The Pyromaniac Chef talks about real empowerment and real charity work


Concentrate or it might sound like MLMs have a point


One of the greatest challenges presented by MLM myths is that they tap into something true. The advice I’ve been given by some very successful people is the same content as on the motivational posts favoured by bots. Something I do to great effect is ensure I surround myself with positive people, particularly at the beginning of a project. My husband, my mum and my best friend are my absolute cheerleaders whereas my mother-in-law is one of life’s worriers and points out everything that could go wrong. Haters gonna hate so keep your distance from them when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

Knowing your why is also vital to success. I run one of the world’s smallest restaurants and the night’s I have bookings, I have a sixteen-hour day. It’s stressful and exhausting but my why carries me through. My reason for why I do what I do is because I’ve been able to avoid putting my son into childcare. The motherhood experience is so personal and I believe there is no universal right way to raise a family but what is essential is to seek out the balance which is right for you. I miss out on some family time at weekends but the compromise is worth it for me for all the midweek trips and adventures I have with my son.

These truths are what make MLMs so insidious. Talk to any small business owner enjoying some success whilst enjoying what they do and there’s a high chance they’ll sound like a bot.


So how can you tell a bot from the genuine article


In a word, empowerment. My own story could be told to the backdrop of a few violins. My husband got very ill and this hit our finances hard. I was desperate and needed to make money and fast. I opened my restaurant, Gloucester Studio and in the process of becoming stronger and more confident as I began to take control of my life and our financial situation I became empowered.

It’s a journey that the bots like to claim to be on but there’s a crucial difference. I won’t get demoted if I don’t hit some arbitrary target. Empowerment comes from within and can’t be taken away from you. When you’re empowered, you set the rules. My restaurant closes in July and August; my diners sit around a fire pit so it’s a bit hot but also, I don’t want to. It’s the school holidays so I’m busy with my kids. Because my business is actually my own business (there’s a clue in the way I pay tax as a director of the company) not only do I not get penalised but it makes me more successful. A couple of months’ rest means travel and visiting other restaurants. Come September I’m refreshed and inspired for the next ten months of service.


Let me shed some tears while I talk about money


A recent video from a bot demoted for breaking the rules included a charming reference to losing her stepfather. There has also been a flurry of activity surrounding charitable donations from the top of various pyramids and bots saying how proud they were to be part of such an amazing organisation.

My ill husband is better than he was but it has been a hideous few years. As we began to come out of this my grandad was diagnosed with dementia. His decline has been so fast and I’m not coping. There’s a weight on my chest that sees me endlessly catching my breath as I fight the tears.

The good news is I’m not a bot! The best news is as I run my company as I see fit so in June I’m attempting a gigantean challenge. I want to make £5,000 (that’s diamond studded flappy pigeon level income for those of you who want it in proper figures) for the two dementia charities who have helped my family.

What is exciting about working with a beautiful company like Pyromaniac Chef is that I’m the one who’ll be writing the big juicy cheques. When I hand that money over it won’t be as a result of causing stress and upset to a downline but rather be the result of the parties I’ve thrown and the crowdfunding I’ve done in order to do something productive with the tangle of love and pain that without a project, might actually break me.

So, if I may talk to you from the heart for a moment let me say this. Dementia is a cruel disease but Alzheimer’s Society and Lilian Faithful Homes are doing great work. I’m taking the advice of the late Carrie Fisher and taking my broken heart and turning it into art; I’m writing a book whose proceeds will go to these amazing charities. You have an opportunity to help me reach my goal and in return receive a beautiful book, gorgeous hamper or attend an experience day. See for details.

Thank you.


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