My wife and I have been watching a wonderful show on Netflix called Chef’s Table. Each episode is an intimate peek into the life and work of one remarkable chef.
The very first episode about brilliant Italian Chef, Massimo Bottura, and his restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena Italy is all about breakthroughs.
He emulates the following qualities necessary for breakthroughs:
Massimo was passionate about food since being a young child. He hid under the kitchen table from his older siblings as a young child and watched as his grandmother was rolling pasta and meals were made in his home. He is fun, playful, and committed to giving people a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Determined not to be “just another good Italian restaurant” he made food that was quite unlike anyone else’s. It was unusual, dramatic, quirky, and fun. But he didn’t get good reviews or a lot of business in his first few of years in business. But he stuck to his vision.
My favorite part of the episode was the story of when a sous chef dropped and broke a lemon tart just about to be served. The employee was mortified. But Massimo saw it differently. He turned the broken tart into a work of art on the plate. And now it’s a favorite menu item: “Oops, I Dropped The Lemon Tart!”
With less than enthusiastic reviews and not enough customers, he was about to quit. But his wife and partner in the restaurant encouraged him to stick it out for just one more year. And then one day, just by chance, the top food critic in Italy (who was delayed by a traffic accident) ended up dining at his restaurant and gave it a glowing review. More favorable reviews followed and business picked up dramatically. Soon after he won the prize for the best young chef in Italy and his first Michelin Star.
As independent professionals, what we can learn from Massimo Bottura?
Creating a business, any business, takes a lot of work and commitment. It takes mastering the craft and finding new and innovative ways of doing things. It means determination not to be like everyone else, but to forge your own identity.
When you do that, ultimately you’ll have breakthroughs – leaps in your outcomes that defy expectation. To Massimo, that meant international recognition as the top chef in the world with three Michelin Stars.
How will you be passionate, different, creative, and persistent in your business? You may never reach the stratosphere of success that Massimo has but I promise that you will have breakthrough after breakthrough.
I encourage you to watch Chef’s Table and be inspired. Every episode is about this kind of breakthrough.