Against the Grain: Child, Man, & Business Owner
Author: Keith Gutierrez | Published:September 10th, 2019 | Modified: January 8th, 2020
I have been against the grain my whole life. I was born this way. I will not apologize for it.
This frame of reference did not get me a lot of friends. I learned at a young age I was different than everyone else.
Honesty was instilled into me at a young age. Righteous action became my raison d’etre.
I knew that I was an imperfect being in an imperfect world, and that this was the secret to perfection.
My mission in this life was to perform the ‘Great Work’. That is a lot of weight to carry, especially at a young age.
I tried to ignore this calling and run from it. The irony is when you run from yourself you eventually run into yourself.
Fast forward to the present day calling into business ownership.
Love and Faith Over Drugs
Trying to fit into society wasn’t an option, despite how hard I wanted people to like and accept me. My imagination was a parallel universe I would escape into to explore ideas, images, art forms, philosophies and so on.
My kindergarten teacher told my mom I needed to be put on Ritalin, and if that didn’t improve my behavior, I would grow up to have no friends.
My mother cried as she hung up the phone that first week of school. She refused to drug me; she believed in me and my spirit. She would not let the institution take the gift that the universe had granted me.
I love you mom, you have no idea the beauty and the beast you would unleash in my potential, and for that, I owe you the world.
Science Meets Artist
Fast forward to the present. I am owner/operator of 7 Hills Brewing Co and I manage multiple departments in our diverse and complex business model.
I was built for this; I utilize my hyper-activity and attention deficit disorder to the best of my ability. I am mad scientist meets glad artist. I am the unification of duality.
Bi-polar to the naked eye, Alchemist to the visionary. My personality allows me to shift constant gears in the healthiest possible environment: a brewpub. Food and drink are my fuel to keep the kinetic energy alive and well. Flavors are the spirit, and taste is my soul.
I am not normal; I am an alien to most. My purpose and mission are one: unify.
Don't Understand Me, Just Watch Me
Disclaimer: I am a paradox.
I do not expect people to understand why I do what I do. I am met with constant resistance. Luckily, my youth prepared me for such an undertaking.
The city of Dubuque was apprehensive to allow us to open 7 Hills Brewing Company; add that to the neighborhood bullies disguised as developers and you get a platter of “you can’t do that”. My response is, and has always been, watch me.
I used to hate being treated this way. Now I use it as fuel for my soul’s fire.
Entrepreneur Isn't About Being Comfortable
I believe in disrupting the system. It is a pre-requisite for evolution.
The only thing that stays the same is change. Most humans seek security so desperately that any type of change throws their world into flux.
Unfortunately, humans put their desires before what is needed. Too many times people keep the status quo in place to stay comfortable.
As an entrepreneur my advice is this: get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Being honest and doing what you think is right is very difficult. You will piss a lot of people off. You will lose friendships even.
This profession is not for the faint of heart. You must be willing to lose everything in this gamble when you keep your eye on the prize. The bigger the risk the bigger the reward they say.
Becoming the God of Our Own Life
I do not believe in chaos. The universe is ordered. This may seem contradictory, but nothing is further from the truth.
Chaos exists, it is the life force, the chi energy that penetrates all matter.
In alchemy we call it the One Thing. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only manipulated through thought, the One Mind.
It is this wisdom that has helped me realize that we manipulate energy, and thus, everything. We become the gods of our own lives. The co-creators of our destiny. It is our intent that determines whether it is good or evil.
I aim to stay positive and keep the balance between wants and needs, between desires and necessities. Balance is the grey space between a black and white world. The grey matter between the One Thing and the One Mind.
Entrepreneurs must exist in this grey space in order to stay relative and on top of their industry. It gets harder and harder every day. To go against the grain, you must be willing to take on pain, the two are intertwined: fear becomes obsolete consequently.
If you seek status quo, by all means, keep doing what you have always done. If you seek growth and can withstand the pain, follow me into the future.
Being Visionary, Delusional and Disrupting
We disrupt the system because we believe in an improved and more efficient way of ‘doing’ things. We see things others can’t.
We walk a fine line between visionary and delusional, trying hard not to lose balance. We do not seek to be a nuisance, although, it comes across as such.
To our friends and family members, we are superheroes. To the public and competition, we are super villains. In the end, what we do is super. That is why we are here.
We stimulate thoughts. We dare to be different; we dare to offend everyone by proxy. I frustrate my management team and staff because I change and disrupt our own systems.
I am not injecting chaos, I am not being manipulative as an outlet to be a jerk, and I am not changing things because I can’t make up my mind. I am changing things because we are evolving and growing.
We are finding better ways to do it. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. We are constantly analyzing the past, projecting into the future, and living in the now.
If you think being a 3 dimensional being is hard, try being a multi-dimensional being (entrepreneur). We are not seeking apologies; we are saying thank you.
Thank you for dealing with us. We are not easy to be around or work for.
My wife is a saint and I will leave it at that. We live inside these vessels, if anyone knows how difficult we can be, it is us.
We only ask one thing in the end: please bear with us.