Keep It Down! 5 Business Lessons From a Competitive Eater.

Whether it’s Philadelphia’s “Wing Bowl” or Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island in NEW YORK, there’s something grotesquely appealing about watching participants chow down on massive levels of food.

If you’re sitting on the far side of the table, competing in a frenetic episode of glutinous glory, it’s a significant sport for all those with ironclad stomachs.

In a former career, I was polishing off countless cheesesteaks, donuts and chile peppers in a variety of eating contests. Though retired, it’s ironic that I still have my hands full with a company that’s developing tests for detecting foodborne pathogens and other microscopic bacteria.

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As the co-founder and chief business officer of Invisible Sentinel, a biotech company based at Philadelphia’s University City Science Center, I’ve learned a whole lot about growing a business from scratch. Here are a few pointers.

1. Be perceptively patient . Regardless of what size the problem is apparently before you, it’s about creating a strategic plan of attack. Many times it seemed as though our company had hit a dead end, but it’s about pushing through when you imagine you’ve hit a wall. There are always likely to be hurdles, but it’s about managing each bite and understanding the long-term objective.

2. Set realistic goals . I was never likely to be the caliber eater that Adam Richman is, but I understood that. Most of us create benchmarks for most reasons — most of all to feel great about success. Many eating challenges track the success rate of individuals who can complete the task. Competitions with failing rate higher than 90 percent were off limits for me personally. Sometimes it’s a matter of tempering your passion by delivering a clear group of milestones achievable with the administrative centre and time you have allotted. This can not only build personal confidence, but trust with investors.

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3. Observe and adjust to change . Within an eating competition, tasting the same element again and again causes the mind to tell your body to stop eating. You need to change the taste of the meals throughout a competition to overcome the “full sensation.” It’s the same running a business. As a business owner, there are no constants as well as your product and business design is going to differ from your initial concept. At Invisible Sentinel, we saw a chance to test for a “bug” within wine referred to as Brettanomyces. It was unique of what we’d previously been testing for, however the discovery would result in a partnership with a winery.

4. Choose your lover wisely . If your competition permits you to have somebody or teammates, make certain they are able to pull their weight — literally. Eight years back, I met my business partner and co-founder Nick Siciliano, the CEO of Invisible Sentinel. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him. He’s the eternal pessimist, and I am the eternal optimist. Together we make an excellent team and it’s helped us to see problems differently, support one another during difficult times, and study from one another.

5. It’s OK to sweat just a little . That is your life’s work, it’s not said to be easy. You will have good days and bad days, so appreciate the journey. In spicy-food competitions, you’re likely to perspire like crazy. You take in as fast as possible merely to make the pain disappear completely. People will be watching through everything, but in the event that you stay composed it’ll pass. As a business owner, you’ll endure an array of ruthless situations, but practice makes perfect. Just be sure you have one glass of milk handy.

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