business, entrepreneur, life, money, motivation, values

Gate Keepers…

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Have you ever attended one of those ‘you can do it’ type seminars, you know, the ones where the presenter speaks about ‘turn-key’ solutions, and empowerment and so on and so forth?  I have, and I am usually a skeptic, always waiting for the subtle manipulations of the audience, the pandering leading up to the ‘buy my book’ moment. I do understand why they are so popular, and also why such a overwhelming percentage of those books, CD’s, and programs are left un-read.  It’s partly why those presenters are so successful.  They know and understand human nature.

The hours of self-congratulating stories of how they did it, how successful they are, how great their life is, wear pretty thin pretty quick.  One of the most successful ‘self-helpers’ out there is a master of manipulation.  Just before his segment on relationships, he has his wife come on stage where they embrace and look lovingly into each other’s eyes, their image is projected onto the large screens, and it’s not long before many begin to question why their spouce isn’t that enamored with them, why can’t they have those long public displays of affection, how come he looks so good, so rich, so successful?  Then, BOOM!  He launches into his segment on relationships.  Clever little monkey.

As much as I don’t care for that sort of thing, I sure could use that guy today.  I need a gate keeper, a turn key solution kind of guy to unlock some serious potential in a business dealing that our company is currently bogged down in.  The ball is the other team’s court, they have hand, they have all the opportunity to make great things happen, but they won’t.

I understand their position, but I just don’t see the long term logic in decisions that prevent the whole process from moving forward.  I need to send them that CD, that book, that song and dance stage show in hopes of it motivating them to go for it!

I don’t need it for me.  I need it for them.  If the other side could take that leap of faith and un-lock the gate, we all have better chance of being able to begin building the type of wealth we went into business to create.

We all know wealthy guys, guys in nice suits, guys with white smiles, guys with cars, homes, golf games, shopping sprees, private schools, etc.  Admit it or don’t, you’re only fooling yourself and those eating the granola next to you, but we know the truth.

Life is better with money, and in business, one doesn’t usually open the gate to great achievement and wealth without taking some risks.  It also means that along the way you may have to unlock a few gates for others.

Here’s hoping that the gate I’m standing in-front of opens soon.

Enjoy!

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bubble, chef, cooks, drinking, enjoy, entertainment, entrepreneur, life, reality, recipe, tasting, TV, Wine

A Quick Slurp…


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I’m going to give you a bit of insight into my personal life.  Not that this blog isn’t just that, but I’m talking inner sanctum kind of exclusive access that is normally reserved for my psychologist.

I hate reality TV.  Other than the first season of “Survivor” and maybe three episodes of “The Great Race”, I can honestly say that I have not enjoyed another minute.

So, it must be said just how much I loathe reality TV cooking.  Not one of those shows interests me, but then I’m ‘Old School’.  Or maybe I’m just old.

I enjoy slow-cooking.  I loved preparing and braaing crayfish for the first time, and getting it oh so right.  I loved making fresh pasta with my daughter for the first time and getting it oh so wrong.  I love making pastry from scratch using my grandmother’s and mother’s recipe, mixing cocktails, looking up recipes, and cooking with my wife.  I love making salads, sandwiches, and my favorite of all, opening the fridge with no clear direction in mind and coming up with something delicious and satiating.

I am old school, I enjoy Keith Floyd, Nigella, Nigel Slater, Raymond Blanc, Rachel Khoo, Giorgio Locatelli, Tony Allen, Hugh Fearnley, Antonio & Gennaro, Ching-He Huang, Gino D’Acumpo, Anthony Bourdain (when sitting in bars), Rick Stien (when on boats in France), Jamie & Gordon (in measured dosages), & Lentswe Bhengu (cause he’s local and local is lekker).

I’m a ‘quick slurp’ kind of cook.  I take my time and I clean as I go.  Thus, I don’t have the time to rush around.  Does that make sense?

Why does everything have to be some contrived competition?  Little baby cooks (it’s like listening to 13 year old ‘Got Talent’ kids singing Janice Joplin), fledgling chefs who are wanna-be personalities, celebrities who want to be cooks, ticking clocks, final 10 second countdowns, chop-by-chop announcers, chefs who stand arms crossed trying to look menacing, cut-a-ways to their silly comments, their hopes, dreams, fears, and put downs of their ‘competition’.  It’s all more than a bit much.  It’s too fucking much!

I find cooking to be quite relaxing, knowing that I am providing for my family, my friends, and my clients, and that’s real enough.

So, you’ll understand that I don’t think we need Master Chef’s, Iron Chef’s, Great Bake-Off’s of any kind?  Just zen it out man.  Talk to me about what it is you’re making, what it is you’re using, ingredients, techniques, and a few, (very few) personal anecdotes.  I prefer it if there is alcohol within the presenter’s reach, and like Floyd, in hand.

Give me an hour, some nice music that relates to the presenter chef’s personality, a nice kitchen, some creative camera work, and above all, some really great from-the-heart dishes, or give me death!

But do not give me REALITY!

ENJOY!

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Burst Our Bubble?

220princeslounge

bubble_psd_by_akshobhyia-d3hbrn8

Does anybody remember the 80’s? That decade where the prevailing mantra: ‘greed is good’ ran wild all over us. I wonder has anything really changed?

I would suggest that deep down we all know the answer and for the large majority of us it’s just easier to not ask the question.

I’ve asked, so I’ll reply.   We have learned, we understand, but we’ve not really changed. I would suggest that we are, as some philosophers contend, very much a collection of self-interests who, can get along, but only to the extent that our cooperation merits some sort of reward for the self.

It’s a rather dark view but there obvious examples all around us. Housing bubbles, tech bubbles, media bubbles, emerging market bubbles, what is it now, the Unicorn bubble? No matter, what we know for certain that they all go pop in the end, but it won’t stop us…

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bubble, business, drinking, enjoy, entertainment, entrepreneur, life, tasting, values, Wine

Burst Our Bubble?

bubble_psd_by_akshobhyia-d3hbrn8

Does anybody remember the 80’s? That decade where the prevailing mantra: ‘greed is good’ ran wild all over us. I wonder has anything really changed?

I would suggest that deep down we all know the answer and for the large majority of us it’s just easier to not ask the question.

I’ve asked, so I’ll reply.   We have learned, we understand, but we’ve not really changed. I would suggest that we are, as some philosophers contend, very much a collection of self-interests who, can get along, but only to the extent that our cooperation merits some sort of reward for the self.

It’s a rather dark view but there obvious examples all around us. Housing bubbles, tech bubbles, media bubbles, emerging market bubbles, what is it now, the Unicorn bubble? No matter, what we know for certain that they all go pop in the end, but it won’t stop us from continuing to blow them in the first place. It’s a very adept analogy that needs to be taken beyond the POP!

So, now that I’ve said what we already know, the next step becomes what am I prepared to do about it?

At 220 Princes Lounge & 220 Café, we are working to provide an experience that goes beyond the Pop & Bubble of our lovely in house MCC’s and Champagnes. There is a bit of pressure that comes with owning and operating Cape Town’s unique private-for-hire lounge. And just like all those economic bubbles the majority of the pressure comes from within while the expectation that leads to additional pressure comes from external factors.

The trick to getting that bubble to its critical mass and maintaining it is not an easy one. There is always pressure to improve on your last results. While one is busy ‘taking things to the next level,’ you can easily lose sight of the characteristics and values that you founded your little bubble on. Add to this the pressure from others who expect more and more each time and it is easy to break the fine surface tension that holds your bubble together.

I would suggest that you can build your bubble and sustain it long term by adhering to some simple rules:

  • Volume over time. Stick with it. The adage that ‘the system works if you work the system’ works. It just may take some time to develop your system.
  • Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Know who you are, what you are, and what you are prepared to give. Authenticity.
  • Be prepared to say no to others. It’s your bubble be wary of whom you let begin adding their own air. Lot’s of people out there would love to hitch their wagon to yours.
  • Take risks. If you understand the concept of risk then you know that one may have to add some pressure some times.

At 220 Princes Lounge & 220 Café we create little bubbles for every one of our clients and then strive to make it as big as we can on the night (see point 2). The ‘Pop & Bubble’ of an individual event adds its own momentum to our larger conceptual bubble. We’ve held dozens and dozens of events and we will host many more, each one adding volume to our big bubble (see point 1). Some events and partnerships don’t work for us (see point 3), but never close a door, what doesn’t work today may be possible tomorrow. And by investing our savings in a building, in growing our business, in going big, we take risks every day (see point 4), and that’s what keeps our bubble growing.

Enjoy!

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