What do you talk about with a bartender gone bar owner, video blogger, documentary producer and writer?
Everything and anything under the sun. Our guest this episode is Erick Castro, co-owner of Polite Provisions here in San Diego and Boilermaker in New York. Although we did talk about the San Diego bar scene, our focus was mostly on what it takes to open & manage a great business, how to tame your fears to move forward with dreams, how to harness your strengths & passions to build something great, and what it means to be truly happy.
Notice Erick’s look of concentration in the shot above. I chose to share this picture by photographer Lyudmila Zotova because it embodies attention to detail, focus, and the perfectionism that is inherent to everything Erick does. It’s this same focus on being great that lead us to explore a very common theme for both of us: how the pursuit of great, can become an obsessive quest for perfect and turn into the enemy of good.
Castro’s vision is on the end goal, the big dream. He focuses on long-term happiness, the achievement of excellence and adapting to his growing interests and endeavors. He is confident, driven and knows that pursuing your passion means working your ass off.
Erick is someone who understands that to live a life that is right for you, you have to know what you stand for and make choices that reflect those values.
- When you find your angle, when you know your personality, let it imbue all that you do. Don’t do something to be like others, do it to be you.
- Perfections is extolled as some great virtue, but pushing for a standard that is often impossible to achieve is a sure way to miss the big picture, and puts us at risk of crashing and burning out.
- “Perfectionism is insecurity. It’s really just a way of you being afraid of what everyone of saying, you being afraid of being judged. eventually you just need to be able to say ‘F**k what people thinks. This is the best work that I can come up with!'”
- Good enough is great. Good enough is not code for mediocre. It means achieving a standard that meets all necessary requirements for something to succeed, and doing so with attention to detail and meticulous precision.
- Your business is only as good as the people who work for you. Erick shares the 3 rules to making sure your business runs smoothly.
- It’s not about following your passion, but being passionate about what you do.
“Try to live your values no matter what you are doing. Whether you are washing the dishes, scrambling an egg or taking out the garbage, live by your ethos in every aspect of what you do.”
- Stay tuned till the end – Erick shares his secret to happiness – he’s a pretty happy guy!
- Right for you takes into account right! It’s not about doing what makes you happy all the time, it’s about making choices that are aligned with your higher needs and values.
Another One, Please
A California native who started tending bar as a college student at San Diego State, Erick’s passion for the industry and a crazy attention to detail have garnered him high praise up and down this coast and across the country in New York. Not only is he part owner of Polite Provisions and Boilermaker, but he is tearing it up on his online series Bartender at Large, which chronicles the craft-cocktail scene, over a 3,000 mile road trip, one bartender’s interview at a time.
Erick’s life is pretty fascinating, but you’ll hear all about that on the podcast. Here is a quick interview from San Diego Magazine on the man himself:
“Raised in Hemet, where he got into the hospitality field as a dishwasher at 14, Castro started tending bar while a student at San Diego State University. Castro said he’s a people person and enjoyed the social aspects of bartending.
Check out Erick:
In San Diego
In New York
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