Recently I went to see the movie Chef without knowing much about it, and was surprised when it turned out to be an inspiring soloist success story.
Excuse the pun, but here are a few of my takeaways.
Sometimes you need a push
The lead character in the film starts his own business after finding himself suddenly jobless, with no appealing opportunities in sight. This may not be the ideal way to kick off a new venture, but if chef Carl Casper signed up for Flying Solo today, he’d be joining many others whose businesses started for similar reasons – and who are delighted that the universe gave them a nudge in the right direction.
Social media can make or break you
An ill-conceived tweet is the catalyst that propels Carl from his comfortable existence into a complete and utter career crisis. Ironically, social media also turns out to be his saviour, letting the world know that he’s reinvented himself and is back on track. (As a bonus tip, the movie also demonstrates that if you haven’t got to grips with social media yourself, there may well be a younger person in your life who can show you the ropes).
Present your products in the best possible light
My tummy literally rumbled as I sat in the cinema watching such everyday events such as onions sizzling in a pan, cheese melting on a toasted sandwich and mustard being slathered on bread – and all around me I could hear people saying to their neighbours, ‘I am SOOOO hungry.’ If you were ever in any doubt, the footage undeniably demonstrates that making your products look so good that people want to experience them for themselves is always worth the investment!
Getting started takes elbow grease
When Carl first lays eyes on the food truck that he hopes will solve all his problems, it’s so disgustingly filthy that personally, I’d have walked away rather than clean it. Luckily, he sees its potential so simply knuckles down and gets on with the job – like all determined soloists do.
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Talent and passion are an inspiring combo
Carl is clearly a talented chef, and when he’s channelling his passion into food rather than having temper tantrums, people around him are inspired and enthusiastic – going out of their way to join his mission and to rave about his abilities.
Relationships are everything
On the surface, Chef is all about a guy’s relationship with his son. But for soloists, it’s also a reminder that our extended networks can sometimes be surprisingly valuable resources and allies. From his ex-wife’s ex-husband who donates the truck, to his sidekick’s cousin’s mate who does a spectacular job of painting and branding it; there are numerous instances where people outside Carl’s inner circle step up to help him live his dream.
Chef seems to be in limited release in Australia, so if it’s not on at a cinema near you, make a note to grab the DVD when you can. It’s definitely worth watching on a rainy afternoon when your soloist mojo could do with a boost!
Have you had a taste of this movie too? Please share your business insights in the comments.