How Being A Business Owner Has Made Me a Teetotaler

“I wasn’t always a homebody,” I think to myself quietly.

Somewhere along the way from the Thursday night party to Sunday brunch weekends in my 20s to the catching up on reading and pancakes at home of my early 30s, my chill levels have reached peak “Nah.”

I can actually pinpoint the tipping point in my mid-20s with the unexpected death of my closest friend, who was also the one person who could always get me to go out. Crushed by grief, I sought quiet and calm away from the club scene I enjoyed post-undergrad.

However, I was still the person who gravitated to the open bar, ticket in hand, at networking events. Safe with my hand enveloping a sweating glass of Chardonnay, I could navigate a room of strangers under the influence of a few sips, thinking that my charm grew with every glass. To clarify, I don’t subscribe to public drunkenness but I did appreciate the soft glow of two glasses – three if I was being naughty.

In 2016, as I started getting serious about launching my business, I became more purposeful about my social interactions. I eschewed drinks at after-work meetups in favor of unsweetened ice tea (a sin to many Southerners but I actually like it) or water. The clearer my mind was over conversations about what it would look like to go solo, the more clarity I began to receive about what direction I wanted to go toward. If I needed to catch up with non-work friends, I nearly always suggested meeting up for a fitness class followed by food. At most, I would order one drink and nurse it over hours-long discussions.

Reflecting a decade back, alcohol was such a regular part of socializing that I never considered what it would look like to be a completely sober participant: more cognizant of social cues, more apt to listen than to talk, and less likely to eat dinner and veg out after social engagements. Plus, I’m a cheaper date nowadays 🙂



I’d love to hear from other solo business owners and entrepreneurs about how their social drinking habits changed, for better or worse (or not at all), when they started their business.




2 Replies to “How Being A Business Owner Has Made Me a Teetotaler”

  1. Veleisa, this is such an important post, sharing. I used to keep up with the boys in the newsroom chugging beer, then my girlfriends in public relations who networked at wine bars. It’s easy in your 20s, isn’t it? I eventually wised up about the expense, drinking my calories, and the increasingly negative impact in subtle ways on my health and clear thinking. I ended up mostly on the wagon and it’s improved my life. I’ll have a single cocktail a half dozen times a year, and it’s a deliberate, mindful choice. I don’t care what others do. But I do care how society pushes people – especially women – to imbibe because of their social insecurities. Shouldn’t this alone be a personal wakeup call?

  2. PS – If that adorable Boxer doggie in the blanket is yours, I’m even more smitten. I’m a devoted Boxer owner and have two right now. I’d MUCH rather stay home with both of them on the couch. My version of Netflix and chill. BTW, coral is DEFINITELY your color.

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