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Your Business. "Is it Restaurant Impossible?"

Updated: Jan 27

“What’s your favorite TV show?” asked a client.

My brain circuits went searching for the answer.

I have my reasons for not watching much TV. Although when I do, I’ll watch Robert Irvine’s Restaurant Impossible.

Irvine, a Marine turned chef and restaurateur basically brings restaurants back from the dead. With utility pole sized biceps bursting through a black tee-shirt and a Drill Sergeant style, Irvine breathes life into failing businesses.

Although I don’t bark at my clients like a Marine Corps Drill Sergeant.

Irvine and I have the same approach to running a successful business.

Can you guess where Irvine and I align?


Because unless the owner’s mindset changes, nothing changes. Zippo. Mindset underpins every goal you attempt. Be it the matriarch who doesn’t trust her son to run the restaurant to the depressed divorcé with a café on the brink of bankruptcy, Irvine drills to the core of a mindset blockage like an auger through ice cream.

C’mon Paula, it’s TV. Yes, it is. But running a successful business is one-part mindset, a ginormous part. And one-part mastery of the basics. If more owners did a mindset check and practiced business fundamentals, Restaurant Impossible doesn’t renew next season. That’s not the case.

So, let’s imagine the big four basics, including mindset, as legs to the tabletop supporting all other aspects of your business. Any business.

  1. The product you sell or the service you provide is the heartbeat of your business. Make it the best. If you own a restaurant serve the best food. If you manufacture corrugated boxes, make them the best. Service providers and products flood the market. Daily. With millions of choices, give customers an, “I can’t live without it,” reason to choose your business.

  2. “Marketing is a soft cost!” a bean counter scoffs. Um. No. Marketing is the brain of the business. How long can it survive without one? When no one knows about your service or product, how can they buy it? Add an overcrowded field. Nielsen cites that consumers see 10,000 ads per day. It takes 32 touches from your company before a customer makes a purchasing decision, 32. Although, make sure number #1 is in place because the market will speak. People talk. The velocity your business reputation travels on social media is at hypersonic speed.

  3. Know. Your. Numbers. They’re the lungs breathing life into every aspect of your business. Know your annual revenue. Govern expenses. Calculate profits. It’s not what you earn it’s what you keep to reinvest in and grow the business. Funding a rainy-day account is your insurance policy against insolvency because since its inception, the market is sometimes manipulated. It’s always cyclical. Like the tide, it goes out. It will come in. Out. In. Be ready.

  4. Mindset. Whether it’s personal or business, what you say, think and feel must match your goal. Here’s why. Maybe you want more money. So, you recite “I’m rich. I’m rich. I’m rich.” You can say affirmations until the bovines ring your doorbell. If your inner opponent snarks, “Hey buddy, there’s ninety-seven bucks in your bank account, you’re broke.” The conflict between desire and sense evidence puts a concrete wall between you and your goal. Fear not. There’s a way to transform the discrepancy. Doing so is essential because the truth is this. The dominant idea is the architect of your reality. The. Dominant. Idea. You can affirm wanting business success, yet if there is any mindset conflict, like the untrusting matriarch and the depressed divorcé, nothing changes until your energy changes. Numero uno? Fix the underlying issue.

Mindset. It’s priority. Because it fuels all else on the short list of business basics. Personnel, communications and operations are essential too. Yes, I know, amidst challenges, you’re juggling a bazillion things. Step by step, nail the big four. You create the conditions for business wealth, health and success.

Suspect a mindset issue? Do a 10,000-mile check-up. Consider bringing in a mindset/business specialist so the company runs smoothly.

For the record, you don’t have to audition for Irvine’s show, bare your soul on national TV or be barked at to improve your business.

Originally published in

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