Pop Ups

Funny Artwork

Well if I had seen this before I opened a bakery / cafe, I may have thought twice! I came across this while surfing google images looking for funny bakery artwork.

I had a meeting with a friend of mine today who is a business consultant doing some work for me. He brought up a term that I had to laugh at called “Pop Ups.” And while we weren’t discussing the internet, these pop ups are just as annoying.

He was referring to the sometimes relentless pace at which problems can arise while operating a business. Now I’m not talking about big problems. I’m talking about the little tedious tasks that can sometimes swallow up your time like a fat mid-westerner at a hot dog eating contest.

A quick summary of my day today: We’re out of receipt paper, we need it quick…a customer just called in and wants a different cake, they’ll be here in 3o minutes…repair guys are here to fix the walk-in freezer, wouldn’t it be funny if the health inspector came today…the health inspector just got here…we ran out of lettuce, can you get some…oh, we’re out of sugar too, can you go back…the phone lines are down…there goes the internet…what!? Our credit card machine is hooked up to the internet…one of your vendors is here to yell at you…make that two vendors…can you go to Home Depot real quick…oh, you already went, can you go back? I forgot about payroll, oh well…gotta do the books, pay the bills, count the drawers, open the mail, get change and somewhere in there consume about 4oo calories for the day.

Yes, this was my day today, and this was only half of it. The point of the story is this, get an assistant! Ha ha…I’m just kidding. The truth is, all business owners will have to deal with this in one way or another. The restaurant business just happens to be one of the best at creating these problems. But there’s always problems in every business, whether it be brick and mortar or virtual. This is where delegation comes into play. If one were to focus entirely on these tedious little tasks, you would never get anything done.

Sometimes I feel so discouraged from having to deal with these problems over and over, but that’s where the strength of being an entrepreneur and a self starter comes into play. Learn from everything! And never stop fighting…running your own business is not an easy task, and it’s much harder to give effective orders than to take them.

Ditch the Droid..Nab the Nexus?


I feel a dilemma approaching! I’m a Verizon customer and I love their service. However, until recently, they had a serious lack in cool smart phones. So I jumped on the Blackberry bandwagon, but I always felt inferior to iPhone users. Then the Droid was released. I immediately switched to it, and I’ve seen the benefits in both my personal and business life. I’m all about organization, ease of communication, web browsing and sexiness (I’m being honest!).

Now the Nexus One is rumored to be coming out on March 23rd for Verizon. Do I ditch the Droid and nab the Nexus? From the reviews I’ve heard….YEP!

But if Google keeps coming out with better phones every three months, I’m going to be pissed, and so will a lot of other Verizon customers. They haven’t timed the release of their new products that well. They could take a lesson from Apple in that regard. I see Google as the excited little kid with lots of new toys who wants to show off to all the other kids on the playground.

Nevertheless, bring on the Nexus!

How I Miss the Past

Our Kentucky Derby Win with War Emblem

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the past events and people that helped shape me. Digging through photos and old boxes of memorabilia, I’ve been overwhelmed by powerful memories of unforgettable times. When I tell stories of my past, those who don’t know me think I’m making it up. I can honestly say I’ve lived a truly unique life thus far.

Me, Ahmed and my Dad standing in his Palace in Riyadh – 10 years ago

My Godfather was a royal prince from Saudi Arabia (Prince Ahmed bin Salman). My father was his best friend. I’ve spent time with most of the members of the royal family of Saudi Arabia. I’ve partied with the Sultan of Brunei. I’ve chatted with the Aga Khan. When kids my age were playing video games at home, I was in England, wearing a top hat and tails, eating lunch with the Queen. But this was all in the past. It is no longer.

Victory walk after we won the English Derby

I grew up in the horse business. It is truly the sport of kings. No business can open doors like the horse business. My Dad and Ahmed won nearly every major race in the world, including the Kentucky Derby and the English Derby (the only time I’ve seen my Dad cry in joy). We almost won the triple crown twice. We’ve bred and raced some of the greatest horses in history. Sharp Cat, Point Given, Spain, War Emblem, Royal Anthem, K.O. Punch and Dr. Fong are just a few of the names. What was it like? Words can NEVER describe.

But it all came tumbling down in a tragic series of events, including the unexpected death of Prince Ahmed. I truly miss him, as do I miss all those that surrounded him. Where would I be now if he were still alive? I dare not imagine. But I know now that it was these events that gave me the strength and raging ambition I possess. I’ve tasted the forbidden fruit and I must have more. That’s what it feels like. And for an entrepreneur, that’s not such a bad thing.

These days will return. I know that. I will continue on my entrepreneurial quest, ambitious yet humble as ever. And one day, I will dine with kings and queens once more.

Book Review – The Power of Focus

2010-03-04 16.19.04

I recently began reading a book called The Power of Focus (Les Hewitt, Mark Hansen, Jack Canfield). The authors wrote the Chicken Soup for the Soul series as well, which has sold more than 50 million copies. This is a great book! I actually put all ten of my other books away and have been FOCUSING on absorbing the material in just this one.

It has definitely affected me in a positive way. It is teaching me how to focus on the most fulfilling things in life, give up some control, delegate more and develop great habits.

It is geared towards anyone in business, but I think it is especially helpful for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs tend to be highly fragmented, unable to focus on a single thought or task. I am, which is why I started reading this book. It’s helping and I’m really enjoying it!