The Journey of a Thousand Miles

Before beginning, plan carefully.
– Marcus Tullius Cicero

When I had the idea to start this, whatever it is: journal, chronicle, collection of musings, I had a lofty ideal that I would post once a week. What I have discovered is that posting once a month is a far more realistic ambition! The picture of Bronte Beach above looks apocalyptic because by now, Australia has been on fire for months.

Thanks to humanity’s relentless commitment to “progress” and flagrant disregard for the well-being of the Planet Earth that has resulted in global climate change, the bushfires in Australia started early and to devastating consequence. Due to having a higher than average comorbidity rate as a recovering cancer patient, I was advised by the health professionals in my life to stay inside and go out as little as possible. The upside of this was that it gave me the perfect opportunity to get on with work on my new project.

We were becoming clearer and clearer about exactly how we were going to “heal the world” and most importantly where we were going to start. I am pretty sure that the reason that many great ideas fail so miserably are because they either start without having properly thought through what they were doing and/or they are overwhelmed by the task of exactly where to start. Possibly the best learning that I have had in this experience is that clarification of the goal and planning to deliver that goal is key.

There were so many directions that we could have gone in: i) the one that we started out on because it was the most obvious; ii) the one where there was extensive knowledge, research, and precedent; iii) another direction or directions that hadn’t even been thought about yet. Almost the most important decision that we made was to choose only a couple of directions, explore them and see what sticks.

I was extremely happy with this strategy. In one of my previous incarnations I had a “side hustle” as a hospitality consultant. In this role, I got to do some of the most fun work that I have ever done in my life – everything from sourcing architects for fit-outs, to kitchen and dining room design, and menu writing (probably the most fun, you taste with your imagination long before the food enters your mouth.) I say “side hustle” as I invariably had this gig when I also had a “day job” doing something else. Even though hospitality consultancy was often much more fun than whatever my “day job” was, it never occurred to me to pursue it as a full-time career. With the 20:20 vision of hindsight, I should probably have turned it into my “main hustle”.

One of the things that I observed time and time again, was successful restaurateurs trying to either expand, or scale, too rapidly and quickly ending up in a mess. The most successful restauranteurs expanded slowly, on only a few fronts, and built empires steadily step-by-step.

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