The faster our society gets, the looser we get with our systems. We cut corners. We text and walk. We don’t read the recipe through to the end before we start cooking. We go to the grocery store without a shopping list. We show up to popular restaurants without a reservation. We don’t
prof proof read. We start a blog without knowing what we’re really blogging about.
We let the sparkly light-show of the PROMISE OF SUCCESS blind us to the realities of the work required to achieve victory. We get distracted by the siren song of PROFIT and FAVORABLE OUTCOME and forget to create a set of guidelines or a structured plan to get us where we want to go.
The famous movie tagline “Build it and they will come,” is a great first act twist, but it isn’t what you’d call a solid business plan.
Look, most people don’t find the words “actionable objectives” and “sustainable culture” sexy. But I do. Because if you want to be successful in life or business, you have to know the steps that are required to get you where you want to go.
Not planning, organizing, creating a set of guidelines, or charting a course for success is why many great people and wonderful ideas fail. Businesses collapse. Movies with great first acts fall apart by the end of the second act. Restaurants shutter after a year. Overnight successes crash and burn under the pressure. Blogs are born, go strong for months with an unending steam of daily posts, and then spontaneously die.
Often in the rush to go to market, The Big Idea steals the focus. Budding leaders and excited makers of art or commerce write showy business plans that stress profit and cool, but forget about the need to create strong systems, set clear objectives and expectations, and a sustainable culture that supports the internal structures of the business.
Because if you want to be successful (in your life or business), you have to know what it’s going to take to get you there.
Being a Service Coach
My work as a Service Coach takes me to some rather extraordinary places nowadays. I develop systems to help restaurants define and teach principles of great service. I grow leaders, cultivate service cultures, and nurture seeds of ideas into thriving visions. I teach leaders how to transform their customer service programs by investing in their people and exceeding their customers expectations. I coach teams on how to serve their customers and their staff with radical hospitality.
This week I have the great pleasure to work with a group of innovative restaurateurs and entertainment professionals preparing for the opening of RaPour, a soon-to-be-opened restaurant and lounge in the Inland Empire.
This eclectic group of accomplished and pioneering young industry pros have been in the business for a long time. But they aren’t so overconfident that they think they’re above building a solid plan of action. This week I’m leading the team through a five-day workshop to help them create a solid vision for the future, reliable systems, and a sustainable service culture for their high-end dining destination. I’ve been incredible impressed with their work, their vision, and their insights.*
The people behind Ra Pour may know their market and what customers want (a high-end restaurant with a modern cocktail program and service that makes every customer feel like a VIP), but they aren’t cocky. They’re smart enough to know the importance of integrity, strong leadership, radical hospitality, action plans, calculated cool, and reliable systems. The more I work with these competent men, the more I’m reminded how important the planning stage of a fledgling business or emerging idea is.
Planning and organizing may not be the sexiest of the stages of opening a restaurant, but the results certainly will be. Their team will be confident, the systems will be strong, and customers will feel like they were they’re the biggest VIP’s in Southern California.
Because when you embrace the ideals of measure twice, cut once you are creating efficiencies, rather than wasted time. By approaching a methodical approach to your work, you save time by investing wisely up front. The more thoughtful you are during the creative process, the more rewarding the final product can be. Apply mindfulness to your business and personal life, and you’ll watch the results multiple.
See? Turns out being sensible and smart really can be sexy.
So if you want to be successful, take your time. Plan things through. Draft a strategy. Get clear on your intentions (beyond profit and money). Invest in coaching (HINT HINT). Listen. Observe. Breathe.
What is it you want?
What are the steps that it will take to get you there?
*In truth, one of the best things about teaching is learning a lot, too. These guys from Ra Pour are SMART.