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Agency Life

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

Sulaiman Beg

Sulaiman Beg

April 9, 2019

Say goodbye to your morning bagel and say hello to the ultimate breakfast taco, courtesy of TRIPTK’s Nate Dwyer.

"Why had breakfast tacos not stuck? We placed that question at the center of our business and built a product and experience around it."

TRIPTK Senior Strategy Director and cofounder of King David Tacos (KDT), Nate Dwyer, shares the story behind bringing an Austin breakfast staple to the on-the-go New York City lifestyle, how he uses his day job to fuel his side hustle (and vice versa), and why bringing an idea to life requires “100% psychopathic focus.”

 

So, tell us: Are you a foodie?

It’s funny that you ask that…I would actually not consider myself a foodie, though my wife, who is the creator and CEO of King David Tacos, keeps me aware of the fact that I actually DO love food more than I tend to admit.

And I really do. But still, especially in an era of heightened culinary intelligence, I’d feel far too much imposter syndrome to ever call myself a foodie. Plus, what kind of person does call themselves a foodie? ::EyeRoll::

Describe the “Austin-style” of food for us.

Without going full-on “pulpit and sermon” on the subject of micro-regional cuisine, Austin-style is in reference specifically to breakfast tacos, a small (but important) component of Tex-Mex—which is certainly not an “Austin-owned” cuisine. I think anyone reading this with an appreciation of Tex-Mex would agree.

But Austin-style breakfast tacos are distinct from other breakfast tacos, even within Texas. You can think of them as the functional workhorse of breakfast tacos. They’re made simply and for the demands of modern life—and that manifests itself in both how they are prepared and how they are served. You’ll find most places in Austin use flour tortillas versus corn, because the good ones are delicious, and also because they hold up much better than corn for grab-and-go service, which is a big segment of the breakfast taco business in Austin. We ship ours fresh from Austin because they make them better than anyone.

Additionally, the classic Austin-style breakfast taco is simple: flour tortilla, scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, shredded cheese, and salsa on the side. Of course, they are customizable to dietary needs and there are hundreds of variations on that formula (which is amazing), but simplicity and single-stack ingredient layering is what separates Austin from other region’s recipes. For example, in Houston, ingredients are often scrambled into eggs versus layered on top, so you get more of an omelet-like result, which is great and has its place! We’ve just seen New York respond well to the Austin way.

A major caveat to this is that’s just my point of view! When you dig into breakfast taco culture, you’ll find that for every opinion there are a thousand more that would dispute it because Texans are fiercely territorial and opinionated.

How’d you come up with the idea of starting a food truck business?

I have to give my wife, Liz, virtually all the credit for the concept and creation of KDT.

She grew up in Austin (I’m from Pennsylvania) and has always been very passionate about the merits of breakfast tacos.

When she moved to NYC 12 years ago to pursue a career in advertising, she noticed the dearth of breakfast tacos in what was otherwise the most culinarily advanced city in the world. For busy, health-conscious, taste-driven New Yorkers, breakfast tacos are the perfect food: they’re convenient, wholesome, fresh, and absolutely delicious. They’re more nutritious than a bagel, healthier than a bodega BEC, and way more exciting than a protein bar. Plus, done right, you can walk your dog while eating one.

So why had breakfast tacos not stuck? We placed that question at the center of our business and built a product and experience around it.

Three years ago we started with corporate catering, a world Liz knew well with 10+ years of account management in advertising. “Bagels are boring” was our way in, knowing that most morning meeting catering orders feel more like a compromise than a delight.

From there, we designed and built our own carts. We have one at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, one in the Financial District and one coming soon to Madison Square Park. They’re awesome little vehicles that allow us to serve at the speed of New York.

The tacos are made in a central kitchen the day of service and each is individually wrapped. The carts are basically rolling ovens that keep them warm. So, we process a transaction within seconds versus minutes, and customers receive a freshly made, wholesome breakfast without the wait.

The third and latest arm of our business is wholesale, whereby we partner with coffee shops and food halls to sell our tacos. We deliver them fresh every morning. Right now you can find us in most Hungry Ghost Coffee Shops, Berg’n, Boris & Horton, and Hill Country Food Park.

And then, of course, we have plans for expanded retail too. Stay tuned!

How’d you come up with the name: King David Tacos?

King David is a reference to Liz’s late father, who was big in stature and in personality, and was aptly nicknamed by his friends, “King David.”

I had the pleasure of meeting him many times—and I will tell you, he was a foodie. David had a passion for fantastic food (especially Tex-Mex and BBQ) and breakfast tacos were a big part of his mornings. When Liz moved to NYC, it was his original observation that the city was missing breakfast tacos and he encouraged Liz to jump-ship on advertising and sell breakfast tacos. Of course, that idea sounded insane to a young executive-aspirant, but a decade later, not so much.

I’ll hold all the obvious jokes about the toils of client-services but will take an opportunity to say that Liz was really born to lead. She’s from a long-line of entrepreneurs, has laser-sharp vision about what she wants to create, and relentlessly executes on it. To say I’m proud of her and what she has been able to build in her father’s name is the understatement of the century.

"Perpetuity is the most intimidating part of entrepreneurship. But when you really want to do something, you find the time."

How is King David Tacos different than other street vendors?

We talked about “Born and bred in Austin” but the other half of our slogan is “—made for NYC.”

I think that’s what differentiates us from many other street vendors. We have a very realistic perspective on both the quality and convenience New Yorkers expect. “Fast” and “good” are two qualities that are traditionally at odds with one another, yet, this is what hard-working city dwellers demand from anyone selling them anything—especially food.

And, there was definitely a hole in the OTG breakfast market, specifically. Most food trucks and street vendors focus on lunch-based offerings.

That opportunity drove us to innovate on the street vendor model, which traditionally takes the form of either owner-operated carts that are convenience-driven (think Halal Guys or Central Park hot dog stand) or as a food truck, which is usually of a higher culinary caliber, experience-driven, but not as convenient.

We designed our carts to be “non-processing” (an NYC Department of Health classification), which means unlike a halal stand or a food truck, no food is actually being prepared on them. Instead, all the tacos are handmade in a centralized kitchen overnight by our amazing and dedicated kitchen team, and served fresh that morning. That retail model allows quick-turn transactions and so we can deliver on both the quality and convenience New Yorkers have come to expect.

And, we stay very focused on quality control. Liz and our kitchen manager Jarrett put consistency and care above all else, which is critical for a high-volume, loyalty-driven food business.

Now almost three years and hundreds of thousands of breakfast tacos later, we’ve been able to prove that, when done right, the breakfast taco really is the perfect morning meal for NYC and other markets that may not yet be familiar with them.

What’s are your most popular items?

That’s a tough question actually! It depends on the location. We have a pretty lean menu with four tacos, two salsas, and queso (catering only). We also do seasonal specials to keep things interesting—check out the CranBirdy in November! Of the permanent menu tacos, The Queen Bean is probably the overall best seller, but at our Wall St. cart, the BPEC is the top seller—that bacon must pull the heartstrings of the financial markets.

My personal favorite is the Or’izo with Verde salsa. I’m a sucker for chorizo and anything cilantro/lime.

So, what do you at TRIPTK?

I’m a Senior Strategy Director. We focus on upstream brand consulting, which takes the form of new product development, brand positioning, and business innovation, all through the lens of cultural and consumer intelligence. That means I spend lots of time in workshops with clients, on the road with consumers, and in studios with designers. It’s a great mix of analytical and creative problem-solving.

What are some similarities between running a food cart and directing a consultancy that serves brands?

How these two parts of my life interact is something I think about all the time. If I’m being totally honest, it was difficult in the beginning, because making tacos at 4 a.m. and running client meetings at 4 p.m. felt very foreign to one another. And the hours were nuts.

But now that we’re a few years in, I’m seeing the two experiences complement one another in a really helpful way to both. How they complement one another can be a little bit ethereal, but a more tangible illustration that’s come up recently is: TRIPTK is running a couple of retail innovation projects this spring, and we at KDT are exploring new places and ways to sell tacos, so those experiences dovetail nicely from a customer experience, technology, and brand perspective.

But overall, KDT has offered me a humbling perspective into what it takes to build a business from the ground up. Vision is one thing, execution is another. I say that because I think it can be easy for a consultant to advise their clients to make drastic changes in a PowerPoint deck, but if we’re doing our jobs well, we’re going far beyond that to support them in manifesting the change we recommend. I’m all about action.

What knowledge from TRIPTK are you able to apply to King David Tacos?

I would say the most tangible application has been in moments when we’re drafting our story, be it in a KDT pitch deck, for press, or this interview right now. I wish I could take credit for our social media but that’s 100% Liz, whose marketing instinct and sense of humor has made for an authentic tone of voice and created a connection with our fans. She never really left advertising in that way, and it turns out she’s a copywriter and an art director too—at least in Instagram Stories.

But I think for both of us, coming from the marketing/advertising industry, an understanding of our consumer and respect for their needs and wants informs our offering and how we show up every day. And you just try to stay humble and know your brand’s role in the world.

How do you infuse your passion for King David Tacos to your work at TRIPTK?

That’s easy: I bring tacos in for breakfast.

But really, many days I wake up early to help out in the kitchen or take catering/wholesale deliveries. There are always live problems to solve: be it bad addresses, broken freight elevators, or a lack of parking spots. I won’t lie, it’s not always “fun,” but I find that the kinetic nature of being out in the world really energizes me.

How do you find the time to do both?

Basically, by going to bed earlier than most people eat dinner. Like 9 p.m.

When it was just Liz and I in the kitchen it was especially challenging from an energy perspective. Now we’re fortunate enough that our business can support a full-time kitchen, delivery, and cart attendant staff. Liz is still working 14-hour days and most of my free time is KDT-focused, but it’s manageable. We still go out to dinner every once in a while too. Plus, I get to see my actual friends when I walk into TRIPTK every day, so I’m kind of spoiled.

When you run a business, especially a food business in NYC, there is literally always something to do, whether it’s scheduling shifts, cleaning kitchen equipment, designing carts, emailing the health department, going to FedEx, planning menus, or responding to customers on Twitter.

So, you have to get used to the fact that it doesn’t really turn off, which is not a comfortable thought or one that’s easily internalized. Perpetuity is the most intimidating part of entrepreneurship, now that I think about it. But when you really want to do something, you find the time. You just have to want it and for the right reasons.

Plus, it’s an ego-gratifying feeling when you leave the sandbox of your current professional capabilities or role to do something that you didn’t think you could do. Even if it’s as small as installing a potato slicer on a wall with no studs, driving a cargo van around Manhattan, or finding the perfect GIF for that InstaStory…it’s satisfying.

Through it, you either learn a bunch of new skills or find old ones you forgot you had, then dust them off, because no one else is going to do it for you. Then you look back and there’s another arrow in your quiver. You can’t beat that feeling.

"I was able to maintain a day job because my wife Liz committed herself fully to KDT. Without that commitment, KDT would still be a passing notion at a dinner party. No question about it."

How can folks find King David Tacos?

Go to Kingdavidtacos.com or follow @kingdavidtacos on Insta/FB/Twitter!

We cater! And have actually catered quite a lot to the media team (or really, vendors have sent them tacos, ha ha). Also, for those who live downtown, the new Hungry Ghost in TriBeCa now carries KDT every morning, and they obviously serve killer lattes.

What’s next for King David Tacos?

In the immediate future, we swore we wouldn’t do another cart, but then got an opportunity in a landmark park in Manhattan with a meaningful culinary history…and just couldn’t pass it up. Stay tuned for announcements and cart #3 launch later this spring.

Bigger picture, we are developing a small-footprint brick and mortar retail strategy and seeking partners in that venture.

Advice for folks who are apprehensive about starting their own businesses?

In general, I caution doling out advice because I think every situation is super unique and requires a deep understanding of the dynamics before making recommendations (gosh, don’t I sound like a consultant? ha). Plus, any respectable therapist will caution you against “advice giving.”

But, I would say that it is very difficult to translate an idea into action—and so if you are going to do it, you should throw 100% at it with somewhat psychopathic focus. I was able to maintain a day job because my wife Liz committed herself fully to KDT. Without that commitment, KDT would still be a passing notion at a dinner party. No question about it.

Plus, when you focus on one thing over a sustained period of time, you realize how much opportunity there is to make it better and better and better, and then all of a sudden you’re the best at it—even if it’s something as simple as bacon, egg, and cheese in a tortilla.

The other piece of advice I would give is to embrace in the struggle of it, but with someone by your side.

There will be insanely difficult times: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Without someone there at the end of the day, as beat up as you are, it’ll be very difficult to laugh at the ludicrousness of the pain you committed yourself to—and laughter is your best weapon against giving up.

If you’re already neck-deep and are thinking about giving up, that’s ok too, and there’s zero shame in it. But then again, you might hear the whole “you only live once” thing fighting back, a pesky cliché that can be unreasonably persistent.

"Why had breakfast tacos not stuck? We placed that question at the center of our business and built a product and experience around it."

TRIPTK Senior Strategy Director and cofounder of King David Tacos (KDT), Nate Dwyer, shares the story behind bringing an Austin breakfast staple to the on-the-go New York City lifestyle, how he uses his day job to fuel his side hustle (and vice versa), and why bringing an idea to life requires “100% psychopathic focus.”

 

So, tell us: Are you a foodie?

It’s funny that you ask that…I would actually not consider myself a foodie, though my wife, who is the creator and CEO of King David Tacos, keeps me aware of the fact that I actually DO love food more than I tend to admit.

And I really do. But still, especially in an era of heightened culinary intelligence, I’d feel far too much imposter syndrome to ever call myself a foodie. Plus, what kind of person does call themselves a foodie? ::EyeRoll::

Describe the “Austin-style” of food for us.

Without going full-on “pulpit and sermon” on the subject of micro-regional cuisine, Austin-style is in reference specifically to breakfast tacos, a small (but important) component of Tex-Mex—which is certainly not an “Austin-owned” cuisine. I think anyone reading this with an appreciation of Tex-Mex would agree.

But Austin-style breakfast tacos are distinct from other breakfast tacos, even within Texas. You can think of them as the functional workhorse of breakfast tacos. They’re made simply and for the demands of modern life—and that manifests itself in both how they are prepared and how they are served. You’ll find most places in Austin use flour tortillas versus corn, because the good ones are delicious, and also because they hold up much better than corn for grab-and-go service, which is a big segment of the breakfast taco business in Austin. We ship ours fresh from Austin because they make them better than anyone.

Additionally, the classic Austin-style breakfast taco is simple: flour tortilla, scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, shredded cheese, and salsa on the side. Of course, they are customizable to dietary needs and there are hundreds of variations on that formula (which is amazing), but simplicity and single-stack ingredient layering is what separates Austin from other region’s recipes. For example, in Houston, ingredients are often scrambled into eggs versus layered on top, so you get more of an omelet-like result, which is great and has its place! We’ve just seen New York respond well to the Austin way.

A major caveat to this is that’s just my point of view! When you dig into breakfast taco culture, you’ll find that for every opinion there are a thousand more that would dispute it because Texans are fiercely territorial and opinionated.

How’d you come up with the idea of starting a food truck business?

I have to give my wife, Liz, virtually all the credit for the concept and creation of KDT.

She grew up in Austin (I’m from Pennsylvania) and has always been very passionate about the merits of breakfast tacos.

When she moved to NYC 12 years ago to pursue a career in advertising, she noticed the dearth of breakfast tacos in what was otherwise the most culinarily advanced city in the world. For busy, health-conscious, taste-driven New Yorkers, breakfast tacos are the perfect food: they’re convenient, wholesome, fresh, and absolutely delicious. They’re more nutritious than a bagel, healthier than a bodega BEC, and way more exciting than a protein bar. Plus, done right, you can walk your dog while eating one.

So why had breakfast tacos not stuck? We placed that question at the center of our business and built a product and experience around it.

Three years ago we started with corporate catering, a world Liz knew well with 10+ years of account management in advertising. “Bagels are boring” was our way in, knowing that most morning meeting catering orders feel more like a compromise than a delight.

From there, we designed and built our own carts. We have one at Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park, one in the Financial District and one coming soon to Madison Square Park. They’re awesome little vehicles that allow us to serve at the speed of New York.

The tacos are made in a central kitchen the day of service and each is individually wrapped. The carts are basically rolling ovens that keep them warm. So, we process a transaction within seconds versus minutes, and customers receive a freshly made, wholesome breakfast without the wait.

The third and latest arm of our business is wholesale, whereby we partner with coffee shops and food halls to sell our tacos. We deliver them fresh every morning. Right now you can find us in most Hungry Ghost Coffee Shops, Berg’n, Boris & Horton, and Hill Country Food Park.

And then, of course, we have plans for expanded retail too. Stay tuned!

How’d you come up with the name: King David Tacos?

King David is a reference to Liz’s late father, who was big in stature and in personality, and was aptly nicknamed by his friends, “King David.”

I had the pleasure of meeting him many times—and I will tell you, he was a foodie. David had a passion for fantastic food (especially Tex-Mex and BBQ) and breakfast tacos were a big part of his mornings. When Liz moved to NYC, it was his original observation that the city was missing breakfast tacos and he encouraged Liz to jump-ship on advertising and sell breakfast tacos. Of course, that idea sounded insane to a young executive-aspirant, but a decade later, not so much.

I’ll hold all the obvious jokes about the toils of client-services but will take an opportunity to say that Liz was really born to lead. She’s from a long-line of entrepreneurs, has laser-sharp vision about what she wants to create, and relentlessly executes on it. To say I’m proud of her and what she has been able to build in her father’s name is the understatement of the century.

"Perpetuity is the most intimidating part of entrepreneurship. But when you really want to do something, you find the time."

How is King David Tacos different than other street vendors?

We talked about “Born and bred in Austin” but the other half of our slogan is “—made for NYC.”

I think that’s what differentiates us from many other street vendors. We have a very realistic perspective on both the quality and convenience New Yorkers expect. “Fast” and “good” are two qualities that are traditionally at odds with one another, yet, this is what hard-working city dwellers demand from anyone selling them anything—especially food.

And, there was definitely a hole in the OTG breakfast market, specifically. Most food trucks and street vendors focus on lunch-based offerings.

That opportunity drove us to innovate on the street vendor model, which traditionally takes the form of either owner-operated carts that are convenience-driven (think Halal Guys or Central Park hot dog stand) or as a food truck, which is usually of a higher culinary caliber, experience-driven, but not as convenient.

We designed our carts to be “non-processing” (an NYC Department of Health classification), which means unlike a halal stand or a food truck, no food is actually being prepared on them. Instead, all the tacos are handmade in a centralized kitchen overnight by our amazing and dedicated kitchen team, and served fresh that morning. That retail model allows quick-turn transactions and so we can deliver on both the quality and convenience New Yorkers have come to expect.

And, we stay very focused on quality control. Liz and our kitchen manager Jarrett put consistency and care above all else, which is critical for a high-volume, loyalty-driven food business.

Now almost three years and hundreds of thousands of breakfast tacos later, we’ve been able to prove that, when done right, the breakfast taco really is the perfect morning meal for NYC and other markets that may not yet be familiar with them.

What’s are your most popular items?

That’s a tough question actually! It depends on the location. We have a pretty lean menu with four tacos, two salsas, and queso (catering only). We also do seasonal specials to keep things interesting—check out the CranBirdy in November! Of the permanent menu tacos, The Queen Bean is probably the overall best seller, but at our Wall St. cart, the BPEC is the top seller—that bacon must pull the heartstrings of the financial markets.

My personal favorite is the Or’izo with Verde salsa. I’m a sucker for chorizo and anything cilantro/lime.

So, what do you at TRIPTK?

I’m a Senior Strategy Director. We focus on upstream brand consulting, which takes the form of new product development, brand positioning, and business innovation, all through the lens of cultural and consumer intelligence. That means I spend lots of time in workshops with clients, on the road with consumers, and in studios with designers. It’s a great mix of analytical and creative problem-solving.

What are some similarities between running a food cart and directing a consultancy that serves brands?

How these two parts of my life interact is something I think about all the time. If I’m being totally honest, it was difficult in the beginning, because making tacos at 4 a.m. and running client meetings at 4 p.m. felt very foreign to one another. And the hours were nuts.

But now that we’re a few years in, I’m seeing the two experiences complement one another in a really helpful way to both. How they complement one another can be a little bit ethereal, but a more tangible illustration that’s come up recently is: TRIPTK is running a couple of retail innovation projects this spring, and we at KDT are exploring new places and ways to sell tacos, so those experiences dovetail nicely from a customer experience, technology, and brand perspective.

But overall, KDT has offered me a humbling perspective into what it takes to build a business from the ground up. Vision is one thing, execution is another. I say that because I think it can be easy for a consultant to advise their clients to make drastic changes in a PowerPoint deck, but if we’re doing our jobs well, we’re going far beyond that to support them in manifesting the change we recommend. I’m all about action.

What knowledge from TRIPTK are you able to apply to King David Tacos?

I would say the most tangible application has been in moments when we’re drafting our story, be it in a KDT pitch deck, for press, or this interview right now. I wish I could take credit for our social media but that’s 100% Liz, whose marketing instinct and sense of humor has made for an authentic tone of voice and created a connection with our fans. She never really left advertising in that way, and it turns out she’s a copywriter and an art director too—at least in Instagram Stories.

But I think for both of us, coming from the marketing/advertising industry, an understanding of our consumer and respect for their needs and wants informs our offering and how we show up every day. And you just try to stay humble and know your brand’s role in the world.

How do you infuse your passion for King David Tacos to your work at TRIPTK?

That’s easy: I bring tacos in for breakfast.

But really, many days I wake up early to help out in the kitchen or take catering/wholesale deliveries. There are always live problems to solve: be it bad addresses, broken freight elevators, or a lack of parking spots. I won’t lie, it’s not always “fun,” but I find that the kinetic nature of being out in the world really energizes me.

How do you find the time to do both?

Basically, by going to bed earlier than most people eat dinner. Like 9 p.m.

When it was just Liz and I in the kitchen it was especially challenging from an energy perspective. Now we’re fortunate enough that our business can support a full-time kitchen, delivery, and cart attendant staff. Liz is still working 14-hour days and most of my free time is KDT-focused, but it’s manageable. We still go out to dinner every once in a while too. Plus, I get to see my actual friends when I walk into TRIPTK every day, so I’m kind of spoiled.

When you run a business, especially a food business in NYC, there is literally always something to do, whether it’s scheduling shifts, cleaning kitchen equipment, designing carts, emailing the health department, going to FedEx, planning menus, or responding to customers on Twitter.

So, you have to get used to the fact that it doesn’t really turn off, which is not a comfortable thought or one that’s easily internalized. Perpetuity is the most intimidating part of entrepreneurship, now that I think about it. But when you really want to do something, you find the time. You just have to want it and for the right reasons.

Plus, it’s an ego-gratifying feeling when you leave the sandbox of your current professional capabilities or role to do something that you didn’t think you could do. Even if it’s as small as installing a potato slicer on a wall with no studs, driving a cargo van around Manhattan, or finding the perfect GIF for that InstaStory…it’s satisfying.

Through it, you either learn a bunch of new skills or find old ones you forgot you had, then dust them off, because no one else is going to do it for you. Then you look back and there’s another arrow in your quiver. You can’t beat that feeling.

"I was able to maintain a day job because my wife Liz committed herself fully to KDT. Without that commitment, KDT would still be a passing notion at a dinner party. No question about it."

How can folks find King David Tacos?

Go to Kingdavidtacos.com or follow @kingdavidtacos on Insta/FB/Twitter!

We cater! And have actually catered quite a lot to the media team (or really, vendors have sent them tacos, ha ha). Also, for those who live downtown, the new Hungry Ghost in TriBeCa now carries KDT every morning, and they obviously serve killer lattes.

What’s next for King David Tacos?

In the immediate future, we swore we wouldn’t do another cart, but then got an opportunity in a landmark park in Manhattan with a meaningful culinary history…and just couldn’t pass it up. Stay tuned for announcements and cart #3 launch later this spring.

Bigger picture, we are developing a small-footprint brick and mortar retail strategy and seeking partners in that venture.

Advice for folks who are apprehensive about starting their own businesses?

In general, I caution doling out advice because I think every situation is super unique and requires a deep understanding of the dynamics before making recommendations (gosh, don’t I sound like a consultant? ha). Plus, any respectable therapist will caution you against “advice giving.”

But, I would say that it is very difficult to translate an idea into action—and so if you are going to do it, you should throw 100% at it with somewhat psychopathic focus. I was able to maintain a day job because my wife Liz committed herself fully to KDT. Without that commitment, KDT would still be a passing notion at a dinner party. No question about it.

Plus, when you focus on one thing over a sustained period of time, you realize how much opportunity there is to make it better and better and better, and then all of a sudden you’re the best at it—even if it’s something as simple as bacon, egg, and cheese in a tortilla.

The other piece of advice I would give is to embrace in the struggle of it, but with someone by your side.

There will be insanely difficult times: physically, mentally, and emotionally. Without someone there at the end of the day, as beat up as you are, it’ll be very difficult to laugh at the ludicrousness of the pain you committed yourself to—and laughter is your best weapon against giving up.

If you’re already neck-deep and are thinking about giving up, that’s ok too, and there’s zero shame in it. But then again, you might hear the whole “you only live once” thing fighting back, a pesky cliché that can be unreasonably persistent.

Sulaiman Beg is Havas' Director of Global Internal Communications. He has never eaten canned tuna fish.

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