MOTIVATION | ANASTASIA KOUTSIOUKIS

What motivates me is doing what I love – if I could ever encourage one thing as an entrepreneur, it’s to listen to your inner voice and follow your passions. I feel that finding success and happiness is inevitable if you do something you enjoy and are good at. It will never feel like work. I found my creative voice in food. More so, it became my vehicle for reaching so many different people on so many different levels. Food is a connector to people and it allowed me to achieve so many of my dreams indirectly. First of all, I get to work with 75 individuals (that’s not including our outposts) who are unique, special and absolutely wonderful people. Whether they stay with us forever at Mandolin Aegean Bistro, or go on to pursue their own dreams, it’s exciting to know that we’ve touched each other’s lives in some way and that we’ve inspired others as they’ve inspired us. I’ve learned that we all have the capacity within us to achieve our dreams. Through hard work and determination, anything is possible. It’s also important to stay curious. My curiosity in life keeps me motivated daily – I’m not afraid to ask questions, try something new and learn even if I fail at it first time around. Also, my curiosity through travel has taught me so much and has brought perspective and real reference points in my life. It is important to first start with your own backyard though. When we moved to Miami we immersed ourselves into the community so we could learn about our city. From the local farming communities, to the culture around us and the people we surround ourselves with and support. Miami motivates me – if you want change, you must support change and become part of the change. Living in a young, emerging city and watching it grow keeps me inspired to share and make this city a better place. One thing in particular that I love about living in Miami, is its diverse cultural landscape. I have made many friends here, and through them, I was introduced to Techo, an organization that helps to build homes for those who are less fortunate in South American countries. We’ve been supporting the organization and continue to donate and host sponsored dinners at Mandolin while helping to create awareness. This year we hope to go and build a home ourselves with our family to help another family in need. Shelter and giving a family a sense of home is a basic need and provides the tools in creating hope for a better life.