Be a Chef: a Manifesto for Entrepreneurs


Remember the Day You Said Yes to Your Dream?

Chef holding whisk and rolling pinYou hung out your shingle, launched a website and did plenty of other business-starting-activities.

Bet you never said, “I can’t wait to create average, boring, standard work.”

Me either.

The following ideas guide me as an entrepreneur and small business owner. If these principles resonate with you, we’re probably a good fit to work together.

1. Be a Chef, not a cook. Recipes are great, but chefs know how to deviate from the rules in ways that really tap their creativity. In other words, know your box, but think outside of it whenever possible so you can create new masterpieces.

2. Find Your Secret SauceEveryone has a particular blend of talents, passions, gifts and quirkiness that make up their Secret Sauce. Sometimes you discover what’s been there all along. Other times, you cook it up after years of experimentation. It’s a dynamic interaction of your experiences, history and natural abilities. Nurture it!

3. Clarity is power. When you know what your goal is and who you are, you don’t need to hurry the process. Clarity will provide the momentum you need.

4.Think Big and Make a Bigger Pie. You don’t do any of us any good by holding back. You’ll never be remarkable by holding back, either. Go out of your way to think around corners.

5. Share generously. Relationships are everything. In fact, they’re really the ONLY thing that matters. It’s why we’re on this planet — to learn and grow through our relationships with others. (Because we’re all ONE? Probably!)

6. We eat with our eyes first. Make sure your presentation is visually appealing. Your website and other marketing materials are just as important as how you dress and present yourself in person. If you want to attract more people to your party, set a beautiful table.

7. Words are potent, magical ingredients. Use them only for good. Learn everything you can about the power of words and how they help us manifest what we’re after. But never twist the truth or use words to generate fear or other negative emotions.

8. Stories = Food. Feed everyone and be willing to let them feed you. Remember that humans are all about stories — it’s how we learn and grow. Entertaining stories that teach are even better.

9. Collaborate in the Kitchen! Be open and willing to engage with other chefs. The energy and ideas you can create together will be exponentially more exciting than what you can do on your own.

10. Be the hero of your story.  Look for ways to invite passion and creativity to the table. Lean towards the YES.

11. Slow cook your marketing. Just like soup tastes better the next day, your marketing messages, plans and campaigns will always be richer and more effective if you don’t rush them. Your first draft won’t be the best one. And that’s okay!

12. Planning and strategy are your friends. Every great chef plans the meal’s entire menu — she doesn’t just throw a bunch of things together and hope for the best.

A nod to Seth Godin, who has (and continues to) greatly influence my thinking.

an entrepreneur's manifesto be a chefYou can download a free poster (PDF) or get the ebook free when you sign up for my email list.

(Also – This isn’t a static document. Your comments, questions and suggested additions are welcome!)

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