I’m thinking about cooking.

30 Phone Calls Later…

23 years ago I decided to learn to cook. My prior experience included boiling hot dogs and microwaving. Not exactly the resume of a fancy restaurant chef.

I wanted to cook 2 full meals for the Sabbath. Appetizers, mains, sides. All I had were a bunch of recipes from family and friends, ingredients and a will to try something new.

How did it go, you ask? Here’s this story’s appetizer: Within a 60 minute timeframe, I had made a combined 30 phone calls to my mother, grandmother and sister. (I know this because I looked at the phone bill later that month to see just how many calls I made. Remember itemized phone bills?) Calls included such classic questions as: “How do I know when the noodles are ready?”

You laugh but I wanted to make sure I got it right.

In the end, the buffalo wings and rice came out just fine. So did the chulent (Jewish traditional stew) and meat roll. I was happy with the results but even more pleased with myself for trying something new, knowing failure could cause me violent stomach pains.

Always Be Learning

Since that Sabbath I have tried new recipes as often as possible. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to consider. I keep 2 notebooks: One with the recipes I tried that I like and the other with recipes I have yet to try. 23 years and 900+ recipes later, I love following a recipe and trying something new.

As a business owner and professional marketer, I always like to stay on top of the latest news related to what I do. I like to learn, poke around new things and see what works for me and what doesn’t. Always be learning.

When lockdown here began, I found myself with some extra time. What to do, what to do…

First I looked at my growing list of things I wanted to learn more about and started to dig into that. One of those items was “customer journey maps,” representing every interaction and experience customers have with you and your company. Understanding that journey map has implications not only in the ecommerce world but also for nonprofits. I read numerous articles, reviewed many templates and watched a whole mess of videos on YouTube.

I spread it out over a week. 30 minutes every day dedicated to this subject.


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Tonight in #EphysKitchen: Garlic beef noodles #MenCanCook #JustFollowInstructions #dinner #LoveThisWok

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Time To Launch

Lockdown also became the time when I decided to launch a few new products. I launched a podcast, dedicated to interviewing nonprofit sector experts and leaders who provide useful information that charity workers can implement right away.

I put the finishing touches on an ebook which I’ll be publishing next week.

I’m working on revamping certain pages of my website and updating the offerings. I’m learning what works for my customers and how I can meet their needs better.

I have a business idea which is percolating in my head and which I hope will come to fruition in the coming months.

I’m asking questions, talking to experts, learning. Because now’s a great time for me to do a deep dive into what my business needs to survive and thrive.

Always be learning.

It All Started With One Pot Of Boiling Water

What you don’t know is that I wasn’t always this way. I didn’t always look to learn and grow. A slacker, almost a lazyass. I did what I had to. Got decent grades in school and university. I knew my strengths and weaknesses and yes, a failure to be inquisitive was a definite limitation.

It’s weird to think that cooking was the impetus for a major change but it was. I learned that if you want to move ahead, you’ll have to get your hands dirty. You’ll have to read, think, try, experiment, fail and try again. It’s how I taught myself fundraising, marketing, social media, communications and everything else in between.

I’ve had successes, I’ve had failures. I’ve had yummy meals and some God awful ones.

Just like my notebook of new recipes to try, I keep a list of subjects I want to take a deep dive into. My goal is to always be learning, keep moving forward.

Now I have to figure out what to make for dinner…

NOW’S the time to be engaging your donors via your website, social media and email. Since you might not be able to in person, let’s give your digital communications and marketing a kickstart, so we can give a boost to your bottom line!