By Jennifer H. Daniel
Is Charlie Trotter calling it quits? Bloomberg’s Business Week says no. Although the world-renown and eponymous chef recently announced he is closing his eatery after 25 successful years, it’s not because he’s ready to retire. He’s simply ready to change.
And for a man who is known for his meticulously prepared food, his attention to all the minute details and his obsession with organized excellence, it might come as a surprise that the restaurateur just up and decided to head back to school to pursue his Master’s degree in theology. He told BW that he’s ready to tackle the God question – to him that’s the most important question of all. He also said that he’s been thinking on this decision since the restaurant’s 20th anniversary.
The man of meticulous ways didn’t just up and decide to go back to school. He thought of his next goal and then planned a graceful exit strategy. We all know that he could have just kept Charlie Trotter’s going to much success, or he could have retired quietly to a home in the country where relaxation and reflection could be the priorities of the day.
What’s poignant to note is that Charlie Trotter is jumping into something new when he doesn’t even have to do anything. He’s proven his worth in the restaurant and business worlds. So, why bother? The answer is simple: change is good.
But, maybe you’re not ready to retire your current business and pursue your next passion. Maybe you’re in that stage with your company where it’s time to keep your head down and burn the candle at both ends. That’s OK, because change doesn’t mean you have to quit what you’re currently doing. It just means that a little change here and there can be quite invigorating.
Forbes’ contributor Paul Klein writes about how one change in particular can be good for your company, no matter what sector you’re managing. Tackling social change is an innovative way to connect with a community and set the standard for healthy competition. Klein cites Richard Branson as an influential example of a mega mover and shaker – an entrepreneur who believes that creating social change is a way to be the ultimate modern-day capitalist. By blending business with good causes, Klein says, companies, customers and communities win.
“In his recent book, Screw Business as Usual, Richard Branson describes how Virgin Mobile built in a mission to tackle homelessness at the core of its business through RE*Generation USA. More than a marketing campaign, RE*Generation is a program done in partnership with Virgin Unite that has given Virgin Mobile’s millions of customers an opportunity to play a role in reducing the numbers of homeless youth through volunteering, donating, and even text messaging.”
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to moving and shaking. Whether you’re Charlie Trotter or Richard Branson or the lady down the street who started training for a half-marathon just yesterday, it’s the movers and shakers who inspire the rest of us to switch gears, to try something new and to seek change.
Most of us only change when our current regime isn’t working. But maybe success in business and in life is not only about finding your niche and honing your talents. Maybe success in business and in life is finding out you have more than one niche. You are more than just your title, as your company is more than just your product. Why not let a little change shake things up and move you (and your company) to the next level?