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Cracking Creativity Episode 5: Carl Rosa on the Sushi Club of Houston, Trips to Japan, and Doing What You Love

Carl Rosa is the founder of the Sushi Club of Houston and he also runs fantastic group trips to Japan. In this episode, Carl talks about how Hurricane Katrina and his terrible first experience with sushi were the catalysts to creating the Sushi Club of Houston, how he started the club without knowing anything about sushi, how he started teaching his own sushi classes, and his journey of taking people on trips to Japan.

  • former Vice President of real estate
  • Hurricane Katrina and its affect on his family and life
  • how having a terrible first experience with sushi sparked his interest in it
  • he started off not knowing anything about sushi, but started the Sushi Club of Houston anyways
  • making up the description of the sushi club
  • currently at 17,238 members
  • in 2007, the sushi club had 500, and they took their first trip to Japan
  • going to Japan 8 times in 2015, knowing Japan better than Houston
  • moved to Houston because wife found job there, he ended up having to commute to Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • quitting his job without having anything lined up
  • not having any expectations of sushi club making money
  • from executive to working in a warehouse
  • worked until Japan America Society took notice
  • society contacted him because his club was growing faster than theirs
  • was invited to become executive director of Japanese society
  • sushi club vastly outnumbered society and the bureaucracy of society
  • started teaching sushi classes and started earning incredible living, quit society job
  • sushi making classes in five cities across the country
  • being the only teacher, making classes a performance, and a memorable experience
  • why he pursued sushi even though his first experience was not good
  • varying degrees and quality of sushi
  • “You don’t know what you don’t know”
  • Googling to learn about sushi and the myths and misconceptions of sushi
  • helping people make sushi, even though he didn’t know how
  • researching sushi on Youtube & sitting at the sushi bar and learning
  • being able to convey sushi in a way for people to understand
  • 90% of sushi is the quality of the rice, don’t focus on the fish
  • freshness of fish doesn’t have to do with taste of sushi
  • rice must be warm, shiny, sticky, and flavorful
  • fish is incidental
  • the marketing behind fish being the key to sushi
  • teaching about sushi is all in the delivery
  • using words Americans will understand: “It looks like a football with a tongue on the top” instead of a “pod of rice”, delicate vs. hard to taste, Tokugawa Ieyasu vs. Japanese George Washington
  • ten years worth of trial and error for teaching sushi
  • how he organizes trips to Japan
  • his first trip to Japan and making it up as he went
  • creating directions through landmarks and getting around without knowing the area
  • exploring new areas and building a body of knowledge about those areas
  • learning Japanese from a tutor, writing phrases phonetically, & slowly building vocabulary
  • his most memorable experience was climbing Mt. Fuji and making another person’s dream come true
  • developing a sushi learning site for people across the country and creating experiences for corporations
  • building a Japan training experience for American Express travel
  • using a referral based system to build up his business
  • creating the same experience for every organization
  • being honest, authentic, and not letting your ego get in the way
  • the point of life is leaving the world a better place than it was before you got here
  • you should becoming insanely great at something (while keeping your ego in check) and pass it around
  • find one thing you love to do (that you’d be willing to do for free), and slowly, carefully figure out a way to make a living doing it
  • public speaking and teaching as the one thing he loves to do
  • if he could do one thing he would teach people how not to live the ordinary life
  • missing out on people with hidden gifts
  • his speech at the University of Houston on a former girlfriend who didn’t meet expectations because of lack of confidence
  • people who are passionate stand out in a crowd and do amazing things
  • people fail because they don’t believe their outlet is legitimate
  • slowly, gradually building credibility through constant improvement
  • build value on something you love
  • If you love what you do, you will be up at 3AM working on it, and will blow people out of the water
  • sitting in the kitchen of Jiro, from Jiro Dreams of Sushi, watching while they work
  • the sushi chefs there putting 100% of what they do into the work
  • being serious and deliberate about their work
  • on being creative:
    • lay down on your bed with a pen and paper
    • write down anything that comes to your mind
    • empty your mind and write down anything
  • on being creative #2:
    • Ex: being healthy
    • five fruits and five vegetables you love
    • mixing combinations into meals
    • build variety with what you love
  • you are working on your passion if: sleeping is an irritation, you will never get everything you want to do done, no one will really understand you

Sushi Club of Houston

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