“Do the popcorn and do the horse Show Everybody where you at! You gotta be boss” James Brown has it right here (except I am unsure about the horse part LOL). So here I am thinking about the concept of being a boss. I remember all the years I was cooking as an Executive Chef I kept saying “I am never going to be truly happy until I own the place.” Now I own my own place and it has been an experience.
First, let me say I have been self employed before and even had a business or two. When I had businesses before I never really had employees. Of course, when I was an executive chef, I had people under me, but they were not truly MY employees. So, for that reason, this is different in a plethora of ways. When I was employed, I felt the concern of “what would I do if I lost my job” Juxtapose this with my feelings now of “If I mess this up, I could lose my home, my car and disappoint my family”. I have come to terms with the concept of the higher the risk the higher the reward.
Secondly, and most importantly, now I know that behind every Popcorn Lady there are strong women. I honestly could not even begin to handle these reins if not for the support and guidance of my Amazing Wife (Ekta), My Mother (Leslie) and my Daughters (Hannah and Eva). I have been really blessed to be surrounded by so many strong women. My wife and I always laugh at the line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the mother, Maria, says “the man is the head of the family, but the woman is the neck that turns the head” I have found that I turn to these women for advice and guidance on almost everything I do. Basically, what I am saying is that it takes an army of great women to make this man A Popcorn Lady.
Being a Boss makes me think about the concept of loyalty as well. As a Marine I learned how impossible it was to be loyal to huge ideas or people you did not know. To explain, as a Marine I was NEVER loyal to the President or Commandant of the Marine Corps. How could I be? I do not know them. I was loyal to my Platoon Sargent and the Marines to my left and right. I just had to have faith that they were loyal to the right people up the chain. I was loyal to ideals which essentially meant I was loyal to my own beliefs. So now, as a Boss, I understand that my employees can not be loyal to me until they know me. I must show that we have something to be loyal to. I must demonstrate that I am loyal to them. I must be loyal to the ideals of this company. Only then will the loyalty flow back to me and The Popcorn Lady.
Where does this end? Well, it does not end honestly. We must be loyal to our customers. Each and every customer has placed faith in us to make their event special and memorable. We MUST respect that!!! As we are a company run and staffed by humans, we will make mistakes. This is inevitable. However, what defines a company is not how much they get right, but how they respond to what they get wrong. It is hard to display loyalty when there is no temptation, right? So, a person is not truly loyal until the test is given.
My commitment to our customers is to make everything as perfect as possible and to be accountable to what is not. Our customers are not just customers, but a part of this family.
Lastly, I had no idea that James Brown had a song called Mother Popcorn. I think I respect the talents of man that was able to make a song title like “Mother Popcorn” sound cool. LOL