Can You Taste It?

To succeed you must define and pursue your own success. A deceptively simple fact, too often it eludes us as we chase successes not our own. This series highlights stories and wisdom that inspire us to see success more clearly. Do you have a vision to share? Join the conversation.

I love sushi. A lot. It’s my favorite type of food, by far. So, I was intrigued by Claire Martin’s NY Times article about Jonathan Blum. Like me, Blum is a foodie who loves sushi.

In 2007, he was looking for soy sauce in a gourmet grocery store in California. The store had “about 60 varieties of vinegar ranging in price from $5 to $150.” But it stocked “only a couple of cheap soy sauces.” Curious, Blum “researched how soy sauce is made and learned that it is a fermented natural product, like beer, wine or cheese.” Its production is complex and “prime for nuance” that can greatly enhance the sushi experience.

Blum had a vision: bring “high-quality, artisanal Japanese soy sauces” to America. He also had the passion and patience to make that vision a reality—despite being a corporate lawyer (which is still his “day job”) in his forties. As Martin reports, it took Blum ten years, and he had some major setbacks along the way, including “one of the worst moments of [his] life.”

Blum forged ahead, and he succeeded. His success? Shiso Soy, an online store that sells soy sauces “hand crafted from quality ingredients in a brewery in Shimane prefecture on the main island of Japan,” a brewery “more than a century old” that “has been owned and operated by the same family for six generations.” Sounds delicious—I’m about to place my first order!

As Martin writes, Blum’s story “illustrates how a passion project can endure seemingly insurmountable obstacles.” What are you passionate about? What projects might you pursue? What are you waiting for? Join the discussion below and share your vision of success…

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