The Guide: Applicable Entrepreneurial Lessons from the Restaurant Industry

Never operate against the competition. Always operate against a standard.

Woman using chopsticksFar too often we become concerned with what the competition is doing, or frustrated from someone else’s success when your own seems to be stuck in traffic. You must remember that another company’s or individual’s path is not your own. Describing the importance of longevity in his own way, I watched entertainer T.I. answer the interview question of if he was ever bitter that some of his peers had achieved success first with  “It’s not who get’s it first, but who has it last.” How many people or business do YOU know that was first to market or the first to achieve a milestone, but 5 years later they were no further than that initial starting point or out of business altogether? This is why measuring yourself against your individual standard of excellence is a great alternative to constantly eyeing the competition.

When you are The various life achievements we seek comes to the dedicated and patient. If built correctly, that success will stand up to time, just like any extremely successful restaurant. Think about the last time you ate at a really great restaurant and all of the time, planning, and effort that went into your dining experience. The visual aesthetics, selection of the menu, amongst a laundry list of other things that were carefully put together. It take that kind of fastidious effort to get to where you want to go in any industry or career.

Strive for $0 Advertising

Woman diningWhat was the last sit-in restaurant commercial you’ve seen? Odds are, they offered some kind of discount or special as well didn’t they? Now think about the last time you’ve seen a restaurant like Iron Chef Michael Symon’s “Lola’s” in Cleveland or Chef Stephanie Izard’s “The Girl and the Goat” in Chicago during a primetime TV commercial break, or for that matter, at all.  It’s because they have had the patience to craft their restaurants based off of a standard that they’ve been able to diligently uphold from day one. They have no need to do heavy advertising, because people seek out the best because it’s the best, not because some advertisement told them so.

The same can be said of your personal path. Constantly trying to convince people about how great your work is, or how great your business is doesn’t make you desirable. In fact your efforts amount to little more than a perpetual job interview. Concentrate on the merit of what you have to offer and eventually the legwork of making your presence known will take care of itself.  For all of you math buffs, think of it like the concept of limits in calculus, where in this case, the closer you get to $0 or effort spent on advertising, the more your products/services are being sought out by sheer excellence of your work.

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