Are You Willing To Jump?

Life is precious. I get that I should feel grateful that I’m alive but how can you feel grateful and excited to be alive when it feels like everything in life is holding you back from achieving whatever it is that you want to achieve?

Are You Willing To Jump-

Everything boils down to a single choice. No matter how crazy your dream may seem, you still have to take the next step.

That step is a conscious decision that you make to move forward because remaining in that same place is too painful. We must decide to take that step to get to a better place.

But sometimes life is simply too painful. You’ve stayed in that place that you shouldn’t have for far too long and just let the pain build until the ground around you starts to crumble at your feet.

With no path left in front of you, you’re faced with a decision to jump into the unknown or stay where you are – continuing to let the pain slowly eat you alive until you’re a hollow shell of the person that you used to be.

If you’ve ever felt that way or you’re currently sitting in that place, I get it.

I struggled with finding my own happiness because my life felt out of control. I had a defibrillator that shocked me so many times that my anxiety & stress were through the roof every single day.

How can you feel powerful when it felt like you were a ticking time bomb, just counting down the minutes until it exploded? Every flutter in my chest made me feel like my world was ending.

But then, something clicked.

Instead of staying in that place of fear, I decided it was best to jump.

I was falling at speeds faster than I thought I would. It was terrifying. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of emotions that overcome you the moment you jump.

The weight you held on your shoulders for so long disappears instantly. You feel lighter, happier, and like you can tackle anything that the world throws at you.

But slowly, you’ll have moments of doubt, fear, & anxiety as you continue to fall. The trick is to believe that you made the right choice.

This morning I made the choice to turn off the shocking feature of my defibrillator. If you haven’t heard about my journey, you can read about it here.

Every moment, you have a choice to make. Neither choice is wrong because you are doing what’s right for you in that very moment but every choice does have a consequence to it – good or bad.

Make every minute count. If you don’t like where you are, don’t wait for tomorrow to make the change. If you want to move, pack up and go. Figure out what you’ll do for work once you get there.

If you don’t like your job, don’t quit right away if you can’t afford to pay your bills without it but start looking for another one. Get out there and interview.

Life is too short to be living in constant fear. You have to live life anyway so enjoy every minute Click To Tweet

Life is messy. No one who has ever been successful has created success without taking a leap of faith.

You are in control of your own destiny. It may not always seem like it when you’re in the midst of chaos but that’s simply because you made the choice to not be in control. It’s time to get back in the driver’s seat and get life to where you want it to be.

Be brave. Be courageous. Be grateful.

Strive for happiness every single day. If you can’t be happy right away, find something in your life that makes you happy and build on that. But always be looking to make every moment count.

Are you willing to jump? Write your answer below on how you will start making powerful changes in your life.

“Consider Yourself a Student and Always Push to Learn”
by Andrew Carlson

Sorry, listening to the audio on this website requires Flash support in your browser. You can try playing the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

I have been a BIG fan of Eric Cacciatore’s podcast “Restaurant Unstoppable” for a while now so when he approached me to be on the show, I was ecstatic!

Eric’s passion definitely shines through in his podcast’s and has an amazing lineup of guest mentors for every single episode.

Make sure you listen to my interview and then go subscribe to his podcast on iTunes or Stitcher!

If you would like to see the show notes, click here.

How To Get A Raise With One Simple Question

Have you ever thought to yourself, I’m not getting paid enough for this? I can probably go all in on the fact that the majority of people in the world have thought this same thing. But instead of doing anything about it, they’ll just complain about it. There is only one reason why you’re not getting paid more…

COFFEE

 

The reason you aren’t getting paid more is because your employer doesn’t see your value as anything more than they’re currently paying you. That’s it!

Let’s take the time to think about that for a second.

If you want to make more money in your current position, you have to figure out what else of value you can offer to your employer that would make them want to offer you a raise.

Just because you’ve been with a company for one, two, five, or even ten years doesn’t mean that you deserve to be compensated for it financially.

If all you’re ever doing is the bare minimum and all you’re ever going to do is the bare minimum, of course you don’t deserve a raise. You’re not providing value to the company besides what they hired you to do.

Isn’t that exactly what they hired you to do though?

Yes! If you’re doing the bare minimum, that’s exactly what they hired you for. But you also can’t get insulted when they don’t offer you a raise or offer you something very small (one or two quarters more per hour).

You don’t have to take a higher position to provide more value to your company either. If someone has ever told you that in order to make more money, you’d have to take a higher position – they lied to you.

The reasoning behind them wanting to promote someone is because that position needs to be filled. It’s not like it mysteriously appeared out of thin air. That’s why so many people are pushed into management positions before they’re ready – it became available and they need it filled immediately.

The only way to make more money in your company is to provide additional value. Click To Tweet

What if you don’t want to just do the minimum work? What if you do want to advance in your career or make more money? What can you do to get your company to take you seriously?

Find the person who writes the checks!

You have to put yourself in front of the owner or person in charge of the company you work for and spark that conversation.

But there’s a million wrong ways of doing it. You have to know exactly what you have to do to prove to your company (especially the one that writes the checks) you’re deserving of an increased salary.

Instead of marching in there and demanding a raise or cautiously walking into the office while stumbling over your words just to ask for an additional couple bucks more per hour – you have to understand what your intention is.

Your intention is to get paid more.

It’s not going to be a free handout. You know that and the person that writes the checks knows that.

Which is why you have to walk into their office with conviction and confidence. Sit them down and ask this one question; what do I have to do in order to get an additional $________ per year?

You want to put the ball in their court.

Remember, just because you ask doesn’t mean you’ll get it immediately. You may have a conversation and agree to more responsibility which ensures an immediate raise. But a lot of the time they’ll want to see if you’re serious and wait a month or two to observe to see if you start providing the value they suggested.

It’s all about building that relationship and starting that conversation. You’ll know exactly what they need from you in order to feel good about increasing your salary. That way it’s a win-win for both parties.

You do what they need and you get exactly what you want – more money.

Next time before you complain about not making enough money, take a look at what you’re currently doing and figure out if there’s more you can do to earn more.

Do you have the courage to sit down with your boss and have an open discussion about what value you could provide to your company? Why or why not? Write your comments below!

How To Create An Exceptional Workplace Environment

If you were to work the average 40 hours per week from 22-67 years old, you would have spent 10.3 years of your life working. When we break that down per day, you spend an average of 9 hours at your workplace with a 1 hour lunch break. So how can 80% of employees be dissatisfied with their workplace?

OPENING

It’s because companies don’t take the time to focus on FUN.

Now I know what you’re thinking: Wait, why should “fun”? We’re not Google/Facebook/Dave & Buster’s! We sell _____________.

The issue is that the majority of companies have this mindset. They think that they’re doing their employees a service by PAYING them for doing their job. Shouldn’t that be enough?!

To be blunt, no it’s not enough. It’s never going to be enough. You shouldn’t be in business if you think that’s enough.

Look at the top rated places to work in America. The majority of the places are going to be tech companies that offer some pretty awesome perks.

Why do they offer insane perks like a paid vacation, free food, game room, or even company paid adventures?

It’s because they’re looking to attract TOP talent that are hard to capture because they are most wanted in their industries.

Now I understand not every company can afford insane perks as easily as tech companies but how can you amplify your workplace environment to attract and retain top talent.

Don’t Be Cheap – Pay Better Than Your Competitors

It goes without saying that the first thing you can do is pay a little better than the other companies in your area. It’s worth investing a little more to increase your employees productivity. You can offer benefits like a 401(k), health insurance, and even employee wellness plans but if they don’t feel they are being compensated fairly when your competition is paying more, they’ll start looking elsewhere.

Invest in your employees and they’ll invest in you.

But let’s say you already pay better than your competition in the area, what else can you do?

Build A Family – Eat Together

It doesn’t have to be a daily or even weekly thing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. It can be pizza, chipotle, or even hot dogs (make sure to keep in mind dietary restrictions) but when you spend time together as a team – the more you bond as a team.

You can do a small presentation or make a speech on how well your employees are doing but make sure to leave time for the employees to just chat with one another.

Let Them Relax Throughout The Day

Another thing you can do is have a place where your employees can just kick back and relax. Your employees are humans too and everyone needs short breaks throughout their day to stay productive. Create a space that is well lit and is a space they know they can just take a minute when they need to.

This can be a break room but make sure it’s decorated in such a way that makes them feel relaxed instead of stressed out on the daily activities of their job.

Don’t Pile Everything On Your Employees All At Once!

Something that a lot of companies do is continue to throw project after project on their employees which creates stress and overwhelm. When this happens, they aren’t as productive because all they can think about is how much work they have to do.

Even if you have a list of things that need to get done, just give them 1 or 2 projects at a time. When they’re done, then you can give them more. They’ll become more productive when they are hyper focused instead of focused on everything all at once.

Spend Face Time With Your Employees

A lot of employees rarely see the CEO of their company. How can you feel like you’re part of the team when the main leader (or owner of the restaurant) doesn’t spend any face time with the people on the front lines? You can’t feel like part of the team which is why most people are dissatisfied.

Spend time with your employees and ask them what they would like to see improved. How can you help them succeed in their positions and how can they enjoy their time at work? This will give you great insights on how to improve your operations.

Celebrate & Have Some FUN

Something simple that you can do is celebrate birthdays on a monthly basis. Throw an ice cream party for your July birthdays or a pot luck for your September birthdays but make sure that your team feels valued. Celebrate their life with them and they’ll help you celebrate your successes in your company.

When your team isn’t satisfied, you shouldn’t be satisfied because that means they aren’t as productive as they could be. When you’re team is productive, they’re saving you money. Take the time to improve the workplace environment and your investment on these activities will pay off greatly.

Living An Authentic Life Through Business

Do you ever realize how the world tries to package you up in a nice box every time you go to a networking event? They’ll ask, “What is it that you do?” to make small talk. But how many of them truly care what I do?

Welcome To My Life

Well, I’m a restaurant consultant, trainer, and a professional speaker by trade. But what I do is more complex than that. I help people that have a burning passion for the restaurant and hospitality world become the best versions of themselves.

I’ve seen restaurants that have had the perfect location, a great concept, exceptional service, and great food but they weren’t making money. The only thing that they didn’t have was a unique selling point. They were like the majority of restaurants (or hotels) out there. They were forgettable.

The doctors tell me that I have a congenital heart defect called Wolf Parkinson White with Long QT Syndrome. Basically I have an extra pathway in my heart that causes electrical issues that speeds up my heart to dangerous speeds/rhythms. Normally a single surgery works to correct this issue but I’ve had 7 of those surgeries and on a waiting list to have another.

Do I believe that I have it? Sure. My body physically may have this issue but I’m not letting it become my identity. I’m not my defect. I’m a human being that strives on a daily basis to be the healthiest (& best) version of myself.

Wait, isn’t this my “business” site though? Why would I put this up on my business site for everyone to see? Shouldn’t I be more professional than this?

99% of marketers would tell me to take this post down and that I shouldn’t even bring this up ever again.

But the thing is, I’m human.

I have emotions just like everyone else. I go through struggles in life just like everyone else. I cherish memories just like everyone else. Why wouldn’t I want to share that journey with people that are willing to take part in it?

I’m building a business while working a full-time job. You see, I don’t just tell people how to build great teams – I live it. I’m constantly testing new approaches – what works and what doesn’t.

I have found that if I’m honest with myself and with everyone on my team, that’s the truest version of myself that I can be. I gained respect from my teams by being authentic. That’s exactly what I’m going to do with my business – be authentic.

If you want to be trusted, be honest. If you want to be honest, be true & be yourself. Click To Tweet

Businesses are run by humans. It’s time to put that human interaction back into businesses.

Look at any poor Yelp review. What’s the common denominator of them all? There’s absolutely no human interaction. 80% of poor Yelp reviews can be avoided if a manager or owner had a conversation with this person about their experience. But the person who wrote the review didn’t want to bother and just left upset.

That’s not how we should go through life. If something is bothering you in life – tell someone!

I’m going out on a limb here and transforming my business site into a lifestyle site. We’ll talk about hospitality, leadership, productivity, creating success in business, and entrepreneurship.  But we’ll also talk about creating life by your design in all aspects – not just the career section.

I post inspirational posts on my Facebook page because I need to remind myself of things from time to time. I know if I’m struggling with it, someone else in the world might be struggling with it too. Just because you don’t want to open a restaurant doesn’t exclude you from my page. I hope you join the conversation by clicking here.

I don’t believe in pretending to be something I’m not. What I will do is live as authentically as humanly possible and share that experience with you. That’s the beauty of owning a business and creating life on my own terms.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you.

It’s time to take control of your life. Don’t build someone else’s dream without laying bricks for your own.

Click here to connect on Facebook to become inspired every single day. You can also write on my wall to share your life experiences with me. I can’t wait to see you what you create!

Increase Your Sales With This Simple Tactic

People seem to think that making more money or increasing your sales is difficult or complicated. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Stop over thinking it. I have one tactic that is a no-brainer to increase your sales as long as it’s executed correctly.

THE PERFECT

In the restaurant world, people tend to think the only way to increase revenue is to simply have more customers come through the door. There are many ways where restaurant owners can increase their revenue and I want to focus on residual revenue.

Let’s think about a winery. If you think about it, the only way wineries make money is to sell flights, glasses of wine, and some times food if they have it, right?

Wait! They also have a wine club.

It can be every month, every quarter, bi-annually, or even annually membership where your most loyal customers will be charged a certain amount to be part of your inner circle.

How Does This Translate To Restaurants?

The best way to have it translate into restaurants or bars is to have a monthly meeting (or can be twice a month) where they can come in on a slow evening and be treated to a new menu item, a new cocktail, or even a brainstorming session on how to improve their operations (along with free food, of course).

If you’re a bakery, you can have a monthly (or quarterly) baking class where people can come in and learn how to make the perfect croissant, doughnut, or pastry.

It’s up to you to know your community to figure out what attracts them and what would make them want to buy a membership from your restaurant. Is it a discount that they get? Do they get personal time with the chef or owners and get to see behind the scenes of the inner workings of your restaurant?

No matter what it is, make sure that it resonates with your business and aligns with your values as a restaurant or bar.

Will This Really Increase My Sales?

Of course this will increase your sales but what’s more important is that you are offering a special experience that others won’t have the opportunity to have in your restaurant or bar.

It’s about truly embracing what hospitality truly is and that’s what is most important. When you provide exceptional experiences for people, they will end up spending more money at your restaurant.

A wine club will ship you their newest bottle(s) of the quarter but you still have to spend money when you go to their tasting room. Of course you’ll get a slight discount but not enough to really make a difference. It usually is just enough to take the tax off of the bill.

If your bar has a cocktail of the month club where people pay $35/month (yes, people will pay this), they will get to have a couple free cocktails. But people get hungry so why not offer them a special “membership discount” (10%-15%) on any item in the restaurant?

It’s the little things that count but what they will see is that you’re adding VALUE to them as members of your inner circle. That’s what they will talk about to all of their friends.

The best kind of marketing to do in your area is simply word of mouth. If they tell their friends how extraordinary your membership is, it’s likely that their friends will join too.

But the only way to get raving fans talking about your restaurant or bar is to create unforgettable experiences.

 

How To Hire The Right People

One of the most difficult things to do in the restaurant industry is find exceptional [& loyal] employees that believe in your mission. These people are the diamond in the rough or the needle in the haystack. But, how can you find these exceptional people that will stick around? It’s easier than you think.

How To Find The Right People

The restaurant industry is very tough to hire for because the pay is low. There’s no beating around the bush, there’s no defending it; it is what it is. That’s why it’s hard to find loyal people because they will leave for a higher paying job in a different restaurant.

After years of having to hire & fire people, I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to finding the perfect employee. But I have figured out how to find the right people for every position.

How Do I Find The Right People?

The first thing that you have to do is constantly interview people. Every time someone walks in with a resume, make time to talk to them. Just because they don’t have experience doesn’t mean that they don’t have the human qualities that you’re looking for.

Remember that every single person in your restaurant is a brand ambassador for you. Just because someone has the experience you’re looking for doesn’t mean that they’ll treat your restaurant or the position well.

It’s a whole lot easier to train someone with less experience and the right attitude to fit your culture & your mission. People with more experience are great because that means less training up front but means a whole lot more coaching/correcting when it comes to how you do things in your restaurant.

The more people you have that do things their way instead of the way of your culture, then you’ll not only lose sight of who you are but also lose control as they will become a poison that infects other employees.

Culture Is Everything

Culture is everything and a good majority of restaurants don’t even know who they are or what their culture is. This is a main reason why most restaurants fail and why if they expand too quickly, can be their demise.

Like I said above, the best thing that you can do for your restaurant is to hire people that have the right attitude. You can always build up their skill and it might cost you a little more up front for extra training, but your return on your investment will be rewarded time and time again.

I always say that you can’t train personality but you can train customer service & leadership.

How Do I Keep Employees Satisfied?

Restaurant owners are always so concerned that they can’t pay their employees enough in the beginning. But the thing is, although pay is important, it’s not the most important aspect that an employee seeks in terms of employment.

There are a number of ways to keep your employees satisfied. I’ll list those in a moment but something you need to remember is this:

Employees don't quit jobs. They quit managers & owners. Click To Tweet

That’s right, employees don’t quit because of their job. They quit because of your managers (or you as owners). It’s your job to keep them satisfied.

1. They want to be known. They don’t want to be anonymous so if you’re the owner, sit down with them once every week or 2 for 10-15 minutes to see how they’re doing. Get to know their hopes & dreams to figure out how you can align it with your restaurant.

2. They want to voice their opinions. It doesn’t matter what position they have, they want to have their opinions heard. Maybe they know more about operations than you do and have a suggestion on how to improve their daily tasks. It could save you more money on labor and add more to your bottom line. It never hurts to listen.

3. They want to grow. This is a HUGE determining factor in keeping your employees. They want to have a clearly defined career path and have the possibility of growing into it. Promoting from within is a great benefit a lot of people will take you up on. The best part is that they will be 10 times more committed to their job and your restaurant than someone new coming in.

4. They want fair industry pay. Lastly, they want to be paid fairly. If they’re a server, of course minimum plus tips is great. If you live in a state that only has to pay $2.13, you can follow other states and at least bump it up to the state minimum without tips wage. Salaried managers of other shops of the same caliber should be paid equally and word does spread.

Comment below and tell me how you keep your employees satisfied!

[Personal Post]: Life Changes In A Heartbeat

Two Monday’s ago (April 27th) started off as any other Monday. I had taken the day off as a mental health day and purchased a new audiobook to listen to while I went on a daily walk. But 3 miles in, something happened that shook me to the core.

Heartbeat article

For those of you who are new to my site or have just been introduced through social media, there’s something you should know about me. I have a defibrillator implanted in my chest due to a heart condition I’m working on correcting. I had 7 surgeries and all have failed but that never stopped me from living a normal life.

Well, 3 miles into my hike, I had figured out the answer to a burning question I have had for weeks. In that same moment, I took a “selfie” to exclaim a beginning of a new movement that I was going to start.

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Literally 2 minutes afterwards, my heart had sped up into a rhythm that was incredibly dangerous. My defibrillator had shocked me (luckily once), but I had to get a ride home for the day and just relax.

Unfortunately, this isn’t where the story ends. It shook me up but I was able to fight through any negative feelings I had about the situation.

Fast forward to Friday I was out checking in on a few clients (surprise visits) and had parked 4 blocks away from the main strip. After hanging out there all morning, I decided to head back to get some reading. By the time I reached block 4, my heart raced again.

I was certain I was going to get shocked again and I panic’d so I just laid down in the parking lot where my car was but off to the side so I wouldn’t get ran over. My heart wouldn’t go back to a normal rhythm but it wasn’t going fast enough to get shocked (luckily).

The paramedics came and I ended up in the hospital. After an incredibly terrifying 3 hours in the hospital, I was released with additional medication to keep my heart rate down.

The challenge was I was simply walking when this dangerous rhythm happened. All weekend long, I was terrified to simply walk. Every extra beat or skipped beat terrified me.

[Getting shocked by a defibrillator feels like getting kicked in the chest by a horse AND the past times I’ve been shocked, I ended up getting shocked anywhere from 15-25 times so that’s why I was terrified of getting shocked.]

Life can change in an instant. One minute you’re living a true moment of happiness and the next, something happens that can change your life forever.

Luckily, what had happened to me wasn’t a life or death situation. It very much could have been but I have a bionic guardian that keeps me kicking every single day.

When Will You Decide To Live?

Something that I have learned from all of this adversity is that the majority of people don’t actually live, they merely exist. That makes my heart ache because we only have one life and it’s meant to be lived.

I’ve read books that have said “don’t focus on the negative, focus on the positives and the negatives will disappear” but that can’t be further from the truth.

The truth is that life is a series of experiences that you’re supposed to live. The perceived negative experiences aren’t actually negative, they are positive lessons flowing through you for which you perceive to be negative.

My situation wasn’t a negative situation even though living in the experience, it feels negative. It feels terrifying. I have fallen to my knees and have screamed/cried until I feel asleep. But the experience I went through is a blessing. It was a reminder that I need to live, not just exist.

Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. Don’t be afraid to go against societal norms if it isn’t right for you. Don’t be afraid of rejection from your peers, that simply means you need to find new ones that accept you for you. Lastly, don’t be afraid to live your best life.

You owe it to yourself to amplify your life to levels that are scary to you in all areas. You will have people criticize you for it but you will also have people praise you for it. This moment, right now, is all that you really have. Anything else is just a guessing game.

Let's #AmplifyLife by living in experiences and taking action to live out our story. Click To Tweet

Don’t be afraid, no matter how terrifying it feels. I’m right there with you. That’s why I’m starting the movement to amplify your life and live. 

What will you do with your next heartbeat?

Comment below and tell me how you’re going to amplify your life in the next month in any area of your life – health, fitness, relationships, career, finances, and personal.