David Chang's question for entrepreneurs: Are you doing well or bad?

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“It’s good for me to appreciate the good things,” says David Chang.

And many have happened. His Momofuku restaurant group made him one of the most famous cooks and restaurants in New York City, he is the star of the Netflix series Ugly tasty, He is a best-selling cookbook author, and more. This month, David Chang released a new book – A Memoir Eat a peach, Which supports their rise, as well as their struggle mental health.

David Chang is open about his depression and self-doubt, and he now worries about the future of his business and his industry – but hopes that talking about these things leads to positive change in himself and others .

“The thing I’m wrestling with, after all, I know I’ve done well,” he says, “but I think I’ve done very well by achieving my goals.” In this conversation, he talks about the power of difficulty Self reflection.

Eat a peach There is a memoir, but you say in the opening that you think of it as “a textbook for what not to do when starting a business.” Why not to meditate on why?

I feel like i am one Businessman You are all about what needs to be sacrificed to do for your goal, and what you need to do. When I looked back to see that it all happened, I found that no one is telling me Sacrifice was worth it. What do you do after achieving your goal? And I think what I was trying to say is, “Be careful what you wish for.” The idea of ​​having a full blast on something, abandoning everything – is it sensible?

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Let me tell you this, and not really as a cliche: I feel less confident now in everything I have done or done. When I look back on it, even though I’m still relatively young, I ask, Did i do more good in this world? Did I really make a difference, or did I increase grief? This is a question I really ask myself.

You have basically achieved everything that anyone can hope for in your situation.

This is what I want to say. Whenever I am followed, it can be a temporary good feeling. But it almost inevitably ends in bad dirt. I have talked a lot about my anger. I was a very bad boss – scream, scream.

I was not ready. I did not know anything. I did not learn to question the world. I did not learn to question myself. And I’m looking like, Man, I went there, but were there other ways? I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes twice. I want to make sure that I get better routes.

“Did I do good or bad?” It is a difficult question for anyone to ask. If you think entrepreneurs should ask themselves this and don’t like the answer, what should you do?

If you can’t face that question, and have difficulty answering, then you shouldn’t go into business for yourself. I don’t think you can go into business just to earn money. Like, do I want to earn money? Yes. But I think it’s done right. For me, this is the question: Have I corrected it?

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And you know, I’m in a place where my [restaurant] The industry is potentially disappearing. There is a large percentage that Momofuku does not make it out as much as he does. And it was probably going to end long ago. Like, my industry has collapsed.

It is built on a terrible foundation. With Coronavirus, there was an opportunity for solidarity to ask tough questions – like, why do we want to go back to February 2020 if we really have the opportunity to assess what was working and what was not working?

What problems are you talking about here?

First of all, people need to pay more. We need to be more equitable. We need more diversity. We have environmental issues.

I hate Chipotle with a white-hot summer, but David Chang say they largely changed the industry as they forced it to move to a better husband of chicken. He shook the needle just a little bit. He is positive. So I have to separate and be like, Okay, maybe we do and it’s so successful that it can change the industry. At this stage pay our employees, provide benefits and a 401 (k) package and healthcare and paid time and sick leave – and all these things.

The question is, are we operating better? Are people more happy? Do people have better work-life balance? Are we taking care of our vendors, farmers, customers, without pain and suffering?

david chang asking question to youngsters

Image Credit: Rachel Murray | Stringer | Getty Images| David Chang

Is that how change happens, you think?

Chipotle made a change in how chickens are raised, and they changed this due to their profitability, growth and success. So for me, I have always seen it: how do you take a company that can turn wildly profitable and impact through that success? This is one of the reasons why we tried to do so much dirt. We tried to do media.

We were the first ghost kitchen Ghost kitchen There was also a word; I believe in it so much that I did it twice, partly because I looked at rent and I looked at labor issues, and it was like, if we can make a model that works, I believe That it will enable people to do less work and put more money in their pocket.

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We tried a variety of restaurant concepts. We started an equipment company. Because if any one of them hits, the dream will actually happen Oh God; It is making so much money that now we can operate our restaurant, maybe at a loss.

You kill yourself a lot – this is the theme running through your book. You describe it as learning that you earned two Michelin stars and became dreadful. There is only so much that one can do to control one’s emotions, but is there a strategy for feeling better that you desire?

I can convince myself that I am being selfless in my goals, when in reality they are completely selfish. So many entrepreneurs can explain themselves as anything, which is why I feel like we see so many entrepreneurs being wildly successful, making a ton of money, and then that’s the point where they like, “Now I can give back.” And I like, maybe that’s not the point. Maybe you should do this along with your job.

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