Three things I recite to myself daily:
‣ If it's been done before then it can be done again.
‣ Why not me?
‣ No hay mal que por bien no venga which translates from Spanish to English as there is no bad if good comes from it. This is what my grandmother would tell my mom who then shared it with me.
I Believe the Best Businesses, One That Will Stand the Test of Time, Are Focused on Four Things:
‣ Company culture
‣ Customer experience
‣ Employee engagement
‣ Career growth and fulfillment
My Career Has Had Many Mind Bending Twists and Turns
However, everything always comes back to one or all of the four topics listed above.
From earning $15/hour working in a call centre and then consulting for a $100,000,000,000 telecommunications company when I was 25-years old to building a $15,000,000 hospitality company in Toronto in two years and then starting over again with the motivation to build a globally recognized brand.
My career has seen it all.
Keep reading below if you’re interested in learning more. If so, thank you for your time and interest. Please consider subscribing to my podcast as I share more there.
Career (and Life) Snapshot
Born in Edmonton, Canada, raised in Vancouver and currently living in Toronto with Sophia and Maggy.
My upbringing was very humble. My father, mother, sister and I lived in a small duplex with one bathroom. I went to an elementary school where I was one of only a few people that had immigrant parents and I was definitely the only Peruvian. I’m ashamed to say that I was embarrassed to be Peruvian because I was bullied for a myriad of different reasons. Whether it was because of my different name or the food that I'd bring for lunch that looked and smelled different than the ham sandwiches others would have. Unbeknownst to me this would drive me to build a business 25 years later.
To learn more about my upbringing and how it’s helped shape me and my career, please consider listening to this podcast I recorded.
My career began in 2007 as a call centre agent working for a medium-sized company (1-800-GOT-JUNK?) in Vancouver, Canada. The company was recognized for being one of the best workplaces in all of Canada. This company taught me entrepreneurship, company culture and more. I was promoted five times in five years.
During my time with the company, I recognized that customer experience, employee engagement and company culture would grow to become my expertise. Back then, there weren’t as many people talking about these topics as they are now.
After leaving the company in 2012, I started what I thought would grow to become the largest agency of its kind (it didn’t) so I called it, Falcon Consulting Group.
It was a humble little business that I started from my parents dining room table. As the years progressed, I was hired by companies like McDonald’s Canada, LUSH, Electronic Arts, Verizon Wireless, BlueCross BlueShield, Alfa Romeo and many others spanning dozens of industries and companies of all sizes. I would help them with their customer, employee and company culture strategies. Profits at my little company were high but I was lonely because I missed being a part of a team which led me to my next opportunity.
I have been included in publications like Business Insider, Inc, Entrepreneur, Forbes and Time.
In 2016, I left the consulting world and started a hospitality company with my business partners in Toronto, Canada.
In only two years, we grew the company to $15,000,000+ in profitable revenue and 150+ employees. This was accomplished while also earning a Net Promoter Score in the 70-80’s range. We were even profiled in Food & Wine magazine because of the employee experience and company culture strategies I built. Building this business was very hard and something I’ll always remember.
This was a highlight of my career.
In 2018, I was hired to be the spokesperson for McDonald’s Canada National Hiring Day Campaign.
This was cool because my first job when I was 13 years old was working at a McDonald’s in Vancouver.
Also, in October 2018, I released a book titled, “People-First Culture: Build a Lasting Business by Shifting Your Focus From Profits to People” which became a bestseller.
I've traveled to countries like Canada, USA, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Israel, Lithuania and many others to speak at events and host book signings. Be sure to ask me what happened in Saudi Arabia; it was very embarrassing.
In 2019, I wanted to build the business I always dreamed of building. I’m now building Brasa Peruvian Kitchen; a modern Peruvian fast-casual restaurant brand. I’m inspired to grow it into a globally recognized brand.
Remember earlier when I told you that I was embarassed to be Peruvian when I was younger? Well, I'm not anymore. I feel a duty to represent the country, it's cuisine, culture and my heritage.
To listen to the full story on why I left a very comfortable life I had in hospitality to build Brasa Peruvian Kitchen from the ground up, please listen to this podcast I recorded.
In 2020, my friend Clay Hebert helped me develop the “Steer Your Career” slogan.
I’m now hired by companies to speak on this topic to share the lessons I’ve learned about growing a great career. I love speaking directly to individuals who are just starting their career and to first-time managers. I want to share a message that would have helped 21-year-old Michel so that I can pay it forward to other emerging leaders.
It’s now 2021, my first fast-casual restaurant is opening in Toronto (it was delayed by nearly one year because of COVID-19) with another store in development.
My long-term goal is to grow the brand to have 1,000+ stores while building a People-First Culture for our employees, customers, suppliers, community and investors.
My career has seen many, “It’s working” and just as many “I don’t know if I’m cut out for this?” but one thing that remains consistent is that I will always be a student. I’m obsessive when it comes to my own learning and I do so by reaching out to others who are excelling in their own fields.
Thank you for reading this far.
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