Chow Town

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Barbecue hoop dreams: Making pigs fly over Chow Town

03/20/2014 12:31 PM

03/21/2014 6:19 AM

While many Chow Towners dream of reaping a billion dollars from a perfect bracket, Chow Town’s barbecuers have other dreams.

Dreams such as:

• Selling barbecue or barbecue products for a living.

• Becoming the next big star on a TV food channel.

• Growing a restaurant from one store to multiple stores, a chain or a franchise.

• Making a living teaching barbecue classes.

• Devoting full time to barbecue for profit and fun.

• Signing a six-digit book contract.

• Creating a sauce or rub that goes viral nationwide.

• Winning Grand Champion at the American Royal, Memphis in May or The Jack.

Barbecue hoop dreams are rarely realized overnight. It takes smart work, time, persistence and passion. Here are some tips that may improve your aim:

• Talk with successful people. Prepare key questions ahead of time to avoid wasting their time and yours. End with, “What did I not ask you that I should have asked?”

• Devour as much info as you can handle — on the web, in books, newspapers, magazines and other media. Tips needn’t be barbecue-specific.

• Join networking organizations such as the National Barbecue Association and the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

• Learn how to navigate and utilize today’s social media.

Be realistic about your Assets Liabilities

When you know where you want to go, and you’ve done your homework, be sure you have what it takes to get there.

Assess your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to your dream. Does your dream fit with your values and abilities? How much will it cost in dollars, time and impact on your family? Can you afford it?

Communication skills, math skills, and interpersonal skills vary in importance depending upon your dream, but all are important.

How do you measure up and what can you do to improve? Don’t let age stop you. Pigs can fly at any age, young or old.

Go for it!

There are no guarantees that your dream will come true. Some dreamers make a train wreck of their lives and wish they hadn’t gone for it. Some try, don’t succeed, pick themselves up and try again — Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, for example.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t fulfill your big dream. Be grateful for the many smaller dreams you’ve fulfilled. In the end, they may be far more important.

To quote some wisdom that stuck with me years ago when reading a book by Baptist theologian, C. Carlyle Marney: “Herodotus said that the bitterest sorrow a man can know is to aspire to do much, and fail to do it. Not so. The bitterest sorrow a man can know is to aspire to do much, and to do it, only to realize it was not worth the doing.”



dream? Is it worth doing?

Ardie Davis is an iconic figure in the barbecue community. He founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS’s Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on numerous food shows and writes for a variety of barbecue-related publications. He is also the author of a number of barbecue books, His most recent release book is “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle: What Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”


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