Thursday, September 15, 2016

Learning, Dining, Loving.

I believe that I mentioned mentors yesterday, and that really made me keep thinking about a few individuals that I could certainly learn from. 

Here is the thing... I LOVE learning. I think it is an essential part of our existence and the meaning of life. Why do I always get philosophical?

Now, in the past there have been a few that have really been put off by my quest for knowledge. I am, at times, still a 3-year-old. I ask a million questions. I want to learn how, why, when, where things work and who most affects the outcome. It is a big part of the reason I love hospitality. There are so many inner workings that can make the service go well or go terribly. Every day is a completely different day. Today, for example, I planned for busy chaos. Sometimes, when you plan, it all comes together beautifully. We were busy, but far from chaotic. After a visit from Remy Martin, I am now preparing to create 2 new cocktails. One using The Botanist Gin and the other using Mount Gay Black Barrel. I can't wait to show you what I come up with.  As a reward I got this beautiful sunset. 

I have had 3 wonderful mentors in my life. These three men really made a difference in how I see the world. Among many things I learned from these gentlemen: one taught me to look for the unintended consequence, one taught me to take charge of my own development, and the other taught me to have confidence in myself. These gentlemen could have turned me away and told me to stop bothering them after the 50th question. Instead, they had patience and saw that I would stop at nothing to try to be perfect. But where have the female mentors been?

Sometimes, I wonder if we are harder on each other as women. A question for later. So, who would I like to learn from. There are two in particular that come to mind. Please, don't judge me.

First, Bethenny Frankel. Why? She has taken an industry that locked the gates, dropped the brick wall, added a moat, and lifted the steel bridge to keep women from entering the upper echelons: the beverage industry. She was turned away, shut down, and demeaned for her idea of pre-bottled cocktails. She did it herself anyway. There came Jim Beam, one of the biggest players in America, knocking on the door with its tail between its proverbial legs finally looking to get in on the action. 

Second, Ellen DeGeneres. No - I don't aspire to be a comedian or to host a slew of award shows. Although giving voice to a cartoon would be cool. It is because she defied all social norms. It was hard enough to be a woman in comedy, but to be a woman that isn't wearing heals and makeup... I can only imagine. To be brave enough to come out of the closet, knowing full well she would probably lose everything she had built, takes true courage. The kind of courage I hope I have if the time comes. I will add to that her ambitious desire for everyone to ‘be kind to one another’. I can’t imagine a better role model for my nieces and nephews.

I think my questions for them would be the same.... although I am not certain I could handle them both in the same room, too much funny within 4 walls. I would certainly also have to tie my hands and tape my mouth and have the questions written on cards so that I don't speak to excess and ask 80 questions.

  1. What is the most profound lesson you have learned in business that you feel keeps your business thriving?
  1. If you recall to the early years in business, what is one thing you would do differently?

But, let’s be honest, I would probably just ask them if I can be in the room as they work so I can learn firsthand.  

For now, I choose to enjoy lessons from those around me. Like the cook today who, after the rush, said he was bored. My reply, “I’m hungry. Do you want to create something?” His reply:

Baked Potato stuffed with cheddar, homemade cheese sauce, bacon,
onion straws, green onions and sour cream. No, I never said it was healthy. 

Today, I hope you all do what Leon did with his boredom. Create. I also hope you show some hospitality and Love Strangers.


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