You stand in the center of the kitchen spinning as though one foot is nailed into the ceramic flooring. You pivot ’round and ’round. Nothing gets done. More spinning. Most people don’t know what this means. But you do. You’re a chef. A culinary genius on a bad night. Every moving part is in overdrive and you’ve lost track – just for an instant. But the instant is long enough to lose track of it all. And it all falls apart.
Within 48 hours my phone rings – Holly, help.
The spinning is precipitated by a string of smaller incidents, an imperceptibly canted slope toward the ultimate edge that every chef comes up against in their career. Maybe you need a vacation, or you want your coworkers to pull their weight. Or maybe it is just that shitty payday after payday, year after year. You’re standing on the edge. It’s time for change – time to start your own professional chef business.
Sometimes chefs need to be pushed to the edge before creating a change. Chefs are some of the toughest, hardest working individuals who endure some of the most difficult working conditions of any profession.
Previously, I listed the Top 10 Things Exhausted Chefs Say Before They Quit Their “Day” Job. It is what I hear from chefs who are ready to start their own culinary business. If David Letterman featured Top 10 lists for TWENTY-NINE YEARS, there’s no harm in me sharing another ten from my annals (Yes, insert joke here. ‘Annals’ is a good word!)
Chefs have a lot to say about having bad days
10 More Things that Make Chefs SNAP.
- At my wage, I’ll never own a home or be able to support my family.
- Just once I’d like to have a holiday off with everyone else.
- My boss doesn’t give a shit about me.
- When they use me up, they’ll spit me out and replace me in a second.
- One of these days I’m just going to WALK.
- I can’t continue to work at this pace. It’s not sustainable.
- Doing this work for the rest of my life will KILL me.
- Being a chef isn’t nearly as sexy as I thought it would be.
- In four hours, they’ll shit out my hard work and come back for more.
- I work for hours but it only takes minutes to eat what I’ve made.
- I can’t take another day working cheek to jowl in these submarine conditions.
What amazes me is the amount of time – often years – that a chef can think and say these things without taking any action to create their culinary dream. It’s time to kick fear in its teeth and take a step toward becoming your best self – a culinary genius on a GREAT day. Take a leap toward a better life for you and for your family. Stop spinning.
Chef, are you ready to stop spinning and start calling your own shots?
When you’re ready for a change, your world gets brighter. It becomes possible to create a logical plan to move into the life you’ve dreamed of instead of staying stuck in the life you dread.