MY BEST ... was leaving my job as an investment banker on Wall Street, where I'd been for three years. It's a very comfy, well-paid job and it's easy to get sucked in. But I left that secure world to venture down the dark tunnel of entrepreneurship. I knew nothing about coffee bars, about retail or about being an entrepreneur, and I think that helped. If I'd known in advance how difficult it could be, it might have put me off.
As it was, I just took each problem as it came. But it was a big step to walk away from such a successful career. I stayed up all night the night before talking it over with a relative, and in the morning I got up and said to myself: 'Gotta do it.'
MY WORST ...
I didn't think big enough when I started Coffee Republic. After opening the first one in 1995, it was a year before I opened the second. There was such a huge opportunity then for coffee bars that I should have expanded much more quickly. I also should have raised a lot more money than I did initially and hired a full management team from day one, instead of trying to do everything myself. If I had, Coffee Republic would be double the size it is today. Still, I am happy with where it is now, and it's a lesson I've learned for when I eventually move on to a new project.