549. Leaving Cushy Comforts for Sweet Success
Lindsay returned from France filled with a knowledge of cuisine from farm to table. But she also knew she didn’t yet know how she would use it. She needed time. Would she be lulled back into the clarity and comfort of a 9-to-5 job?
Lindsay Kinder left her stable career in life insurance sales to pursue her lifelong dream of learning to cook in France. She spent six months backpacking solo on a quest to discover where great food comes from, and what to do with it. She harvested fruits and vegetables, then sold them in Norman markets, worked on a foie gras farm, participated in the French wine harvest, attended pastry school, and earned a certificate from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She now lives in San Francisco, teaching sold out French macaroon workshops, private cheffing for special events and dreaming up new recipes for her blog Food La La.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Lindsay was one of two women selected for a management training program at the major insurance company where she had worked for four years, her first job after college graduation. “I realized that I was climbing the corporate ladder. Learning what management looked like, what my boss did every day, and the problems that she was trying to solve. I also realized that I had no interest in doing that. I call that my Eat, Pray, Love moment, when I just knew that there was more out there if I was willing to chase it down and find out what it was. But it was very difficult to walk away from that job because it wasn’t terrible. I didn’t dread going to work. I was paid really well and it was fine. There was no major problem, and I think that almost makes it worse when you were trying to make a transition.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Returning from her quest in France, Lindsay moved back in with her family for about a year. “I gave myself permission to just stay in motion. I knew I was not going to have the answer when I got home. And I knew that I needed to be patient with myself and not be afraid and run back to insurance or another stable nine-to-five job. My mantra for that first year of living with my family again was just stay in motion, throw things up on the wall and see what stuck, and get out there and see what I liked and what I didn’t like.” She began adapting French recipes to American ingredients and weights and measures and trying them out on friends and family at the kitchen counter. Soon she developed a course and began offering it to an expanding circle of would-be chefs. The classes quickly took off.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I realized there are so many recipes out there that aren’t well written or that don’t even work. And there are people trying to cook using those recipes, which may not ever turn out right, so they give up trying. I realized I could create really good recipes that would explain why each thing was so important. And I could write them with those people in mind who are not pastry chefs, who might not even know what almond flour is. I wanted them to have that same feeling that I do, the fun that comes when I make something really delicious and share it with other people and say, ‘yes, I made this!’”
Steps to Success from Lindsay Kinder
1. Don’t let yourself be lulled into complacency with benefits and good pay if you know you have another calling to pursue.
2. Pay attention to your Eat, Pray, Love moment, when you just know there is more out there if you are willing to chase it down and find out what it is.
3. Look for your unique place, the niche where you can fill a specific need and love doing it.
4. Consider ways you can teach what you know to a larger audience online.
Connecting With Lindsay Kinder
Download a free video with Lindsay’s top three tips for instantly upping your kitchen game at: www.food-la-la.com
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