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What I Learned About Being a Great Business Person from a Famous Restaurateur

This famous restaurateur was standing in the middle of the street, waving her arms and whistling at passing cabs.


How can I become a successful businessman? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I traveled from Vermont to Chicago to have New Year’s Eve dinner with very close friends. Chicago is perhaps our premiere restaurant city and they took us to one of the very best. We had a great meal, we did our shouting at midnight, and it seemed that everyone decided to leave at the same time. The restaurant owner was dressed in a gorgeous evening gown. And she is city-renowned, if not world-renowned.

So picture this: it’s colder than hell. It’s windier than hell. A whole bunch of people want a taxi, and they want one now. So what do you see when you look out into the middle of the street? You see a woman—the owner, a famous restaurateur—standing in the middle of the street, in that very light dress, wildly waving her arms and whistling at passing cabs.

Want to be a successful businessman [WOMAN]? The answer is: the all important first 95% is the little details. That is, the famous restaurant owner, out in the cold, hailing taxis after midnight.

Tom Peters, is the author of The Excellence Dividend

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