By: David Ezell

Oh jambalaya, how you confuse me.

I've seen my dad make jambalaya dozens of times in my life, yet I've never "watched" him make it. To the casual observer, jambalaya is a hodgepodge of ingredients from the refrigerator and usually whatever meat that happens to be lying around. I always assumed he was just throwing in anything he could find that hadn't passed an expiration date. Little did I know, he had an exact recipe...his recipe.

First of all, it HAS to be made in a large cast-iron pot, as this keeps everything from sticking while also allowing the spices to marinate. It HAS to have the "Cajun holy trinity" of ingredients: onions, bell pepper, and celery. These simple ingredients also form the basis from which gumbo and etouffee are originated and are a culinary staple in South Louisiana. Thirdly, since the rice is added in with the ingredients and not after, you have to be precise in how you stir, or you run the risk of ending up with rice mush. Lastly, and most important, you MUST make sure not to rush it. Great jambalaya is made when the ingredients and spices have time to marinate together along with a slow boiling heat.

Starting a business is no different than making a great jambalaya. It looks easy to the casual observer, yet takes precision, the right ingredients, and time to marinate. How many of us rush into a business, only to end up with rice mush?

That's been me numerous times. I've tried and I've failed.

What did I do wrong? I looked at the final product without taking into account the process. I opened the refrigerator door and grabbed ingredients, but they weren't the right ingredients.

When building your business, you have to take the first step, and "watch". Find someone who's honed that perfect jambalaya recipe and pick their brain. Develop the "holy trinity" for your business success and use it as your daily foundation.

Our holy trinity, or the 3 c's, are:

Clear Vision: We get laser focused on what we want, and exactly where we want to be and when. What does our office look like in 5 years? We can tell you. What does our design team look like in 5 years? We can tell you.

Try to remember the days before Google Maps and GPS. The days when you'd load into the car and your parents would unfold that map that would barely leave any room for them to still see the road. They'd plot the destination and start reverse engineering every road that they'd have to take to get there. They knew where they wanted to go, but they had to map out how to get there.

Your business is no different. Grab your map, crank up the music, and hit the road.

Consistency: Consistency doesn't mean when it fits around your schedule. Consistency means shutting off Game of Thrones and putting in the work. Consistency is chopping up the onions, bell pepper and celery each and every time.

Connection: Connection means building genuine relationships. Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed, and when you have customers, treat them the same way. Life has an uncanny way of bringing that full circle.

After that, you can start to add in your own seasoning. Before you know it, you'll be making your own jambalaya, and you'll notice people watching.

David Ezell
David handles the branding and marketing for The Lanyap Group.
He and his wife are always either trying new restaurants in DFW or taking their goldendoodle Kato for walks on the Katy Trail.