"No, Jane, I never took a course in business. And the only formal education I've had was culinary school."
That's what Victor Jesus Tehran told me when we started to do a deep conversational dive about how he turns around food-service businesses. He's here in Tucson, Arizona on assignment. Already he had boosted the daily revenues at one establishment from about $120 to the thousands of dollars.
One of nine children, Tehran used to go "to work" with his father who owned a construction firm. Dad explained how things "fit together" or "didn't fit together." From that, Tehran developed an intuitive feel for systems. He walks into a school food service facility, a catering shop or an elite restaurant. He looks around. He asks questions. Then he goes to work. The turnaround might take a day or a year.
When young people ask him how to become successful like he is, he tells them, "Know where you want to wind up. Do some research. And then start. If you fail, admit it. Figure out where you made mistakes. And then do the correction fast, before it gets to the point of no return."