I was a Chef somewhere around 12 years into my career lying next to his girlfriend wondering how I was going to pay my bills the following month. I lied there thinking to myself how ridiculous it was that I had worked that hard for that long and put my body through those trials it was absolutely unacceptable that I’d continue living my life that way. Come to think of it, this moment was the last time I have felt hopeless since then.
I wanted so many things. I wanted to be able to take care of my girlfriend. I was looking to take care of my mother who had done so much for me and put up with everything that raising me as a child entailed. I was constantly looking for a way to make enough money for me to empower my little brother to follow whatever dreams he chose to pursue. Though quite possibly my strongest desire that is always sitting not too far in the back of my mind is my desire to prove my Nana Tina Rose D’Avanzo right when she would say that I would do great things one day.
At the time I was struggling with trying to find a way that I could use my career to not only put food on the table and a roof over our heads, but I wanted to flourish. That meant not only do I do those things, but that I never have to worry about money again. Not just myself though, but that no one close to me would ever have to worry about money again.
Back then, I was so angry. Not always outwardly angry, but it was like The Hulk, I was calm on the outside, but underneath the rage was looking for somewhere to go. I tried so hard to help so many people and so many of them had just taken advantage of that fact and I had next to nothing to show for it. It was confusing, it was frustrating, it hurt.
I had already hit my low point a few months prior when I was living out of my car. I had a job, but the hours weren’t as consistent as I needed, but I had enough to have a gym membership so I had somewhere to stay sharp and clean and eventually met my girlfriend which took me to this moment where I’m wondering, how am I going to provide for this woman that I cared so deeply for.
Then, as if by chance, something amazing happened...
Then I started thinking about the years I’ve spent planning my future since Jr. High and though my general hypothesis of “As long as people are alive they gotta eat which means I always have a job”. It didn’t stop there this time. I recalled a conversation I had with a line cook once upon a time about how as long as we have our knives and fire we can cook, but that morning I took that thought just a bit further when I remembered that I don’t even need fire, I just need acid. Plus the ad I had seen a few days prior I realized that it would be relatively easy for me to test that hypothesis and I suddenly I had my confidence back and I had a game plan.
In that moment everything changed.
I was able to create an income of my own, not tied to the whims of an individual, not tied to the ability of others to market their business and make money therefore making me money. No. Now I had a path that I could carve out of my own that would lead me towards something I always knew I needed; financial independence.
So, I decided to do just a few things so I could start making money. First, I needed to incorporate myself as an LLC. Next I had to get my name out there so I started posting my information on various platforms that would market me, for me for a fee of course. Luckily I still had some money in my pocket and a little coming the next week, but here’s the magic, I wasn’t betting on others any more. I wasn’t betting on hope anymore. This moment I realized it was my time to stop leaving things strictly to chance and start doing my part to influence the outcome.
But there was still a problem...
We still had to deal with how I was going to get people to take a chance on me as being my first opportunity to show that I have the chops to be a Private Chef. This mean that I needed to learn how to talk to people and convince them to pay for my services which first and foremost meant, I needed to learn how to get someone to click.
Wouldn’t you know it, in no-time I had landed my first dinner party, then another and another, AND THEY PAID ME! Granted it was not a huge sum, but it was often more than I expected and about equal to the amount I would have made in a shift or two at my normal job, but with way less stress.
After a few gigs and lying in bed with my girlfriend again in the same position physically that I was in only a few weeks earlier, but now in a totally different head-space I had the next epiphany that sent the next 3 years in motion; if this business model can help me, this can help so many of my friends as well.
Which meant the last 12 years I spent making connections with people while observing how they work and interact with people and struggle and create they too finally had a way that they could be helped by my work too.
Up to this point we were able to build Savor The Passion and get Chefs gigs to make more money in less time than they ever had in their usual work and we’ve only just begun.
This journey has been an amazing one so far. When I started this I was confidant in my looks, I was confidant in my ability to cook and I was confidant in my ability to physically defend those I care about. That’s not enough in the game of life and this project has already done so much to help me where I have been weak. I read more than I ever have in the past, I reach out to more people than I ever have. I’m finally able to talk to stranger and asking for money in exchange for a service that I’m providing directly. When I look at the world I no longer look at progress simply as “what are they doing” or “why don’t they” as I talk about innovators as if they’re some grand being. No. Now I look at the world and where I think we lack and think, “What can I do to fix that.” “What can we do to make that better?”
At this point I have done so much. I’ve made business connections I never would have made if I didn’t feel neglected and taken advantage of. I’ve learned how to speak to people as if I can make a contribution rather than stay silent as if my words are merely a burden
I have given families hope that no matter what their current situation is if they follow their passion and they work hard there is an opportunity waiting for them and I am here to help in any way that I can.