'Success is not linear'
Ziad Kamel, Restaurant Business Owner & Director at Couqley French Bistro on why achieving your goals does not come without pain and sacrifice
Describe your work in a sentence.
I work on scaling up my restaurant business, while ensuring operations remain detail-focused.
What time does your day start and end? Do you often work late or take work home, or do you maintain strict work timings?
I don't maintain strict work timings; I maintain a strict work ethic. The day starts early with my two kids, Lily and Ryan, and with daddy doing the school drop-off (that's me!). My day ends around midnight. In between, there's an hour of gym and many hours of work, including working from home. Owning a business is a fully immersive experience, but I always make time for my wonderful wife and kids.
What is your #1 personal principle or success mantra at work? Do you have a catchphrase that you like to use to inspire your colleagues/subordinates?
My #1 success mantra: take decisive and immediate action because the magic only happens when you step outside your comfort zone. As for the catchphrase I like to use: nothing worthwhile is ever easy to do.
How do you ensure you make the most of your day?
Firstly, understanding there are never enough hours in a day to do what I need to do is part of my internal process that ensures I make the most of my day, without beating myself up. Secondly, gym. Working out every day provides me with energy, positivity, and the time for internal reflection akin to meditation. Thirdly, to-do lists.
What is one important or critical skill you think every professional must possess?
One important skill every professional should have is the ability to have thoughtful disagreements over an idea without ego sensitivity.
Who's your role model as the perfect professional?
I have several role models and I love being on a quest to find new ones! My role models are people who have built businesses from the ground up, who have struggled along the way, endured the pain, persisted, and prevailed. At the moment, my role model is Ray Dalio, the founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates (one of the world's largest hedge funds), and author of the inspiring book, Principles.
If you had one free hour in the day to relieve stress, how would you use it?
My one hour of gym-time is an integral part of my day so I don't consider it a "free hour". Therefore, with a free hour, I would definitely go kitesurfing (and I do!).
What is the most challenging part of your job, and how do you tackle it?
Managing stakeholders and shareholders is the most challenging part of my job. I understand that the biggest threat to good decision-making is harmful emotions, therefore I tackle the challenge by trying to create an environment of thoughtful disagreement where the best ideas win.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
Every person has great ideas. Only those who take action to implement ideas may become successful. However, success is not linear. It does not come without pain and sacrifice. Success means different things to different people. Be prepared to fail, learn, recover, and take action as many times as needed, before experiencing your own success.
What do you know today that you wish you'd known when you first started out?
At your best, friends know who you are, while at your lowest, you know who your friends are. On the path to success, doing what you love doesn't mean you'll love what you have to do.
- Staff Reporter