I want to clarify that I am not a chef, though I do make a mean chicken soup in a cup.
While standing over the stove top in my premature days of cooking, trying to make chicken and sauce while the rice was finishing up. I noticed I just couldn’t get it right.
I didn’t know much at the time. I just used to watch my mother when she cooked. It’s also because of my curious mind I bathed my mother’s food in salt when she asked me to watch it when I was younger.
I tasted the sauce and just couldn’t bring myself to like it. Mainly because it didn’t taste like my mother’s cooking. Just as in life, the worst thing you could do is compare what you are doing with someone else’s. Someone will always be better than you and comparing will only bring you down especially if you have low self-esteem.
“Damn” I thought. I wanted to throw the food away because though I ate just about anything – except broccoli, I wasn’t going to eat this.
Some of us in life when we make a mistake our first thought is tossing it out and starting over, even in business. Sometimes that’s the best thing to do, but not all the time. If you fail in business, sometimes it just means you need to take a few steps back and go at it with a different approach; just as in life, maybe even get some help/advice from someone else.
Just as the thought came into mind, my friend’s father who I use to stay with came over and asked to taste. I didn’t want to but figured what the heck, I’ll be throwing it out anyway, so it couldn’t hurt.
When you obtain advice from someone with more experience than you, they’ll be able to point out what’s missing and what you focused too much on, and whether you should start from scratch or not.
“The thing I love about cooking,” he began to explain, “is that no matter how much you mess up you can fix it most of the time. If it’s too salty, you can always add more water, same vice versa.” And he was right, I had added too much tomato paste and not enough salt. After playing with the food, I’ll admit I didn’t get it perfect, but I was able to fix it so it was edible.
Here are the lessons I learned about business from cooking.
- Don’t compare your life or business to someone else’s. Though there are businesses that it’s ok to do that to better yours. = Learning from the competition.
- One thing I didn’t mention above is to have a system. If you’re cooking and you’re always tossing ingredients with no measurements, then you don’t have a system and you’re basically setting yourself up for Failure.
- If you are struggling and have no idea what you are doing. (You should do this in the beginning if possible.) Get advice from someone more experienced than you, maybe a mentor, though they are not easy to find. – This is a lesson of its own, but I decided to place it here instead. Don’t get advice from the know it all uncle who doesn’t own a business, but knows everything about a business. It’s like getting lessons from someone about riding a donkey when that person has an animal phobia – you’ll get kicked in the head.
- No matter how much you mess up, most of the time, you should be able to fix it. Either by taking a different approach, switching a few ingredients (employees, depending on your business,) or by simply taking a few steps back. A good example of this would be Coca cola trying to change their formula, or Netflix’s price change.
Have you learned anything from cooking or anything else that seems unrelated to business or life? Please let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to share.