Episode 5 Small Business Success

In Episode 5, we hear from small business owners Victor Bañuelos, Mandy Kohlani, and Hector Valdez on running a small business and connecting with neighborhoods to support community resilience. We learn how each business owner defines their own unique view of success.
Apr 18, 2024 — 2 min read



Roy Choi is Korean-American chef, author, serial entrepreneur, and owner of the popular Korean-Mexican taco truck, Kogi. 

About this video series

My City: Los Angeles ft. Roy Choi

My City: Los Angeles ft. Roy Choi

Follow along as Roy Choi introduces us to three of his favorite Los Angeles business owners who are as dedicated as he is to building community and their businesses.

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Speaker 1: Everyone has beauty in them. Everyone has something that somebody else doesn't have.

Speaker 2: We're just members of the community that want what's best for our neighborhood. I hope that we inspire other people by what we do.

Speaker 3: And I didn't know what the connection was or what I was feeling, but it felt good in my soul.

Roy Choi: My name is Roy Choi. I'm a chef, entrepreneur, family man, poppy. This is the LA that I love, and I really want to show you small business owners that I believe are connected to the community and continuing to grow the community that they're in.

The whole reason I'm doing this show right now is to bring light to small business because it is very important. On top of just making a living to be successful as a small business, it takes passion to be completely behind whatever philosophy you have to use different parts of your brain to not only be someone versed and knowledgeable, but also run the business as well.

The goal, I don't think should be only financial. The goal to be financially successful should be driven by your soul. If you think about success as a recipe, the recipe can't just be salt. It can, well, it's going to be salty. Let's just say we were to make a wok fry broccolini. If that recipe has five things, all five of 'em have to work harmoniously in some way. To me, that's success. I think success is also who you touch and what you leave behind, and that can mean all different things from how you interact with the earth to your neighborhood, to your staff, your guests, everyone touched by what you're doing.

I try to run businesses where there's value in those obscure and abstract things. You can't just cut the cord on those things and expect your revenue or your success to continue to multiply because those things, they have extreme value, and so as a business, I think it's important to always allow space for that area of creativity or kindness or generosity because you're going to be put in positions where you're forced to compromise those.

Before Kogi, I didn't have an outlet for that. Through Kogi, I was able to take all of these things and actually pull them into this reality and make them make sense, not only for myself, but for others. A business doesn't have to be what you are told a business is. A business can be you, your whole spirit, your whole lifestyle. Then what you're doing is you're doing what you love. You're doing it from an honest place, you're touching others with it, and you're making a living. To me, that's success.

Have I made it? I don't know what made it means what is the destination. If you made it, that means the race is over, and it took me a long time to figure that out, but now that I'm doing everything I can to feed as many people as I can, I'm not looking for that to end or to be over and then need to look for the next thing that I'm supposed to check off. So I don't think we should ever feel like we've made it, but yeah, we're all in it together, man.


How to Start a Food Truck Business

Jan 23, 2024 — 11 min read

From food truck start up costs to creating a business plan, this guide explains the everything you need to know about how to start a food truck business.

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