October 23, 2012 |

Commentary: What inspires you?

By Jeremy White

What inspires you? What makes you want to be the best pizza maker or business owner you can be?

Money is one of the obvious answers. As a business owner, your hope and expectation is that you will ultimately provide your family with a high standard of living. But do you truly use that expectation as motivation and carry a fire inside you when you walk through the doors of your shop each and every day? Years ago, when you started your business, you probably possessed deep within you a longing — a persistent ache that kept you awake at night. Opening your own business was all you could think about. It wasn’t merely something you wanted to do … it was something you HAD to do.

You took a risk. You borrowed money. You found a way to make your dream happen.
And then, quite possibly, somewhere along the way you found complacency. You hit a certain sales level that satisfied you. Once you became satisfied, you became uninspired. Your exciting career as an entrepreneur turned into more of a chore. You stopped creating. You played defense instead of offense.

If this has happened to you, you aren’t alone. But you can’t stay stagnant forever — doing so is the kiss of death.

John Gutekanst opens his article on béchamel sauce (page 38) by briefly alluding to a time in his business’ life cycle when he was less than inspired. Then a light bulb went off inside his head and a successful menu expansion that ultimately led to increased sales ensued. Had he been overly complacent, he would have dismissed the ‘a ha’ moment as a good idea that just might require too much work. But somewhere deep inside he was still hungry, so he acted.

John’s inspiration was a new marketing campaign by BMW. What’s your inspiration? Quite possibly you’ll find it in John’s story. Perhaps you’ll find it elsewhere in this magazine. Or you might find it from an employee or at home. Don’t stop looking for your next big moment or it will pass you by. This business is too competitive for complacency. Ours is an industry that rewards creativity. Get started on your next big thing now, before the guy up the street beats you to the punch.


Jeremy White, Editor-in-chief