Do you love craft beer? Well Jon Baird certainly does, which is why he co-founded I Love Colorado Beer in January. He wanted to give people a behind-the-scenes look at breweries across the state, so he started a podcast, where he features interviews with brewers and brewery owners. (Appropriately named Brewviews.) Jon offers some great insight from the perspective of a new business owner.
An avid homebrewer, Jon developed a deep appreciation for craft beer and wanted to help promote it. He and his friend (now co-founder) Phil Jordan, were sitting at a brewery one day and came up with the idea to interview the people behind the awesome breweries in Colorado.
Jon is a physical therapist full-time, meaning his work for I Love Colorado Beer has to be done outside of normal business hours. Therefore, he enjoys the flexibility of schedule that business ownership offers. Jon also says that it’s gratifying to pay himself directly and see the 1:1 correlation. Most of all, he loves the unique opportunity to sit down with brewery owners and the brewers themselves to learn about beer.
Jon and Phil received amazing response when they started I Love Colorado Beer and are expanding quickly. Although fast growth is a good problem to have, it poses the challenge of keeping up with the Brewview schedule. Jon also notes that running a business is a large time commitment and when you pair it with a full-time job, there’s not a lot of sleep in your cards. Many new business owners worry about other people taking their ideas. However, Jon says that if you are nervous about putting your idea out there, you’ll miss out on opportunities. He adds that “you just have to do it better than them,” your competition.
I Love Colorado Beer is all about strengthening the craft beer community by educating beer lovers about the breweries they frequent. Along with the podcast, the company makes t-shirts and hats so people can express their affection for Colorado’s malty goodness. Breweries have the opportunity to have custom shirts made with their logo, that they can sell on-site. It’s really a win-win situation for all involved.
Jon says that if you believe you have a viable business idea, just go for it. He says, “if you don’t do it, it won’t happen.” In other words, no one is going to hand you your business on a silver spoon. You’ve got to move on the idea first and work diligently. Jon still spends time with his family first and then carves out free time that functionally works to accomplish his work. He notes that it really helps to have a spouse or partners who is supportive of your business.
Despite being new to the business ownership world, Jon has already learned a lot and gotten a taste of entrepreneurship. If you’re a long-time business owner needing inspiration, think back to when you were in his shoes and remember the excitement and passion you had for your business. Or, just sit back, relax and enjoy a listen to one of his podcasts, while you savor a cold Colorado brew.