Coming down from Babson Food Days, this Examiner is sautéing two ideas.
First, Greg McKeown’s The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a concept worth a thousand words. It harkens back to Michael Porter: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”
Your recipe is who you are, what you believe, what you love. You must become (and remain) disciplined about who fuels your magic, who belongs on your bus and who should eat your cooking – in order to reach what McKeown calls your Highest Point of Contribution.
Not everyone wants to eat your cooking. That is okay.
On the heels of Food Day 2012, I wrote on the Andrew Zimmern + Babson recipe. If this past Thursday is any indication – it’s still a huge hit. And, in the twelve months since, Andrew and we have attracted other incredible and fitting ingredients to our kitchen: Gail Simmons, Michael Jacobson and Michel Nischan among them.
Which leads to the second idea – that dawned on me in the weeks leading up to Food Day:
Food Sol – force behind Babson Food Days – is, at its soul, a community. A community of food entrepreneurs who gather to support one another's work. When we gather, our objective is not to get everyone on the same page. It’s to help each another with our individual pages.
This is a deliberate and fundamental design choice - because the root systems of your personal food values run deep. What you do with your plate or your business is ultimately an autonomous choice. That's why we call you an eater-entrepreneur.
A food-system lecture or presentation will inform, daunt, impress and may even fire you up. But it rarely translates into personal action steps. You still have to mix and make your own food journey.
Food Sol believes that food is the medium for growing deeper and richer communities – and that through deeper and richer communities, the world changes for the better. We hope that our Community Table and Quick Service Incubator reflect this - as we endeavor to set one big table and invite everyone to come-when-you-can and be curious.
You eat food? Then you belong at the table and have something important to offer. We eschew the traditional expert model in favor of the entrepreneur model, which preserves and promotes individual desire and mission within the context of creative, collaborative community.
Just as last year, this year’s Babson Food Days hummed with the unique and contagious energy of Babson entrepreneurship. Not everyone got what we were doing or cared for it. But those who did, who share our recipe – loved it.
There is no right or wrong here. Rather, as Simon Sinek so perfectly puts it in Start With Why: “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”