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Last Update: Tuesday June 15, 2021

Key Idea: Put All Of Your Skin In The Game

We mean put all of your money and all of your heart into your idea because you set the tone for future investors. No one will invest in your idea if you have not already done so. Next you have to use the cash to provide the tools needed to achieve perfection. More...

Key Question:


Look in the mirror first.

  Where did Thomas get the $5,000 fee he had to pay the attorney?
  From five ATM machines. He didn't rob the machines, he used five separate credit cards to get the money. He took on the debt because that was his only choice. A quality we admire in Thomas Keller is his confidence that he will land on his feet. Even if this venture had failed, he would have figured out how to pay back his loans. As he told us, I know how to cook and I can always get a job as a cook and I can always feed myself!

We've met plenty of people who are thinking of starting a business but they dream about someone else paying for it. This does not happen unless you are able to convince a relative to front you the money.

Think about it

What should be your next investment? Where do you need to grow? What needs to be accomplished for you to go to the next level?

Clip from: The French Laundry with Chef Thomas Keller

Yountville, Napa Valley, California: He took a little-known restaurant in a little town and turned it into one of the most famous places in the world.  Le Monde said (paraphrased), "Can it be possible that the best French restaurant is not  in France but ...California?" 

Visit The French Laundry and the man who made it come to life, Chef Thomas Keller.  He now also owns Per Se in New York City, and Bouchon in Yountville and in Las Vegas.  To accomplish this growth, he has recruited, hired and trained some of the best chefs and service people in the country.

Writer Irvine Welsh had this to say about dining at The French Laundry,  "...I salivate now as I think of the Truffle-pickled Hen Eggs with 'its creamy yellow' and Chopped Black Truffles.  ...obviously, the title of 'best restaurant in the world' is subjective to the point of lunacy. Having said that, I doubt it would be possible for The French Laundry to be equaled.

...Thomas Keller is a true giant among chefs, coming over as a genuinely inspirational figure, and to see him in action in his kitchen is pure joy."

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French Laundry

Thomas Keller, Owner

6640 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599

Visit our web site:

Office: 707.944.2380

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Year Founded:

Put All Of Your Skin In The Game

THOMAS: I said, `Listen, Bob, I really don't have any money. You know, I just started this olive oil company,' and, you know . . .

HATTIE: `Would you take a case of olive...'

THOMAS: `Would you do it on spec?' And he said, `Well, I won't do it on spec, but if you can raise $5,000 as a retainer, I'll do it.' So I said, `OK.' So I went out to all my credit card machines and started...

HATTIE: Oh, you mean ATMs? You went to the ATMs and got some cash?

THOMAS: ATMs and whatever, got some cash, and I gave him $5,000. And he did it all on spec. Now keep in mind also, once this process started, I needed to come up with money to...

HATTIE: Oh, my gosh.

THOMAS: I didn't even...

HATTIE: You haven't even started!

THOMAS: Right.

HATTIE: The $5,000's nothing!

THOMAS: I said to Don and Sally, `I don't have any money, you know. But I'm gonna do this, really. Believe me.' And they had the confidence. They had the confidence that I was going to be able to pull it off. And I gave them $5,000.

HATTIE: From the ATM machines?

THOMAS: From the ATM machines, from my credit cards, yeah.

HATTIE: You spent this money and you still don't have any ownership yet.

THOMAS: Yeah. I still don't have any ownership. It was a big leap of faith for me. It was a big leap of faith for the attorney. It was certainly a big leap of faith for the Schmidts, because they're going into a position where now they're gonna close their restaurant because they believe that I'm gonna buy it, and...

HATTIE: So they're going to lose opportunity.

THOMAS: They're going lose opportunity and revenues!

HATTIE: And if you don't come through....

THOMAS: Yeah. But everybody believes that it's gonna happen. Nobody knows how long it's going to take, and nobody knew it was going to take 18 months. I mean, we had many dates where, you know, the deal....I was supposed to sign...

HATTIE: You missed them! You missed those dates!

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