17 Feb How To Fund & Live Champagne Dreams On A Beer Budget
“We need to add two more lasagnas!” the manager said hurriedly to the kitchen’s ‘chef’.
I looked at her with eyes wide-open - “scaredcited” I’m told this is a word now – and yes, that’s how I was looking at her.
Over the years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned to a starving bestie, as I’m agonizingly pouring over every nuance of one of Toronto’s restaurant's menus before finally choosing my order, once again, that I am fascinated with all things back of house at restaurants. Lovingly, they’ve all indulged me on these dalliances that kept them from getting their hunger pains assuaged quicker.
Now you must know, I’m a ‘foodie wannabe’ - I don’t have an experienced palate yet (note: I said 'yet', lol). I’ve recently learned that Anthony Bourdain would have only gone out with me one time simply for the fact that I wouldn’t have tried a sea urchin on our first date (his test for all first dates). Sad – we would have made a PERFECT couple, but he lost out!
Still, I’ve been a collector of great cookbooks – finally having to ‘cut myself off’ and limit myself to only purchasing that rare cookbook that combines full colour pictures AND stories behind their recipes. Very hard to find – trust me.
I’ve watched all the chef movies and documentaries I can find. I become knock-kneed when confronted with any chefs (male or female, food truck chef or celebrity chef) – doesn’t matter – I become dumb struck and a bumbling, babbling, idiot. Me! Speaker and performer of large stages, crumbled by a chef’s hat!
To me chefs are like rockstars – creators of pure art and magic with food. And this coming from probably one of the pickiest food eaters there is, with a very limited palate. I find it so fascinating that I, one who as a teenager had to try to find the recipe for boiling water – is so captivated by restaurants and chefs.
Knowing this now, it should come to you as no surprise that when two years ago, I created my vision board there is a picture of a restaurant kitchen with a chef on the line, with his team. You see, I’ve said I’d love to learn to cook like a chef, to run a restaurant, to learn chef knife skills. I’ve also said although it would be awesome to OWN a restaurant, I never really wanted to be tied down like that – I just wanted to PLAY with one.
It would seem I’m not alone. It is one of the most oft romanticized industries. Do you know how many people have ‘owning a restaurant’ as one of their life dreams? It is quite high.
The reality of owning a restaurant is far more daunting though. Most restaurants fail within the first two years. It costs a just a little less than a gagillion dollars to open one and the risks are well, ginormous. Ok, yes, those could be ‘alternate facts’ but you get the point.
Still...it was on my vision board. ( Do you have a vision board yet?!)
Mike Dooley, best selling author, featured in The Secret, teaches that ‘thoughts become things’ and he is so very right. Without yet knowing him, or the power of thoughts, I had intuitively put together my own vision board, using the website DreamItAlive.com, an electronic version of a vision board (that's a portion of it at the top of this post.)
And here, two years later, I’m the one in the chef’s apron, running a kitchen, on our opening night. Yes - “scaredcited.” I’m the one the manager is telling that two more lasagnas are required!
My vision board moment – realized.
My thoughts became my reality.
I LOVE connecting with people and I’m always, always asking questions of them. What are they loving about their lives, what are their challenges, what would they have different in their lives, what would they want if I had a magic wand to make it happen...and, what are the obstacles that often roadblock them.
More than half...despite all economics and social status being asked, state that ‘money’ is their biggest obstacle to living how they really would want to live, from doing the things they’d really want to do. Lack of resources...money, time, information, connections are consistently the top named obstacles to their most coveted, authentic lives that people share with me.
Lovingly, I say these are mostly rationalized excuses due to a lack of understanding that there is MORE in the LESS. Oh sure, don’t get me wrong – there could be some realities for some with the lack of resources and their impact on their lives.
I have found though, that most often we have built up the actual amount of time, money or resources to be far bigger than what is really truly required. We mistakenly think we must have it ALL to experience the joy we associate with the dream.
Why the hell do you think those fantasy camps/experiences are so popular? Fantasy baseball camp, NASCAR experiences, Space Camp, etc? Why? Because it is but a sample of the true experience that we want – just the moment, the sample, the trial – without leaving our commitments of life, without the pains and real realities that come with the lives of those dreams. Our joy is satiated! Our dream is realized in just the tastes of! That’s it. Less IS often more!
When every little girl thinks about her wedding, it is not the ceremony part that she spends countless hours, pouring over every detail of – No. It’s the process, the experience leading up to it. The joy for the couple is in all the planning, the building up to. The experience of doing all the wedding stuff. The reality of the ceremony, the commitment, is oft given the least amount of thought or time.
It has been my experience – both personally, in my own research and with my clients – that when it comes down to it, where there is a will, there is a way. And moreover, that when we step into that which we really want, the pieces all fall into place for us.
Just like my vision board moment this past week as a ‘chef.’
I’m on location in Boquete Panama, living in a castle on a coffee plantation. Breathtakingly gorgeous! The castle has been renovated recently into a hostel for travelers and just opened prior to my arrival. In exchange for my volunteer work, I’m provided room and board. And they were, I was told upon my arrival, thinking of opening their commercial kitchen for dinner service – would I be interested in working with a celebrity chef they contracted to operate the kitchen and prepare his foods – they asked me. Um…hellyeah!
And just like that, I found myself here, on our ‘opening night’ serving up a celebrity chef’s lasagna that I got to prepare, along with all the side dishes and salads, for about 25 travelers. I have just ticked off one of my dreams!
Many of you reading this have many similar dreams, but also have life commitments that keep you from packing up to Boquete or wherever. HOWEVER, there are many, many ways to experience your dreams, even your champagne dreams on a beer budget!
Where there is a will...there is indeed a way…so let’s count the ways!
Taking the ‘owning a restaurant’ dream as an example:
1. Place it on your vision board – I like to recommend DreamItAlive.com version because it provides an electronic version that allows you to place it on all your electronic devices as your background – constant reminders. Thoughts DO Become Things!
2. Workaway – yes, like I’m doing here in Boquete. Choose your next travel holiday by the experience. Exotic and far away – OR – right in your own backyard! Find the location and the opportunity to test drive your dream.
3. There’s An App For That – Ok, there are SEVERAL apps for this! EatWith, BonAppetour, WithLocals, and many many more social dining apps are all sites that match foodies who want a different, unique dining experience with people like you who want to live the dream of being a restaurateur or chef by serving them from your home! You simply choose your day(s) and your menu(s) that you are serving that day, and how many you can serve for, what time, and people go on the app and book their dinner with you – paying you to live your dream! How fantabulous is that???
4. Pop Ups – In many cities, there is a growing trend for pop-up kitchen or food markets, where people like you who have a desire to cook for others, are given access to a commercial kitchen and a well marketed gathering of foodies ready and willing to sample all the wares!
5. Volunteer Locally – There are so many local food kitchens that need help every day of the week, and are willing to train people to help with their food kitchens. This is a great way to give AND receive! Check out VolunteerMatch.org for opportunities in your area.
Now these were just some tips for you who always wanted to ‘own a restaurant’ or ‘be a chef’ but really deep down, like me, knew that would be fun only for the moment.
For the other dreams we all have, do consider that if there is a will there is a way...so go find ways to TASTE your dreams and you’ll too be surprised in how much JOY you will find in it and, I dare say, how much more the Universe will surprise you with!
P.S. - If you have a dream that you've been putting off, and want to brainstorm on some ways to make it happen for you and are just, well, getting stuck...join in our Facebook group, The Rebelution where I and the rest of our tribe actively jump in to help solve and figure out how to step forward into our dreams! It's a Special INVITE ONLY GROUP - so share the CODE: BEERBUDGET and we'll be sure to let you in!