What Keeps Steve Abrams Up at Night

Question: What keeps you up at night?

Steven Abrams:  That my daughter has the most wonderful life she could have, and quite honestly I don't stay up at night for business anymore.  I've worked that out, both financially and personally, to not really do that.  I've been down that road and it's not a fun place to be, to be kept up at night worrying about a payroll, especially in a small business, or an insurance payment or rent, or are people going to come through the door.  Those are very, very difficult things and I've lived through all of those.  And usually, prior to this business, I bought an existing business, I had some capitalization of my own going into it and I was able to get some capitalization subsequent to that.  I don't worry about that.  But historically, what's kept me up at night is making a payroll, getting my collections in, and being able to pay my rent.  Those are very, very difficult things and 30 years of business I never missed a payroll.  I can tell you that was very difficult to achieve.  A lot of the times that money came out of my pocket.  A lot of times I scrambled to get that done, but people are working for you and they don't really necessarily care about those problems.  They are not your partner.  You know you have to make sure that you do that.

Most of my businesses, up until now, have been me conceptualizing a business, going out and raising the money for it and convincing other people it's worthwhile, then going and finding space if it's a restaurant, or space if it's some sort of business that requires that, doing all of the sales and then running the day-to-day of the business.  It's exhausting and it's very difficult.  I admire anyone who does it any level, whether they have made $100 million [or] they [have] a $500,000 business.  The reality is when I folded my construction company a year and a half ago I had [a] $150,000 a week payroll.  That didn't feel any different to me than when I was smaller and had a $3,000 a week payroll.  They were equally as hard to make in the moment and they felt equally as difficult and hard to get through.

At every level, you're dealing with the same problems.  Now you get to a point, hopefully, in your business or if you're lucky enough, like I was, to get something like Magnolia, you have a business that those issues aren't there.  The business is strong enough already, I bought into an existing business that I knew had the cash flow to overcome those particular obstacles and there is nothing else in that business that can possibly keep me up at night.  So I don't have any worries right now.

Recorded on October 23, 2009

The owner of Magnolia Bakery in New York City doesn’t stay up at night for business reasons anymore.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

What’s behind our appetite for self-destruction?

Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?

Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Photo: Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

Douglas Rushkoff – It’s not the technology’s fault

It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.

Think Again Podcasts
  • It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
  • Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
Keep reading Show less