The unofficial guide of a Food Entrepreneur Posted by: | June 1, 2014

Yet another 4 months have passed since my last entry, and as usual, so much has happened that I can just not list them all out in one entry. In broad strokes, in just 4 months alone, I have managed to launched and sell 2 books in both Singapore and Vietnam (Our Sweet Kitchen by Page One Publishing and Chuyen 2 Can Bep by Nha Nam Publishing). The book launches brought much attention from the public and media, making my busy life even busier with the multiple TV appearances, press conferences, interviews and so on. To be honest, I enjoy my life now much better after all the hype has died down, but hey, thanks to those books, many more people now know about my businesses and what I do! All that while, I was still juggling to manage both my Kitchen Art and the KAfe businesses. If doing merchandising is crazy, running F&B is even crazier! My schedule everyday has been booked with internal and external meetings, sometimes TV filming, job interviews (I am hiring!) and on top of that, I still try keep up with my fitness regime which involves 3 gym sessions/week and 1 dance class/week. It is during these months of my intense schedule that I have learnt a lot about coping with stress, finding inner peace, prioritisation while appearing to be on top of my game at all times! Oh and did I mention, I found the love of my life 4 months ago and now juggling a long distance relationship as well? In short, I have become a master of multitasking, but at the same time, I am more focused and happier than ever! It IS possible to do it all! 
Me and my co-author/soulmate/business partner Anh Nguyen at the “Our Sweet Kitchen” book launch in Hanoi, April 2014. 
I suddenly feel a strong calling to share my knowledge and handy skills of navigating through this bumpy road as an Entrepreneur. I believe there are more people out there like me, feeling lost like me, and trying to figure all this mess out while trying to stay sane and afloat. Believe me, I have been there, done that, still doing it, and often don’t know what the hell I am doing or why I am working so hard. I love Barbra Streisand description of herself as being a “work in progress” (even a perfection like HER can be improved!) – and that’s what we all are. Our life, our business, and our soul – all is a work in progress. 
In my recent interviews, TV appearances and seminars I took part in, there was a strong interest (especially from women) about how I “made it” in the business built on my own passion. It’s funny how I am considered to have “made it” when everyday I am still figuring out how to “get there”. But I do believe I have learnt a thing or two in the past 2.5 years living the start-up life, and I am eager to share it. I know I can’t keep answering interview questions from the media or reply messages on FB from people who ask for life and career advice (though I would love to), because I simply have no time. However, I can manage a blog post a week to share bits and peaces of my journey and hope it would reach more people out there keen to learn to become a better self, have a better career and in general live a happier and healthier life!
So…. I decided to change my blog tagline from “Food Blogger turned Dream Chaser” to “The Unofficial Guide of a Food Entrepreneur”. This will mark my turn from a Food blogger to a Lifestyle blogger, hopefully with that, I will be able to inspire more people and get more inspired myself! I miss writing and this will definitely get my juices flowing again! 
From now on, I will de-mystify and let you in “backstage” into my crazy/exciting life as a Food Entrepreneur in the crazy/scary town of Hanoi where anything could happen (both good and bad)! We will tackle topics such as:
How did I manage to open one of Hanoi’s hippest cafe, publish 2 cookbooks and run two businesses all within a year? 
How did I attract TV appearances, magazine interviews and online features all for free? 
Am I super-human? (No I am just as humanly impatient and weak as everyone is)
Do I have no life? (This is partially true for my social life, but I do have a lot of time for myself, which is not a bad thing at all – we will tackle this topic soon)
Do I have a huge team working for me? (No. We are a very small team and multitasking is our religion)
But that’s not all. I will also venture into topics like Fitness, Healthy eating, Spiritual well-being, self-care tips, love & relationships and family/friendship. Because all these aspects of your life do affect each other and you can’t do one thing well while neglecting the other. For example, to do well in your career, you need a strong body and mind to be on top of your game. And with a fit lifestyle and a calm, centered mind, you can get there much faster! 
I hope this blog will from now on serve as a guide to both you readers and myself as we grow on this journey together
With the blog revamp, I also decided to rewrite my Blog “About Me” to more accurately describe me as I am today and where this blog is heading towards – which leads to the first lesson I would like to share with you – KNOW WHO YOU ARE and WHERE YOU ARE GOING. It is a great exercise to write your own little biography. Only you know what makes you YOU and always use that knowledge to be unique and make the right choices for yourself. The moment you try to be someone else, you lose your own appeal. For a long time I tried to deny the fact that I have more than one passion, which is food, because it is what I should focus on to be good at it. But as it turns out, the more I let myself explore new things (e.g. dancing, personal development coaching, styling) and learn from it, the more inspired I become to do better in what I currently do! So never deny yourself from the right of being who you are, no matter who you are or what you do. It is the greatest gift you can give to yourself :) 
Here we go. About me… today: 
“Chi Anh is a crazy, hardworking entrepreneur in the emerging food and kitchen business in Vietnam. Whether she’s managing her kitchenware and cooking class business Kitchen Art, running the popular urban cafe the KAfe in Hanoi, writing her cookbooks, or filming her own cooking videos, Chi Anh is a multi-tasking hustler who does not stop at pursuing her dreams. With an overflowing to-do list everyday, challenges and setbacks lurking at every corner, she struggles to balance her crazy life as a passionate entrepreneur to remain inspired, healthy and centered. With the blog Door To My Kitchen – The Unofficial Guide of a Food Entrepreneur, she records her daily struggles, lessons and inspirations for fellow entrepreneurs or simply anyone with a busy work life to have a more fulfilling life in both career and personal life. Though the blog was first created and known for being a food blog, Chi Anh now hopes to reach out and tackle broader topics including business know-how, fitness, spiritual wellness, self-confidence, lifestyle, love and even pursuit of happiness, but of course, all in the name of her love for food and life! This is a blog that she herself wish existed when she started out in the professional world in her early twenties, and it will continue to serve both herself and readers as Chi Anh’s journey towards her dreams continues. As Chi Anh does not have a lot of time to share her views and experiences with people on the media or at events as much as she would like to, this blog will serve as a practical guide and communication platform between Chi Anh and readers who would like to live the fullest life, overcome obstacles and have a peek in the personal growth of this crazy entrepreneur.”
Did I wet your appetite enough for my new blog yet? Then stay tuned to next week update, where I will be talking about the tricks I use to keep up with my fitness schedule and stick to it! A skill we all wish we had when we make and break that new year resolution to get fit, year after year (lol)! 
Till then, have a great week!
Chi Anh.


4 Responses to “The unofficial guide of a Food Entrepreneur”

  1. Hải Anh (Annie) says:

    Hi chị Chi Anh,

    Tuy không còn ở Hà Nội và được thấy chị khi qua The Kafe chơi nhưng em vẫn dõi theo hành trình của chị. Em thấy rất phục chị với những gì chị đang làm và chúc chị thật nhiều năng lượng cho cuộc hành trình này (và nhiều kế hoạch hay ho nữa trong tương lai).

  2. Anh says:

    Your writing was really touched me, but why don’t i have the same experience when i came to Kafe, the same feeling when i read ur book? sorry if i interrupted u!

    • Chi Anh says:

      Hi Anh! Well maybe you should pay a bit more attention to details to notice bits and pieces of me in KAfe and my book :) but you are right, I express myself the most in my blog, that’s why you will find it more personal than in my book or businesses :)

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