Small Talks features insider expertise from successful small business owners. This video series highlights how real entrepreneurs overcame their most pressing challenges, so you can apply the insights to your own business.

Kevin Diedrich, owner of Pacific Cocktail Haven, says his key to success is his wife’s favorite motto: “Work extremely hard, be nice to people and good things will happen.” Once an IT professional, Diedrich went from the 9 to 5 world to ranking as one of the best bartenders in America. He talks about what it’s like to pursue a new industry as an entrepreneur.

How to enter into a new industry

  1. Commit 100 percent. Doing something new requires change. That can be scary, but Diedrich says you just have to commit and go for it. And he would know: After about five years in IT, Diedrich started hating the work. So, he paid $300 bucks for bartending school and worked hard to make a transition into hospitality.
  2. Find the best place to learn. Find the best place and the best people to be around. Go there, observe and learn however you can. Diedrich worked in the hotel industry and was told that if he wanted to be the best, he had to live in the best city and work for the best people — this advice is something he has used while running his own business and hiring the top candidates. To hire right, Diedrich makes sure he’s asking the right questions and hiring people who want to be there. This, in turn, makes more people want to visit and work at the bar.
  3. Study. Do your research. Learn about the industry, what you need to break in, etc. Soak up all the knowledge you can to be at your best.

Diedrich’s advice clearly works. About his own bar, he says, “What’s unique is that you can come and hang out here. You have a great cocktail and service without the pretension of being anywhere else. We’re just a neighborhood bar.”

Watch the full video for more insights.

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