top of page




Proving that Business Success Alone Is Never Enough


Many of us define “success” by what we ultimately achieve—building a large business, having a successful career, owning a large home, or traveling around the world. However, in this example, Massimo Bottura, a very successful chef and restaurant owner, shows us that such things are never enough and that the really important—and satisfying—thing is to help others in some special way.

No matter how good a chef you are, it's not good cooking for yourself.
The joy is in cooking for others.

William Adams

Working to Be Successful

while we can make slight changes to our outward appearance,

Many people devote years and years, in some cases even a lifetime, to building a successful business or career. But in many instances people find that what is really important in life, and to them personally as well, is not so much their economic success, but how they used their life in some way to help others. Massimo Bottura is a great example of this fact.


Massimo Bottura devoted his life to cooking and working to create a great restaurant. His “dream,” as he describes it, started when he was six or seven years old and has continued throughout his life. He spent more than 35 years developing his recipes and building his noted restaurant, Osteria Francescana,

which is located in Northern Italy in the city of Modena. The restaurant has attained three Michelin stars and was ranked number one on the 2019 list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.” Massimo was featured on a segment of 60 Minutes where he explained that people come from all over the world to dine with him. Quite a success indeed.

But, a few years ago, as he further explained, he began to feel something was missing in his life and that serving fancy food to international foodies wasn’t enough. He began to think about how he could help others, specifically the poor…of course, by feeding them. Lara, his wife of 20 years who helped him build the business, wasn’t too sure about his idea. “We’ve worked so hard, now you want to go and do this?” she questioned.

As things worked out, she relented and helped him open a number of what he calls refettorios, kind of “souped up” soup kitchens he explains. He didn’t want them to feel like down-and-out, stand-in-line cafeterias. So, partnering with local charities, he created warm, inviting dining rooms where the working poor, homeless Italians, and refugees from Africa sit side by side as volunteers serve them three-course meals like in high-quality restaurants. He’s now opened six refettorios in London, Paris, Rio de Janerio and three cities in Italy with several more on the way.

When asked to explain, Massimo offered this advice, “It’s absolutely necessary to give back some of the life you are living. It’s what we all need to do.”

Working to Give


You may be too young today to know for sure what you are going to do with your life and how you might “give back” and help others in some special way. Or, you may be older and moving along in an established career. But, in either event, as you think about your future, keep in mind how important it is to be helpful to others, especially those in need in some way. What you do in this regard will be a fundamental component of how happy your life turns out to be:

while we can make slight changes to our outward appearance,

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. 
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. 
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. 
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.

Chinese Proverb

Questions/Discussion Points



Who in your community do you see reaching out to help others in some way?
How do you think such helpful actions make them feel?



Do you have any thoughts or ideas concerning how you might use your life to help others?


How are you currently, even in some small way, helping someone in need?

bottom of page