Hello there! This is the 3rd in my three-part series on EntreLeadership. I think I have been able to rave about the EntreLeadership experience because it was so rich and multi-faceted. In part 1, I deal with the service culture of Dave Ramsey and his team, in part 2 I share some of the practical tips for running your business that I learnt, and here, I will be sharing some of the places and things we got to experience as part of the course. It is one of those courses where you come away having learnt in every way- auditory, visually, and kinesthetically. This part is about the extra-curricular activities we had, so enjoy the photos below:
On another day after class, we went to Mangia! I loved it! Both for the lesson and for the food. Mangia which means food in Italian, was started by Nick Pellegrino. I will share a little about that because it is a great lesson for budding entrepreneurs. When you ask most people what’s stopping them from starting their business, they say “lack of funding”, well, Nick had the same problem. He had an idea, he wanted to create an experience around food that was just like his native Italy. He wanted all the food to be freshly made from scratch and then served in a light-hearted environment where everyone talked to one another, danced, ate, danced and ate some more. But he did not have money to rent a place and buy the restaurant quality crockery and tableware that he would need. He went to a friend who had a meat and vegetable restaurant that ran during the day but which was closed on Friday and Saturday nights. He asked if he could use the place on Friday nights (initially to experiment) and his friend agreed. He then started to scour the city for auctions and events where they sold crockery and tableware for restaurants that were folding up. Anyway, he found some old table cloths that were stained and negotiated to get them for a small amount of money since he was going to have to have them dry-cleaned and found plates, cutlery and other implements in similar sales. I think he mentioned that through this method, he acquired all his initial implements for between $300 to $500.
He told his friends and his friend’s friends about it and on the first Friday of Mangia’s opening, they got a full house. People had so much fun, they started to ask when the next one will be. They had to move from having it only on Fridays, to Friday and Saturday’s. The use of the venue became a partnership between him and the owner, and now, it has become so successful, that if you want to eat at Mangia, you have to book 3 months in advance because they have a waiting list that long! Yes! I loved this story because like I shared here, what you need to start a business is not necessarily money, it’s a STRATEGY. Nick had an idea, he looked for an opportunity (the closing time of the meat and veg place), sought another opportunity (closing down auctions) and married that with expertise (his ability to create the delicious meals and necessary ambiance) and his network. The rest as they say, is history!
A lot of us had a tear or two as we left the Country Music Hall of Fame and came to the official end of our EntreLeadership Master Series experience. It was tough and grueling, long hours of a lot of serious information. By day 3, we were exhausted, had learnt so much, realized how much work we had to do on our selves and our businesses, so the discussion started to shift to teaching us how to manage change. In the one week of EntreLeadership, we had made close friends, created strong bonds, got mentored by coaches on Dave’s team and mapped out strategies for growing ourselves, our businesses and our profits.
It was an absolute blessing to be able to attend this and I am also very blessed to have this medium to share my experiences with you. Re-living EntreLeadership was great and I hope the lessons have helped you in some way. Continue to be amazing.