Steve Jobs said “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful..that’s what matters to me.” While money may initially be a strong motivator, it is rarely what sustains one’s drive in one’s career. To truly be successful AND happy you need to be passionate about what you do.
Take Dustin Bergeron, head chef at Park Ave. Pub in Breckenridge Colorado. When he took over operations at the pub, the establishment was serving bar food that arrived frozen that was then heated in the microwave. The business was staying above water, but not by much. Dustin has a passion for the culinary arts and saw the potential to turn this dive into a true gem of Breckenridge. It’s located at the bottom of one of the ski slopes, which is prime real estate. If you’ve never been skiing before, let’s just say that, once you get off the slopes, you want great food and great beer right away. Microwaved bar food just doesn’t cut it.
Recognizing the customers’ true needs, Dustin pushed with upper management for a complete change for the restaurant. It was a pricey and dicey one, which included expanding the minute kitchen into a small yet workable facility that would allow him to create signature sauces and gourmet pizzas that partnered well with the unique beers on tap. While management was reluctant to invest so heavily in this turnaround, it is paying off. I don’t know how many hours Dustin works, but I got the impression that he is at the pub virtually all the time, and that he personally, physically handles most of the operations beyond serving food and drink. As the saying goes “he’s working his butt off”…and he’s happy, very happy.
From a marketing standpoint, Dustin recognized a consumer need that he could fill while fulfilling his dreams and following his passion. This pairing was lucrative enough to provide Dustin an economically feasible standard of living with potential for growth. And as long as the current operational responsibilities don’t overwhelm him, he’s poised for a promising future. He’s sharing his passion and putting all his energy into something that’s going to be better for everyone, not just for himself, or “the company”. This is the type of business where word-of-mouth advertising has great potential.
What are you passionate about? What will drive you to success in 2014?