Enjoy the Journey. A Reluctant Trading Mantra.

Posted on June 14, 2014 by Scott Eirinberg

My friend Peter Himmelman is writing a book about the person inside of us that tries to prevent us from doing what we really want in life. He found my foray into the spice business inspiring, so he dedicated part of his book to the Reluctant Trading story. I was humbled to be asked by Peter to participate in this exciting project. Maybe you remember Peter when he wrote a hilarious theme song for Reluctant when I started the business.

Since it has been a year since Peter started writing the book, he called me the other day to write an addendum about how I am feeling today. Peter was in a bit of hurry, so he asked that I write something for him very quickly.

It was actually a good exercise since I hadn’t thought about my feelings very much lately. With such little time to reflect, I didn’t have a chance to do my usual over think. Here’s what spilled out of my mouth:

The best thing about my new direction is that I now have an excuse to engage with all sorts of creative people again. Chefs, entrepreneurs, designers, photographers, directors, musicians. I went from sitting around my house trying to think of the perfect thing to do, almost paralyzed, to meeting with all of these inspiring people every day. It's not always comfortable having to prove yourself all over again. But when you have the breakthroughs, it's all the sweeter.

When I came up with the idea for The Land of Nod in 1996, I started with a business idea. With Reluctant Trading, I started with a product in search of a business. I needed to get my life moving again. I needed to connect with people. Have new experiences. Learn new things. It wasn’t a complete business idea, so I decided to subsequently call it an “Experiment” and get on with it.

I used to try to do everything as efficiently as possible. I became extremely focused on the bottom line. I tried to delegate as much as possible.

Today things are different. Since I’m the sole owner of my new business, I set different goals.

One of the goals is to enjoy the journey. To try to enjoy each and every day. To try to enjoy each and every person I meet, whether it's a customer, vendor or supplier. Okay, so it's not always possible, but I try.

I still sign each invoice because I don’t want to lose touch with my customers. I personally hand stamp every box. My wife and I still pack all of the salt and pepper bags. I prepare each and every shipping box and take it to the post office within 24 hours of receiving the orders. And I personally deliver each and every shipment of salt and pepper to the restaurants that I serve in Chicago.

Each box is lovingly hand stamped by yours truly. Waste of time? Perhaps. But I enjoy getting a little ink on my hands.

Oh yes, there have been many times I’ve thought about hiring other people to do these jobs. But I’ve realized that I really do enjoy doing this stuff. I enjoy the variety. I'm actually able to get up from staring at the computer screen several times a day.

I've made all sorts of new friends. I'm getting to know Chicago again. Each day opens new possibilities. 

Sure, I could probably make a lot more money if I did things differently. They don't teach the personal bottom line in B-School. But I actually think it makes perfect business sense. I think if I enjoy the journey, I’ll actually be more passionate and energetic. I think I'll radiate more good karma and that things will work out.

Or maybe they won't work out and the business will go under. But if that happens, I'll still be all the richer for it. And I know I will have enjoyed the journey.

By the way, Peter Himmelman is a Grammy and Emmy nominated musician with a stellar new album. He splits his time between making fantastic albums and teaching businesses how to unlock their creativity through his company Big Muse.

Food Craftsmen Interviews - Parts 1 and 2

Posted on February 18, 2014 by Scott Eirinberg

I was recently interviewed by Ryan Parker of the Food Craftsmen podcast series. I explain why I hate the "F" word ("foodie"). I also talk about the inception of the company as well as the viral video that I made with my friend Barton Landsman in Hollywood last year. It was a nice opportunity to tell the story of how I ended up in a business I never intended to start. You can also listen and subscribe to Ryan Parker's podcast series on iTunes.


PART 2 of 2 Reluctant Trading Food Craftsmen Interview

Reluctant Trading Story Video Goes Viral

Posted on January 27, 2014 by Scott Eirinberg
"The Reluctant Trading Experiment Story"
Directed by Barton Landsman


This past week, The Reluctant Trading Story video that I made with my friend Barton Landsman suddenly went viral. Up until Sunday, it had 2,500 views. In a few days it jumped to over 85,000 views and counting. If you want to read the backstory to the commercial, I thought I'd post a few links to the old blogs. The Reluctant Hollywood Video Back Story – July 22, 2012 LA Pepper Shoot Photos – March 19, 2012 The Reluctant Pepper Goes Hollywood – February 28, 2012 If you want to buy some of that life changing pepper, click here.

I'm excited and grateful for all of the talented people who worked on the video. I thought I'd post the credits again.

Barton Landsman -- Director
Untitled, Inc. -- Production Company
Christopher Broyles -- Producer
Greg Schultz -- Producer
Noah Smith -- Production Coordinator
Corey Walter -- Director of Photography
Lucas Deans -- 1st AC
Bruce Perlman -- Sound
John Maynard -- Sound
Ron Sherouse -- Boom
Joe Watts -- Art Director
James Toth -- Art Director
Chad McKnight/House -- Casting
Scott Eirinberg -- Himself
Abhi Trivedi -- Actor
Mona Sishodia -- Actor
Nirali Shastri-Hill -- Actor
Shay Naqvi -- Actor
Cale Hanks -- Locations
Danelle Davenport -- Locations
Jodie Burke -- Scouting/Special Thanks
Clayton Hemmert -- Editor
Crew Cuts -- Edit/Sound/VFX
Justin Roberts -- Music Intro
Keslow Camera -- Camera
Julienne Guffain -- Sound Mixer
Ian Glaum -- Visual Effects
Eric Schwalbe -- Visual Effects
Josh Weiss -- Visual Effects
Chris Ryan/Nice Shoes -- Colorist

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