Patrol App online and started selling it to bars all of the country and now it is in 12 different countries around the world as well.
Soon after, I started receiving emails from random bar managers and bartenders who asked me if I could teach them to do what I did as a bar inventory consultant.
Thus, the Bar Consulting Secrets Master Course was born and it took off like wild fire.
What’s the point to all this? The point is, if you’ve been in the industry for years and feel like you’re stuck, then you’re just like I was, as well as thousands of others who make a decent living in this industry but suddenly realize one day that the future is quickly becoming the present, and if they don’t do something quickly to change their present, their future will be working in a bar when they’re 60, serving white zinfandel to a bunch of old ladies playing bridge in a hotel bar lobby.
If you connect with this story, if you’re me in 2010, then I suggest you take a second to flop down in your Lazy-Boy consider your life and your options, and what you’ll realize is that you and I don’t have many options because we’ve been pigeon-holed working in an industry that requires long, late hours and a ceiling as far as advancement goes.
That’s exactly what I realized, as well as this MAJOR revelation: instead of trying to escape this industry, I used all my knowledge and experience to create something amazing for myself. Something that is all mine.
My rules, my way, work the hours I want. No more late nights.
Trust me, there is no better feeling than standing out among your peers in your industry and have them view you as a role model for how to achieve greatness in life and business.
The only difference between you and me is I spent 18 months crawling through the mud and shit to figure this business out on my own. Swimming in debt. I’m like Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption: “Crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.”
To sum all of this up plainly: I teach people to be me…without the crawling through shit part of course. You simply get to stand up and raise your arms and face to the lightening and fluorescent falling rain and rejoice in your glorious freedom. In a matter of weeks.
If this catches your fancy but you want to learn more…
They followed me down the rabbit hole and are now making a truckload of money working fewer hours.
“Nope, I’m ready to go Dave. I want to apply to become an inventory consultant right now.”
Or, if you just stopped by for a casual read while sipping a Lynchburg Lemonade on the front porch, I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose to do in your life. I really do.
Cheers, until next time,
Dave, The RB