Bob is no stranger to the world of food. In fact, he had worked in a variety of restaurants throughout his life. He started out as a busboy when he was a teenager, worked his way up to waiter, and eventually became a sous chef at the prestigious Michelin star Lé fónd French restaurant in New York.
His outgoing personality and his ability to make people feel comfortable left strangers and customers feel like they were part of the family.
Bob's friends and family also knew him as someone who was always coming up with new ideas. He had a knack for creativity and was always looking for ways to improve things.
The long hours of being a chef were exhausting. He could feel the toll on his health. His relationships and most the person he loved more than anything in this world, his 5 year old daughter Cindy.
He knew he wanted to start his own business. Only problem is that Bob, Mr. "jack-of-all-trades" had a million ideas for businesses. He thought about opening a bakery, a clothing store, a nail salon, and even a llama farm (don't ask).
Like a kid in a candy store, his ears lit up every time he though about starting a business except the candy was business ideas, and he was getting constipation just from trying to decide which one to choose.
2 years had passed and Bob was still at the same Lé fónd restaurant. That's when he decided Cindy (now 7) had suffered enough and it was time to get some help.
Bill had been in business for many years. As an ex-Goldman employee and he had a unique way of recognizing patterns in markets. He knew he didn't want to stay at Sach's and so when he got laid off on November 6th 2008 after the financial crisis with his severance package he started a consulting agency to help recovering laid of employees to start their businesses.
With his Sachs connections he had helped thousands of clients start flourishing businesses using his unique pattern recognition super power. A blunt "tell like it is" New Yorker he didn't mince his words but he also loved his clients. He was like the uncle you wish you had. Always talking in metaphors and never referring to himself as I. It was always "Bill would do this, or Bill would do that..." as if he wasn't Bill.
Bill and Bob lived on the same street during their childhood years in Queens New York. So when Bob need advice, Bill was the obvious choice.
Bob invited Bill to the restaurant and laid out his business dilemma. Bill listened patiently as Bob rattled off his list of potential businesses. Finally, Bill interrupted him and said,
"Bobby, you like a chick'n with its head chopped off run'n are round. Ya all over the place. Camaaan, Bobby ya need to focus on one thing Son."
Bob was confused. He didn't understand how a chicken with its head cut off had anything to do with his business ideas. But then Bill explained that the chicken runs around aimlessly because it doesn't have a brain telling it what to do.
Bob realized that he was the chicken in this scenario. He had too many ideas and no clear direction. So he decided to take Bill's advice and focus on one thing.
Bob spent weeks researching and brainstorming until he finally came up with his one focal point: a food truck that served unique grilled cheese sandwiches.
He grew up on grilled cheese sandwiches. His dad worked the night shift and his ma had passed away when he was 6. His dad never had the courage to remarry and felt like he'd be "cheating" on his wife as she started down on him from heaven.
Bob called his food truck "The Cheesy Truck" in memory of his child hood meal and it was an instant hit. People loved the creative combinations of cheeses and toppings. The Cheesy Truck became so popular that Bob had to hire additional staff to keep up with the demand.
But then, like all business owners, Bob decided to get "creative" The success had gotten to his head. He felt like he was the genius and all knowledge about his truck had to come from him. His employees tried to tell him not to but he arrogantly reminded them there's a reason they were employees and he was the owner. He had forgotten the lessons from Lé fónd and worse the lessons of his wise friend Bill. He decided to do it.
He added 8 different salads to the menu. He thought it would be a good idea to cater to those who were health-conscious.
Big mistake. The salads were a flop. Nobody wanted to buy them. Bob realized that he had strayed too far from his focal point. The Cheesy Truck was all about grilled cheese sandwiches, not salads.
So, Bob went back to the drawing board and came up with some new grilled cheese sandwich ideas. He reminisced why he started the Cheesy truck in the first place and the memories of the sandwiches.
He decided to only serve 4 different sandwiches.
He had the "Payday" sandwich which he could smell coming home from school when his father got paid. He had the "red eye" sandwich which was what his father made right from work. He also had the "hangovered" sandwich when his dad had drank too much and then he had "The Final" when his dad passed away. Each sandwich had a story.
The Cheesy Truck was back on track and better than ever.
Bob learned an important lesson about the importance of having one focal point. He realized that it's better to be a master of one thing than a jack-of-all-trades.