Ashley Zeckman

6 Things Andrew Zimmern Taught Me About Working Hard to Reach Your Goals

Ashley Zeckman     Content Marketing, Online Marketing

I recently attended the #TechMunch food bloggers conference in Minneapolis which had everything from a gourmet lunch to a buffet of knowledge shared from experts within the field.  The headline discussion for this conference took place between Bizzarre Foods Andrew Zimmern (@andrewzimmern) and WCCO’s Jason Derusha (@derushaeats).

While Zimmern is not travelling the world sampling exotic eats he resides in Minnesota with his family.  Or as he calls it, lives out of a suitcase when he’s home.  Zimmern had a wealth of knowledge about the food industry and working his way up the food chain in the restaurant business.

While Zimmern’s advice was mostly related to his experience within the food industry, much of the advice he bestowed upon the audience also applies to other lines of work.  In this post I have included ten of the lessons that I learned from Andrew Zimmern’s life experience, and how it can be applied to myself and others like me.

#1 – You Really Want the Job? Earn It.

Some of the very first jobs that Andrew Zimmern held within the restaurant world were unpaid.  Yep, thats right, the equivalent of an unpaid internship to work 16 hour days in a steaming hot kitchen.  Zimmern said that he knocked on the back door of some of Minneapolis’ most exclusive dining establishments and asked for a shot.

As a marketer or business professional you may not be able to go knock on the door of your dream job, you can show how badly you want the job.  Go the extra mile, don’t do simply what is expected or asked of you.  Make a list of the top ten agencies or organizations you want to be a part of and find a way to make it happen.

#2 – To Gain Experience You Have to Spend Time in the Trenches

Good things don’t happen to those who wait, they happen to those who work hard.  Working your way up from dishwasher to host of a show on the Food Network seen in over 70 countries, is no easy undertaking.  Andrew Zimmern spent many years putting in the time and strenuous effort it took to work his way to the top, you should expect the same.

Expecting to walk into a six figure salary with limited experience is not realistic.  While it may be desirable to jump straight to the top there are many benefits to working your way up.  The education alone is well worth the effort.

#3 – Have A Unique Point of View

According to Zimmern one of the things that bothers him most about people within his industry are the copycats. Without a unique point of view, it is difficult to stand out.

Similarly, your unique point of view may be worth more than you think.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is being too afraid to share your ideas.  If your idea is good, someone will listen.

#4 – Be Consistent

If you were to go to a restaurant on a Tuesday and have one experience, and then visit again on Thursday and have a completely different experience what would you think?  The ability to deliver a consistent meal, or deliverable on an ongoing basis is a measure for success and scalability within any industry.

#5 – Learn How to Be Good & Take Pride in Your Work

Of all the great points that Zimmern made during his Q&A this one stood out to me the most.  Learning how to be good takes effort.  Taking pride in what your’e doing and making a point to do it well is an essential part of working your way to the top. If you aren’t proud of your work how can you expect others to be?

#7 – Set Goals & Have A Plan

Having a goal in mind can be a great motivator for even the smallest of accomplishments.  In addition to setting goals for yourself or your program it is essential that you have a plan in place.  This plan will provide a structure but should also be flexible when need be.

In Related News…

TopRank Online Marketing is hiring.  We are currently searching for an SEO copywriter, as well as some other equally pivotal positions within our organization.  We are looking for people who want a challenge and are willing to work hard.  This is an amazing opportunity for anyone looking to break into the online marketing space,  as well as anyone who has previous experience.  When I was hired by TopRank nine months ago I knew that I had found the right place, and the right people for me.  I hope the same for each of you.  Happy hunting.


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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Senior Director of Digital Strategy for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.


  1. I have to agree with you that his points are not just for
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  4. Certainly great tips and I like the points of earning the job and be consistent with what you are doing. But, if I be more specific consistency is something hurts me a lot, can you give me any suggestion what should be done in this regard? thanks.

  5. Avatar miss LAURA says

    I’m agree with you.
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  6. This is such a great article. So much of it pertains to what we do in marketing. We are always having to evolve and better ourselves. Thank you for writing this!

  7. Thanks for the tips, I really need these things now. In spite of all efforts, no result is coming. After reading your blog I think I should keep working and wait for a result. Sometime it takes time.

  8. Avatar Mhay liva says

    Very inspirational post! I agree that hard working is the key to reach your goals. So everyone can possibly reach it.

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  9. Avatar Stuart Chalmers says

    I really like Barry Schwartz’s approach a slightly different angle but related to attitudes above –

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