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Can’t Be Everything to Everyone

Jun 24, 2023 | Conscious Leadership, Daily Trek

Can't Be Everything to Everyone

Can’t Be Everything to Everyone

We sometimes lose sight of the fact that we don’t need to be everything to everyone; and that’s perfectly healthy. Understanding who aligns with our mission and who doesn’t is more than just a component of personal growth; it’s a cornerstone of a healthy life.

This principle of abundance doesn’t only apply to personal relationships. It’s equally relevant in the business world, as demonstrated by a recent controversial story.

In Perth, Australia, there’s a restaurant owned by Chef John Mountain. After receiving a one-star review saying he needs to do better from a vegan customer, and would fail otherwise, he took an unusual step. He declared his restaurant off-limits to vegans for mental health reasons.

Bold as this move was, it didn’t harm his business initially. Quite the opposite, his reservations shot “through the roof.”

You may ask, why did this happen? The answer lies in an unvarnished truth. In our world abundant with choices, we’re under no obligation to cater to everyone. And much of what we’ve been instilled is not always ours.

Chef Mountain grasped this fact and also got a bit angry. Maybe he realized he wanted to get back to the roots of why he opened his restaurant. And chose to hone his focus on his core passions and customers. Their response? They’re flocking to his restaurant.

However, things didn’t stay rosy for long. Soon after banning vegans, Chef Mountain’s restaurant faced a backlash. Vegan trolls began flooding Fyre with fake reservations and angry messages.

In response, Fyre adopted a new strategy. Their website now states: ‘Due to the frequency of non-genuine vegan bookings, we have been forced to request a $30 per person booking fee. This fee is wholly deductible from your bill after dining at Fyre.”

No Soup for You

Ali Yeganeh ran a restaurant in New York called Soup Kitchen International. He was famous for one catchphrase: “No soup for you!” This simple phrase sparked conversation and added a unique flair to his restaurant. And being portrayed on the TV show Seinfeld also helped.

As a business owner, he knew who he was and what he stood for, and his catchphrase captured that spirit perfectly. Despite its blunt message, it didn’t deter customers. In fact, it made his restaurant even more intriguing to many.

Think about it this way. Every restaurant or shop or book is someone’s dream come true. We can’t be everything to everyone. As a person with severe food allergies, I get it. I don’t demand every restaurant to change for me. If a restaurant serves only shellfish, I can’t eat there. It’s not for me. But that’s okay.

There are plenty of places that can accommodate my needs. They’re happy to do it. I look for these places that are healthy for my wellbeing.

In a world brimming with options when we are blessed with them, we don’t need to wage a battle to belong. Once we understand who we are and what what’s healthy for us, it’s clear that we can’t please everyone. Our life then becomes simpler. We connect with our purpose and our attention turns to what we’re creating.

There is Always A Way

Of course, Chef Mountain faced backlash. Some decried his move as unfair and accuse him of discrimination. Despite the criticism, he remains firm. His restaurant, his rules. He was clear on his stance and what he wanted to delight his customers with. Maybe he crossed a few lines in some people’s book but this is not the point when we don’t intentionally want to cause harm.

Likewise, in our own lives, we have the power to make purposeful decisions. There’s no need to struggle or strive to fit in everywhere. We learn what’s healthy for us, connect with people who value us for our authentic selves. By doing so, we flourish.

In a world rich with abundance, the concept of scarcity becomes obsolete. There’s no need for us to vie for a spot. We’re capable of creating our own with no need to fight or divide. So, bear in mind, we can’t be everything to everyone. That’s not a flaw. It’s perfect. It’s as it should be.

Our path to discovering our healthy place in this vast, abundant world is our trek. And are we not blessed to not worry about where our next meal will come from? Not everyone is.

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” Brené Brown

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