Success is about more than just how much money you make. You could be racking in the dough but, if you're miserable, what's it all for? In my 25-year career as a chef-turned-restaurateur, I've learned that money and happiness often have nothing to do with each other. Today, I do well financially, but that's not the only way I measure success. I work hard, but I love what I do. That is a gift unto itself.
It’s important to remind yourself why you started your business in the first place—especially when expanding or planning for growth. Want to always love what you do? Keep these five steps in mind to stay pleased with your business.
Be passionate about what you do.
I've been a chef for 25 years and, I can tell you, there are much easier ways to make a living. The job requires constant grinding – seven straight hours in a hot kitchen with constant stress and pressure. It's not glamorous, whatsoever. But, I get a lot of joy from my restaurant, and that keeps me coming back, day after day. If you want to succeed in any sort of business, you have to love the environment you're in.
Show up, no matter what.
There's no whining or crying in the kitchen. It's pretty hard core. You go to work, no matter what. You just show up. That's what it's like to grow any business. You're going to have hard days. Even so, you have to be willing to keep working, even if you're understaffed or your head chef just gave his two week's notice.
Be a good steward of what you've built and what you've earned.
I've been incredibly blessed with my business success. I have an extraordinary life. Every day I try to remember, despite what I have, that I actually own nothing –I am just the steward of all these amazing things. My job is to take care of it all until it's not my turn anymore. Remembering my overall place in the grand scheme of things helps keep my ego in check.
Put relationships first.
Relationships are important. I was introduced to my business partners through a friend. They – and God – have entrusted me with so much. To pay it back, I try to use what I have to help the people around me.
Not every relationship will work out. There are definitely people out there who don't truly want to see you succeed, but it's important to remain open and give second chances. Relationships are at the foundation of any successful business venture.
Learn from past experiences.
For 25 years, I worked in other people's restaurants. No one ever cut me a break in the kitchen. Today, I know there was a reason people were so hard on me. I learned to do the job properly, and with excellence. I'm grateful for all my past mentors who pushed me to be better, even when it was uncomfortable or even downright painful. It's because of those experiences that I am who I am today, and that I now own a business that I love.