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Continuing Your Education…On Your Own Dime

I recently wrote of the importance of continuing education and how leaders and management must encourage and invest in their team’s opportunities for growth. I also stated that the best salespeople generally ask endless questions, stretch beyond their comfort zone, and are continuously on the quest to always learn more to be the best they can be. This also means that these salespeople should go above and beyond what the company provides to continue to learn and grow.

How? Salespeople should invest their own money and personal time into continuing education to be the best they can be.

I always appreciate this as a sales leader. We all have personal experiences and “extracurricular” opportunities when and where we learn. We are fortunate to work in an industry that is relatable and “tangible” during our free time. (I mean let’s be honest, what family member has not seen us looking at china patterns and commenting on service every time we go out to dinner? And going to a relative’s wedding… fuhgettaboutit!) Bringing these outside-of-work experiences back to the office broadens the knowledge base. So, spend your own dime on your own time out of the workplace to recognize that these extra “investments” spent are only furthering your knowledge base.

It's fine to dine

I recently dined at a Three Star-Michelin restaurant in a resort town in the southeastern Bavarian region of Germany. It was toward the end of a 10-day journey across magnificent Switzerland and Germany and—I am embarrassed to admit—was getting “fooded” out. I also knew the financial commitment was going to be about 500 euro each for food and wine (about $600 USD per person). However, I made the reservation at the Restaurant Uberfährt in advance, and I am a firm believer in honoring my commitments. The restaurant had fabulous reviews and I was determined to see what it was all about.

To say this was one of the highlights of my 10 days abroad is an understatement. How often can one experience a culinary education like this? The three of us were all “varied” in our fine-dining history; one was a complete novice and actually intimidated; the other would normally experience this as a business transaction. I myself had only the good fortune of dining at Michelin star restaurants through my industry, always eating with chefs who ordered and guided me along the way.

We opted for the seven course which really turned out to be 10 eye-opening and mouth-watering creations. The level of creativity impressed us as each dish was set before us. Chef Christian Jürgens’ passion was evident, as each course was designed to showcase his unique culinary art. The table and wine service was outstanding. I will let the photos explain the rest.

I now look back and am so thankful I did not cancel this unforgettable experience. It would have been a shame to miss the craftsmanship and art that was lovingly presented as food.

We are lucky to be in an industry that allows us to learn from something that we do every day…eating, entertaining, and inspiring.


Patisserie close up

Eggplant and Olive Mousse

The Morrel: Morrel, sherry, tarragon, porkling


Pavlova with Pineapple Strawberries

See Jen Perna at Catersource 2019! Jen will be presenting two sessions in February in New Orleans. Click here for more information!

Jennifer Perna

Jennifer Perna

Owner, Fulton Market Consulting, Chicago, IL
Jennifer Perna started Fulton Market Consulting in May 2017 after developing an event experience and sales management experience portfolio for over 25 years in the downtown Chicago catering and special events industry. Jennifer presently works with owners, managers and all team players at hospitality-related companies on increasing sales and creating business development strategies, streamlining processes for operations and event production and developing best practices for human resources and administrative management. This is especially imperative as we continue to manage a diverse and young talented pool of employees today. Jennifer brings a dynamic, approachable and relatable communication style to all levels and members...