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Entrepreneurship #10 - Being A Part Of The Community
Or, What Would Johnny Do?
Johnny Perez is one of my favorite entrepreneurs, for two reasons.
First (and obviously), he creates some wicked good food at Mercadito Taqueria and Mercado On The Landing. If you are in Fort Wayne, make sure you look up either the truck or visit the Landing - you won’t regret it!
Second, and most importantly, Johnny generously helps other founders in the foods business. He plays an active role supporting his fellow food entrepreneurs.
Let me tell you one of my favorite stories.
A few years ago, one of my friends, Edwin Chow co-founded a Korean BBQ food truck (which since stopped operating after the truck was damaged in an accident). Edwin was a serial entrepreneur, but new to the foods business. Where many might have viewed Edwin as a competitor, Johnny viewed him as an industry friend - and provided some over-the-top mentoring. I’ll never forget how when Edwin’s launch event came and the waiting line was about a football field long (after the tastings he had done, people were really hyped for his launch), Johnny showed up and worked inside Edwin’s truck to help him get through the event!
How many other entrepreneurs do you know who will physically go work with a “competitor” to help them out?
Johnny has parlayed that attitude into a foods brand family with a side of industry support for all. Te Gustó Hospitality grows his own brands, but his podcast and posts help everyone understand how to create a successful foods business brand. He doesn’t keep his knowledge locked up and hidden. Plus, he actively highlights other foods businesses in videos and podcasts.
Those of you who follow Startup Community guru Brad Feld know that entrepreneurs who selflessly give back to their community are the lifeblood of their entrepreneurial ecosystem. Shadow Johnny for a few days, and you’ll find out exactly how that works.
The next time you are wondering whether to help a startup friend in need or let them grind it out by themselves, ask yourself, “What would Johnny do?”