Read Book Proposal Books again and re-write and add to much of this for month of June. For June and July finish the 5th Edit and, as I read EACH chapter from first to last I write the summary of that chapter, 1-2 paragraphs for each summarizing EVERYTHING in there.
- Mission Statement
My mission statement as a speaker and instructor is the following Trademarked motto: “Inspired Learning Through Cohesive Education™.
The mission statement for the book itself is: To provide the potential restaurateur with all of the tools, knowledge, ideas and experience they need in order to successfully open, manage, market and grow their own restaurant enterprise.
- Promotion and Competition
- Marketing Plan
I plan to use targeted ads in niche markets by placing advertising in trade journals and magazines. Entrepreneur magazine has many issues devoted to franchising I would love to place small ads for the book in. Among other magazines I will advertise this book in is Success Magazine; Trade journals such as The Nation’s Restaurant News provide us with a window of opportunity to reach readers that are already interested in opening restaurants. Restaurant-centric magazines such as Los Angeles magazine also require small ads to reach my ideal clientele. I plan to get small ads in the classified section of the New York Times and LA Times.
- The Chapter Outline
Table of Contents
- Seven reasons why I wrote this book (put briefly inside part of the introduction as a nice narrative; this does not necessarily have to be a chapter
- The Moment Where Everything Changed (likely the first chapter or the prologue). The story starts with a lot of action, and not necessarily having to do with restaurant marketing. This makes it fun to read and an exciting way to start the book.
- Which Came First, the Chicken or the Garlic? This chapter deals with the humble beginnings of Zankou Chicken in Beirut, Lebanon, and how it grew to become the American business with ethnically diverse variety of fans and customers it is today.
- Hollywood in 1984. This chapter looks back at the wonderful year of 1984 and what our pop culture looked like that year. This year is important to the history of Zankou Chicken because we opened our first American branch that year on the corner of Sunset and Normandie in the heart of old Hollywood.
- O Lord Give Us This Day our Daily Pita . This chapter looks at the sanctity of food in general and its importance in our daily lives. It looks at the rich history of Mediterranean food in particular and how it’s evolved over the years. This chapter illustrates in great detail the variations within what is considered the healthy “Mediterranean” diet and what it consists of.
- Zankou’s Famous Chicken is a Triumph of Technique: Interview with Abel Uribe. This chapter looks at why how you cook the food is as important as what the food is comprised of. It talks about running and managing a restaurant since we interview someone that has managed restaurants for years. This chapter shows what managing and running a restaurant entails.
- How It’s Made: Your Passport to Fresh Mediterranean Flavor . Here we talk strictly about the food. Nothing is more important than the food, so in this chapter we speak of how we take our time marinating and spicing the food. A lot of what we used for this chapter ended up as descriptions for the food on our web site zankouchicken.com
- Teams- Not Money- Make the World Go Round: How to Hire and Keep the Best Employees [add and read book for TIPS to motivate employees section of this chapter]. This chapter talks about the real secret that is in the sauce: teamwork. Nothing gets done in the restaurant business without a powerful team working hard behind the scenes.
- Writing the Business Plan (make sure it’s a bit more detailed before publication). This chapter is important for people to read before they open a restaurant. It will help them write their business plans and (hopefully) get the funding they need from banks or private lenders.
- Mission Statement and Vision Statement. This chapter helps people come up with their own mission statement and vision statement. This is very important because it sets them up for success in the future.
- The Importance of Food Safety. Food safety is very important. This chapter points out the detailed facts people need to know such as the safe cooking temperatures for beef and chicken, how to avoid harmful bacteria growth, and other important food safety facts. We researched the governments’ web site and many other places to neatly and carefully put all of this information in once place.
- To Franchise or Not to Franchise with Anthony Le. This is an interview with someone that owns branches of the Robek’s Juice franchise. It’s an insightful chapter that talks about why you should (or shouldn’t) consider franchising as an opportunity.
- 10 Ways to Throw a Great Grand Opening (add 2-3 more ways and change the name to 12) . Here we list useful ideas on organizing a grand opening. Everyone dreams of throwing an opening with glitz and glamour, but you have to do your homework if you want it to succeed.
- The Different Pricing Strategies Explained (Re-Write Chapter as an Easy to read narrative). This chapter talks about the various methods businesses use for pricing strategy. It is not limited to the restaurant industry. Any business can and does use one or more of these methods.
- The 9 Questions that Help Determine Price Strategy. This chapter is different from the previous in that it lists helpful hints and advice for any pricing strategy. These are things people should consider before pricing their items.
- Organizing and Creating Menus. This chapter speaks in great detail about creating and showcasing a beautiful menu. There is nothing more important as a marketing tool inside a restaurant than having a beautiful (and useful) menu board.
- The 12 Methods that help Reduce Ordering Errors. When customers get their orders wrong and they are hungry, they tend to get very angry. This chapter looks at all the ways we can prevent this from happening.
- How We Do it at Zankou Chicken: The “Zankou Difference”. Any restaurant should point out what makes them different than the rest. We use this chapter to illustrate what makes us different.
- SWOT Analysis: A Case Study. A SWOT analysis is something a business does before having a huge change in strategy or releasing a new product line. This chapter shows them how to do this.
- The Pros and Cons of Delivery (add statistics on insurance and injuries). Offering delivery services is not without its pitfalls. This chapter looks at the pluses and minuses of such a decision, and shows how to carefully weigh all the facts before making any decision.
- Having a Legacy Business. It’s one thing to have a working restaurant; it’s something else to have a legacy This chapter shows us in the middle of a transition from slow growth to becoming a fast-growth enterprise we wish to be. It’s inspired reading for any entrepreneur.
- Creating an Amazing Web Site: Interview with Maxine Torosian. Creating a web site is usually timely, costly, and extremely difficult. It doesn’t have to be. This chapter shows how anyone with a small budget can be creative and make a truly excellent web site for their business.
- Ideas on How to Make your Existing Web Site Better (talk a bit more about how it can always get better). For those that already have a web site, this chapter shows how to make it better.
- How To Create a Great FAQ Section. The FAQ section is important because it helps us avoid redundant and repeated questions.
- The Yin and Yang of Yelp. This chapter begins to tell the story of Yelp. Yelp is a very important web site for restaurant and this book goes into grater detail than any other about the intricacies of Yelp.
- Yelp Analytics . It’s not enough to know the story of Yelp. You should also be aware of some analytics and how to effectively use Yelp and this chapter shows you how.
- Yelp Talk: What Makes us want to Review: The Addictive Psychology Behind leaving Reviews. This is a very interesting chapter that goes deeper into why humans behave in certain ways. For example, why do we love to review restaurants? There are thousands of people that want to know more about Yelp: for example they want to know how to market well on this platform, how to respond to customer complaints…etc. This section answers their questions and allays their concerns.
- The Elite Squad: Yelp’s Secret Army of Social Butterflies . The Elite Squad is Yelp’s Secret Service. They are the secret to their success. This chapter blows the lid on this secretive society and includes tips on how to get in, how to rise up the ranks, and even how to possibly join Yelp as a full time community supervisor.
- The Secret to Exponential Growth. It’s one thing to grow as a business; it’s something else entirely if you wish to grow exponentially. This chapter talks about the missing ingredient that helps make that happen: teamwork.
- Why the Customer is King. The customer is the center of our universe. Here we talk about why that is. This chapter takes the customer-centric approach to marketing and provides insight about the importance of treating our customers well.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This technology helps us keep in touch with customers, use analytics to figure out who they are, and shows how to keep numbers organized to figure out how much they spend. This chapter talks about how to get and keep the best customers, something every restaurateur should know how to do.
Manuscript Part II
- The Customer is Not Always Right: What to do when things go wrong.
In this chapter we talk about the benefits of firing the worst customers. Here we examine what’s known as the 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle, an often overlooked method of thinning the ranks so we can focus better on our prime customers.
- The New Product Lifecycle (add an original graphics from Dreamentia)
Everything that goes up must also come down. But is that always so? Here we look at a few things we can do to assure a new product launch, and we study the different stages it must go through in its lifecycle.
- Ethics in Marketing: How to Effectively Market (add a few guidelines from the American marketing Association)
It is not enough to do effective marketing. We must also follow some basic ethical and moral guidelines if we are to succeed with our spirit intact. This chapter covers some specific examples, such as refusing gifts, supporting all the claims made in your advertising, and being careful with the words we use in our print ads. It’s a timely chapter, especially nowadays when so many food companies and restaurants are marketing unethically. They advertise delicious food but serve microwaved junk. This chapter will certainly not alleviate all these problems, but it will provide timely advice that’s easy to follow for anyone in our field.
- The Definition of Marketing
This chapter looks at the American Marketing Association’s definition of marketing, as well as my own take on it. We talk about the 4 P’s of marketing and much more.
- The Power of Reciprocity
Reciprocity is concerned with the idea that whatever we put in people, we can expect back. It’s like the old scripture says, whatever we sow we will surely reap. This chapter examines the mechanics of Reciprocity, specifically relating to the restaurant space.
- Strategic Marketing with Vartkes Iskenderian
This interesting chapter looks at the lifetime value of customers, perceived value in their experience with your brand, social conformity, and cognitive dissonance. These are all $400 words but the basic premise of the chapter is very simple: how to attract and keep the best customers for life.
- 22 Ways to Increase Restaurant Sales
Many of these are basic, but they are all essential toward any effective marketing campaign. Examples include using radio ads effectively, Yelp, upselling existing customers, adding a drive-through, and creating amazing-looking menus.
- 12 Tips on How to Increase Satisfaction in the Restaurant Industry
This chapter looks at different, down to earth ways we can increase the happiness of the customers we have. Most people know that it costs a lot more to get new customers than to keep existing customers, and this chapter intends on helping you do that.
- Are Coupons Good for Business?
This chapter looks at businesses like Groupon and asks an important question: Do coupons hurt your business in the long term?
- Radio Advertising 101 with Bill McBee
- The Importance Brand Positioning
- Is Great Leadership Just Another Marketing Role?
- Leadership Lessons from the Indian Tea and Chinese Steamed Buns
(make sure this article doesn’t copy too much from HBR for copyright purposes) Replace this with how to motivate employees.
- The 12 Characteristics of Great Managers with Ara Iskenderian (make this 21 and add a few characteristics from different articles and re-write them)
- The 12 Different Styles of Leadership (add some nice graphics, one for each style)
- The 12.5 S’s of Leadership: How to be a Super Leader
- The Business of Leadership: Chapter from Brian Tracy’s Success Today [make sure it is the latest edition from May, include name of this book]
- Maximum Wage for Minimum Skill
- Dikran Iskenderian Interview (rename this chapter for 4th Edit) Re-organize chapters for the 4th edit after a full read-through and place this chapter in the first 5 chapters of book.
- The Scorpion and the Frog
- Locations, Landlords and Lawyers [Lease Doctor Chapter to follow]
- The Lease Doctor: Fixing Broken Leases
- The Art of Negotiation with Jack Nasher
- Risk Management: Interview with Dennis Healy
- Let Them Eat Cake: Interview with Damon Wallace and Sevada Markosyan
- Morgan’s in The Desert: What Makes a Leading Waldorf Astoria Restaurant Tick? Interview with John Healy
On the Los Angeles Times articles and other media/ the best things they say about us. Remove the old / negative workers strike article instead put the very BEST of what people say about us from all the menus and our web site.
I can use their logos (fair use) as I am only quoting them.
This is a great way to show people how they can do it too and how third party praise is special.
Appendix A: Yelp FAQ
Appendix B: The Los Angeles Times Article
Appendix C: Complying with ADA—Americans with Disabilities Act
Appendix D: Sample Work-For-Hire Agreement
Appendix E: Sample Copyright Agreement for Web Site Development
Appendix F: Sample Copyright Release Form (not a real chapter can go in the appendix)
Appendix G: Provide an Example of a simple Employment Form Application
Appendix H: Link to Los Angeles Magazine Article by Mark Arax
Appendix I: The LA Times quotes and other 3rd party praise.
Conclusion: Write a New Conclusion for the 4th Edit
About Dikran (from Brian Tracy Book) update this for book on 4th Edit
Introduction (Query Letter)
Every year, thousand of families and individuals embark on a journey to open a new restaurant. The quest to start and run a successful restaurant enterprise is one, which can be gruesome: the odds are stacked against you. Every year, anywhere from 40-60% (depending on who you ask) of these people fail within 3 years. What is the secret formula to follow to ensure success? Some experts say your chances of succeeding are better if you open a franchise, since that is a proven method. Others say to avoid franchising altogether since you would be bound by contracts that are so strict some would call it enslavement.
Who are we to listen to? I wanted to write a book about this topic to help these people. I began this adventure about 5 years ago, in 2011 after I finished my certification in marketing from UCLA. I am a voracious reader, yet I never stumbled upon a book that can help people not just open and run a successful restaurant, but also teach them how to effectively market themselves and deal with all the problems and issues typically arise.
This book is the first of its kind. It is the only book on the market written directly from an insider: someone that owns, runs, and markets a restaurant. I researched these topics extensively for 4 years and wrote this book as a gift to all the authors that helped me along the way all these years. It is my way of giving back to the universe and to the literary world that has given me so much and has enriched my life. I can say for certain that my life would not have been as rich were it not for all the books that made a positive impact in my life. This book will help you avoid the mistakes I have made in my 25 years in this business. We work in an extensively competitive, shark-eat shark environment in the restaurant industry. Consider the numbers:
The National Restaurant Association estimates that there are 245,885 quick-service restaurants in the USA. There are 224,560 sit-down restaurants (with waiting staff), bringing the total to 470,445 locations. About 42,000 new restaurants open each year. Taking this into account, we have over half a million potential buyers for this book annually. This does not take into account the thousands of times each year restaurants do not open but change ownership; this new management is hungry for knowledge about how to succeed in the restaurant space.
There were 4,442 more restaurants in the U.S. in the fall of 2012 than there were in the fall of 2011, according to a recent census conducted by The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The total number of U.S. restaurants is now estimated at over 1 million. The restaurant industry employs over 14 million restaurant employees. Over 1.7 million people start working in this industry anew each year. A study by the National Restaurant Association showed that 9 out of 10 restaurant managers start at the entry level. 8 out of 10 restaurant owners started their career in entry-level positions. These are all people that would love to buy my book.
Researchers at Cornell University and Michigan State conducted a study. They looked at various restaurants in local markets over a 10-year period. They discovered the following:
- Within the first year of opening, 27% of new restaurants failed.
- Within three years, 50% of the new restaurants failed.
- Within five years, 60% of the new restaurants failed.
- Within ten years, 70% of the new restaurants failed.
Until now, people simply assumed restaurant failure rates are the way it’s supposed to be. But it doesn’t have to be this way. These failure rates are dismal because most people don’t do their homework and open their restaurants without enough hard work, the research, or the team that is necessary in order to succeed. This book will fulfill the role of being the one book in the marketplace that can help these people. No one has ever written a book exactly like that. The emotional, psychological, and financial turmoil suffered by these people every year can be avoided.
According to the National Restaurant Association, approximately $710 billion is generated every year from restaurant industry sales. Restaurants gross a combined average of about $2 billion per day. Our industry employs over 14 million people, making up 10% of the total workforce in the United States. Many of these 14 million employees and managers hope to open a new restaurant every year, and they are the ones that make up the large number of new establishments that open annually.
In addition to this, the Food Network has made restaurants famous with shows like Restaurant Impossible and is credited with starting the “celebrity chef” phenomenon. In 2013 the Food Network was watched in an estimated 99 million (approximately 75% of) US households.
My book is unique because it will teach you almost everything I know. I have gone through great lengths to summarize the best knowledge available in this field, by interviewing all the professionals. I have asked them questions no one dared ask them; I got close to them because I wanted to know and I wanted to learn and grow, not just for this book but also as an individual.
Not long ago I was featured on a Food Network segment titled “The Best of Garlic“, which has been viewed by millions of Americans on TV and has been viewed over 65,000 times on YouTube. That video can be seen here
I still get stopped and asked about my appearance on that show all the time. It was so much fun to do that I look forward to being on that network again, and possibly being in the next Zankou commercial as well. We made one here
And while I have had my fun with all the people I’ve met in the process of writing this book, my greatest reward will be to know I have made a positive impact in your life.
For those that do not know me, I am co-owner of a famous rotisserie chicken chain here in Southern California called Zankou Chicken. My name is Dikran Iskenderian, nice to meet you. My name is very Armenian, since that was my great grandfather’s name. It was also the name of our greatest King, King Tigran the Great, who made the Armenian Empire stretch from western Turkey to Cyprus to Syria a century before Christ. My father always used to say our lands started shrinking when we stopped making weapons and started making churches. Armenians were the first nation to accept Christianity as a state religion in the early 4th century.
Back to the book: this adventure took me to many places I had not imagined, helping me learn so much about the topics I had not thought much of before. I started with a clean slate, asking myself a simple question: “If I wanted to open a new restaurant and had no experience, what would I want to know?” The answers kept flowing into my mind.
For one, I would love to know what kind of restaurant I should open. Next I would want to know where I should open it. Naturally after that I would love to know how do I find the right location once I know where to open, for example, where would I look specifically to find the right location. As you know, location is extremely important in this business. It can make or break you. I would love to know what’s the difference between a regular restaurant and a catering business.
I would love to learn how to negotiate terms better with landlords and distributors. I would love if someone taught me about the correct marketing methods, ROI, how to come up with a great mission statement, whom I should hire and whom I should fire, how to form the right team, and whether or not I should franchise. I would want to know all the positives and negatives of different ownership styles. I would want to know the different styles of leadership and how I should behave around my employees.
If you purchased this book I want to say: congratulations, because you are holding the only book available that will answer all of these questions and more. I worked hard to make this book fun to read, educational, and immensely informative for you. My ultimate goal is to follow my dreams and become an instructor, where I can teach this material to everyone all across this great country and the world.
Thank you for the opportunity to meet you. If you bought this book please visit my web site and insert the code to get my other book, Success Today, for free. It is my gift to you for joining my family. There you can join my email list and we will keep in touch, where I will be answering many reader’s questions on social media and email.
I look forward to working with you. God bless you and thank you for buying my book.
The Business of Leadership
THE BUSINESS OF LEADERSHIP
THE BUSINESS OF LEADERSHIP
BY DIKRAN ISKENDERIAN
Some leaders are born and some are made. We all have God-given talents and abilities. However, if we really want to become awe- inspiring leaders, we must constantly study leadership by reading books about it and attending seminars. We must become what we study and lead by example, not just by words. As one of the leaders of my family’s chain of restaurants, I am always studying the best books I can find on a variety of topics.
Some of the most memorable leaders throughout history have been transformational leaders, like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. They had a profound impact on history. The principles they taught have endured long after their death. Their lives were so meaningful that they changed peoples’ entire worldview. Not everyone can be a transformational leader. That’s why it’s important for aspiring leaders to evaluate their skills and see what kind of leader they are best suited to be.
There’s a difference between being a leader and being a manager. All good leaders and managers treat their employees well. They pay them better than the competition and give them opportunities for growth. The best team members are those that smile naturally and have a great personality. These are important traits because personality can’t be taught. If someone is not smiling or they’re constantly bitter, you can’t change that. As long as people are intrinsically positive, they’ll make great employees. Every good leader and manager should constantly strive to make people better by always training them. This is why it’s important for leaders to never stop learning.
Management implements what the leadership plans. Managers are like car mechanics who make sure the car is running smoothly—that the oil is right, the temperature’s right. For example, a restaurant manager’s job includes:
- Maintaining great food quality
2) Providing excellent customer service
3) Making sure employees are treated with professionalism
Good managers can help reduce overtime while simultaneously assuring people are paid fair wages. Leaders are responsible for hiring the right kind of people and writing the company’s Vision and Mission Statements, outlining clear goals and communicating them with the team, and dealing with rapid changes in the environment.
Good business leaders focus relentlessly on the customer. Leaders should always be learning, taking classes and making the most of their God-given talents. Managers, employees and customers can’t do that for us.
The managers, in turn, should watch out for the business as if it’s their own. Success for them should be the company’s growth. If they see the company has the potential to grow and they communicate that to the leadership and help them create that growth, that’s the definition of success for them. Managers want to make more money, too, but how can business owners pay them more if the business is not growing and making more money?
It’s best to shift most of your time and energy on serving your best customers. There’s a saying that 20 percent of your customers often provide 80 percent of the value to your business. It’s called the Pareto Principle. In the restaurant business it’s more like the “99-1 rule.” That is, 99 percent of customers are awesome, but you always have the worst 1 percent who constantly seem to be complaining. You have to fire the worst 1 percent of your customers. They are the ones who destroy employee morale and slow down service for everyone else.
I am probably more of a conceptual, artistic kind of leader. The restaurant business often tends to be modeled on the military style of leadership. And, just like the military, there is a very well organized hierarchy of positions. There are rigid rules and procedures, methods and protocol that must be followed. Being creative doesn’t come easily in this kind of environment.
Following mundane rules is a responsibility for management, not leadership. Leadership has more to do with vision and entrepreneurship— starting and shepherding new businesses and creating new industries that did not exist before.
Cirque de Soleil is a good example. This Canadian company came in with the revolutionary idea of wanting to launch a circus without animals. At first, people couldn’t understand how anyone could run a circus without animals. At the time, it didn’t make sense. But Cirque de Soleil quickly became one of the top entertainment companies in the world. Its owners became billionaires by asking a simple question: What are the worst parts of a circus?
Many circuses were abusing animals, so animals were taken out of the equation. Instead of animals, live music with staged acrobatics, grandiose costumes, mystery and magic were brought in. That’s what people wanted to see, and the extraordinary success of Cirque de Soleil shows that the public supports and loves the concept behind any business that operates with integrity.
There’s a book that I highly recommend, written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne called Blue Ocean Strategy. Their concept looks at what customers want and gives it to them by creating a new industry instead of competing with existing businesses. By creating a brand new niche it destroys the competition because it doesn’t even have direct competition. This book teaches you to come up with a concept, do your research, put together the best team you can to implement the idea and get out of the way.
Suppose that I have an idea for a new kind of nail salon. In doing the research for it, I ask women what they hate the most about nail salons. It turns out that a lot of them don’t like the fumes. They also don’t like the fact that many of the employees in nail salons can’t speak English. They hate the fact that the seats in nail salons aren’t very comfortable. “I wish there were wide-screen TVs,” some of the women say. “I wish I could get a nice cocktail.” Others want comfortable sofa-like seats that give massages. A few even want private rooms in order to host a special event for their best friends.
I also ask what they would want more of and I get responses like: “extended hours,” “dead skin fish treatment,” “friendly and attentive staff,” “better brands of color and organic nail polish,” “fresh smoothies,” and “live music spun by a DJ on the weekends.” I would never be able to come up with these ideas on my own.
After doing the research, we must start coming up with solutions. One way around the fumes may be in an open-air setting or better ventilation. If nobody has done anything like this before, it would give me confidence in its future success.
If I started such a concept and it was based on sound market research, I know it would be a solid place to start. I know that if I get such a concept up and running, I wouldn’t be the one managing it. That’s because I’m not—and can never be—a manager. I’m the person that usually comes up with the ideas but not the best at implementing them.
But even the best idea, the best product, needs to be marketed well and have the right team. It’s safe to say that in business there can be no success without great marketing. Take Apple for example. They display their products on billboards against a background that is a clean, white opaque. In fact, all you see is the product and a tag line—an iPhone 6, say— hypnotizing you to buy it. It’s almost as if the viewer has no choice.
It’s important for an entrepreneur to find a niche and create a culture around it. Look at what you’re good at and try to come up with something no one else has created. If we really do what we are best at, it doesn’t even feel like work and life actually becomes fun and full of adventure. Then figure out your target market—the kind of customers you’d like to sell your product to. I have found that once we do this, the key players and new team members seem to magically appear and help to attain our goals. Success Today, for example, is the product of the hard work and energy of a few key people. Hopefully being part of this book and the publicity we generate will help me become an instructor.
I am at a point in my life where I am very happy with all I’ve accomplished. My new happiness will come from writing books and teaching people, which has always been a lifelong dream. You would find me almost daily looking through books at Barnes and Noble, so imagine the thrill I would feel when one of the books on the shelf happens to be mine! What a dream come true! Through teaching and training others, not only will I realize my full potential, but will make new contacts and meet interesting new people. I want to challenge myself intellectually; making a little extra money on the side is just a bonus when you’re doing what you love.
Having read hundreds of books and articles over the years, the time has come for me to transition from student to teacher. Instead of just reading and listening to books and CD’s, I will be making them. What a joy it will be to know that I am helping people and the books I write can positively impact people’s lives long after I am gone. It’s a true sense of immortality, which is why so many people dream of getting their work published and leaving a legacy.
Since I’ve been doing this for so long, I feel as though teaching is the next evolutionary step in my growth. The best way to learn is to teach, and so I would be learning and growing myself as I teach others. I plan to eventually teach a class at UCLA Extension, having received my own certificate in marketing from there, with distinction. After that, I plan on teaching at seminars and attending various professional conferences.
I have created a new web site:
to help me launch this second career. Among the topics I wish to teach are: branding, leadership, marketing and sales, and social media. When I first began our social media page, we had about 120 followers. We now have over 50,000 fans on Facebook and thousands more on Twitter, as well as tremendous growth we’re seeing on other networks. This took years of dedication and interaction with thousands of customers.
So to recap, the keys to real and permanent growth are:
1) Finding your niche and know your audience.
2) Creating and maintaining the right team.
3) Ensuring great service and marketing.
You have to consciously make time for yourself and explore the artistic side of you; we tend to forget the imaginative side of ourselves. If you ignore that side of yourself, you’re not going to be very happy. I keep myself busy through my artistic projects. When I get too stressed working on our restaurant business, I go to my creative side: painting, artwork, and photography.
You have to make time to socialize, meet people and network. We can accomplish this by meeting three to five new people each day. If you don’t network consciously, it will never happen.
A person’s artistic side is tied to their emotional intelligence. Just like leadership, some people are born with better emotional intelligence than others, but everyone can become better at it. The key to improving emotional intelligence is relating to people—talking to them and interacting with them. Taking some psychology classes is also a great idea. Learning about psychology enables us to study what’s behind the human mind and what motivates us. Everyone has a reason for doing things, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense.
To me, one benefit of having a high emotional IQ is that you would be more in tune with people’s reactions. You can’t force yourself on others. For example, if you’re at the airport and people are in a rush, they’re not going to be very receptive to any marketing efforts. You have to know what mood a person is in and what they really want to hear.
Emotional intelligence is about becoming a better listener and showing more empathy for others by acknowledging their feelings. As entrepreneurs, oftentimes we are poor listeners. It’s about letting people talk about themselves instead of talking about yourself. It’s no wonder that the first rule of marketing is to listen to your customers.
It’s also important to look people in the eye, especially these days when so many people whip out their smart phones and start talking or texting in the middle of a conversation. That’s rude. Give your cell phone a break and focus on people during conversations.
Reciprocity is an important principle to understand and practice. For example, if you immediately ask someone whether they would like to buy a house from you, that person would probably wonder who on earth you are and what you’re talking about, given that you barely know each other. Such behavior turns you into the personification of spam, and people hate that. But if you go up to the person and invite them to a free weekend hiking trip, you’re likely to become friends. Do something nice for someone before you ask him or her to buy something from you. These are the things that lead to symbiotic relationships, which is what we want.
As an entrepreneur, I have learned to practice reciprocity simply by showing empathy towards others. I often ask people about their day, their families and their vacations. I’m alert to their upcoming anniversaries. Even if I know nothing about them—or feel they don’t have the time to talk—I just smile at them as frequently as I can. Never underestimate the power of a genuine smile.
Above all else, a leader should always seek wisdom.
Proverbs 3: 13-18
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. ~Proverbs 3: 13-18and Biography