David Chang's Question to Entrepreneurs: Are You Doing Good or Bad? The chef knows he's been successful but wants to make sure his work creates positive change, too.
"It's hard for me to appreciate the good things that have happened," David Chang says. And there have been many. His Momofuku restaurant group made him one of New York City's most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, he's the star of the Netflix series Ugly Delicious, he is a best-selling cookbook author, and more. This month, Chang releases a new book — a memoir called Eat a Peach, which chronicles his rise, as well as his struggles with mental health. Chang is open about his depression and self-doubt, and he now worries for the future of his business and his industry — but hopes that talking about these things sparks positive change in himself and others. "The thing I'm wrestling with is, ultimately, I know I've done good," he says, "but I think I've done a lot unintentional bad by getting to my goals." In this conversation, he talks about the power of difficult self-reflection.
Eat a Peach is a memoir, but you say in the opening that you think of it as "a textbook for what not to do when starting a business." Why focus on what not to do?
I feel like the platitudes of being an entrepreneur are all about what you need to sacrifice, and what you need to do to get to your goal. When I look back on all that's happened, I found that no one was telling me if the sacrifice was worth it. What do you do after you get to your goal? And I think what I was trying to say is, "Be careful what you wish for." The idea of going full blast on something, sacrificing everything — is that sensible?