You probably have a new idea every day. Getting it off the ground is a lot more difficult than just thinking of it. Nothing in life is easy (except failure). ere are some suggestions from the inspiring life of ChefGail.

It’s not what you look at but what you see that matters. – Henry David Thoreau 

There may be nothing new under the sun yet people are coming up with new products, services, and ideas all the time. Gail looked at the local catering scene and recognized that hosts wanted more than the pedestrian fare being served by existing catering companies. She offered market tours and culinary travel long before anyone else caught on. She was inspired by chefs and markets around the world and brought their recipes back home. She looked at the same things as everyone else but saw unique opportunities.

Gourmet Goodies was a catering company but it did more than deliver the food. Gail brought in event planners, pastry chefs, and specialized wait staff so that she could deliver the total experience. Inspiration was part of her long-term business development but it was also part of her outreach.

Countless entrepreneurs sought her advice on recipes, business concepts, or the business building process. Gail embraced their ideas and helped mold them into viable models. She looked beyond the surface of an idea and expanded the creative process, the aesthetics, or the marketing of the final product. By reverse engineering the idea it became more real and realistic.

Seek a mentor and ask for help. Together you too must examine your best idea; look through it to see how it will make a difference or what makes it unique. In other words, try to see what others have overlooked.

It's a new year and you have another 12 months in which to become famous. ChefGail was a well-know personality in Edmonton but she didn't get famous from self-promotion. It took hard work at the community level where she gave as good as he got. Is this the year you will receive an award?

#5 If you can't serve, you can't rule.     Bulgarian wisdom

Whenever awards are handed out you will notice that the award recipients got credit for contributions did that are over and beyond their job. No business leader has ever won an award for just for doing their job. In every case they served on committees, coached minor sports, or volunteered at community events. It was the things they did away from work that made them stand out.

Gail’s work life was very busy yet she still served on a diverse range of boards from the Chamber of Commerce to a theatre company. She was involved in work related activities as well such as conferences, meetings, and government lobbying. Her volunteer activities made her well known in the community and boosted her self-esteem.

Like a true leader, she did not get involved to win awards but the recognition did come over time. You can follow a similar path. Start slowly and at the beginning of your career choose ad hoc committees that complete a task and then disband. You can also volunteer for a conference or event organizing committee that will keep you busy for a whole year. As you gain confidence and experience look for boards or policy committees that meet on a regular basis. Attend all the meetings, complete your commitments, and you will soon be invited to join more influential committees where you can make your mark. Volunteering is the rent you pay for being given a career. As your career matures you may find yourself being called forward to receive an award but more importantly, you’ll find your life enriched with friends, memories, and self worth.