Interview- Steven Schussler Rain Forest Cafe Founder

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I had the privilege to interview Steven Schussler who founded the successful chain of Rain Forest Cafe. Chairman and Chief Executive of Schussler Creative, his firm designs and builds theatrical environments for restaurants, retail stores, and special events. Also co-author of best seller book “It’s a Jungle in There”.

Steven is a great mentor, speaker, entrepreneur, and investor, he shared key tips and tricks to run a successful business, no matter if it is in the food industry, retail, product, or service. You will hear and feel Steven’s passion for entrepreneurship in this interview.

Key Tips given in Interview:

  • Entrepreneurs will have ADD (Multi-Taskers)
  • You must always have an ego check
  • Make sure to have the right TEAM that can understand your vision
  • Know your exit strategy, know when it is the time to let go of your business and sale it
  • Customer retention is due to 1) Experience (Wild Factor) 2) Service 
  • Surround yourself with people smarter than you
  • Have attorneys, and branding experts on your team
  • Know your competition
  • Be up to date with what goes on around the world
  • Stay in shape (healthy)
  • Have a good attitude that you are going to succeed
  • You are constantly pitching yourself everyday, make sure to pitch with a smile

To find out more about Steven, visit Schussler Creative.

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International Business

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If there were a market for it, would you consider entering an international market for a product/service which you offered in your own enterprise? Why or why not?

There is only particular market I have plans into entering, as of now I can not disclose what is will be, however I have been studying this trend for some time now. I have been filtering out the pros and cons of entering the market, and I have came up with the conclusion that there are not many competitors in this industry nor are there really any businesses focusing on promoting this sort of business product to this region of the world. The advantages that I will have are to my favor, however as any other business there is logistics, which I still need to understand and figure out. I believe that with a few more things to cover I will soon disclose what it is that I am working on. What I could say is that it is a niche market, that has a booming market with a targeted age group, and a market that I am very familiar with. I believe not only my countless hours of research but my studies as a international business undergrad student, will help support my new venture.

 

I spend sleepless nights investigating more about this market, and I keep coming up with no competitors, it is both existing and nerve wreaking to make time past faster to start on this venture, but with patience and a well thought out plan, it shall happen soon enough.

 

 

Establish and running a successful muse

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For the past few weeks I have been working day and night preparing for our first kiosk launch at the Westfield MainPlace Shopping Mall, really thrilled and excited to share our innovative products with local shoppers. Our website will be updated soon with our Funky Charger and Character USB figures for internet purchases.

While building a concept of the idea I had to launch this project and business, I took into consideration allot of factors that helped affirm that this was the business idea (of many I have had) to launch and take on the challenges of launching a startup company. I believe that my persistence and risk taking personality traits have helped shape the business model that I have built, staying up to date with the latest technology, and doing tremendous research on what manufacturer to pick to help make a dream come true. The independence of choosing which manufacturers to hire and which to fire have been a great opportunity to help nurture and build my business (my baby). The leadership skills that I have picked up along the years, with leading other businesses, music and dance groups have helped me build confidence in my work and abilities. 

Recently I pick up a book to study and read for one of my Masters of Entrepreneurship Program course called:

It’s a jungle in there by the founder of the Rain Forest Cafe, Steven Schussler who is also founder and CEO of Schussler Creative, Inc., a company that creates theatrical environments for attractions, restaurants and retail stores worldwide. In reading the first coupe chapters I have found various personality traits that I feel I share with Steven, which fuel my drive as an entrepreneur and also help confirm that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I also continuously thank my parents for having supported all my business venture attempts, they have seen the many mistakes I have made with certain business decisions, however they have supported me regardless of the risks I took, and that is why I recommend having certain people like your parents, and mentors part of your life to help support you in your decisions and allow you to make mistakes to learn from. I have held many job positions in the finance and banking industry which I currently still hold a Banker role in a large bank, but with time plan to eventually take on my businesses full-time. I graduated high school in 2004, and just this year did I earn my bachelors in International Business from Cal State Fullerton,  which although I wasn’t your typical 21-22 year old college grad, I was able to share life, business, and work experiences with others part of the same business program. I found myself many times not being the only 23+ year old in college finishing a first degree. A lot of the great friendships and connections I made in my undergrad years shared different experiences in various fields and this is why I believe that the perks of getting your degree, regardless of part time or full time are beneficial for you in the long run, because you build a network that you will be part of for the rest of your life. I also thank LBSA (Latino Business Student Association) for opening their doors with open arms; it’s this network of friends and colleagues that drive student success, achievement and support.   

I am a firm believer in sharing my experiences with everyone that I can reach out to, experiences with accomplishments, rewards, and mistakes all which are lessons learned. Thank you all for your continuing support!