#49 Nicolas Kubler – When passion sparks in the midst of career reinvention
Nicolas was born in Strasbourg, France and worked in real estate for 20 years before finding his passion in the science of ice cream. In 2011, Nicholas and his family moved from France to China and in 2014 he became a partner of Maison Delice, a french handmade ice cream company. Today, he is responsible for building the Shanghai market. Maison Delice’s ice cream is by far the best ice cream I have ever tasted – no joke! (In fact, as I was writing this Show Notes page, I had to get up and grab one of the little samples Nicolas left in my freezer because my mouth was watering just thinking about it… Come on! Salted Caramel Ice Cream?! Whose wouldn’t?)
Life isn’t all about family or all about work – it’s a balance of the two.
How he got to China
He convinced his wife to return to her homeland because he was really impressed with China’s booming economy and wanted to be a part of it. He also really wanted his young son to speak Chinese as well as French so China is the place to be.
His current project
Nicholas has quite the incredible reinvention story (you’ll have to tune in to hear it all!) but the beginnings of his partnership with Maison Delice began years ago. Nicholas’ original idea was to launch his own ice cream factory on the island of Hainan but because there were so many difficulties associated with doing his own venture, he began looking for a factory to partner with. Most Chinese factories don’t share his same philosophy of ice cream making – using only the best quality, raw ingredients to produce a homemade artisan product – but he found one that did. This factory was run by fellow Frenchmen and they decided they had two choices: either work together to bring this sort of excellence all around China or compete against one another. In the end, they chose to partner and make a massive impact in the market as a team.
Nicolas sells two ways: the first is B2B, Business to Business, and the second is B2C, Business to Customer. He opened a small ice cream shop selling to consumers in a really great location in Shanghai but ended up closing it within the year. He had a lot of unfulfilled promises from his landlord this go-around and so next time, he’ll make sure to be choosy with his landlord and get more in writing.
Lessons learned along the way
- Life isn’t all about family or all about work; it’s a balance of the two.
- He doesn’t work weekends anymore. That is time dedicated to his family. Tune in to hear how he young son was the impetus for him to make this 180 degree switch!
- Take your turn in the kitchen, so to speak, unpaid if necessary, to acquire a skill that will take you places.
- It might be more beneficial to partner with someone, rather than become a competitor.
How Nicolas stays motivated
Nicolas sells B2B which means he’s often knocking on restaurant doors to drum up new business. What happens if the first 10 doors get closed? Well, Nicolas is quick to remind us that you absolutely can not take that baggage into your 11th meeting or it will be absolutely impossible to make the sale. Each door deserves 100% enthusiasm and belief in the product and service you represent.
Connect to Nicolas
Email Nicolas at email@example.com or give him a call at 13636436304 (‘Just remember to speak a bit slowly,’ he says!)[twitter-timeline id=562062216677974016 username=limitlesslaowai]