Fabio Viviani is a man familiar with stressful scenarios. It’s nearly 10 years since he sold his first business and set sail for America to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime. Instead, Fabio helped bring his father out of an unfortunaate financial situation and arrived in the US with no money, no English and no real prospects. He’s now a multiple restaurant owner, an NYT best-selling author, an entrepreneur, and a star of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I decided to start my own business because I’m unemployable. There’s no way I can find a job under the guidance of somebody else that will make me happy and give me the growth capability that I know I can reach on my own.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Do it right or do it twice. Practice doesn’t make perfection. Perfect practice makes perfection. If you know how to do things, you can’t do things 90% instead of 100% because eventually it will waste your time, your money and resources later on down the road. People think that it’s very hard to execute perfectly all the time. Whilst I believe that ‘done’ is better than ‘perfect’, you have to do it right or you’re gonna eventually find yourself doing it again.
How do you manage the stress of running a business?
You know, a lot of people die because of stress. I think I feed off of it. Stress is only anxiety due to lack of knowledge. People stress about money, people stress about relationships, people stress about not having enough time. Me and you, we’ve got the same time right? We don’t get to decide how much time we have, we only decide how to use it.
We can’t manage time, we can only manage ourselves in relation to time, so stressing…is a waste of time. Stressing is like praying for something you really don’t want to happen. The reality is if you don’t want something to happen you need to educate yourself, and you gotta make sure you have all the possibilities and solutions in front of you to make an educated decision.
Stress is like fear, like when dogs bark or kids cry. People stress because they don’t have a solution, they get caught up in the problem rather than figuring out a solution. I feed off of stress, because whenever there is a stressful scenario there is an opportunity to get a step ahead.
What’s the best part of your job?
That’s actually hard for me…the best part of my job is the sense of accomplishment. I like to get it done. I moved to this country (the US) in 2006. I was broke with huge debt because I was trying to help my family who got caught up in the middle of a nasty financial situation.
I came to this country, I didn’t speak a word of English, didn’t have a job, didn’t have anything. Now I have a healthy business, I’m considered one of the top 1% of earners in America and I have a lot of employees. For me, the achievement is the best part. Get it done when everybody thinks it’s not possible.