5 Lessons I Learned From “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi”
by Morgan Fleur De Lys | on December 18, 2012
5 Lessons I Learned From “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi”
These lessons from Jiro Dreams of Sushi are truly transformational. Imagine what would happen if you took these 5 ideas and applied them to your life. The results would be profound. If you embrace the idea of operating your business using these specific mindset traits, your success is guaranteed. As a bonus for reading this, I’m going to give you my “sushi marketing” secrets that will magnify these 5 lessons immediately.
“At a tiny bar in a Tokyo subway… Jiro is renowned as the world’s greatest sushi chef.” The moment I read those two screens in the trailer, I knew I wanted to see Jiro Dreams Of Sushi. So what is it and why is it important to you?
What I Learned From “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi”
Jiro Dreams Of Sushi is a documentary film about 85 year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, owner of Michelin 3-Star restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro and his ongoing quest to perfect the art of sushi. Well, that’s what Wikipedia more or less says, but I say it’s something far more. To me, it’s a guide on how to truly succeed in life. You can take the fresh sushi this movie is serving you (think: golden nuggets of wisdom) and apply it to nearly all aspects of your business, professional and personal life.
Now, before I get into the 5 lessons I learned from Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, I want to start of with a bonus sushi roll if I may. You see, I’m giving you a cool bonus first because I think it’s awesome that you are sharing some time with me and reading my article about what I have learned recently. You deserve it!
BONUS: It’s Ok To Start Where You Are.
In Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, you will learn that his restaurant is located in a subway station. He’s not in some fancy hotel or some trendy entertainment complex. There’s no breathtaking views of the Tokyo skyline. He’s in a plain old subway station corridor. Hardly the place you would expect to find world class food. Yet there he is, the world’s greatest sushi chef, a living legend and national treasure in Japan, serving impeccable quality to the delight of his customers.
You can do the same. Start where you are. Don’t wish you were somewhere else. Be in that moment and focus on your task and reaching your goals, not what you perceive to be less than ideal conditions.
“Jiro Dreams Of Sushi” Life Changing Lessons
Dedicate Your Life To Mastering A Skill
Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably. ~ Jiro Ono
This is one if the first monologues from Jiro Dreams Of Sushi. He really is giving away pearls here. I can’t really articulate it better than this, but I will expand on it for a moment.
All too often, people will jump from one thing to the next. They can very easily end up doing this their entire lives and then wonder why they never reached the level of success they desired. Create MASTERY and your success will follow.
Develop A Strong Work Ethic
Jiro’s son explains in the movie that you need talent, but talent will only get you so far. Luckily, many talents can be substantially improved through a strong work ethic. Jiro son, Yoshikazu, says it very clearly that you must work hard to achieve greatness. I think that a strong work ethic can be one of the key differentiators between people who succeed and those who don’t.
When you combine this habit with dedicating your life to mastering a skill, it’s nearly unstoppable.
Be A Specialist
When you watch Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, you will learn something significant that separates Jiro’s restaurant from most other sushi establishments: The ONLY serve sushi. There’s no appetizers. There’s no salads or soups. It’s SUSHI. That’s it. (They do give you a small piece of fruit at the end of your meal to clear your palette, but this is customary in sushi restaurants.)
In your business, be a specialist. Your ability to master a skill (lesson 1) takes thousands of hours of work (lesson 2). You can’t reach true mastery if you are trying to be a jack of all trades. Do what most people won’t, be known for your exceptional skills in a specific area.
Accept Only The Highest Quality
Jiro’s restaurant, Sukiyabashi, received a 3-Star Michelin Award. This is incredibly difficult to do and it’s one of the highest honors a restaurant can receive. To put this into perspective, I live in Las Vegas, a city with tons of restaurants all owned by celebrity chefs. Every casino in town is trying to have restaurants on property that are better than their competition so they can attract wealthier guests and more high rollers who demand the best. Out of all the fantastic restaurants we have, only ONE has earned a 3-Star Michelin Award.
The guy that owns it, Joël Robuchon, says Jiro is the best sushi master in the world. Talk about an honor!
How did this place win all of these awards and honors from around the world?
They demand the highest quality in everything that they do. This starts with their suppliers. They only deal with specialists (lesson 3). The tuna supplier only deals in tuna. The shrimp guy, only shrimp. Even the rice guy is a specialist that demand only the highest quality available.
Do this in your business. As you start to combine these lessons, you will start producing higher quality work. Build upon that. Work only with the highest quality resources available to you. Demand the highest quality out of your business relationships. It’s this distinction that will separate you from your competition.
Even the documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi is of the highest quality, scoring a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival.
The Beauty Of Simplicity
Here in the United States, you would be hard pressed to find a comparable restaurant that would measure up to Jiro Dreams Of Sushi. The U.S. sushi craze is full of all-you-can-eat places with with wild hybrid sushi creations and funny names. Any given roll has 6+ ingredients and a variety of sauces added to the sushi. We’re busy creating “volcano” rolls and “atomic” sushi dishes.
Now don’t get me wrong, those are all fun and they have their place, but those rolls all serve one purpose, to mask the quality (lesson 4) of the fish.
But the reason Jiro Dreams Of Sushi really shines is in it’s simplicity. They let the quality and taste of the fish shine. Their presentation is minimalist in it’s approach. It’s art.
Strive for simplicity in your business. Don’t over complicate things. The fewer moving parts, the better. Your goal is to create mastery (lesson 1) and you do that through simplicity. Your business will become a well-oiled machine if your don’t gum up the engine.
My “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi” Marketing Secrets
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