Have you resolved to find a new job in 2018, or to take up a new hobby?
The bad news is that nobody is going to help you make it happen. The majority of people are so involved in keeping themselves out of trouble that they will not have the time or energy to give you the push that you need.
But here's the good news, in our first uplifting blog post of the new year!
Taste Tibet is proof as good as you are going to find it that whatever you want to do in life, you can do it, regardless of how things appear to be stacked for you.
When Taste Tibet was born in the summer of 2014, neither me nor Yeshi had any relevant background in our new business area. We had conducted next to no market research, and we had no contacts in the field.
Yeshi had next to no education and no work experience in the UK, and his English was still extremely rudimentary. My background was in dictionaries, and I had spent all my working life up to that point working in solitary behind a computer.
But there was a passion! Yeshi believes strongly that fresh food and enjoyment of good food is the stuff of life, and in the UK he struggled to find food for the soul, prepared with care, and with the wellbeing of the customer in mind.
The beauty of street food is that the customer comes into direct contact with the person who produces it. This makes the chef more accountable (as well as more likely to tend towards generous portions). It is a relationship that is more akin to the way in which food is enjoyed in Tibet, where families and communities share what they have between them, and food is prepared and consumed in a much more communal way.
Apart from Yeshi's raw skills as a chef, we had no relevant experience to draw on, but we worked hard and we let this passion do the talking. Sometimes the lack of planning and experience led us into trouble, and sometimes the enormity of the beast and our unfamiliarity with the territory has felt exhausting and insurmountable, but we are going stronger than ever nearly four years down the line, and we now take so much confidence from our successes that we feel as if anything is possible.
Personally, I feel like I have come a huge distance. Once I thought of myself as a bookish person who did not enjoy direct contact with people through the course of my work. How I have been forced out of my comfort zone! I can deal with scaffolders now, as well as rapacious events organisers. I can speak market lingo with the man who sells the veg, and I have found a great source of small change that is not the high street bank.
As for Yeshi, his transformation is far more complete. Born to a nomadic family in rural Tibet, he started life in the UK as a house husband, and his vocation here was far from clear. Now he is recognised across Oxford as Mr Momo, he is a company director, and, with a driving license that is barely a year old he drives a huge van to festivals far and wide, dealing with the kind of English people that Oxford gave him no preparation for.
So the moral of this story is.... You can do anything! And go get your life!
But remember, you have to eat right to feed your passions. Food is not merely fuel, but a powerful way to nourish your soul. If you have fire in your belly, feed it right and you can go the distance 🏃🏻
Taste Tibet is back in Oxford's Gloucester Green market this Wednesday, January 3rd. If you want to enjoy freebies at the stall, sign up to our weekly newsletter to make sure you don't miss a deal!
See you soon, and a happy new year one and all.