I’ve had an eventful life with many high points and many low points. As have most of us. The reason I decided to start this blog is so that I could share my journey with other entrepreneurs. It was a selfish decision really. After many personal hardships that happened simultaneously with many of my biggest career decisions, I realized something important. Although I value my personal life above my career, financial stability helps with happiness. I think it’s empowering to be self-reliant, to not need anyone for anything other than who they are and not what they have to give. Hopefully that helps with my personal life, because it filters whether the people in your life are in it for the right reasons. Do you love the people or what they have? You never know how quickly life can change. That’s why it’s important to me that I be self-reliant. My career provides me with opportunities that never came easily. I know there are other people out there just like me. I’ve met countless business owners of big and small business; it doesn’t seem to matter- we all have something in common. Business owners feel like no one understands them. I think people do understand, but one thing is certain- they don’t help or care to listen because they can’t relate to you and it’s not their problem.
I designed the logo for FoodBizMentor.com and I chose a phoenix as the focal point. I believe that anyone that decides to take the risk and become a business owner needs to be resilient. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Many of us started a company because we felt that we could do more, that we were being undervalued or set aside for bigger opportunities. When we felt our lowest and the frustration of stagnation, we decided to take it into our own hands. We fell, we worked hard, came up with and idea and made it happen. That’s why we get the opportunity of re-inventing ourselves, of strengthening our character, and of soaring with no one telling us we can’t. Well, I guess people do tell us that we can’t, but we don’t have to listen to them. We don’t need them. We’re independents.
The chef entrepreneur is its own breed of entrepreneur. Chefs by nature need to depend on others. Chefs need to be team players, we need to trust, and we have been trained under an important brigade system that we know is dangerous to disrupt. Many business owners can start their businesses on their own. In food businesses, we need a team every step of the way. We can’t do it without other people because we have an intricate service to provide. I think most food businesses fail in the first year or two because they aren’t led by chef. Chefs understand how lead a kitchen team, we understand the quality of food that you need to sell, we understand purchasing and what good food really is. It’s embarrassing for a chef to deviate from what they know is the standard. It’s much easier for someone who owns a restaurant and is not a chef to make justifications for lowering quality. Those justifications will lead to failure because the standard will fall, and customers know better. So, if you’re not a chef and would like to open a restaurant- find one to be your partner or your right hand. You need someone who understands the dynamic and the world of the kitchen. It’s much different than the world you come from.
Chefs understand that we can’t work in the kitchen forever. Being a chef is a physically difficult job that is also mentally challenging. We deal with stress, vulnerability, and unknown crazy problems daily. When a chef becomes a business owner, we add an entire other list of difficulties to an already difficult job. We’re well prepared though, because we deal stress and push through without complaining, it never matters how much work it takes as long as we make it happen. Therefore, I chose the phoenix as the symbol for the chef food business mentor. We are fire, we burn with passion for what we do, we fall, and we rise with beauty.