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eMinutes Client Profile: Jeffrey Saad

Saad BW

Tell us about the project you’re currently working on.

My book, Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen, Recipes Without Borders comes out March 20, 2012. This book is an offering of my life’s experience cooking, eating and traveling as a chef/restaurateur, a dad, a husband, and a traveling food nut.  This book captures my taste of the world via my love of travel, people and an insatiable appetite for ingredients and flavor. You will learn which spices and flavors create the signature of 8 different countries cuisines and how to cook and taste the world with little effort.

 Why did you become an entrepreneur? Is starting a business something you always wanted to do?

I never considered anything else. I opened my first restaurant at 25, 9 months after graduating culinary school. I have always had a burning desire to inspire people and make an impact on the world. Being an entrepreneur gives you the greatest range to do that.

What is the number one thing you wish you could learn more about, and how will you learn about it? Languages! Language is the key to getting to know a culture and it’s people (and of course the food!) If you speak even a few sentences you will have a much deeper, fuller experience when visiting a foreign country or meeting a foreign speaker at home. I have Rosetta Stone for Spanish, French and Chinese and make a habit out of studying a little bit every day. I also have a “flashcard” application on my iphone that allows me to download free language lessons. I love it. It is just as important to give your brain a workout, as it is to workout your body. This gives me the brain workout while also allowing me to get a valuable skill.

How has technology impacted your business?

Brilliantly. I have all kinds of food aps at my fingertips. I can share my recipes and food thoughts effortlessly via my blog/website

How do you use social media in your business?

As a way to stay in touch with fans and anyone who is interested in my message. I want to change the world one person at a time. I want to inspire people to eat, cook and enjoy their lives to the fullest. This is one more way to get the message out. It is a great way to keep people up to date with where I am and what I am doing as well as sharing my “flavor thoughts” and restaurant experiences.

Did you have a business plan when you started your business, and, if so, how much did you vary from it?

“If you don’t know where you are going you will probably end up somewhere else” is one of my favorite quotes. I have always done a business plan 1. As an exercise in getting all my thoughts down and making sure it is cohesive and makes general financial sense. 2. As a target. But that is all. The journey is so powerful you will always end up taking different roads but by knowing the direction you want to go makes a big difference.

What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?

There are too many to list! I love making mistakes because that is when you really learn something. Making the same mistake twice is shameful.

Being too focused on my message and not stopping to fully understand others BEFORE I worry about what I have to say. I have learned that it is so much more rewarding (and your message gets delivered even better).

What advice would you offer to a first-time entrepreneur?

“The only difference between dreams and reality is how bad you want it”. Don’t stop until you make it happen. There will be many hurdles, many naysayers and moments of despair. In the end it will all pay off if you are persistent. Nothing great happens in this world until you are uncomfortable. Then, butterflies turn into rocket fuel and you are rewarded.

Have you received funding from an outside source, and how has funding  (or the lack of funding) impacted your ability to achieve your objectives?

“Desire backed by faith knows no such word as impossible”. If you believe in what you are doing more than you believe in anything in the world there is ALWAYS someone who will invest in you. People invest in people more than business. The owner of the restaurant I worked for through culinary schools said to be “the day you open a restaurant I get half”. He gave me half. Without funding little can happen. That first investment changed my life and gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dreams.

How do you spend your workday?

I pick the top three things I MUST get done that day and then stay focused on them. I give myself fully to the project at hand without thinking about anything else and then move on to the next one. I find it far more rewarding to do each thing really well then do 20 things halfway.

Who do you rely upon in your business most, and what does he or she do for you that is so invaluable? My wife! She is my soul mate, partner and manager. She is the ultimate sounding board that keeps me in check. You always need people around you that will be brutally honest and love you.

Do you believe that “luck” played any role in the success of your company?

“The harder I work the luckier I get” is another favorite quote. The book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell does a great job of summarizing how circumstance and timing can greatly impact ones success. I do believe that we make our own destiny and that the right mental attitude and love of what you do far outweigh luck.

If you had an extra $25,000 to spend on your business, what would you spend it on? Great question!! Travel. I would go to as many countries as possible and work with local chefs and farmers to take my skill set and understanding to the next level. I love to learn and then share what I learn with others. Investing in yourself is always a good investment.

How neat or messy is your desk?  Please send us a photo.

Always pristine, everything in its place. Just like your body (sickness, fitness is a representation of your mental state I believe that the environment you create is also a manifestation of what is going on in your head. I can’t work if things are not organized and thought out.

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