How To Copy The Celebrity Chef Business Model In Any Industry

Celebrity chefs. Years ago it was a term no one had ever heard of. Today, it’s a phrase that has come to mean a very specific type of chef… and I would argue that, even though it’s an annoying and increasingly-overused term, it’s a business model that other businesses can steal and use to grow your business to a higher level.

What Most People Do (Versus What Celebrity Chefs Do)

Most people get paid to do a thing, whether a real estate investor, a stockbroker, copywriter, an accountant, a dentist, a mechanic, a photographer, etc.

You name it.

Likewise, chefs are known for doing a thing.

They’re known for… well… their “cheffing”. They plan menus and oversee the kitchen staff and they cook. They’re the hardworking staff who make sure that your food comes to your table delicious and just the way you want.

But celebrity chefs? That’s an entirely different animal.

They don’t do as much cheffing (in the strict sense) as they once did.

Compare Gordon Ramsey, Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, or Anthony Bourdain to… the dude whose name you don’t know but he cooked your meal at Applebee’s yesterday evening.

What’s the difference between the first group mentioned and the poor loser running the Applebee’s grill at minimum wage?

Ultimately, it’s not about talent (the Applebee’s guy is just following company recipes; we don’t really know what he’s like when he cooks without those restrictions… he could be amazing)…

… Ultimately the celebrity chef has moved beyond being paid in dollars for what they do and instead they are being paid in attention for showing others how to do it or how to experience it.

Here’s What I Mean…

A “non-celebrity” chef gets paid to cook and do all the regular cheffery expected of them.

A celebrity chef doesn’t really need to cook anymore. Sure, we see Bobby Flay cooking on Iron Chef America (at least until he quit) but when was the last time you saw Gordon Ramsey, Guy Fieri, or Anthony Bourdain in a kitchen to cook something?

It’s rare.

What are they doing instead?

They’re building media empires that talk about the craft of cooking or even how to enjoy the experience of food.

  • They’re writing cookbooks… and other books
  • They’re starting chains of restaurants and multiple brands
  • They’re creating in and starring in their own shows
  • They’re driving around the country in muscle cars or even wandering around the world sampling food and raving about it

They’re still creating, they’re still presumably doing some cooking, but they’ve scaled beyond that to create a media empire that builds on them and their (often ridiculous) personalities doing something more.

For celebrity chefs, it’s no longer about presenting a plate of food to a customer like they once did when they worked at Applebee’s… rather, it’s about creating a “character” and building an experience for an audience to consume.

And frankly, food just happens to be the main point around which they build everything.

Food is something we all understand and enjoy. And everyone has opinions about what food they love and hate, so there’s a lot of room for people to create emotion around it and to be attracted to some celebrity chefs while being repulsed by others.

But Does It Have To Be About Food?

I don’t think so. I think this same concept can work in other areas and industries.

What if you could become the celebrity chef of your industry?

… of real estate investing?
… of HVAC services?
… of car sales?
… of accounting?
… of dentistry?
… of gym ownership?
… of photography?
… of copywriting?

What kind of personality would you have? What kind of experience would you create?

What would you talk about, to go from getting paid in money for what you DO to getting paid in attention for showing how to do something or how to experience it?

What kind of show(s) would you have? What kind of brands would you create? What kind of books would you write?

The Big Lessons

  1. Guy Fieri is a ridiculous caricature. But he’s a brilliant business person who has created a powerful brand. You don’t have to be yourself to create a brand; you can be a character. (Here’s an old-ish blog post I wrote about building a celebrity brand)
  2. At some point you’ll likely teach people something… either HOW to do what you do or HOW to enjoy or experience the central thing that you do.
  3. Celebrity chefs are not really about cooking; they’re about media empires What can you publish? What shows can you produce? We live in an age where this is so easy.
  4. If someone else is already doing this in your space, that’s okay. There isn’t just ONE celebrity chef. You just need to find your angle. Guy Fieri and Gordon Ramsay are both over-the-top… but in different ways.
  5. This higher level creates “scale” so you can grow bigger, charge more, and build an empire (not just a professional practice).
  6. Of course the benefits of this higher level of business growth brings its own challenges… you need a team; you’ll have haters; you’ll fail more often.
  7. There are also interesting opportunities out there that you might not see right now. Anthony Bourdain was a fry cook; now he basically travels the world and gets filmed eating. There was a point in his life when that was unthinkable.
  8. The secret is to build the “attention machine” and then to keep feeding that machine with new things that support what you talk about. You’re creating sub-brands and shows and content and public relations to elevate your brand.

Celebrity chefs. They give us a template to grow beyond the confines of getting paid for what we do, and they show us how to scale up to something bigger.

My First Facebook Live Video Is In The Books

Hope you’re having a great start to 2018!

One of the things I want to do more of this year is provide more video training content for real estate investors. I already provide some training content… on YouTube, and elsewhere, but I love Facebook Live and I wanted to do some there too.

So here I am getting ready for the video (just testing out the camera position and lighting)…

Aaron Hoos

And here I am practicing…

Aaron Hoos

And practicing some more…

Aaron Hoos

And then I started!

Here’s the video below…

There were some quirks and kinks to work out but I’m happy with that as my first video attempt.

Note for next time:

  • Manage the glare a bit better
  • Avoid wearing a striped shirt maybe?
  • Speak a little more slowly

Here’s what I drew on the board, in case you’re curious…

Aaron Hoos Sales Funnel

And here are the 3 actions that I ended the video with…

Aaron Hoos

Dotcom Secrets: The Sales Funnel Book I Wish I’d Written

Every once in a while I encounter a book that I read from cover to cover and thing, “I wish I wrote that.”

It doesn’t happen a lot. But when it does happen, I usually read the book a second time and take a ton of notes.

Such was the case with this book, DotCom Secrets by Russell Brunson.

Aaron Hoos

When I wrote my book, The Sales Funnel Bible, not a lot of people had heard of sales funnels. I usually had to spend time answering questions like, “What is a sales funnel?” before I could dig into how to improve your business with your sales funnel.

But funnels are big now. Really big. And among those raising awareness of funnels is Russell Brunson. He has a piece of software called “ClickFunnels” that businesses can use to market and sell their products and services. It’s kind of a plug-and-play all-in-one software.

And, to help him promote ClickFunnels, he has heavily marketed this book to describe funnels (and get people to buy ClickFunnels).

And the book is excellent. It’s simple to understand, incredibly practical, versatile for many businesses, and includes templates and scripts. The templates and scripts are worth well more than the price of the book.

Now, I’m not going to rush out and trash all the copies of The Sales Funnel Bible. I take a different approach: a little higher level, a little broader (outside of the scope of online businesses), a bit more strategic in some ways, a bit more tactical in others.

But Brunson’s book is a solid start for someone who is learning about sales funnels and how the can improve a business. It’s simple, elegant, visually appealing, and highly actionable. I wish I’d written it.

You can buy it here on Amazon if you want…

The War Within: Here’s The Mindset Shift To Improve Any Aspect Of Your Life And Business

It’s 5:00 in the morning. My alarm goes off and I drowsily open one eye just long enough to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.

I’d wanted to get up in the morning to jog but I’m sleepy and I can hear a cold winter wind outside. So I stay in my bed and sleep longer.

It’s not that I needed the sleep. Rather, it’s that that the comparison between the effort and cold of a winter morning jog compared to the comfort and warmth of my bed is a battle that is hard to win.

Actually, that’s not the real battle happening.

There’s a war going on inside my mind every morning.

… and every moment of the day.

Oh, and it’s happening in your mind, too, as well as the minds of every other person at each moment of each person’s day. In any and every area of your life and business, this is happening… in your health, your financial situation, your relationships, your hobbies, your professional life, your education, and in everything else as well.

The War Within

Let’s skip the really violent imagery and say that’s a tug-of-war. In my mind and yours. Every millisecond of the day.

It’s a tug of war between two people: On the one side is the person you were and on the other side is the person you want to be.

  • The person you were—this person represents stagnation and remaining idle in your comfort zone. This person fears change. This person believes that self preservation is the key to enjoying life, and they’re convinced that you can get by simply by doing things the way they’ve always been done.
  • The person you want to be—this person represents growth and challenge, which occurs outside of your comfort zone. This person acknowledges that growth can mean risk. This person believes that the key to enjoying life is to stretch yourself farther than you’ve gone in the past, and they’re convinced that only the strong survive.

These two people battle back and forth. Sometimes one wins; sometimes the other wins. In some aspects of your life, one is stronger; in other aspects of your life, the other is stronger.

In my own life, I have no problem working out at 4:30 in the afternoon each day, and it’s the challenge-accepting person that I want to be who dominates to get me off the chair and into my workout gear. But at 5:00 in the morning when the wind is howling outside and I’m tired, the person I was is stronger than the person I want to be, pulling that tug-of-war rope over to the side of comfort.

Think about the things in your life that you want to change. How successful is your change? If you are struggling, the person you were is winning. If you are succeeding at making the change, the person you want to be is winning.

There’s One More Person In This Scenario

There’s a third person in this scenario, too: it’s you, right now at this very moment. And the “right-now-you” is watching this tug-of-war happen between who you were and who you want to be. You’re watching… but you’re also participating, jumping in to help one or the other pull that rope.

You-right-now are deciding whether you want comfort or challenge, stasis or transformation, and you are aiding the person you were or the person you want to be to win in that moment.

And look, not every moment of every day can be devoted to growth. That’s going to be exhausting and difficult on you mentally and physically. And you’re not going to grow in every area at an accelerated pace. And maybe there are areas where you are happy and don’t see a need to grow.

… all fine. But the tug-of-war happens anyway. In every moment; in every area of life.

Here’s How You Can Win

Assuming that you want to grow, and recognizing that it’s not always easy to leap out of bed at 5:00 in the morning when the winter wind is howling, here’s what you can do to step up and lend a hand in the tug-of-war to the person you want to be… to help the person you want to be and to hinder the person you were.

  • Create a reason to push yourself. You might want to make a change in your life but you can’t seem to make it stick. When that happens, think about why you are making the change. Sometimes a change or improvement seems arbitrary, and that makes it a hard habit to stick to. But if the change has a stronger, more meaningful reason then it’s easier to stick to.
  • Get rid of temptations. I’m not much of a snacker but if you are, and if you want to snack less, then you need to get rid of the snacks in your house. All of them. Even the ones you buy for someone else.
  • Turn your change into a habit. Remember earlier I said that I had no problem working out at 4:30 in the afternoon? That wasn’t always the case. It was a struggle. I slowly made it a habit. Now it’s an expected part of my day and it’s locked into my schedule and I actually look forward to it… and feel like I’ve missed something important if I don’t workout one day.
  • Become curious. Curiosity is a powerful and often overlooked tool when it comes to change. Rather than saying, “I’m going to try to do this in my business” (which is a statement), get curious about it and ask yourself, “What will happen when I do this in my business?” When you’re overwhelmed with a big challenge, curiosity helps you to explore that challenge and break it down into a smaller one.
  • Make it fun. Our brains are wired to hate risk. Risk is scary. It’s the fearful step out of the warm and safe cave into the scary unknown. But have you ever lost yourself in a fun activity, only to discover that you’ve far exceeded your comfort zone? Let’s say you want to exercise a bit more but you abhor the thought of going to the gym to run on the treadmill. Well what if you and a few friends just started playing soccer in the evening? You’ll get the workout and barely notice it.
  • Turn it into a short-term challenge. This one is an effective strategy for me. Whenever I’m faced with an out-side-of-my-comfort-zone opportunity to grow, that I cannot seem to consistently complete on my own (such as the winter jog!) then I turn it into a short-term challenge. For example, instead of declaring that I’m going to jog every day, I say that I’m going to jog for 30 days straight and that’s it. By the end of the 30 days, it’s a habit that I love and I can more easily continue doing it but the fact that it’s a challenge makes it more enjoyable in that habit-forming period.


At any given moment there’s a tug-of-war raging in your mind between the comfort-zone person you were and the risk-tolerant person you want to be. And you right now? You’re in the middle watching it happen and deciding on the fly who you want to help win in that moment.

Stay the same or grow. It’s your choice in this very moment.