The Importance of Tradition for Entrepreneurs

This post is overdue, but better late than ever. It goes back to Thanksgiving, 2015, last year, months ago- but a very busy time for my business. For many online (and brick and mortar) retailers, Black Friday begins the onslaught of holiday shopping.

For my business, Bocandy, this was my second Black Friday- the first being an absolute missed opportunity as I still was working on getting reliable importers to source candy from + had too little cash flow to actually experiment. This was my first time really gearing up for a huge PR push and, without really knowing what I was doing, I had my best day, week, month, and quarter in Bocandy history. But this blog post isn’t really about that- I’ve got other blog posts that talk about using virtual assistants for SEO and how to get 10,000 twitter followers– but this is something that I think speaks to entrepreneurs on a more spiritual (and I hate that word) level. Tradition, culture, group think, whatever, is the mortar that binds together entrepreneurs. They are important for no other reason than, without them, the daily drudgery of even the most spontaneous business would become rote ad nauseum. So, when I hit my (then) all-time daily rev high for Bocandy the day after Thanksgiving, i decided to celebrate.

My mother and father were out of town with my youngest brother (out of the three I’m lucky enough to have) at a soccer tournament, so it was just myself and my two younger brothers- getting mindnumpingly drunk seemed  a promising prospect, but so mundane. After all, I’ve been inebriated before, but I’d never made this much money in a span of 24 hours. I needed something that I could remember as “the good ole days”- I needed to create the context to an occasion that turns soon-to-be forgotten events into long-lasting memories that shape decisions down the line. So I decided on caviar.

I had never had caviar before. Admittedly, I am not a fancy man, but it is something I am interested in. So, in my 2009 Subaru Forester, I set out to the nearest specialty food store to buy some caviar + whatever else you’re supposed to eat caviar with.

“Is it okay if I just use a plastic spoon?” I said to the main behind the counter, he being very agitated with my lack of knowledge. “of course its okay” he said, “its just not the best way to amplify the taste”. What he was referring to was the idea that, caviar, being a delicacy, was so pure it would soak up the remnant flavors of ANY item it touched. Spoons, fingers, pieces of stone, whatever- and that a bone spoon was the only true option.

“Do you have any bone spoons?” I asked.

“No. This is a market. We don’t sell spoons.” he said.

I had chosen a black caviar as it was more expensive than red caviar (which is why one buys caviar, no?) and also because, as a boy I had gone Salmon fishing on several occasions and the roe sacks we used were suspiciously similar to the red fish eggs canned on the shelf.

At the behest of several articles online titled with variation deviations of “how to eat caviar”, I also bought water wafers (which are called that because they are baked using only flour and water), cream fraiche (overpriced cream cheese), and parsley.

black caviar with creme fraiche and parsey

black caviar with creme fraiche and parsley

I ended up taking it home and making a plate for my brother and I. I didn’t (and still don’t) like the idea of eating caviar and, upon opening the tin, was off put by the smell, but what is a great tradition if not one forced upon one’s self for the sheer sake of existence? I believe there is a metaphor for religion in there, but, again, another blog post for another time.

black caviar on water wafer

black caviar on water wafer

When we ate it, the first thing I was realized of was the immense fishiness. It was not oily and dank, but like sanding barefoot on the beach half an hour till low tide. My nose was filled with briny olfactions. And, to be fair, it was pretty gross. My oldest youngest brother loved it. He also loves sardines, though, so I’m a bit hesitant to extend authority. I needed at least twice as much cream cheese as there was caviar on the cracker to make it palatable, which is not the classic way of indulging but maybe next year I will become more adept. And that’s what matters: that it’s going to happen next year. And, when I do munch on the pre-baby sturgeon fish, I will recollect not on how terrible these tasted last year and how terrible they still taste in my mouth on that day- but that I am doing this to celebrate the best day of my business (and, by extension, the time shared with my brothers, as well) and that will act as motivation towards the next biggest day.

 

This is my first tradition I’ve started and, representatively, it reflects my desire to try new things and my internal respect for the things my business has accomplished, What traditions have you started? What impact have you created in the world around you? What context have you pulled out from your sinewy insides and let exist in the world? If you haven’t, I suggest you do, and if you can’t think of something that matters enough, there’s the underlying problem of any obstacle you’re ever going to face.

About the author

Walter Blake Knoblock is a lot of things. Follow him on twitter @WBKnoblock and on