Setting the Bar

Michael Simpson

Remember that new restaurant you went to? You know, the one you were excited to try out? There was a lot of buzz — balloons, and a menu that looked delicious.

But when you got there, you were seated and the table was sticky.

The server ignored you for 10 minutes.

He forgot to bring you silverware.

And finally the food came out — cold with poor presentation.

How likely are you going back — or even worse tell your friends how average the restaurant was.


How was it?

It was alright…

No one wants to be alright. We all want superior results — whether it be food, a haircut, or a hotel stay. Even the parties my friends threw this year included a smoked pig BBQ, a chartered 3 hour boat trip under the Golden Gate Bridge, and a lakeside cabin stay with Moroccan food.

The bar has been set high for get togethers.

But that is the natural progression as we all get better at our crafts.

You see, that restaurant I visited (the one with the poor service and lackluster food) was definitely someone who tried to create success without putting in due diligence. Did he ever work at a restaurant? did he learn from anyone? Or did he binge watch a lot of ‘Bar Rescue’ and ‘Hells Kitchen’ and think — ”well, I can do that. I’ll open my own restaurant!”

A year later, the business closes.

There goes his life savings.

Everyone wants instant success, and few want the work it takes to get there.

My good friend Victor has been grinding through the ranks as a cook. Always humble, learning, and mastering his craft. He has been at if for many years. I asked him about this subpar restaurant I visited:

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that was probably the culinary equivalent to Single A Baseball. We call those types of spots “turn and burn,” meaning there isn’t much creativity on the menu. This is meant to get the food out quickly and thoughtlessly. They also use pre-made products. Products such as pre-made stocks, pastas, condiments, pickles and so forth. This is more of an inditement on the quality of the cooks working in the establishment more than anything. Places like that are good for rookies,, washed up cooks, old timers and those just looking for an easy paycheck.

At the professional level, as you rise through the ranks, as you continue to further your knowledge and techniques, the more stress and intensity. Your begin to pour in more and more hours, it becomes an obsession. You are counted on to execute at an elite level. The bar is set impossibly high, the standards are excruciating to maintain.

Did you read that? To further your knowledge and techniques.

No shortcuts, no tricks, pour into your craft.

Set the bar, be proud of learning something, let yourself make a mistake, then re-set the bar higher.

I often see pictures of homes that are taken by *gulp* cellphones. Much like the plate of food that was unflattering. “It was alright…” resulting in an inferior result. Bar set low. Less showings. Price drops, etc.

Setting the bar high is a good thing for all of us. As long as we don’t go backwards.

I have a confession to make — I use to run a care home business that I rushed in to. The bar was set so low by other care homes, I thought that I would be an instant success. I’ll get into that next time.

Mike Simpson is a Bay Area native, father, early riser, avid reader, dog lover & coffee addict. In his spare time, Simpson enjoys woodworking. Today, Mike is an entrepreneur, author and relentless innovator of the real estate industry.

Michael Simpson

Written by

I never imagined I would spill my guts, but I am glad I am. A realtor who is interested in sociology, economics, woodworking, and podcasting.

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