A little more than a year has passed since The Slate ran its popular online article Bitter Brew – I opened a charming neighborhood coffee shop. Then it destroyed my life by Michael Idov. I read the article again just recently and found that its lessons remain as true today as in 2005. Every prospective coffee business owner should read this article and learn from the author’s mistakes.

The industry continues to see examples of this same scenario replayed over again and again each day by those that failed to heed the warnings that are obvious to those not intoxicated by coffee’s lure.

It’s important that before starting any new venture that you fully understand the demands and risks of a new business. Not everyone is well-suited to own and run their own business – that’s okay – it does not speak any less of you as a person. If you’re thinking of a starting a coffee shop but not sure if it’s right for you, picture yourself entering another industry; starting a restaurant, copy shop, travel agency or something else equally demanding and entirely unrelated. If you can see yourself planning and launching a business in another industry, maybe the entrepreneurial life is for you — if not, ask yourself: “do I want a coffee business or do I just want to hang around in a coffee shop?”