Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? In the whirlwind and sometimes cutthroat world of entrepreneurship, passion is oftentimes viewed as the driving force necessary to fuel success. Scratch the surface of Canada’s dynamic $78-billion foodservice industry and you’ll undoubtedly find a plethora of passionate individuals — be they owners, operators, or chefs.
When you look at the high failure rate of restaurants, the low profit margins eked out by many and the long working hours demanded by this industry, one has to wonder why so many wannabe entrepreneurs still gravitate to it? But for those intoxicated by the thrill of running their own business, the foodservice and hospitality industry holds an unexplainable magnetic force — pulling them in and then propelling them forward to break through the barriers and ultimately achieve success.
Just as passion is a necessary ingredient for success, so too, is creativity. Ever meet an entrepreneur who is at a loss for new ideas? In fact, most entrepreneurs draw their energy through new ideas and those ideas germinate in the unlikeliest of places. For these individuals, the magic unfolds when an idea finally takes root. Entrepreneurs are driven by fuelling new concepts, watching them develop into successful entities and then, just as easily, moving on to the next great idea because there’s always another great idea. They’re not prone to indecision; they don’t let it stifle or paralyze them with inertia; they’re not risk averse. Failure is not an option for these steely individuals. They’re energized by challenges; they see opportunity where others see failure; and should they fail, they learn from it, pick themselves up and get to it, again.
Luckily, the foodservice industry is home to many of these entrepreneurs — individuals with a dream and the conviction, determination and perseverance to make it a reality. Of course, solid backing, sound acumen and strong financial footing don’t hurt.
Sure, passion alone may not necessarily guarantee success — but it can go a long way in propelling entrepreneurs to great heights. In fact, more often than not, it’s hard to ignore the importance that passion plays in any successful enterprise. And, it happens to be the one common thread woven through many of this month’s featured Bright Stars (see story on p. 19). Each of this month’s five profiles represents a unique brand of entrepreneurship and their stories serve as inspiration for those keen to glean a few lessons from them.
Interestingly, as a new generation of millennials now starts to take the reins of power (see story on p. 27), a new form of entrepreneurship will undoubtedly take shape — one rooted in social activism and care for the planet. The scope of what will be created will change and evolve, and their stories will unfold in new and creative ways never before imagined.