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Tips from Our Favorite Creative Chef

Elle Simone is a budding icon in the creative food industry. She's not only one of very few celebrated women chefs of color, but she's been growing our business as an entrepreneur with no favors handed from the mega industry. Many WomenWerk members can relate to her grit, optimism and talent and we are excited to hear her five tips for climbing to the top:

As a Chef/Food Stylist and Culinary Personality on a cooking show and working to author cookbooks, I’ve had so many valuable lessons over the past 10 years. It’s almost hard to prioritize them as they have all had a huge part on the inner workings of MY definition of success.

5. What is Success?

I feel that only you can really answer this question, of what success is, for yourself and the worst thing you can do is set your goals by the standards of others, family included. For me, success is often just getting my morning meditation in before starting my day. It’s an act that keeps my day on track, and often results in meeting my goals for the day. Maybe for you, it’ll be managing your inbox or devoting some time on the weekends to YOUR personal brand. Whatever it is, define for yourself and achieve it for yourself.

4. Get Rejected.

There was a time when being rejected for a job or business opportunity would set me back. Over time, I began to use these “rejections” as springboards. They make me self-evaluate and ask myself an important set of questions: What could I do to increase the chances of me gaining this opportunity again? Was this the right opportunity for me at this stage of life/ career? Was I as prepared as I could’ve been for this moment? There are a host of other questions that may apply but the point is that “rejection” is not necessarily a reflection of you as an individual or a professional. Often, it’s the Universe steering you in the right direction.

3. Get Out of Your Own Way!

Working in the Culinary Media field, people would always say that they thought I’d be great for television. I never really thought much of it, and had actually gotten to a point where I was running from those particular opportunities that continued to come my way. One day, I told myself that I was going to get out of the way and allow what was to happen JUST HAPPEN. Make a practice of leaving room for growth and development and know that it’s not always wrapped in the packaging you’d expect it to be!

2. Say YES to the Conversation

In any profession, we are sometimes faced with offers or promotions that we are not sure we should take. Perhaps it’s insecurity; perhaps the offer just doesn’t have any appeal. Either way, say YES to the meeting to at least talk about it. One of the things I have learned in these meetings, whether they’ve come to fruition or not, is what is trending in within my profession. It’s also a great chance to grow your network.

1. Ask for Forgiveness THEN Permission - Grace (GRASS) Hopper

Mark Suster says it best in his book, “Both Sides of the Table” that “success is a way of life.” It's not about abusing situations but about knowing when to push the boundaries. It's about knowing that the overwhelming number of people in life are naysayers and "no-sayers" but successful people often say “Yes” and roll the dice to see what happens!


Thoughts? Suggestions? @WomenWerk #WWBlog

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