“Impossible only means you haven’t found the solution yet.”

-Anonymous 


There’s a time period every successful entrepreneur can remember: when they officially crossed the chasm.

After all the blood, sweat, and tears, often years on end, when a person goes from “wanting” to “walking” the entrepreneurial line, there’s no greater feeling in the world.

As the founder and executive director of the American Personal & Private Chef Association, and someone who has propelled the industry forward in a massive way, Candy Wallace remembers such a time when it all began to pay off.

I had the pleasure of capturing Candy’s story and entrepreneurial advice during our two-hour session, which will be featured in the upcoming issue of Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine. Her story is nothing short than incredible and her advice quickly reveals the 5 decades she’s dedicated to the industry at large. Said another way, you won’t want to miss it!

In this article, we’ll review some tips Candy shared for those striving for entrepreneurial success today.

ASK QUESTIONS

For anyone looking to become an entrepreneur, truly, it begins with asking the right questions. And many times, it’s asking and answering hundreds of them.

Questions have the power to elevate your thinking and create new connections, which become the foundation of your entrepreneurial journey.

As Candy says:

Look around in your world, where you are right now, and ask… 

  • What are you doing?
  • What is your function?
  • What do you do every day?
  • What do you like about that?
  • If you could change your present environment, how would you change it?
  • What are you hearing from your colleagues?
  • What do they need?
  • What are they looking for?
  • What about your family, what do they need?
  • What are they looking for?
  • Is that something you could do?

 

Out of all of those things that you do, that you love, that initially drew you to this career path, what is it that still excites you?

What would you like to explore and expand on? What would you like your brand to be?

To me, after decades in the industry I sat down and said, “What do I love?” I love to cook, but I love taking care of people. I’m from a huge family and feeding that huge family and my loved ones makes my heart sing.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

As dreaded as It may be at times, someone’s ability to research and fight impatience can mean the difference between starting on the right foot or having to circle back to the very beginning.

Once you begin to get answers to questions, the process of researching becomes essential.

As Candy says:

Do your homework. Make sure that you’re prepared, research what your idea is, research it in depth.

Ask…

  • Is it a valid need?
  • What need does it fill?
  • Who needs it?
  • How many people need it?
  • Where are they?
  • Who are they?

Make sure that you’ve done your homework before you throw yourself off that cliff, because if you throw yourself off the cliff you can’t exactly knit yourself a parachute on the way down.

CREATE YOUR PLAN

Nothing, and I mean nothing really begins to happen until you have a plan.

Whether it’s an informal mockup of a business plan, or it’s one completely decked out, a plan is crucial.

With a plan, you’re ready to tackle projects in the order of importance and start getting traction.

As Candy says:

And nothing happens unless you have a plan. If you don’t have a plan, how are you ever going to know you’re successful?

You dream it, you research it, you plan it, then you launch it once you’ve got a very specific plan to follow and road map. Once you’ve launched it then you work your plan, left foot, right foot.

BULLETPROOF YOUR CONFIDENCE

The ride will not be easy and you’ll have naysayers and detractors along the way. As such, it’s mission critical to have confidence in what you’re doing.

Whether you have to “fake it till you make it” or you genuinely believe in yourself, the success of your venture relies on your confidence.

As Candy says:

Confidence is imperative for entrepreneurs.

People will come at you, they will. You always have naysayers. Some out of love who are concerned that you might be making a mistake.

You have to believe in yourself and have confidence in what you’re doing or you’ll cave at every juncture where somebody throws a pebble in your path.

EVALUATE YOUR PLAN

A fatal flaw some make after they create a plan, whether formal or informal, is they leave it to collect dust. Shame, shame, shame.

The plan is a living breathing document. Truly, it should be evaluated and updated often.

How else do you know if you’re veering off track? You could be heading for a cliff without evaluating where you started and where you currently reside.

As Candy says:

Periodically, it’s very important to evaluate your plan. Take a look at it and ask, “Have I achieved everything that I set out to achieve?” If so, then you might need a bigger box to play in. Reevaluate your plan, readjust it so that you have new goals, so that you have bigger plans.

START WHERE YOU ARE (FINANCIALLY)

When speaking with aspiring entrepreneurs, a central theme is “not having the money” to launch their idea.

If that’s the case, then start where you are. Ask yourself, “what can I afford right now?” Sure this may lead to altering the original idea, but it’s a start and could lead to the end result.

As Candy say:

What you need to do is don’t be overly ambitious and say, “Oh my God, I need $500,000 to start this business.” Maybe that’s not the way you want to start off. Maybe you want to walk before you run and if you’re saying that the money is stopping you then you need to go and talk to a financial professional who can help you make a plan to get the money that you need if they really feel that it’s a sound idea and that you should go forward.

I have a girlfriend who set out with an idea that was splendid. She set out on Kickstarter to raise $25,000 and ended up raising $200,000.

If your idea is good and you believe in yourself, you’re going to explore avenues. If your idea is sound and your business plan is rock solid and if you’re enthusiastic, confident and competent and you do a presentation for them, who’s going to say no?

MARKET OUTRAGEOUSLY

You don’t just “build it and they will come” these days, no, it takes just as much time, energy, and oftentimes money, to market something as it does to bring it into existence.

However, there are creative ways to market that can pierce through the noise and capture the attention of your target market.

As Candy says:

You’ve got to be outrageous.

[Marketing] it’s just thinking non-traditionally. Not being afraid to try new avenues and allowing yourself to have fun while you’re doing it is absolutely crucial to your success.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As I mentioned in the beginning, Candy Wallace has made an incredible impact on the industry at large and she shares her story and best advice in the upcoming issue of the Entrepreneurial Chef Magazine. Grab a copy when it comes out and send us a note of what you think!

As always, thanks for taking the time to read, feel free to leave comments below, and share the article with anyone who’s trying to cross the entrepreneurial chasm!

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Shawn Wenner

As the founder, after a decade in culinary education I decided to fuse my favorite topics in this corner of the web - education, entrepreneurship, & culinary arts. Join the growing community of culinary entrepreneurs and I hope you enjoy the site!

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