Tag Archives: business

Learn To Audit Yourself, Just Do You

I’ve been following @GaryVee for awhile now. Great guy. Lot of energy. A great role model in some respects and not in others. A wonderful “virtual mentor”.

I just watched a video of him talking to a group of students at a USC entrepreneur class. He started of by saying that he believes 100%, with no hedge, that you can’t teach someone to be an entrepreneur.

His best piece of advice…

Audit Who You Are

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can be something that you can’t. Be you. Just do you. Bet on your strengths. Don’t worry at all about your weaknesses.

He goes on to talk about how he had a huge advantage because he was born in Belarus and was poor growing up in the U.S. He had it rough and he honestly believes most people are just too soft to compete with him. This is an honest truth we all need to accept.

Nothing more important then starting right now. Yesterday is always the best day to start.

True entrepreneurs work 16 hour days. True entrepreneurs go and get it done. True entrepreneurs execute the idea. True entrepreneurs hire out their weaknesses.

At the end of the day you just need to do you. Know yourself. What are your strengths? Ask yourself that every day. Be brutally honest. What are your strengths? Don’t just think about what they are. Write them down. Then stare at the page and ask yourself again. Ask your friends, family, colleagues what your strengths are. Maybe you are missing some strength cause it is so easy for you to do it, but that same strength is hard and doesn’t come naturally to a lot of other people. Maybe you are blind to it. Maybe you wrote something down that you think is a strength but most people would see it as a weakness.

Keep doing that. Think, Write, Get Feedback, Meditate, Repeat.

Don’t underestimate speed. Speed is a huge competitive advantage. Speed goes along with the idea of starting yesterday. Stay ahead of the game.

All that matters is the attention graph. All platforms will be media companies. Be a thought leader. Not a thought follower. Be on top of everything. Out work everyone. Don’t call yourself an expert. Just be the expert.

Your grandmother is on facebook now. What is next. Look at what companies Facebook is buying… Instagram, Snapchat, stay ahead of the game…

Fastest growth on Instagram is 40-50 year old women taking #selfies. No joke.

Keep asking, what is next, and be there…

Posted in Business Advice, Career Advice, Entrepreneur, Marketing & Sales, Technology, Work Advice | Also tagged , Comments Off on Learn To Audit Yourself, Just Do You

There is No Business Like Food Business

Right right I know there is no business like show business, but show business and food go hand in hand. Just look at all the reality shows based off of food and restaurants and now everyone is a celebrity chef.

It is a very interesting crossroads at my life right now. In the past month I have decided to help a friend open a restaurant and within a short time after that (in the spring when it is warm) send a food truck out into the big world. I am doing what I do best, and that is researching like crazy how to get both of them off the ground and flying efficiently as possible.

Think about all the rules and regulations you have to follow for starting a business. All the tax, banking, insurance, accounting and other business related things. Then add all the extra stuff the food industry requires such as food and drink licensing, food safety training, food storage, and other food related things. Now try to start a restaurant and a food truck almost simultaneously. Could I have picked a harder option?

It will certainly be one big learning experience no matter what happens, but with all the up front preparation and investment I think it will be hard for it to fail.

For one, vendors are very accommodating because their business is competitive too and they want your business no matter what it costs them. It is a good environment to make a win-win situation for both parties involved. Besides commercial kitchen equipment everything is readily available at a good price. You can always buy food for retail at a grocery store in a pinch. Even kitchen equipment is a one time buy in which you can spend time searching for the right piece at the right price.

The markup on food is huge and it has to be. Most of your costs revolve around employee wages and food costs. The combined total of these two things are called the Prime Cost and should not exceed 70% of total revenue. They should average between 62-68% of total revenue. Rent costs are the next biggest and should not cost more than 8% with an average of 6-7% considered normal. If you own the building then this includes the taxes, insurance, etc.

I stumbled across this article entitled 10 Restaurant Financial Red Flags that has some helpful information when it comes to analyzing a restaurant’s financials.

In spending time on research I keep coming across random but fun and interesting things about food. Here are a few…

How many times can I reuse fry oil? – I thought it had to be replaced every day, but evidently not. Lots of cool science here.

Induction Cooking: Induction Cookware – I kind of knew about this already but discovering the specifics was fun. I also learned about 18/10 stainless steel here.

Have you heard of the Quesarito??? Neither did I till I read this.

Apparently Lodge makes the best Cast iron Skillet and All Clad makes the best overall cookware for the price. All Clad also happens to be in my backyard of Canonsburg, PA.

Finally I leave you with this inspiring video from the National Restaurant Association…

Posted in Business Advice, Entrepreneur, Food/Cooking | Also tagged Comments Off on There is No Business Like Food Business

More Businesses Should Innovate Like China

This may offend some people, but I don’t know how important intellectual property is these days. Or even if it ever was that important…

You invent a product, design, process, etc. and spend a lot of time and money getting it patented. Then you make a few bucks on it, and if it is even remotely successful, you have to spend a whole lot more time and money to protect your patent.

Meanwhile, people who make and market a slightly different product are making a killing without all the extra costs. They are producing it faster and cheaper then you ever could. It’s the continuing story of business everywhere… “Inventors make the product, Distributors make the the profit.” Just think of Amazon or Ebay…

This story is really playing out in China…

I just read an article over @ Sovereign Man entitled “Can Your IPhone Do This?“. It talks about how China continues to take technology and make it better….

Direct Quote: “This is a central theme among Asia’s technology developers. They start with a basic idea (like supercomputers, military aircraft, or mobile phones), analyze what the foreign companies are doing well, figure out how to make it better, and eliminate any dependency on western suppliers.”

Some of the best products are made from people who don’t care about gaining a patent and maximizing the profit they can ring out of it. Think Open Office, the free option that replaces Microsoft Office…

If you have a business that innovates you should definitely be watching the news on China and take some pointers from them. Whether you like it or not, the profits will flow to those who keep producing. Not those who rest on their laurels…

Posted in Business Advice, China, Economics, Marketing & Sales, Technology | Also tagged , , , Comments Off on More Businesses Should Innovate Like China

Information Overload Will Kill Your Business

I have to admit I am an information junkie. I love to read anything and everything. A lot of it ends up being entertainment, a lot of it is worthless, and perhaps less than 1% is useful.

I just read an article called “Why I Threw Away Thousands of Dollars of Information Products

Bud’s main point in the article is that information overload breeds inaction.

He couldn’t be more right…

You see I’ve spent a lot of time reading anything I could get my hands on about business… and economics… and psychology… and investing… and this… and that… and …. It gets tiresome after awhile. And after a bit it becomes a pointless waste of time when you think about how much of that information I am actually making use of.

“Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” – Albert Einstein

I think I may be reaching that certain age… Some of what I read sounds exactly like what I have already read in the past… This is why I believe reading the classics will always be best…

The best thing for any business or person to do is to find what works and stick with it. Pursue it relentlessly. When it stops working find what else will work in it’s place. This is where you will search for new information, but once you find it, you just continue to execute and create until the cows come home.

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. ” – Gertrude Stein

Posted in Business Advice, Economics, Reading Well | Also tagged , 1 Comment

The Yin & Yang of Business Success

There is the Tao, which is the way…

It is the way of everything, and yin and yang constitute it.

All things in life move and mesh and complement each other…

There is pushing and shoving, there is accepting and taking…

This philosophy has served me well in life and I continue to think about how this applies to business.

The older I get, and the more I look at success in the world, the more I realize that successful people are two things. They are either lucky, or very insightful to the inner workings of the world, or both…

Take Mark Zuckerberg for instance.

In any other day and age, Facebook wouldn’t exist, and who knows what Mark would be doing.

Mark didn’t make Facebook happen. The people that helped him form his idea didn’t make it happen. The people that helped him start the company didn’t make it happened.

It happened because of everyone. It happened because history was taking us in that direction whether we wanted it to or not. It happened because, if I may utter the word, it was destined to happen.

A lot of things are this way, and I might argue that everything is this way.

It is worthwhile to pay attention to the way things are headed. This is where you can meet with success.

If I may use the analogy. You can either walk beside the river or jump into it. Preferably with a boat of some sort.

Mark jumped into the river, survived Niagara Falls, crossed the ocean, and emerged on the other side a success.

It is up to you to realize that the stream moves faster then you can walk or run. And it’s up to you to find or make your boat.

This is an exercise in thinking about what success is. It is food for thought.

There are no secrets to success. Only people who observed and practiced success, or the lucky ones who fell into the river and survived.

What do you think makes success? I would love to hear your ideas.

Posted in Business Advice, Minimalism, Philosophy | Also tagged , , 1 Comment