Shawn Bucher, The Business Chef, joins the show to discuss innovation, success, and failure in the context of one of the toughest industries around – food service. High stress, long hours and holidays, a physically demanding environment, customer expectations, and constant staff turnover make it very challenging to lead effectively, foster business partnerships, and turn a profit.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

– Shawn Bucher

Despite the challenges, Shawn specializes in just that. He is a chef turned educator and consultant as well as author. His book Food People Management presents leadership strategies for lasting success and he curates the Business Chef – Make Food Make Money podcast to focus on the business side of the food service industry.

“Anybody who has been successful, anybody who has created business, it’s nothing but failures for years because they are learning from those failures and keeping with it…Failure should never been seen as failure. Failure should just be seen as steps along the process. And when failure happens you view it as education.

– Shawn Bucher


Chef Shawn has worked in almost every segment of the foodservice industry. He holds business degrees and certificates in Culinary Arts, Business, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Accounting and Professional Sales.  He is Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) through The American Culinary Federation. A Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) through the International Association of Culinary Professionals. A Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) and Certified Food Protection Professional (CFPP) through the Association of Nutrition and Food service Professionals.

He is the author of The First Timer’s Cookbook and The First Timer’s Bakebook. and his latest – Food People Management. His work has been awarded and recognized nationwide. He is a regular contributor to numerous food service programs, publications and outlets. He currently hosts the popular Business Chef podcast.

Chef Shawn is the the owner of multiple food related businesses.  He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and 3 children.


  • What it means to be a servant leader
  • Leading from the front in a high pressure environment
  • (Standards + Accountability) * Consistency = Success
  • Clear communication and gratitude as a manager
  • Making sure employees understand not only how, but why
  • Do franchise businesses make money?
  • When failure becomes useful rather than debilitating
  • Doing something you love
  • Aligning with business partners




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Shawn : 00:00 Anybody who's been successful, anybody who's created businesses, it's nothing but failures for years because all they're doing is they're learning from those failures.

Michael: 00:29 Episode 32 of the man of mastery podcast, servant leader. So guys, I just want to take a minute to say thank you again for being here. Super appreciate it. If you are just tuning in, thank you for being here. If you've been around for a little while, you know that this man of mastery podcast and virtual community that I've created is all about mindset, resilience and personal performance. Whether that's as an individual, a son, a father, husband, friend, athlete, professional, you name it, and grow through adversity is a main recurring theme here so far. We've seen it in world-class athletes that I've talked to, executives, authors, financeers, speakers, coaches I mean just just recently soldiers' turn entrepreneur like Brian Gleason, NIC Hayes came on the show to talk about their businesses. VIP keynote speaker, Greg Amundson was on recently. Adventurers like Laval Saint Germain and Patrick Sweeney and I've got some upcoming guests that I'm super, super excited about as well.

Michael: 01:35 And today's no different. I love taking these same concepts and principles of mindset, failure, resilience and applying them across different industries, testing them out in different ways. This week I have a guest, Sean Bouschet who is a chef, a consultant and an author. He's got a couple books, food people management as well as the first timers cookbook and the first timers bake book. And the reason I love this one is the culinary business has to be one of the most difficult working environments in the world. I mean high stress, high turnover, physically demanding hot environments on your feet all day long hours working holidays. And then you've got people with culinary skills promoting into management positions but may never have any management training. So it's, it's it is truly a boiling pot. Sean comes on today to talk about some really interesting elements of that. So if you key takeaways or things I learned or found really interesting in today's episode, Sean talks about what leadership looks like in that environment and how everything really starts with caring about your employees.

Michael: 02:42 Something we can never forget. He talks about the importance of and how to align with business partners in talking about clear, effective communication. Sean's got a great little anecdote that I thought was really interesting about communication and clarity where he's asked somebody to clean the and what clean means or how to clean a floor might look drastically different to people of different backgrounds or different training or different environments that they've come from. And I also got to ask Sean a question I've really wanted to get some insight on for a long, long time. I've always wondered, do franchise businesses make money? So we're going to talk about all that today and really hit on in particular things around failure and how failure leads to success. In fact, we talk about Shawn's success formula that he applies in these kinds of businesses, but before we jump in, one more bit of housekeeping.

Michael: 03:35 I want to go to an iTunes review of the week. JC RMV said, didn't want it to stop. Great episode from beginning to end. CJ story is compelling and what he's doing to help others is inspiring. The conversation touched on so much. I didn't want it to end hope. There's a part two so clearly he's talking about the interview awhile back with CJ Kirk where CJ talks about about service mindset, purposeful service, so yeah, CJ is so broad and so deep. I think a second episode with him at some point in the future when I can get some more of his time would be, it would be fantastic. CJ is is awesome and so is that review. I really appreciate it. Keep him comment. Thanks for the feedback and with that let's jump into podcast episode 32 servant leader with Sean Bouschet.

Michael: 04:25 Hey, today I have with me Sean Bouschet. He is a chef with over 20 years of experience in the food service industry. He has numerous culinary certifications, has owned and operated independent and franchised food service concepts and maybe quite uniquely. Sean is both a university undergrad educated and holds an MBA. He has a podcast called the business chef podcast and several books that we're going to talk about today, all focused around innovations, success and failure around the food service industry. What his podcast says is about making food and making money. Sean, welcome. It's great to have you today. Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity. This will be great. Yeah, absolutely. As I mentioned off air, this podcast focuses a lot around very similar topics as yours across industries. So food service is something pretty exciting for me to talk about. I, I, I've got to think that when we're talking about team building culture success things like standards and accountability or maybe just succinctly what you call in your, in your books, the management playbook that's gotta be one of the, the toughest things to do in any business. And I have to think food service is one of the toughest industries to do it in. So kudos for what you're doing. Can you tell us a little bit more about what you're involved in currently with the industry, with your podcast, with your books?

Shawn: 05:58 Sure, sure. Absolutely. So I am primarily these days a consultant now I'm a chef by trade. It's, it's been that 20 plus year journey for me to kind of learn my craft and hone my skills and be able to kind of get to a point in my career where I can finally start to help others. The, the books and the podcasts and things have all kind of been born out of necessity as a consultant. I'm naturally an educator. And I got into consulting through education. I had been, I had worked every night weekend holiday as a chef for 12, 13, 14 years. It got to a point where I had to make it change physically just because of the some of the demands on my body. At 29 years old, I had to have back surgery and, and that made it really difficult to be on my feet all day, every day in, in ways that I had been before.

Shawn: 07:01 So I had to kind of reinvent myself and I went in to education from operations and I taught culinary school for a couple of years and during that time, had a great experience, learned a ton. Probably more than I taught people. I'd like to say I learned more about myself and my abilities and my likes and dislikes, and, and I kinda got to a point where I really needed something more where, you know, education was great. And I'm very passionate about that. But if you, you know, once you teach the same class four or five times, it kind of gets to a point where you're like, all right you know, I need something else. So that was why consulting kind of got brought into, it was as a chef instructor, we would always get calls, the university would always get calls. And people say more, you know, you guys teach this, you must know what you're doing.

Shawn: 07:58 Can you come help me with my restaurants and, or, you know, or my facility. And so a lot of times those calls would end up getting farmed out to me. I actually went a different route and I started working with equipment manufacturers. So I, I noticed that a lot of these specialty equipment manufacturers have these really incredible products that were just man mindblowing, like ovens. Like the Jetsons, you push a button and it just cooks it the way you want it. But the problem was was that people that bought beans really didn't know how to make them home. They didn't know how to maximize the benefit that they were, they were buying. And so I, I went out and I started training people on this and I started kind of building a business around this needs and then that went from one manufacturer to two and two to three and so on and so forth.

Shawn: 08:49 And that is, that's kind of where it's taken me today. Now my focus is still on the independent restaurants, still with chains, still grocery stores. So a lot of the traditional food service outlets that we're all used to and we see on a day to day basis. But a lot of my focus has really switched more into health care. And so I do a lot in the healthcare space because my mission there is really to bring hospitality to healthcare. I want to get away from the misnomers and the stereotypes of, of hospital food and really start to kind of up the end there because food is healing. And that's really where I can, I can make a big difference.

Michael: 09:32 Yeah, that's, that's pretty interesting. Does that go along with your, I saw somewhere in your material the philosophy of being a servant leader or what does that mean in what you do?

Shawn: 09:44 Well, that's a great question. So here, here's kind of where some of those philosophies have come from. So as, as a consultant, I get out and I, I see a lot of things and that's what I was telling my clients. The only advantage that I really have over anyone else is I just get to see a lot of things. And that's why when, when you get into the food service business or really any business, it's really important to broaden your horizons and your network and really get out and, and look at what everyone's doing and try to just educate yourself and immerse yourself with these other people that you can mastermind with and brainstorm and really get to know. And, and incorporate yourself into that whole, the whole industry. So the idea of being a servant leader was born out of necessity. Just as, as you know, a lot of the things I was talking about as a, as a manager of of restaurants and hotels and all the things that I had done, there was kind of a management formula that I had had created or that I really focused on.

Shawn: 10:48 Which became the basis for my book, food people management. Now I believe that this formula could really apply to any industry, but specifically the food industry I'm not. Formula is standards plus accountability times consistency equals success. So the servant leadership part of that is you have to be the person that someone wants to follow before you can start telling people what to do. You know, it's the old saying that people really don't care how much you know, and so they know how much you care. And once they know that, once they know that you're going to practice what you preach, you know you're not going to tell them to do anything that you wouldn't be willing to do yourself. When the going gets tough, you're going to jump in and help and not just bark orders from the sidelines. You know, you have to become that kind of leader. You have to become the kind of leader that people want to follow and that that are, you know, they're then endeared to you. Once you're that leader, that's when you can start to implement some of the standards. That's when you can start people accountable to those standards. And most importantly, the more consistent you are, then the more results you're going to see or the more successful you're going to become.

Michael: 12:04 Yeah, I really liked that. You have a, you have that success formula, so clearly define any business, any endeavor. We need an idea of what constitutes success and consistency. I got to think is one of the hardest things. As I mentioned earlier, you say it applies to any industry. Just about, I agree. I got to think it's extra hard in the niche you focus on, you know, if I go to this Ruth's Chris, I want the ribeye to be just as good as that Ruth's Chris or you know, pick your, pick your formula is, is that consistency, the leadership that it takes and that the type of environment, the culture, the team building or whatever it is that you work on, is that extra hard in an environment like food service where you have, you must have incredible stress long hours in some cases, low wage environment, potentially high turnover. How do you handle that?

Shawn: 13:05 Well, it's a great question. I mean, and yeah, to your point, it is very, it's, it's very difficult to be consistent in general, but in this business compound that with high stress levels, in demanding hot, stressful environments, you know perishable products you know, a very sometimes low educated staff or, or team where, you know, a lot of people in the food service industry, unfortunately they, they're not in the food service industry because they want to be, a lot of times they're there because they have to be, we are one of the biggest segments or, or, or industries in the U S and we employ probably more people than anyone else and therefore we're always hiring. And a lot of times we're hiring for anybody who's willing to come in and do the dirty work. And a lot of times, a lot of people who don't have a lot of education or don't have a lot of other things going on kind of come into this because it's entry level and they can get in and they can, you know, serve tables or, or, you know, do whatever they need to do.

Shawn: 14:22 And they don't have to be totally dedicated to the industry. And so it makes it really difficult to, to manage or to motivate someone who really doesn't necessarily have the desire to be there or CS sees this industry is being stuck in food service versus the opportunities that could be. So yeah, those all those are very, very challenging. I think the way you do it though is again, going back to that, that management formula, and I have to tell you the way that, that, that formula has kind of evolved was a used to have it as standards plus accountability plus consistency. But my wife actually pointed out to me that that really consistency is, is more of a times, you know, it's how many times can you be consistent because there's going to be times where you're not able to be consistent, but the more that you are, the more successful you're going to be.

Shawn: 15:20 And that's always what I try to tell my clients and customers and people that I'm working with is that there's going to be, there's going to be times where you're going to have to take two steps back to take 10 steps forward. But the reality of it is, is as you adapt and you overcome these challenges and you continue to move forward in years consistent as you can be, then you know, you're going to see that. You're going to see that success. Your employees, your customers, they're going to look at this and say, you know, I'm not, I'm not worried about going to work today because I know that my manager is going to be consistent in that. I'm not going to worry about if they're going to be mad when they come in the door. You know, are they going to be mad or they're going to be happy?

Shawn: 16:06 You know, what, what can I expect today? Am I going to be given a ton to do or am I, am I going to be one of the lucky ones who maybe doesn't have as much to do? That's what I'm talking about. Consistency. A lot of times employees, they don't, they understand when things change and we have to adapt and yeah, we told them they could get off at five but now so-and-so called in six and now we need to see if they can stay till six or seven. You know, people understand that, but it's being able to clearly communicate with them and, and help them understand the why. And I think that that's probably the biggest thing in management is that when we, when we're talking to someone, we really need to help them understand the why, not just because I said so or that's what we need.

Shawn: 16:54 It's more, Hey, so and so called out sick, we're really going to be in the weeds. If, if I don't get anybody to stay, would you be able to hang on for another hour or two? You know, I appreciate it. You know, and making sure that you're grateful, making sure you're expressing gratitude and you're helping them understand that they're making a contribution. Those are the things that employers really want seek after. And I think being a servant leader, the type of person that is in a, in a role like that and understanding that you're serving your employees as much as your guests, making sure they have the tools they need to succeed is really the key to manage me and being a great leader.

Michael: 17:35 Fantastic. There was a lot, lot you just said there saying thank you to employees goes an amazingly long way. Certainly helping with transparency so people understand the why and and buy into mission is, is a huge one. And thanks for explaining consistency. I, I was thinking more in terms of of, you know consumer facing, customer facing consistency in the product or the service they're gonna get in a, in a food service experience. But certainly consistency in the employee and the management and the work environment is a, is another angle on it. I think about businesses running on process, but process being operated by the people at the same time, that maybe entry level type of jobs that you described can be challenging. It's also a wonderful opportunity that in our, in our culture, our business culture, we have those opportunities for people. If I'm, if I'm an so with consistency of running a business and the results of that business, what it does in serving its clients. If I'm a, an entrepreneur, if I'm an investor, and I'm thinking about something related to food service is you mentioned you also work with franchised food service concepts. Can you talk a bit about pros and cons of, of a franchise and especially as it comes to something like the consistency of a, of a business operation and operational process and formula?

Shawn: 19:04 Well, I think, I think systems are key too to any business. I mean, especially food service because again, employees can be, can be fickle especially entry level employees or employees that see this as a half to instead of want to kind of business. And so I think creating systems really helps with that consistency piece. Not only on the managing employee side, but to your point the consistency of being able to deliver a consistent experience to, to the guest, creating these systems really kind of takes some of the human element out of it and creates more of that, that systemized or that manufacturing type of approach where you, you know, you recognize the bottlenecks and try to remove those out of the way so that next time it's a much more streamlined process. And so yeah, having systems kind of goes right along with creating those standards when, when you create standards for how things are supposed to be operated and those are documented and communicated really well.

Shawn: 20:16 And what I, what I mean by that is a lot of times as managers we, we have a perception that we've explained everything to the nines. I mean they, they absolutely understand what I just said because I just spent 30 minutes explaining it. Well, you have to come and think step back and you have to work at, okay, everything is relative. My perspective on what is clean might be different than somebody who lives in like a drug house, which is the reality for some of the people that I've worked with over the years. You know, I was very fortunate to grow up in a home with with, you know, to parents and, and parents that had very consistent, like if you spill something, you wipe it up and after you wipe it up, you make sure you use a wet cloth so it's not sticky and then you dry costs of, there's no residue.

Shawn: 21:11 Like it was very, very specific. Whereas in a lot of these cases, if somebody who grows up in an environment where if you, you spill something or something falls over, you know, Oh, it's not a big deal. We don't care about the floors, we don't have to care about the table. We don't, you know? So what's clean to them is basically if, if there's no rats around and it's clean. Now I'm not, I, you know, obviously that's an extreme example, but that's where it comes down to as a servant leader, part of your, part of your role is to really explain the why, but then also back backup from that. Explain the how behind the why. And so, you know, when you, when you show somebody how to clean a floor, it's important that you physically show them and that they, they see it because you might say, well, I want you to clean the floors.

Shawn: 22:06 So they go over me and they sweep it, will know I met Moffitt. Oh, okay. So then they just throw some water on the mop and run around the floor. If you get in there and you say, this is how I want you to do it, and you physically sweep and then mop with the chemical that you want and then dump out the buckets. You know, if you go through all those steps and you and you work with them on that, then that's, that's much more effective communication than trying to just say, I want you to go clean the floors. And I, that's something I really see people struggle with is that they just don't go into the level of detail that they need to. And then when it doesn't turn out the way they want it, they go, well, I don't understand why it didn't.

Shawn: 22:48 I told them, but that's, that's where the disconnect is. We have to tell, we have to show and then if it doesn't get community communicated properly or they don't, you know, they don't follow up on those standards or, or adhere to those standards, we have to go back and make sure that they truly did understand it. Now if they did and they're just being hardheaded, which is entirely possible, that's when the accountability piece comes in. And that's where we have to start saying, look, I told you had to tell you again this time we documented three strikes, you're out kind of rural. That's, you know, that's where I see the systems coming into play is, is really creating a standards, explaining them well and then holding people accountable to those standards. That's, that's more of the systemized approach, especially in food service.

Michael: 23:37 Gotcha. Okay. Yeah, great point on on standards and teaching and communication. I could see where developing would be really important and I can also see where there's probably quite a skill and experience gap in most cases for somebody who maybe in the food service business and has reached management or ownership because they have a love of, of culinary arts and, and serving, serving their art to their, their customers. But a gap between that and running a business, running these systems, creating systems in the first place, managing employees, potentially two really different skillsets. And I could also see where one of the benefits of doing something like buying the systems and maybe even education and other types of processes, processes from a franchised type of a food concept would be maybe a bit of a, of a kickstart and an aid in the operations of a business. I'm just curious and always have been the franchise food service model. Does it, does it make money for franchisees or is it more of a moneymaker for a franchise or,

Shawn: 24:47 Well, that's a great question because I have been on both sides of that coin. I, I have worked as a, so I ha I have been a franchisee. I've also been a franchisor and I've been a part of chains that are very successful both for the franchisor and the franchisees. And I've been, I've had some experience in chains where, where it's not now I without, without going into specifics and, and you know, keeping some level of anonymity you know, the, the franchise or franchisee model works in food service very well and that's why you see it, you know, the franchise industry is really dominated by, by food concepts. For that exact reason. There's a huge learning curve in creating these systems and processes and recipes and specking products and you know, all these things you're really paying when you buy a franchise, you're really paying for a system and you're really paying for it years of experience that they just cut the time down.

Shawn: 26:00 Yeah, you could hire a chef, probably do a lot of that for you. But again, the time that it would take would just be exponential. So the, the modeling itself really works well. Now where, where it doesn't work is when a franchisor really takes advantage of, say, a large group of franchisees. And again, we'll maintain some anonymity here and I won't drop any names, but I was a part of a chain that, that decided that they, they really needed to up their topline growth because they were owned by investors. They were a public company and they had investors and they had to really drive sales numbers so that they drove their AUV or their average unit volume numbers up because that was a barometer of success for them and for their shareholders. The problem was what they were doing to do that was that they were saying, okay, what we're gonna do is we're gonna, we're gonna run this promotion that is really going to drive sales, but it's also going to absolutely kill the profit on our franchisees side.

Shawn: 27:14 So what would happen is that they would run these deals where you could come in and you could get unlimited items for a set price. Well, what ends up happening to the franchisee in that, in that case is that, yeah, your sales go up, but your discounts also go way up. So any profit that you would be making is absolutely squeezed out, which again, it's great for the franchisor because we're driving top line sales, we're satisfying investors, but we're also making more royalty income because we're, you know, we're paying on our, on our sales volume and that just doesn't work for a franchisee who's all of a sudden not making any profit. So that, you know, when it comes to a situation like that, that's an absolutely broken system. But I would say overall the franchise model, because of the time savings and because of, you know, the ability to create the systems and things is, is a very good profitable win-win model for both parties most of the time.

Michael: 28:17 Gotcha. Okay. Thanks. Yeah, I can certainly imagine that scenario that you described, even without naming names and I think I've seen some news articles about franchisee sort of class action or other lawsuits around very similar topics, but it can also see where maybe that's the exception case. And largely this is a really good model for, for everyone in, as you said, buying your way up the learning curve. And if I think back to maybe the way I expressed it, if I've got a certain area of expertise in running a food service business, but I'm not so good at figuring out systems or how to teach and run a business, maybe I don't know the operations as much as I know the culinary arts, that that could be a great, a great way to bridge that gap. Another, another way might be just just a theorizing here, right?

Michael: 29:09 It might, might be a business partner. So maybe one business partner is more of the culinary arts, maybe one's more operational or management focused. One of the things I really like to ask in any, any niche, any business environment and particularly in a, in a startup or a small business or a growth organization is around business partners. So from, from what you've seen personally, what you've consulted on, how, how important is it when you have a business partner, particularly in something is as stressful as a food service business, how important is that selection of your business partner and your compatibility versus maybe just a sort of a marriage of business convenience?

Shawn: 29:52 Well, I, I think man, how, again, having been in a scenario a couple of times where I've had really good partners and partners that really weren't so good, it's a deal breaker. I mean, it is absolutely it's feast or famine. You're, you're on top of the world or you are down in the dumps. And, and I, I would say anybody who's looking at doing any kind of venture in any industry with a partner, you've really got to know that partner. And you've really got to go into that relationship both eyes open, total clarity of communication. I mean there's, you really have to both be going for the same end results and have a, have a concise, clear, consistent vision as to how you're going to get there. Because it's very easy when things are good and everything's conceptual to be really excited about it and to just be gung ho.

Shawn: 30:54 But when the rubber meets the road and you start having to make payroll and some of the other challenges start coming up, there's just a lot of, a lot of things that, that are not all roses when it comes to those challenges. So really knowing your business partners, making sure that everybody's on the same page, that everybody has consistent and clear objectives and, and their roles are clearly defined. And you know, all those things really have to really have to come into play and have to be, have to be consistent because if they're not, once you start running into trouble, you're really gonna, you're really gonna feel it. And you know, that's again been unfortunately in my case, the scenarios where I've had, where I've had partners, especially financial partners you know, there's been some, there's been some hurt feelings and there's been some scenarios that haven't played out the way that either party would have wanted. But in hindsight, really defining everything and making everything objective in the beginning, I think is key because eventually, as much as you don't want it to get emotional, it will. And so really trying to curtail that and just look at everything objective as much as you can is probably pretty key when it comes to having those types of relationships.

Michael: 32:21 Yeah, I think relationships, a great way to to name it. I was talking to a buddy in the business world recently on, on this topic and I had, I had said, and he thought about it and came back to me recently and was going, yeah, I really agree that selecting a business partner is just as important, just as intense, just as maybe difficult as, as, as a personal relationship, you know, choosing a spouse in life and all the things you think about in terms of longterm compatibility and worldview and, and maybe areas where you're compatible. Other areas where you're complimentary, all those kinds of things go into financial business partners just, just as much as they do in a personal relationship. And as you said, things, you know, you really start to test those, those relationships and test your understanding of, of each other.

Michael: 33:14 Not so much when things are happy and easy, but when things get difficult, when you're, one of the things we've been talking about on this show and as we, as we meet different types of people from different backgrounds is, is failure and how failure is, is trying. But is also a super natural as well as useful part of the journey. That success is rarely a a a point in time or a singular event. Usually it's a process and a process built on lots of tough days, maybe lots of years behind it that most people don't see from the outside looking in. And that type of journey certainly stresses a relationship like, like a partnership. So on, on that topic, can you talk a bit about, since you do specifically focus on success, can we also talk about failures and what failure looks like and in the food service business and the kind of failures that are useful as learning tools, maybe they result in even a pivot in a, in a food service business, but, but ultimately on a, on a journey towards some success metric?

Shawn: 34:25 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I'm no stranger to failure say that. You know, I, I think a lot of times, maybe, maybe more so in the past you know, the, the business climate nowadays is, is generally, I would say probably pretty, pretty realistic about understanding that, you know, it's not, again, it's not all going to be roses. People are going to fail, but it's what you do after the failure or what you learn from the failure. That really is where the success comes. I mean, I even example when I, when I first kind of ventured out on my own, I started doing my own thing. I really started, I started from the perspective of making money and the perspective of, you know, I'm just, I'm just going to do whatever it takes to make this money and then I'll eventually do what I want to do.

Shawn: 35:24 But what I realized in that was that man, every time I start doing something that I hate or I start doing something that I just don't even love again saw her times come, then I just start to, I start to shy away from that. And then all this money I've invested in all this time I've invested, just kind of goes by the wayside. And I just ended up putting it to the side. And so that was kind of my first foray into the business world and doing my own thing was I realized I needed to do something I loved. And from that lesson and, and starting to go more into that, you know, just really diving into things that I love and not, not just spinning my wheels on things that I wasn't going to be totally into or totally invested in. I really realized the importance of partners.

Shawn: 36:17 I realized the importance of having very clear visions and being on the same page. Cause you know, again, my partners and I weren't always on the same page and my hope for creating a product or a service that was going to be very helpful to somebody but that we weren't going to make maybe as much offers was not, those feelings were not always reciprocated amongst potential partners and partners that I have. And so those were lessons that we had to again, take a step back from, because when their decisions were going to lead to just making a buck and not caring about the relationship with the clients, that was when a lot of times we terminate our relationships. But I think failure in general, it has a negative connotation just from the word failure. But the reality is if you read anybody anybody who's been successful, anybody who's created businesses, it's nothing but failures for years because all they're doing is they're learning from those failures and they're keeping with it.

Shawn: 37:28 So really in my, in my mind, and again, everything being relative and everybody having a different definition of success, success is very relative. It's very, very much defined by you and where you are in your life. And so what success means to me is not going to be what it means to my neighbor or to my friend or you know, et cetera, et cetera. Everybody has to, you have to kind of define success for yourself. And I think that definition changes over time. As you get older and your, your focuses change in your mindset kind of evolves, you know, that success is going to change, but failures should never be seen as failure. Failure should just be seen the steps along the process and when failure happens, you view it as education and you view it and you know, as a way to, as a, as a stepping stone or a step to the next level, that's when you change that perception, starts seeing it that way. That's when failure becomes useful instead of debilitating and it, and as soon as you can start getting to that point, the faster your business is going to grow, the faster success you're going to see. But just understanding that it's failure plus persistence, it's those who get up after the failures and move forward and learn from them that are, are really gonna reach those levels of success.

Michael: 38:49 Yeah. Great. Great point about failure. I mean it's really not an end state unless you make the choice to let it be. So you've got to factor in the persistence and certainly understanding your, your passions. I think you're, you're making the point about some earlier business ventures where maybe you thought it was financially viable but it wasn't really in your wheelhouse, gets you excited to get you out of bed, something you're passionate about and that, I mean that's important in a, in a, in a business partnership as well as compatibility and understanding ourselves before we can really understand how we're going to be a good partner to, to someone else. And I really like your point as well about success being an evolution across time as well. You may have a singular target or mission now and it's going to shift for one reason, for one reason or another over time.

Michael: 39:42 So Sean, one of the thing that I wanted to ask and certainly want to visit on, on the topic of your podcast and the focus of your books before we get out of here. So maybe the way I'm thinking of it or I want to ask and you can tell us more about where you're focused in those endeavors is if I think about somebody in the food service business who has a particular set of skills, but maybe it needs to fill out or close the gap operationally or business expertise or something else related to the business. Certainly maybe buying a system is one way to approach it. Maybe looking for a business partner is another, but it seems to me like the expertise of a consultant and some short term help in what you do could also be helpful or the information that you've got in your, in your books and what you explore in your podcast. Is that a good way to position it? And can you tell some more about what you're doing with the business chef podcast?

Shawn: 40:39 Sure, yeah, absolutely. I, you know, business show podcast was born just out of talking to people and hearing, you know, their experiences. And so I was approached years ago by a group of individuals who had some experience in radio and things and one, one of these guys had he had gotten in, he had made some money and he had decided to do a food truck. And so he did this food truck and it had just failed miserably because he really didn't know much about either side of the business. And that's honestly the common theme that I see more often than not when it comes to food service businesses is you, you have two sides of the aisle. You have these chefs that are just incredibly talented and passionate and, and just, you know, can they can cook like nobody's business. The problem is they no idea how to market themselves.

Shawn: 41:34 They have no idea how to, how to keep their books or, or, you know, stay within a budget. Like they just, they just don't get the business side of it. So you have chefs that don't know business or your business, people that don't know food. You have these, these guys that come in and say, man, look at the margins we can make in this and we're going to blow this up. And then their food just sucks and nobody wants to go there. And so it, you gotta have a manage, you've got to have a marriage of both. You gotta have, you gotta have that passion in that skill and that honing of the craft to where you can really, really create good food, but you've also got to be able to know how to sell it because at the end of the day, it's still a business. So really consulting again is kind of like buying a franchise where you're, you're cutting down your time and you're, you're stepping over roadblocks that you don't even know are there.

Shawn: 42:30 And that's where most of my clients are as most of my clients that, that I work with kind of on the private side of things. And the chains, what they're doing is they're saying, look, we understand the time value of money. We don't want to spend the next three years trying to figure this out. Come help us figure this out so that we can be up and running in a year and then we can save all these dollars that we would have spent bumping our head, you know, three years earlier. So yes, there's a lot of value to that, but the business show podcast was kind of born from that. That you know, understanding that if you can have a marriage of these skills and you can have yeah, have this understanding that the more educated you are than the more money you're going to save and the more successful you're going to be sooner.

Shawn: 43:21 That's, that's what that really came to be. So on this, on the podcast, we, we interview a lot of people from a lot of different segments in the industry. We try to educate our audience on who and what and where and how they can look at different resources for different things. And you know, we just try to educate everybody on how they can make food, make money. That's the tagline of the show and, and the, the food people management book was a natural progression from that. That kept, I kept getting the same questions a lot of times from people like how I manage my numbers and how do I become a great leader and what does it mean to set standards? And so all of a sudden I was like, you know what I mean? I literally write this for clients all the time.

Shawn: 44:07 I'm just going to start compiling this stuff that I've written for years. That's pretty much the same for everybody. And I'm just going to put it in a book form and steps. That's where food people management came from. So really all these are tools that, that, you know, and trying to provide people so that they don't go spend hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands or millions of dollars building these food empire, so to speak. And then ended up having to take again, two steps back so that hopefully they can take 10 steps forward in, you know, hiring a consultant or just saying, man, I really didn't know what I need to do. Or at least they know where some of the options are worth some of the systems or or things are that they can go look for answers.

Michael: 44:54 Yeah. Nice one. Sometimes we just don't know what we don't know. Right. But certainly seems like a very sensible productivity investment and a great educational tool that you've got captured in the podcast and the book as well as the consulting services you offer. And it sounds like maybe there's a progression there that people could start with your podcast, get a feel for the types of things you focus on, get a breadth of information, maybe drill from there into your books and more specifically about, about Sean Boucher and what you focus on and then if they're interested, even progress to your services and your consultancy. So where, where do we find each of those things? Where we find your podcast, your consultancy and your books. I think you're on Amazon and just about anywhere else, right?

Shawn: 45:42 Yeah. Probably the best place a business is the website for the podcasts. You've, I've also got information about the books on there, both the food people management and the first time was cookbook a cookbook I wrote about 10 years ago, which was again, kind of just based on principles and techniques of how to cook versus what to cook. Kind of a first-timers beginner's guide, but you know, all that's on there, you can check me out on social media. Like I said, the podcast is on Instagram or Facebook at make food, make money. I'm on Twitter at chef Sean B. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. It's chef Shawn Bouschet, B. U. C. H. E. R. Oh, I guess I should say S. H. a. W. N. B. U. C. H. E. R because Sean spelled so many different ways. But yeah, yeah. Feel free. Connect with me, reach out, ask questions. I mean, honestly in my mind I'm happy to give away the farm for free for anything. Because I know that the, the healthier the relationship is between me and somebody else that eventually they may end up hiring me but if they don't at the end of the day I can sleep at night cause I did the right thing.

Michael: 46:55 Nice. Well thanks for that. I'm looking forward to checking out the books myself and thank you for giving away a portion of your time and your day here to help me understand a little bit more about what you're doing. Share that with my audience. I will get in the show notes for this one. Links up to your social media and your website that you mentioned and yeah, hopefully we will steer some people your way.

Shawn: 47:18 Rock and roll, man. I appreciate your time. Appreciate what you're doing and for anybody out there listening. Yeah, just keep on keeping on. It's just a matter of time. You just got to stay persistent.

Michael: 47:28 I like it. Well thanks Sean.

Michael: 47:30 I really appreciate it. That was really a lot of fun to talk about. The same principles that we, that we hit on from from week to week, but from a different angle and an industry that, that I'm not all that familiar with. So yeah, thanks again to Sean. That was great. If you enjoy the episode, please help us out by rating and reviewing the podcast on iTunes. That helps really get it out there in the search engine on Apple podcast, iTunes and help spread the word and for show notes for this one, go to the website, man of three two for episode 32 that's going to get you links to Sean's book website, Instagram, other social media where to find Shawn and more information about the business chef podcast. All right, guys, that's it for this week. I'll see you again next week. I think you're going to be pretty psyched and I've got some exciting guests in the lineup. [inaudible].

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