One of the best restaurants in the world lives under the fluorescent lights of a subway tunnel in the underbelly of Tokyo.
Of the hundreds of thousands of eateries across the globe, this one stands apart, not for its size, or its glitz and glamour, but for its Zen austerity and miraculous consistency.
Every day of the year, Chef Jiro Ono arrives at his cramped little 10-seat bar down in the subway to do the one thing he’s dedicated his life to … making the best sushi on the planet.
But his sushi doesn’t come with any bells or whistles, or even any appetizers.
At first glance one would never guess that this minimalist sushi bar had earned the highest culinary award in the world, three Michelin stars.
The menu has exactly one item: the chef’s seasonal choice of sushi. Put plainly, three courses of fish and rice.
Yet critics and celebrity chefs from across the world rave that it is easily the best (and most expensive) sushi they have ever eaten.
What is the secret to this humble establishment’s success?
As a content publisher you may be familiar with that feeling you get when you first taste a bit of marketing success.
There’s a buzz, an elation that arrives when ingredients come together, when you know you’ve finally created something that’s valued and shared by your audience.
It is something that you want to repeat, over and over, but do you really have the discipline and resolve to consistently create a high-quality content “recipe” every day?
Often the simplest answer is the right answer
Quality and consistency are always emphasized over quantity.
In the impeccable documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the humble master reflects, “If it doesn’t taste good, you can’t serve it.”
Simple ingredients leave little room for error
And the expert panel from Michelin Guides goes to great lengths to find those errors. That is why there are only 106 three-star restaurants in the world.
Michelin employs highly educated inspectors to secretly evaluate restaurants throughout the year using three baseline criteria:
And, much like creating extraordinary sushi, these foundational elements of culinary technique can easily be applied to the discipline of content creation.
The 3 Pillars of Content Mastery …
Master Chef Jiro starts every day with the freshest, cleanest ingredients possible, and he has a team of experts that help him achieve this.
As a content producer you must start with high quality ingredients to create rewarding content that becomes a habit for your audience no matter what type of media you are publishing online. You must learn from the masters.
If your content isn’t “fresh” — valuable to your audience — they’ll stop consuming it. Relying on the help of a network of experts and friends is also essential.
Jiro worked under brutal, exacting sushi chefs for years with little or no pay in order to build the basic skills to become a master. Through self-discipline and hard work he built a small, dedicated audience and kept his product simple so he could create something utterly unique and memorable.
By putting in the hard work and discipline that it takes to become a trustworthy authority in your niche you’ll organically (and simultaneously) build a Minimum Viable Audience, and adapt your content to their needs over time. Originality is inevitable through incremental growth and innovation.
Chef Ono shows up every day and repeats the same process in an unerring ritual. He starts with the same basic ingredients to create a product that is transcendent.
By putting in the hard work of building an audience that knows, likes and trusts you through the demonstration of your growing expertise, you’ll build something extraordinary from simple ingredients and patience.
To quote Chef Jiro on mastery:
You must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work … You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.
The techniques are no secret. Do you have the patience and the discipline to become a master content producer?