Level-Up, The Interview with Bretner Paul – Author and Entrepreneur
Today we’d like to introduce you to Bretner Paul.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
I emigrated from Haiti to the USA in the early 1990’s. After completing high school, he attended Northern Illinois University where he studied business and has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. I’ve always felt like I have an entrepreneur spirit or way of thinking. Whenever I’ve gone working for a company I always try to figure out how do they do it and whether or not it’s something I can also do at a smaller scale for myself. My first business was a small cell phone store in the city of Chicago while maintaining a full-time job at a fortune 500 company. Over the years, I’ve had many small businesses over the years and has sold products from catalogs such as Amway to friends and family. In the last decade, my business ventures have included a senior care business, a medical transportation company and most recently, as a restaurateur operating several restaurants in lake County Illinois.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
After graduating college, my first job was in corporate sales. As a matter of fact, I’ve always been in sales roles where I had to make sales calls and presentations to business owners and managers. Thus, it was very challenging for me expressing myself in English during a sales call. I had let go of my fear of having an accent when speaking with people, especially in a sales role. Another challenge I had to overcome was people doubting me and my capabilities and sometimes these doubts came from people I personally know. That challenged me to prove them wrong over the years. As I progress in my business ownership career other challenges were getting access to working capital to launch and or manage my businesses.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
Currently I am in the restaurant business, and I would admit there was a learning curve due to the fact that there are many moving parts with limited margin. A good owner or manager has to thoroughly understand the costs of food and labor costs as well. If these two things are poorly managed in a bar or restaurant, that establishment will not survive for too long.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Find a way to change your mindset, start thinking more positive. Over the years I have noticed that most people that I talk to about starting a business they tend to mention what if it doesn’t work. Now, let’s say there’s a 50/50 chance of success and failure why not focus on the 50% chance of succeeding because it has an equal chance of succeeding as well. The circle of people you network and interact with is also very important because as they say we are the average of 5 of our closest friends. Thus, having a good positive mindset and way of thinking and good positive working people in your circle and or network, will put the majority of people on the path to success in life. You will also hear more no than yes in life, that is part of the process. All you need is that first yes to get things going. The more you work on your craft, the better you will become. The more you work on your craft, the more confident you will become and the more yes you will get. In my book “Level-Up – The Entrepreneur Mindset” I go into more details of the 10 areas I believe people need wo work on in order to become successful in life.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
I tend to say success is relative. what success means to one person could be something else for another. I have a waitress who works for with me, and she is very good at what she does, especially since she’s been doing it for 40 plus years. To me she is successful at what she does. She works hard and perfected her craft over the years. I also have friends who are in real estates and stock trading who are successful at what they do, and I measure their level of success monetarily. I would also venture to say that having a certain level of money is a benchmark for measuring success by our society and myself included.
What’s next for you?
I am currently in the process of opening 2 more restaurant locations. One will be a breakfast restaurant (Eggspress cafe) and the other a Caribbean Island Grill (Caribana). Hopefully we emerge from this pandemic and people can return to normalcy and come out to eat, drink and have a good time.
I also plan on writing more books in the future.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
People can connect with me on all social media platforms. Search for my name and you will find me.