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INTRO Wrong side of the kitchen


Nov 8, 2019
I had a great 20's, travelled the world, worked everywhere from super yachts in St Tropez to eco resorts in Australia, no savings just living life. Hit my 30th birthday year and I was working in a restaurant in Canada, I capped out on my salary and was working 60-80 hours a week. I Started to realise I can not continue this trend for much longer without my health being affected in a huge way. After dropping out of Architecture school in my second year at 21 i didn't have anything else to fall back on (as society told me i needed) . So I used what i knew and still had "passion" for, cooking. However, I needed a different way than showing up to someone else's restaurant. So I started a food stand with my partner at the local farmer's market and a few small festivals. Our main goal was local produces (organic veg, local meats and house made sauce) in a Asian style street food way. We were a success in the terms being the busiest and selling out (biggest day was 10k sales). We still worked our other jobs and took time off work to follow "our dream" (wince). We carried this on for the next 5 years, during that time we bought a bigger truck in cash and continued putting money into it. The hours were getting crazy, longest stint was 30 hours of sleep over 10 days. I had a melt down, anxiety through the roof, nervous breakdown. Together with some help, meditation, time off, and mindfulness i got back to being stable and continued on. We pulled the plugged on it this summer, sold all the assets and kept the business name and recipes, as people have showed interest in buying just the sauces (maybe we will re-visit this in the future).
The same year i started the food truck I had seen a gap in the market in my area. I started converting and renting out campervans, insurance was and still is the biggest hurdle and maintenance costs. We have never taken money out of this business and keep "investing" the money back in, there is still growth to be had in the sector but my burn out rate is pretty near. Lots of other competition around now but it seems that no one is keeping up with the automotive innovations (including us) that are happening and the change in morals and needs of the consumer. We are at a turning point with this business and will let you know how this goes.
Meanwhile I still work part time for someone else ...........

Lessons that I have learned along the way-
Success is only measurable by the individual not by society.
My success is Family, friends, health. In no order
Employ people who are trained . I used to sew the cushions for the camper vans myself, that took a week. Now i pay someone and its costs a few hundred per set and its done in a day. Other examples of people to employ. Accountant- if i am doing accounts its taking time and money away from me furthering the business. Social media- Either do it all or none. It is too easy a distraction. quick tip. swap product with influencers for posts, blogs etc.
If the product works and you see an option to grow quickly don't be afraid to get financial backing to help that growth. We should of taken a loan out on the campervans and relieved some of the stress of self funding. if we did we could of focused more on the business and growing it and most likely being in a better position today.
Utilise anything that can give you a break, whether it be an app, person, government help. Just because you can do it all, it doesn't mean you should.
School is mainly a waste of time as you can learn from anywhere if you have the drive.

I have a few ideas that are at the R & D stage for new ventures and I will keep you posted. Less moving parts, less hands on labour, More outsourcing, less risk factors.

I am looking forward to contributing and gaining knowledge from this forum. If you have any questions ask away.

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