As a restaurant owner myself, I started my entrepreneurial journey fresh with rose-coloured glasses. In other words, I was young, optimistic, and had fire in my blood to concur the F&B industry. Basically, I was naïve and idealistic.
After the first 6 months of running my restaurant, I was ready to throw in the towel. I had designed my restaurant, thinking it would appeal to millennial, crafted out my menu, hired staff, sourced my inventory to making sure we had the freshest ingredients every day, and sourced for food bloggers to promote my restaurant.
Instead, I found myself having to manage everything. From scrubbing down the kitchen daily, grinding the coffee, de-shelling the prawns, serving the food, wiping tables, polishing the floors, taking photos of the food on my own, washing the dishes, and being a naturally sympathetic person, I found it difficult to fire staff who were too stubborn to be trained.
Trust me when I say, I know running a restaurant is no easy job at all.
There are a few factors that you’ll need to have to run a successful restaurant – one that’s able to operate for the long-term. The first is certainly, passion.
If you’re aim to start a business is purely to cash-oriented, then trust me when I say you’re business will definitely fail. It takes much more than passion, talent and IQ to charge ahead.
So what did I do to keep myself going?
I started to get in touch with other F&B entrepreneurs who I know had made it.
They say you’re the sum of the 5 people closest to you and being surrounded by individuals who I know were exceptionally drive, motivated, confident and had made it in this industry, fuelled the engine in me to keep going.
The one piece of advice all these successful F&B entrepreneurs had was that long-term success came down to 1 fundamental character trait;
What’s Grit you ask? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, grit in the context of behaviour is defined as “firmness of character or having indomitable spirit.”
Essentially, grit is a combination of passion and perseverance, a belief that failure can be overcome. It’s a willingness to conquer challenges, instead of avoiding them.
The only person who can motivate you to achieve your dreams and success, is yourself.
Spearheaded and catapulted to the forefront by Dr. Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, is the best-known researcher of grit.
Thankfully, grit is a skill and trait that can be developed and nurtured. With practice, you too can foster the ability of maintaining goal focused effort for extended periods of time. Duckworth defines Grit as: “working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failures, adversity, and plateaus in progress.”
The emerging science of this personality trait has provided much insight into why people are able to reach for the stars, when the rest of us are still on the ground. The ability to maintain and chase your dreams and goal day in and day out is a pivotal characteristic to achieving a meaningful and purposeful career and life.
Grit is a better indicator of success than talent. No matter how talented you think you are, if you don’t put in the work, it will amount to nothing.
Grit begins with the mindset for self-improvement and positive development of one’s self.
If you are a champion of the idea of long-term personal development, you have a greater opportunity of enhancing grit within yourself, or simply becoming more gritty.
So what can you do in small steps daily to build grit assure that your business achieves decades of success?
1) Get rid of FOMO and Be Ready to Sacrifice
There is not one successful person on this planet who doesn’t have a story about how they achieved success without sacrifice. You need to be prepared to sacrifice certain aspects within your life.
As Jack Ma, founder of AliBaba puts it,
“The path to success will not come easily. “Do not think ‘what I will get’. You have to ask ‘what I will give’. Will I win in three years or 10 years? If you have a great idea, prepare for 10 years. You’re lucky if you win in one year – but most people will not have this opportunity.”
“Only when you know what will you give up, then you will get something.”
It’s only normal many successful business owners have sleepless nights or spend years slaving away to reach their dreams.
Your willingness to sacrifice directly impacts your level of achievement. Don’t let you stubbornness to sacrifice extinguish the fire within you.
2) Find the Beauty in Repetitive Processes
Grit takes time and patience, which unfortunately many people don’t give. Some people are simply not ready to for repetitive laborious tasks daily.
Having a positive attitude towards to sustain your goals is a mindset that can be developed for the long run. Instead of letting boredom be a sign to switch gears, people with grit persevere.
You have the ability to sustain the drive and passion for you to exit with a bang!
Sometimes, you may just need to skip that reunion dinner party with your friends on a weekday night, to make that extra buck. The habit of seeing through to your tasks in the face of distraction can strengthen the resilience one needs to go that extra mile.
3) Fail Fast and Re-strategise
As the old adage goes “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result.”
When you realise that a marketing strategy is not working for your restaurant business, ditch it and plan something else.
Never take failure to heart, as failure is just another lesson on your journey to victory.
I know that failure can bite, be disheartening and stop you in your tracks.
But worry not, because when you have grit in you, failure is nothing more but a bump on the road.
Failure might still sting a little, but when you have grit, it inspires you to want to do better.
So always remember: Be proud of your work. And never quit trying.
Cultivate your grit and push yourself further outside your comfort bubble. Get familiar with being the uncomfortable, it’s the only way you’ll change for the better.
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher