240: How Alexia Chef Lex Grant Went From Corporate Cooking To Carmelo Anthonys Chef
being a has there being entrepreneur. Ever-evolving you build one room in the new grow into the next. You realize it little fishing start the whole process over so having the mentality of ever learning in ever changing in the world. I don't know it just puts you in a state of like you're listening to side hustle. Pro the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side. Hustle from passion project took profitable business. And i'm your host kayla. Matthew koma salutes get started. Hey hey guys. Welcome back to the show. It's michaela here and today in the guest chair. We have the also dynamic. Alexia grant aka chef lex aka phil bubble chef. You'll learn what that means in a second. My son strange magic chef lex has been blessed by the opportunity to channel her passion for health. And happiness to support high achievers and world champions. Thanks the her superior. Culinary skills glasses full mentality. Entrepreneurial prowess and inviting personality. She has earned the trust and respect of her many celebrity clients both in the kitchen and beyond her lifestyle management firm chef. Lex graham anco provides an array of essential services to elite athletes entertainers manures entities. Happy clients include carmelo in la la. Anthony malcolm jenkins mcmeel mill. Angela simmons and lauryn hill as well as brands like lululemon and frozen so she wears many hats. It's her abilities in the kitchen. That landed her the opportunity to cook inside the disney. Nba bubble in twenty twenty chef. Lex was the only chef chosen to a restaurant on the disney campus to service players teams present staff and she exceeded expectations with her opportunity. Her pop up restaurant comfort kitchen was an instant hit serving up. Southern caribbean and classic american eats think food so scrumptious. It pretty much left former portland. Trailblazers star hassan whiteside in a stupor on social media quitting her bubble chef foot and the name stuck yahoo sports senior. Nba insider chris hayes dub comfort kitchen bubble staple and pinned high praise for chef legs. She made her mark and established a new set of fans in clientele with this once in a lifetime. Experience in today's episode. You hear how chef lex grant smart thinking and hustle mentality helped her leap from culinary school sabina private chef as a side hustle sleeping into full-time entrepreneurship with amazing food. Amazing clients and are renowned reputation. Let's get right into it. So chef lex. We're gonna take you back a little bit. And i want to know who taught you how to cook. And what were your early experiences like in the kitchen honestly cooking in my family is just a collaborative effort on my grandmother. Really was the main focal point in the kitchen because she loves to cook but my mom cooks my grandfather all my aunts cooked it was just. That's the culture. You knock caribbean woman. You must know how to cook clean and wash or you are what lewis as they would say so. Cooking was just like a necessity to my life. And i was able to take this woman's role so to speak and monetize it ninety. I look at it so most people as they are learning to cook. And they're doing it with their family. It's something that symbolizes home and it's something that is seen as oh. This is something i do in my personal life. But what inspired you to pursue a formal education. And where did you get your culinary education. I got my culinary education at the art institute of new york and the biggest motivating factor in me deciding to be a chef or even just pursue culinary. Is my grandfather. My grandfather was my father onto purposes. My dad lived in london. He wasn't always around. And then my dad also has many other children so me being all the way across the world grandfather really stepped up the father role for me so much. I even call him. Dad like i was just his youngest child. How he grew up in a garden We had a really nice house. Getaway always had a garden in the bag always had fresh sued. He made sure that i had a good breakfast. Every morning is really important to him. And when growing up. Don't ever think about that. You just like take what you're given and he was dying actively on during my high school career and in his last year after i had graduated high school you know he was not the happiest didn't apply to college because i really didn't know what i wanted to do. And i knew that college is expensive so it didn't want to just apply without a plan. And he was passing. He knew it he could feel it so roundly september of two thousand five while he was still coherent and actually sat me down and was like look. I don't really care what you do with your life Professionally what your choices are but we did not come all the way from jamaica to go to england to have your mother to have your mother come here and let you be the first one born air few detroit toilet. You need to do something. I don't care which is going to something and whatever you do. Do all your hurt. And i was like man. Well you told so. I was like what am i good. I started thinking like that my grandfather's mechanic and here's an entrepreneur. Always like respected him for going out getting himself every day and like he was to kind of a man so he didn't make as much money as he should have so. I learned from him but i knew that i had the capacity to do what he did. And take something. I love and just make a life a good life. As long as i'm happy new. I was good at cooking. Applied to culinary. School called me back in october. Set up an appointment for november. I went into the school and really tell anybody either. Wanting to the school filled out some applications. I had to write an essay. Wanted to be there called me back that next week brought me and said you know you've been approved. This is all your paperwork. Bringing home to your family. And i walked out of the school walking to the subway. My mom calls me as grandfather passed away. I was just like what so the day. I get excited to spoil you. Good now. this is what you want it. I knew even though you know at that age you don't take anything seriously. But i knew i had to do something with this. Took me a while to get into it. Really understand what being shop was all about. I mean worked every aspect of culinary so being a chef didn't come to me a little bit later but he was my constant motivation to not let it go so after graduating. Where did your culinary journey. Take you after graduating Well i didn't graduate dropped out. I dropped out. That's biden about that decision. Why what what it was. I had finished my culinary program and then i had signed on for culinary program and then the a management degree that comes with it so i am supposed to go out into the world after i'm done with you know by c. Two hundred class and go work in a restaurant and see what it's really like and realize it'd be one work interest free for hours. I already had a job. I had to support myself. I mean i was grateful that i was still living at home but i was paying for myself to get back and forth to school every day from scheduling new jersey. All the way through to new york city i was. He don't feeding myself doing everything i needed to do. Only thing my family really bride was a roof. Like you've gotta learn. This is live. And i got a bill from the school if i had to pay them six thousand dollars and i knew my mom had that money. I knew my family and have that money. They could have taken a loan or did all of that. But i had to make decision in that moment like is the rest of this degree worth it or can i learn this to experience now only nineteen so i'd gone to college for full year and a half and i was like you know what i had my first catering job i got paid like two thousand dollars doing my very first catering to go to school anymore. Gonna be it for me That's the job you were doing on the side while going to school like you were doing catering on the side or was it something at your like. I've been a hostage since day. One when i got to culinary school my very first culinary instructor told us you know you gotta fake in this industry by. This is no one's going to give you the respect unless you respect yourself and you put willing to put the work forward told us to start catering company then so i did. I went and i got an llc for hundred fifty dollars a grant catering. And i started telling everybody. I'm a chef. Might everyone willing to listen. Hey i'm michelle shout out to that professor because you know a lot of professors and schools act like okay you come here you go through the program and then you'll be set but actually what they need to tell. You is in a lot of field almost every field. What you need to do is start side hustling and start implementing what you're learning as you're can be set when you graduate exactly so i did it. My uncle's best friend hired needed you. Lunch ladies luncheon. Asked me what my prices were. I'm like look. I'm so sorry i do not know yet. Get back on. Mac and me are down mile my monitoring. What i'm doing she was like. Don't we don't figure it out. We'll google it. We figure it out put together menu. I definitely had no idea what i was doing i. It was a party of twenty. I cook for like one. Hundred people stood my margins were all but at the end of the event lady had so many pans leftover. She sat me down. She's like girl. This food is delicious. i'm going to have a whole nother event tomorrow. And you know what i appreciate. Everything you've done. I don't know if you made any money. Based on how much for me. I'm gonna get you some extra. And she did you track for an event for one day for another day. When i was in june was on birthday june my twentieth birthday and she basically gave me the the nudge to like quit. So i quit school that you saw a couple of things. Stand out to me from your story. Well first of all. It's this idea of this hustle mentality the find it interesting that you're like you know i. I'm a hustler touch me about that. What does that mean to you. And where did this mentality come from so i grew up verse. Sheltered caribbean family. They just weren't allowed to go outside to friends password. I see you outside. what's that. Yeah you don't you don't divide. Yeah you don't go to your friend's house. You don't do sleepovers. You don't do this in my whole life. So thirteen fail thirteen. I went to mom. The mom's not high school next shade. Can't do this to me. No more Pick on school. I cannot live like this. You need to buy me jordan's you need to buy me jordan's meet the by me. Tim's we need the. I'm an north based because these kids at school are nice and piscataway isn't a fluent town. Might say rush. You said hell no cute. This misspell league out voters in a year. No not by. I would like did dish. Drops distraught distraught distraught. Depress can't go to school at home. School i can't do this so i might. I'm thirteen having these like existential crises. My mom worked for a nonprofit that had summer jobs opening up. She's like look. I'm not going to buy this free. But i'll give you the opportunity to earn it if you want it and i was like how tell me i don't care what i gotta do is get on my head what i gotta do so my mom got me a job. I was thirteen. And i applied literally like all my fourteenth birthday. The paperwork went through. And i had a job as a teacher's assistant at a daycare center so every summer from my eighth grade going into high school all the way through to my was sixteen. When i got a real job. I worked at this daycare center and watch kids out all summer from they. You're young so they can only let me work but so many hours of work by five hours a day. They paid me seven dollars an hour all summer long. Don't you know. I stepped into high school at fourteen with the all white. Tim's blue trim north face down kristie. Spend yeah yep. I said y'all will never stopped me from having the stuff again will work. My hatsaw blew my whole summer. Money on september wardrobe. Kids get laugh about that. Story is the fact that you were so young but still willing to work. And i mean what does something like that do and you start you get a job at the age of thirteen. You're responsible for showing up somewhere every day at a certain time. And you know once you see yourself earn money from that. How did that change your perspective on life. It made me so much more. Cognizant on what i needed to do to be self sustaining. I never wanted to have to ask anyone for anything. Because i did not like that. No that no burned me up. So i had to really start getting creative with all right. Well how am. I going to get things for myself one and it made me far more creative on what i did. That was monetize like there are so many things that could get money from that. You don't you don't think about until you're actually making some income Also not a very young age being at work. I was like groomed and molded into how to move around people around children. And like you know you're working with kids you gotta schmooze parents and you got a top certain way one special attention because their data such and such. Can you gotta this. You got to that. And i was so young that it was just this is just what. I'm learning like school. Union just feeding me information but it was literally learning about life while growing up so i felt ahead of the game when it was. You know my turning actually get a real job. And then i got will job at sixteen and then in there. I was hustling to mike. How personal shop for you. I want joyce leslie. Seo personal shopper. You up pick out all the extra money Yeah not the joyce leslie personnel shop was not everyone knows. Joyce leslie byrne is hilarious. The rollback oh okay so when you start coming school you leave and you mentioned you and your mom sat down you. You worked out some prices but from that moment actually formalizing your business and becoming more experienced that telling people here my prices putting up a website. How long did that take to really feel. Like i know what i'm doing. I have a business. And i know how i'm running this. I don't even know. I still don't even know if i know what i'm doing while you clearly know what you're doing you're right. You're know more than most at yet but i will say Being a house there being entrepreneur. You're ever-evolving you build in one room in the new grow into the next. You realize it a little efficient. You've gotta just start the whole process over so having the mentality of that you're ever learning in ever changing in the world. I don't know it just puts you in the state of like humbleness. So i will not say that. Oh i know what i'm doing. But i felt confident truly truly confident in the fact that i can provide for myself without a job. Twenty eight ten years eight years to just keep at it. Never stop like. I can't even tell you the amount of times. Like i met with the branding person that lied to me about what branding is took my money and person. They're going to do my website. They change trash. There was a lot of of learning and growing that has to go into it and like you have to be okay now. That's not the right way to say you have to understand that you're going to get got you're gonna get got an in those moments where you get got where somebody takes advantage of you learn from that lesson you keep going. A lot of people are like all. This happened to me in scorned the burnt by what they went through so that they don't keep pushing. I am where i am. Because i never quit on myself just because you did a bad thing. That doesn't mean that. I am going to give up on what i'm working. You're just not the person i'm going to work with. that mentality. has apple may mean perseverance others and what changed between side hustle and full-time entrepreneur. Slaying two thousand dollars like oh this is awesome but now when you have to make certain income or wants to make certain income per what change in how you structured the business where you're looking for a certain amount of jobs per week to make a certain goal. How did you go about it. How did you structure it While i moved from working in restaurants to working in the private sector where i was selling my services contracting my services to people for So let's say you needed my service. You know a couple of days a week. Deliberate with mimi a couple of days a week. This is what it looks like for the whole month. Can we just agree that you want me for a whole month. After my first week. In addition i found other ways of income all through food so i would give cooking classes to people in their homes. That was a way for me to make money on a scheduled basis. I would meal. Prep be real milk. was how i paid my bills. Then make sense because right now i am. I would pay someone for some meal. Prep okay prep of how. I made sure the bills everything else was extra. I was able to get the beginning of the month. I had a couple trainers that i worked with. I started to get really fit. I started to pay more attention to my body. And i realized that was honestly when you're a hustler. Everything is monetize. you're able to lose five pounds faster than the next person. That's monetize so serious. I'm just like that's what it is. How did you find clientele like where you go your gym and say hey guys like talk loudly like i just lost five pounds when my meals last week like all like social media was great platform but also like pit myself. I would just start looking at people like hey. Have you ever considered outgo chew. I was also working jobs now all these years. I'm saying it's maybe entrepreneur. I was steady at work. So i would. I worked at the Corporate cafeteria and in there was like six. Am or don't Six am to two pm. And they will come in for breakfast and lunch and it was all these investment banking. People and i would work the grill at work every station. They had an hour talk to them. I will be like. Oh hey oh you know what. Let me make healthy breakfast for you right now. Here and then maybe you know you can hire me to do some dinner for you at home or you can do this. The everywhere i went. I sold myself. It was it was. I felt desperate. Like i didn't want to be struggling. I didn't want to wake up at six thirty anymore. I didn't want to after. I was up at six thirty and then i went to work all day in hogan's happened on the train to work other job in new york city. Don't have to take the train back. Woman eleven o'clock at night all the way back to plainfield. I walk a mile home. Don't walk a mile to the train station. A few hours later at four. Am to do all that shit again. I didn't want to do so out to figure a way out. You figure it out and just you know full disclosure on the story and shutouts People listening knows knee. That was here for this. I wasn't so skinny because i was doing meal. Prep also getting walking two miles everyday to the train station to go to work at work. All day you tell people that like this pro on your feet. Yeah that's how. I pay my bills and i just structured it out i if i could book myself if i could book my days out in a month knowing my work schedule it just got to. The program are not gonna make how much i make a month in my hustle. What do i gotta do. And how much time do i have to give to my hustle to make that happen. That happened for like reform months to the point. Ramar hustle forced me to quit my job. I had to make a decision. If i wanted to work for myself or keep working for the compromise. Why did it force you did you. What was just a matter of time. There was in our day and the money that i was making the exposure that i was getting on the private side also started to make my superiors on my work side field sometimes way they were like oh you know you went from six hundred followers thirteen thousand followers in six months hard. You do that. Your business demand triggered. I can relate like what are you doing over there. What's going on here. All you need to go and i mean yeah you also have the gift of gaps. I'm sure helped as well because not everyone who's doing something on the side is confident enough to drop that information. You know in their main gig or just let people know about it. Did you ever feel weird about that. sometimes people ask me like how do i do this you know what if my coworkers see what. What was your mentality as relates to that. I'm i've always been a very brazen rebellious yet. So i would. I don't think i ever cared about what other people thought i was doing. I've got fired from every job and all is just like damn one unemployment against i can go back to my hustle was like i'd never had that fear of losing my job in order to be fearful of what someone they say about it and i learned early. Like the thing about hustling. I was like talking to you about earlier. Thing about hustling is. There's a code that you gotta follow like there's like this g code like it's almost like street code you you have to move in a certain way I was very young. When i read the four laws power and i understood early that i am court tier that i am playing on somebody else's world to get what i want and to and from me to then one day be be that person where i have people coordinate so i was always very Personable always making people laugh always being light in the room. I kept my attitude to myself. Wasn't argumentative out wherever you needed me to do. I did it. But that was because i wanted to do what i wanted to too so i got looked over often when i was doing something like. Let's say bob's over there and you know he's trying to hustle t shirts out his car. But i'm over here selami meal. Prep in you know the kitchen. Bob's get in trouble for me. Because i i made sure actor while the bosses free food before even doing understood i need to make these people happy so they could be okay. Need to talk about my food to let w. yes so. Yeah that that cold. That ethic Also i read how to win friends and influence enemy so between the forty eight laws of power on some understanding those that are in power in their psyche. And how you may insult that with what you do you also learn how to lose them so combination of those to save my life c. c. sprinkled a little lightning round wisdom in events. I gotta switch up the question at all. No no so now i need to know what stage you began working with celebrity clients. And how did that process come about because it's not like you know you're just working with your alike. I see you on your instagram with oprah doing a surprise for school year with Carmelo anthony. you're in the nba bubble. How did this all begin. So like i told you earlier about me. Being twenty eight when it was like the time had come. What had to make a decision on what i wanted to do. I had the opportunity to interview for andrew symonds because my teacher as a beginner in college freshman college told me that fake to make it so when i decided i wanted to go private. I started telling everybody. I'm a private chef now homeland that just sounds exclusive. Yeah right. i'm a private show now that anybody. I was also working at a restaurant at night and a corporate cafeteria in the morning did not nor did they need to know all ahead. All of his Fabulous restaurant experience. No idea how to actually do it. In someone's home without making a complete mess but angela simmons was my celebrity clients was my first private climb. Got to like experiment with some other people. I learn how to clean and learn what it's like because totally different working in a home news a restaurant so when i interviewed for her remember she had a photo shoot that day. She had called me morning. I was so shocked. Because the dude who i got this info for or who even said he was a suggests me was her driver and we were out know. I was out with my cousins. Met club like nothing. I was just like oh. Yeah yeah yes we will do a told about the private chef panned out for your girl because angela loved me. My personality was in tune with what she needed i was. She had the type of personality that she could have me around her friends. And we could be chilling ratchet. And she'd have me around her father and i'm respectable holy so it was just easy peasy there. She groomed me. She was not playing any games with me. Because we're the same age and she was. The only person really asked what my goals here like. What am i trying to do with this. And all of that. So she groomed me taught me about social media taught me about the power of my presence. She taught me about how to monetize myself how to engage with celebrities. What they like what they don't lie. Don't talk too much. Someone's house like all all this stuff. That i would have never know and it was her. That started brokering me out to our friends she was. Y'all got the got the sheriff. She pulls him on her instagram all the time and for that in exchange she has taught me about business. She said i'll do this for you. But you're not going to charge me your for. You could charge them your full rate trigger gonna give me a discount. What i'm gonna do. I love it. Shutouts angela. i'm real out to angela. I love someone who would take you under your wing like that. Because that's not something you learn in a book like talking about like you know. People love having a cool chef but don't be talking too much what's up. You know quiet now. These are the things that you can't you really can't learn unless Have that experience number one. But then also someone who's going to give you the q when you kind of greater nerve and i. I am so grateful. A lot of people don't even have this opportunity. But i'm so grateful that do out all this time in the learning like angela and i are still so cool. I sent her my interview. I did. I mentioned her today as you look. I love you posted it. She's so proud because she knows she remembers that girl that showed up to her house will not crazy look in ponytail. Bit like to you on. Then she did. And i'm forever grateful to our guys. It's michaela here with a quick learn from our sponsors. If you own a small business this could also be the year you switch to better payroll. Gusto wasn't just built for small businesses. It was built for the people behind them. Their online payroll is so easy to use. Gusto can automatically calculate paychecks and file all your payroll taxes. Which means you have more time to run your business. Plus thus does way more than payroll coastal helped time tracking health insurance four one ks on boarding commuter benefits offer letters accents to hr experts. You get the idea. 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I just checked out this really cool class. Called creativity unleashed discover. Hone and share your voice online. It was right on time and what i needed. Because it guides you through how to determine your individual value as a creator how to overcome those insecurities that hold us back from creating content and how to establish your core theme and more. It was also important as i grow as a content creator with skill share. You can find inspiration as well and learn how to express your creativity explore your creativity. Skill share dot com slash hustle and get a free trial of premium membership against side-hustle pro listeners. Head over to skill share dot com slash hustle to get a free trial of premium membership. How did you as you start. You said she's heartbroken you out or just more people about her awesome chef. How did you manage your workload while. That's what i had to quit all of the jobs. That's when it was like you know what. I got a choice to make gonna collect this check from you or i'm gonna make my own money and as long as i was able to get angela what she needed when she needed. Whenever she was traveling she never died. Hire me friends. hire me at. She asked me to go with her places like it. Just got to the point where people would eat inam just celebrities like regular people just regular people that just happened to be able to afford a private chefs. They started really wanting my services. That's when you know meal. Prep became very important in life. The different dimensions of meal. Prep because i can drop off the to your house already. Cooked heated up in the microwave. Could drop off with your house. Uncooked the season up that you put in a of it. I could drop off food. That's partially All these ways that. I had to figure out to one. Make my client's happy because the end of the day i am providing a service and i learned in the restaurant industry clients never wrong so whatever it is that you want. I'm gonna find a way to give. Its you as long as we have communication being that. I'm so cool. Everybody felt very comfortable sharing what their real needs are without feeling intimidated. Insecure war like y'all. I'm really got to drop his back. Can't stop eating cookies. now i find other monetize. Will we know what. I can't come and cook you all the time magazine. Come into your house like clean now. All your cupboards stock you up with healthy foods vegetables. Make sure all cut up in prep for you and have all your dinner prepped while you put on when you get home and i'm assuming in a couple of days money money money love and what's bad one step ahead and did you do anything else beyond instagram at this point to market yourself where you able to finally put up your website. What was the main way you were marketing yourself as a private chef. I was getting myself on instagram. There at that was going around at the time. Call some tack Where you can like book. Shafts didn't back yes There was another app. I can't remember that. I put myself on. It put myself on craigslist. Put myself on anything and everything willing but no. I did not have a website where you could book me through. It was mostly instagram where the followers came from and i did not like putting my menu out because i did that once and people started stealing menus. So i'm like no way for every person that comes in wants to service from me. We're going to create a menu together based on your specific needs and that also had made it better because now it's becomes more intimate experience. I could charge a little bit more for customized menus than just putting something up and be like. Oh we'll pick from this money as you would say so. Last year was a very unprecedented here. Now when code nineteen through the storm started shutting everything down. Everyone was scared of of having everyone in their home. What happened at i talk about. What initially happens here business and and what happened once to nba bubble opportunity open so cove in nineteen. I was in portland with my client and a were at an event the weekend before. That's when everybody had to really go out with masks right before they shot basketball down except feels weird. It was a vibe in the airline formal then that next week the nba shutdown. That feel like kobe. Hit to all the rest of the world but didn't really hit hit until they shut the nba. There was like a free donald that day so cold nineteen hit february. But we didn't really feel it on march. And when i'm like oh shit. This is doomsday. Preparation cleaned out the deep freezer outside mellows house above all the meat chicken. Instead of fine there was no food in the supermarkets Omagh i had to go broker food from different farms. Like just make sure that he was gonna be okay. 'cause we didn't know one how long this was last to it like we've never been anything like this where you go to the supermarket is. There's no food there's no water. There's no toilet papers. I was terrified. Me mellow air family. We will be. I house was six months. We'll have food every day. So that was my first initial duck your only client at the time. I mean we're the only on all consigned about me as me and him important. I'm trying to coach my family on the phone but he was mind. Elite client in portland now k. I did have shops with other people. But it's their job to do this so we would have conference called like. What does this person need. Do i need to send you toilet. Paper cargo ship all over the country like it will just in sane what was going on then. This is the first couple days. Mind you after they shut down the nba. Then i started getting calls from melrose teammates like yo. Can you help me. A don't i don't know what to do these kind of your well. How rama noodles. For to please. So i was scared because i'm yam like i cannot put myself at risk because i cannot let metal think think we ever mentioned i mean. Of course i'm going to read your show. But she carmelo anthony the basketball. That'd be a player okay. So let's let's resume. Yes so. I'm like you know i know he was going to be alright and i also didn't want to put myself at risk so i'm like you know what i'll help. Y'all got the money so what i did. God knows my heart so to say but everything is monetize -able so i'm gonna help you so cash five hundred dollars a day. I gotta pay me cash you doing this card business. None at warmer young up five hundred dollars a day cash. I'll drop Lunch and dinner in supplies for you on a however whenever you need me to call me that morning or the night before a gotcha dinner the next day. I'm a drop it off at your door. You'll need money outside us do like that. Don't you know go. I came up a day. That i don't think is right to say how much yet but I came up in that moment as putting all my other shafts on. I was stressed as hell because i now i'm back to. There's not enough hours in the day. I gotta make her cooking malam making sure he's good also gotta make sure that these other guys are good because they're all team at the end of the day lying. We're team players here. Mel is not going to be so selfish to be like no. She can't help you if you can help you figure out a plan. Would you keep me safe. Everyone safe do your thing. So i did that now. Abe services team. I was able to normalize things for them. Get them little stuff. They need because they're scared to go the supermarket like whatever we're making a habit alma fast forward to the bubble yes when when the nba decided to play inside of a bubble on. Disney's campus in orlando. Did you have to apply to be fair. How did that process work. So y you know. I found out about the bubble prior to the world's find me out because my client was like you know we're going to resume we don't have a date. We don't have anything but these are you know the different that they have so we're going to be gone so for me. I'm gonna call ask clients money then. He's all these guys are going. Like what am i gonna do now. So i started my research on on everything like every call that he had about it. They say what they do. And just based on a little bits of information that i was getting started to put together a plan. I'm like yo they all leave all these guys and i also have other clients of other teams the cities of everyone's going to be in one spot and i call all my chef homeys weaken all go out there together and just get back like whatever dan. I found out that we wouldn't be able to see them to drop food. He would be able to do anything that would interact with the clients. Now new planets come into play. That's what i did for the guys on the trailblazers really was the shining blessing on my life because in order to service them i had to come up with the delivery plan for what we will do. That kept them safe. I kept me say like like literally. God was like huge. Your says put it on paper. Tell everybody so i did. I started putting together my cells in the kitchen with my best friend and assistant laying out the plan on what that would look like. Now i'm not gonna even try to hold you say that the plan that me and her put together look good. It did not look at look. You came up with a patent on looked like to high school. Kids dot together is out of power point. It was a mess. So i'm like you know what i need. A professional like the mba is not going respect. This i can't submit this in. I know that this is mediocre and did it. So let me. What am i. Started calling everybody now One of my mentors aaron sachs and a very good friend. She was like all right. This is easy problem. We're going to get you a proposal writer. I said a what proposal writer assessor. You're trying to tell me do this for a living that could have been called. She was like yes. We don't everybody you late so i called them. Proposal writer gave them all of what i did. All my my write up everything i plan. And they put together a prospectus for me now the prospectus is like eight nine pages. Summary of who i am all of my covid nineteen protocols might plan for the nba and at that time by plan was to rent a ghost. Kitchen in orlando. Florida had already contact with the kitchen. I was ready to drop the deposit as soon as they gave me. Go ahead and i wanted to be approved as a vendor just like they did all the outside restaurants that were allowed to service so i sent the perspectives. A cj mccollum was super instrumental in getting it to the people that needed to approve it. He gave it directly to the president of the mvp. a who gave it to The person that was doing all of the Event coordination and between those two contacts. And maybe having service him during the pandemic. Cj is one of the vice presidents of the mvp so it really helped like just get it in front of is and the nba players association. Yes they helped me get in front of is that could you know. Make something happen. And he told me he end. Mel told me as well like this isn't really go like you know. After i paid the proposal writer of course and pain for excellence. okay. I doubt the paying for excellence. Don't be scared to pay for your excellent and that proposal was three grand. It was not cheap by. But i was grateful that i had that cash from those dudes because definitely paid for the perspective to happen here. That wasn't even though. Yes is the pandemic guests. I'm scared for my job. I'm knew that i had to take this gamble is like what was the three grand gonna do for me just in my bank account waiting for something bad happen like i had to take this chance on myself so i paid it and it took about a month for them to even respond to me but when they did they responded. I was the only one that did anything like that at submitted. Anything like that. They had an opportunity inside of the bubble where players on find out the players. The teams were given the opportunity to bring shacks with them so they could bring their team shock to come and cook just for their team so nine teams opted in and brought shack. They will only had only had one more space lashed I had to wait to see if any of the other teams. We're going to bring a chef as soon as that time. Line closed out. They gave me a flat. I could bring to people in with me and we can run our restaurant from their kitchen. Rather than me mentioned the ghost stitches and that was the start of my country. property love. it's no you you've thought ahead like new the fact that you thought ahead so the fact that okay. They're gonna immed- i mean who's going to cook for them you know and then started. Put this plan into play. Realize that okay what i came up with on my own. I need somebody to really polish this and then did that address. Can we insert applause like toronto vo. And how was that experience like you know your private chef and this was truly like the the most private. Yeah you could ever have. How was that experience. So i'm not gonna lie was the hardest thing i've ever done in my life. It was me. I was allowed to bring two chefs in so initially. I brought you know one of my really good friends. Glenn roy brown and one of my like apprentices men tease king and both of them were like we love you but we quit. I'll be it was not. I'm telling you like crazy. It was crazy is not even the isolation. it's it's all day every day under surveillance and all day everyday following someone else's rules and one day you do one thing they'll kick you out you mess up one time they'll get you out and i am not the yes. I'm personable or having this fantastic conversation. Now bump savage back when it comes down to it. Y'all will not risk my life and my reputation that i worked for so my good friend from culinary school so grateful for her like she is like literally lead in my life. I love her. She came as she was. Lexus is absolutely insane. But i got your back and at once. One chef laughed than she was able to come in in the other shot left. Which is her and i in that kitchen servicing. All seven hundred people that could randomly order from us at any time. I mean joy made more pancakes and waffles. Chicken and waffles. In she cares she does mealtime. Like i'm never fried chicken. The experience was like a social experiment. The line because we came into a situation where we're outsiders in comparison to the chefs. That were there. All of the team's brought the shafts. They were already working with the team. Now i have a relationship with my players. But it's it's so weird feeling when it's like i have you know the trailblazers those are all my guys. They got all the treatment that they want. But then there's all these other teams don't as other guys that are hitting me up asking me for things like they're locked into their team because their teams competing against each other. I'm there for everyone. So i can't say that everyone in that kitchen likely or wanted me there because to them. I'm competition to their players. I'm helping everybody. They just want to help their people so that they could win. It was a very interesting dynamic. Socially yes it was a very interesting dynamic with the nba because to them. They're giving me. I was like only let me not say the only because they have other minority owned businesses inside the bubble but the only chef in there that represented minorities during a time when it was very. Socially charged narrowly socially charged. And i'm just this little black girl in trying to run my business off constructive figured out like you guys and like working with the nba. I had to in a second notice. Put my corporate hat on ticket off. Put my chef hat on to get off. Put my customer service hat on. Take it off every job ever worked. I had to put into play in this bubble situation so that people can understand. Was it like you know every like these other chefs. Are these like many restaurants option. So it's like okay. I could order from chef lex tonight like order from the warriors chef like how it worked. Oh absolutely not. I'm trying to understand. Okay what other jeff's uh-huh could only service their team okay. And they weren't taking orders. They were getting paid to be there either team okay. I was not getting paid to be there. I was paying to be there also when they would go up to their beautiful waldorf astoria room at night that the team covered. It's like we got a discounted rate. Thank you god but it was still like seven bands a month for me and for joy. So i'm walking into a situation already knowing that no matter what i gotta make at least twenty five bands this month if i'm gonna break even at sorry. That's an understatement. Thirty man's this month. Because i also had to pay my staff Like there was no guarantee of getting that money back. Don't those numbers out. There is a job known how much your girl tucked away during the pandemic. I had to take that chance on myself. I had to put my whole savings. I to make this happen and i mean you don't tell anybody that in the beginning right you don't say that but when the nba afterwards when they saw my business insider they were like they didn't know how much risk i took to make this happen. They gave me such an awesome like to praise. They were like look whatever. You wanna do whatever you need to say we got your back. Came in your your killed at you delivered. You did everything we asked you. Follow the rules you dealt with the hard times. You always positive like we got you quite the bubble chef Argue which you love it. Thank you very much so it was right. Yeah and now. It's what happened post bubble. Did you go back to working with the trailblazers exclusively. Are you back to be able to travel to your different clients. So i am contract to mellow exclusively. So you ever have the blessed opportunity to have cook for you to not allowed me out. The house go okay as a as a hustler. I mean this is the most ideal opportunity is to be able to broker people work for you and make money off of that as well as have a stable client that you've set the parameters on your work schedule what that looks like. It went right back to mellon light. I left the bubble early to go back to him. Because i was tired. I was like i just. I'm sorry you're real client. I come back to work tomorrow. So i left to go back to him in new york and new york until the season started again so only like six seven weeks before we had the Okay and what. What does that. Look like when you're on the road with a client. Are you a private chef in different states more. I'm a private chef wherever he wants me to be his private chef for he's in whatever state he's like lex. Come on the team handles my accommodations. I just go now. i'm contract to him. I try really hard to give other. People -tunities. Like i get it that. I am what they want. But all of the chefs. That worked me have been groomed by me. They've all worked under me or with me in different situations have been able to advise them like. I don't like placing shafts. That i haven't been able to give that the angela treatment to she showed me how it's done and it's my job to pay it forward so we can always okay so now before we get into the lightning round. I just want to make sure that any chef who's listening understands. What are some key things that they can do to start their private chef career and namely. How do you really get in front of that first. Private chef client and then get that recurring income like do you once their once. They're really happy with you. Pitch a year long contract. Do you say do you pitch a six month retainer. How does that work while is very important that if you want to be a private shop coming into the industry you have to understand that being a private chef is fifty percent your food fifty percent integrity integrity is every single thing that's industry because people have to trust you to be in their homes with them with their children their intimate things in hearing their arguments hearing their everything so yes we love social media and all of that but the fastest way to lose a client is to think that that momentary picture with them is gonna be currency for you. That's not the currency for you to take a picture with your client. Oppose it on. Your page is not currency for you to go into someone's home day in and day out forget. Forget that so you have that one opportunity to go into someone's home and you cook for them how you move your integrity in that moment your attention to detail with their needs. You're there to provide a service. You need to service their needs if they are not in a place to communicate their needs to you. Like let's say like i situation would me. I just got phone call. These are my allergies and she was doing the whole photo. Shoot so i had to pay attention to the people in the room had to go around to other people and be eating. Do the allergies or anything that you like being mindful being thoughtful about wanting to deliver your best each and every time is how you get those recurrent clients they remember that and then how to monetize yourself is like people celebrities especially in this industry. Don't got no problem posting you for a meal that will never help you. That one post them is nothing. The service that you provide in not asking for anything outside of services rendered how you get recurring contracts. All of this wonderful stuff. I got going on instagram. And all of that. It's not because i went to my client was like yo you work with this. So can you put me onto that or this. Like recently blessings on blessings. I i got featured on jordan. Brand dot com. They did an interview on me. They gave me free drip. All of this okay blessing. I've been wanting to for years. He is jordan brand clients. Never not once asked. Nancy can get a personal Can you can. You can give me interview absolutely not. They came to me on their own outside of what i was doing with him. Because of the work. I poured for myself. You got to like you are not your client one. You walk into their house. You are you. You are the chef. You're providing service whenever get too comfortable and think that you and your crime is on the same level. Y'all gonna not as as they're paying for a service y'all never on the same level. Angela and i are strands. That's my homie. I what are talked to her but when it's business it's business and when it's cool it's cool and it's never at the same time that is like major major major key to any business and said it answered your question and speaking of jordan brand lacson know what's up next on know that you did like pop up. Kitchen wins kitchen building a ghost kitchen in portland. Tell me more so. I am building a ghost kitchen at the melody ballroom in portland oregon Ca do to coal vedeno ballrooms banquet halls. Oh they're taking a major hit as well. The owner has so gracious to make me an offer to run the kitchen. Do whatever i need as long as we're able to meet the monthly bills and river pig saloon in portland. Oregon is ram ran by the big homey ramsey. Who like a. He's like serial entrepreneur six or seven restaurants in bars acquiring more such a mentor. He wanted to you know. Give me an opportunity to mean. Portland doesn't have a lot of black people in this is not a place like future. Anything caribbean or anything culture or anything like that. I mean the food and portland is absolutely spectacular. Like there's one. Celebrity shouts doing a a pop up. Here they inspired me to just do one here and my grandmother on my father's side had caught. Cova did and i went to london to say goodbye. Tammy thank you god. She's still here. That by was unnecessary thinking jesus but he as a man but it just made me realize like you know my grandmother here in jersey named tommy had a coke who put all his From me to even be an american citizen like yea Some money at christmas. Whatever done to release. Show her like yo. You did all of this for me to come do this. So miss money's kitchen is a whole mosh to her. The black cake. I'm selling is the one that she literally made and shipped to me I i just needed to represent for my people. i need this goski genocide. Be able to give my chefs work because the pandemic is a lot of people out of work even some of my clients that weren't athletes and entertainers took a hard hit. Were unable to continue their chef services. So we're getting back to the basics providing solid meal prep. I'm getting back into it with fitness. Have three trainers alan portland that we're going to be working with me and working with people in the ball room and they can come and pick up their meal. Prep like we have a whole plan to jazz. Revamp eating consuming and making it affordable and giving people jobs. I love it yes and given what you know now all the experiences you've been through if you had the chance to start your company all over again from side-hustle two full-time entrepreneur. What would you do differently well. S question is so hard to ask in like. I know it's taken time all of that. But the one thing i would do differently if real world real is be on it with my taxes in the beginning. Joe play which it's now with Don't call mingle. Your funds go has had to learn some very difficult lessons in the financial department of up. Taxes is really nothing to play with. Just some real simple keys like like two or three things that you can do to save yourself financially. Uncle sam always wants his one every time you make some money. I don't care how broke is put half to decide because you don't know how much of that on tape new get you a business credit card a set a set. That should be the first thing. I don't care. Iggy three hundred our credit card. Build your business credit as well as your personal credit credit is life like get the card of his three hundred dollars us the biogas. Pay it off every month. Like it's it's so imperative to tracking your money separating your money when you need that loan you have something sustainable to say. I've been running this company of been able to pay the bills. Help me and third pair yourself literally pay yourself like i. I don't care if you use all your money to do this. All you put all your personal money only made back what you put in petty yourself out of that and put the rest in your business because one day government is gonna wanna know what you paid yourself out of this business depending on how big you grow and you set those habits up in the beginning you will not get your ass kicked in the ant very very important keys right there. Thank you and that leads us right into the lightning round where you are just going to answer. The very first thing that comes to your mind. Are you ready. I read a right so number one. What's a resource that has helped you in your business that you can share with the side house. Appro audience smart receipts. It is a app that you could use to log in track all of your receipts expenses in end of the year. Gruesome it that whole joint to your accountant and it is so much easier to use an excel already number two. Who's an entrepreneur that you admire. And why oh my god. There's so many Minor league -til number three. What is a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Lorrimore nations need a peaceful mindful meditative morning. I don't care if it's ten minutes my day meets to start in peace. I will lose friends in boyfriends if you cannot like leave me alone in my time when i begin my day to put myself in the mind frame to produce. I hear that and number four. What is a personal trait or habits that you believe has helped you significantly when you recite hustling being a listener being able to actively listen and deliver without being told and finally number five. What is your harding advice for. Fellow black women entrepreneurs who wants to be their own boss but are worried about losing that steady paycheck roman. You're going to be a hustler. You have to be very aware that you will lose something. The steady paycheck is is necessary for a lot of people. You gotta make sure that you are paying your bills and all of that so work on making as much in your side-hustle as your day job as you do. That took that money be broke. You broke until you not be broke because one day you can lose job. That's the goal. Don't ever be scared to lose the job because you don't really want it in the first place. One have control over your own time. Chuck that money away man. Don't be scared to be broke. Don't be scared to ask for help. And when you do eventually lose their job just be grateful that you bought the collect some unemployment little while my guys that that was one of the how can i say this is a really enjoyable. Talk man this is interview. And i just love your spirit. I love what you have to share and you hustle like you said you know and the fact that you're not afraid of putting yourself out there opening yourself up and i do feel like that has been returned to you one hundred fold and you so deserve it so i just much. You're welcome and where can people connect with you. After this episode you can reach me at chef lex grant on all platforms my website chef flex dot com iraq guys in there. You have it for the show notes from this episode. Had over the side of the product co. slash episodes to get all of the resources and links that chef lex grant mention and of course follow her online. Talk to you soon. Hey guys for listening side hustle pro. If you like the show be sure to subscribe great and review on apple podcasts. It helps otherside side hustler's just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me you could follow me on instagram. As side-hustle pro plus sign up for my six foot saturday newsletter at side-hustle pro that o slash newsletter. We sign up. You'll receive weekly nuggets from me including one. I'm too personal lessons and my business type of the week again at side-hustle pro dot co slash newsletter to sign up.