When Danny Hodak boarded a plane to visit his wife's native state of Israel, he had no idea he was about to embark on a trip that would change his entire professional life.
A self-proclaimed foodie, Hodak found himself overwhelmed by the remarkable flavors and quality of the region's cultural cuisine. As he sat in a restaurant, Hodak watched long boards of dough as they slid into a wood-fired oven called a taboon. The dough then transformed into perfect, fluffy breads, served straight from the taboon to the table.
Hodak was compelled to bring this experience and this cuisine back to the U.S. Thus, in 2004, Hodak teamed up with renowned Israeli chef and international rising star, Efi Naon, to bring a new "Middleterranean" concept to New York City with their highly rated, fine-dining restaurant, Taboon.
More recently, Danny Hodak and Taboon's chef Efi Naon created a fast-casual spinoff of Taboon called Taboonette, which draws flavors from Morocco, Persia, Croatia, and of course, Israel. The current plan is to franchise Taboonette and expand to 25 locations by 2021.
Hodak owes his entrepreneurial achievements to "continually striving for excellence" and giving everything he does his best effort. Wondering how you, too, can accomplish your own major success? Here is what this entrepreneur advises:
Fake it 'til you make it.
Amp up your confidence, put your best foot forward, and go out on a limb. You might not have the experience or education to land the job, but you might know the company or the industry better than the competition. Tout your assets--everyone has unique skill sets that set them apart from the rest of the pack, so make sure to show yours off.
Start from the ground up.
There is no shame in applying for entry-level jobs. The skills you will learn as you work your way up will, later on, will me remarkably useful to you in future ventures.
Entrepreneurship is not a get-rich-quick strategy.
If you start a business with the sole purpose of making money, your chances of success will diminish. So, get used to long nights, new challenges, hard work, and ramen noodles--it's going to take some time.
Plan on plans not working.
Business plans are important. But be prepared for mishaps, change, and new directions at the most unexpected times. As you face these challenges head on, your ability to shift gears at the drop of a hat will strengthen.
You might not always have an institutional education to lean on, so continuously work on developing yourself. Listen to relevant podcasts, read books and network with others in the industry. Committing yourself to learning is the best way to guarantee success.