5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Steamy Kitchen

2 years ago, I did an interview for Medium called From Avocation To Vocation; How I Turned My Hobby Into A Career. I still think about it to this day because it allowed me to reflect on where I am now versus where I was when I started Steamy Kitchen, and there are so many things I know now that I wish I knew then. 

Jaden on TV

I thought I would share some of those things with you. Maybe you’re seeking to turn your hobby into a career, or maybe you could just use some life lessons to motivate you or shift your perspective. In any case, here are 5 things I wish I knew before I started my business.


1) Make Decisions Based on Your Commitments, Not How You Feel 

Jaden working on her book

I learned this particular life lesson from billionaire real estate genius, Ryan Serhant. Feelings are unpredictable. Someone else’s bad day (or even crappy weather!) can sway your emotions. So why make decisions based on your current emotional state, which can change like the wind?

Instead, make decisions based on the promises and commitments that you make to yourself and others. Your word is who you are. It’s all that you have when you strip everything else away. That doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind or say no, but that you should only aim to make obligations and choices that are in alignment with you, and then follow through. 


2) Body First, Mind Follows

Jaden on Pampered Chef

I got good at TV by showing up, messing up, and showing up again.

You can research forever, but you have to take action in order to make progress. Confidence and experience doesn’t come from success. It comes from failing time and time again, getting back up, adjusting course and moving forward. Learning from experience and failure creates confidence, so don’t be afraid to get it wrong.

When kids first learn to ride a bike, they don’t read book after book on “how to ride a bike.” They ride, fall off, and then their parents encourage them to hop back on and pedal. After a number of wobbles and spills, their body gets used to coordinating and balancing on wheels. They create muscle memory and soon become confident.

The same is true of business. Put on your superhero cape, your big boy pants and get your body moving. Take action. Do the work. With enough time in, your mind will catch up.    


3) Be Brave, Do It Afraid

Jaden with a Burmese Python

Just me holding a snake, trying not to freak out.

This is similar to #2, but it’s such an important lesson that it’s worth diving into. “Be brave, do it afraid” is my friend Brandon’s life motto. Brandon is a former Cirque du Soleil performer, professional juggler, and record-holding diver who can hold his breath for over 20 minutes underwater (while performing!)

His father taught him that the fear will always be there. But take action anyway. Freedom, results and possibilities lie just on the other side. 

There’s pain (and fear) in action, but there’s also pain in NO action. (You miss every shot you don’t take.) You might as well take the choice that results in growth, instead of succumbing to fear and allowing it to immobilize you. 


4) Have a Force Field 

Riley & Jaden

Sometimes my dog is my force field.

This is something I practice regularly.

Be protective of who you let in and what takes up space in your brain. Don’t let the wrong people take up precious real estate in your body, heart and mind. Guard it fiercely!   

Close your eyes and imagine a powerful, invisible force field that surrounds you. Only let in the people, thoughts and things that bring good intentions, positive energy and joy. Everything and everyone else stays outside. You can still interact with them (if you wish), but they can never be allowed to enter and occupy your space.


5) Hook Up Your Tomorrow Self 

Jaden making food

Feeding my future self by prepping healthy meals.

One of my mentors, Jen Gottlieb from Super Connector Media, once told me, “I only work for one person. That person is me, 10 years from now.” What a profound piece of advice! 

Be in service of your future self. What can you do TODAY to hook up your future self?

For example, if my commitment is to go to the gym every morning, what can I do TONIGHT to make it incredibly easy for my tomorrow self to fulfill that promise? I’d probably lay out my gym clothes (sometimes I even sleep with them on!) and go to bed early. You look out for your friends and family. It’s time to start looking out for future you!


I Hope This Helps You

Jaden with buddha bowl

I hope these little tidbits of advice help you in your own life advancements!

Are there things you wish you knew before you started your career or took a significant path in life? Share those lessons in the comments, and maybe we can all help each other out. 


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Jaden Rae
Hi! I'm Jaden!
Welcome To Steamy Kitchen

I'm Jaden Rae, a TV chef, cookbook author, recipe developer, and the creative force behind Steamy Kitchen, a 19-year food blog focused on Asian cuisine and mindful living. Steamy Kitchen has been featured on The List, the Today Show, Oprah.com, Martha Stewart Living Radio & more.

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