Chapter 89: Zafar the Hamburger Man on Bryant's basics and blossoming like Barack


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By Neil Pasricha and Neil Pasricha: Bestselling Author. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

I was riding my bike in downtown Toronto the other day and rolled past my old neighborhood a couple blocks north of Lake Ontario. And as I was riding I noticed my old burger joint! The whole neighborhood has changed — parking lots have become condos, motels have become hotels — but the burger joint has survived. I was excited so I locked my bike up in the middle of the concrete jungle and popped my head inside to ask if they’re open since it was just after 11am.

“Absolutely we’re open!,” a friendly guy in a black T-shirt and black cap shouted. “Come on in!”

I told him I used to come down here a long time ago and he quickly replied, “Well, welcome back! We’re glad to have you back!”

Aggressive friendliness turns me on so I start talking to the guy and discover his name is Zafar and he owns six restaurants in Toronto. He scrapped and saved his way up from Lahore, Pakistan, where he was a manager of a KFC and then emigrated to Canada to start managing a local chicken franchise. He saved everything he had and made a big bet to buy his own burger joint. This money losing burger joint in downtown Toronto that was making $470,000 a year but losing over $200,000 a year.

What do you do with that?

Well, if you’re Zafar The Hamburger Man you more than double sales in the first year. I asked him how he did it and discovered an endless treasure trove of leadership and service wisdom. Unsurprisingly, Zafar is a big reader and he had three formative books at the ready.

This chapter of 3 Books will be a voyage for your senses. Prepare to come inside Big Smoke Burger, listen to The Beatles coming out of the speakers, hear the grill sizzling, the stapler closing paper bags, and then hang out with me and Zafar on the street outside as we discuss books, life, and everything.

Let’s talk about the cost of obsession, the importance of mastering the basics, what we can learn from doers, why feedback is so precious and vital, how we embrace and offer the gift of time, how we seek the truth, how we build trust, and much, much, much more…

I am so excited to introduce you to Zafar The Hamburger Man!

Let’s turn the page into Chapter 89 now …

What You'll Learn:

  • What does it take to survive in the restaurant business?

  • What is the cost of obsession in business?

  • What is the importance of the big tech giants in running a business today?

  • Why are the basics so critical?

  • What can we learn from those truly in the trenches?

  • What can we learn from the doers?

  • What is the tension between choice and the lesser evil?

  • Why is feedback so vital?

  • Who will give you the most sincere feedback in your lifetime?

  • How do you cultivate leadership and respect when there is no economic relationship?

  • What is the gift of time?

  • How do you become lucky?

  • Why is generosity so important in business and in life?

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here:

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3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-year-long quest to uncover and discuss the 1000 most formative books in the world. Each chapter discusses the 3 most formative books of one of the world's most inspiring people. Sample guests include: Brené Brown, David Sedaris, Malcolm Gladwell, Angie Thomas, Cheryl Strayed, Rich Roll, Soyoung the Variety Store Owner, Derek the Hype Man, Kevin the Bookseller, Vishwas the Uber Driver, Roxane Gay, David Mitchell, Vivek Murthy, Mark Manson, Seth Godin, Judy Blume and Quentin Tarantino. 3 Books is published on the lunar calendar with each of the 333 chapters dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and every single full moon all the way up to 5:21 am on September 1, 2031. 3 Books is an Apple "Best Of" award-winning show and is 100% non-profit with no ads, no sponsors, no commercials, and no interruptions. 3 Books has 3 clubs including the End of the Podcast Club, the Cover to Cover Club, and the Secret Club, which operates entirely through the mail and is only accessible by calling 1-833-READ-A-LOT. Each chapter is hosted by Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome, The Happiness Equation, Two-Minute Mornings, etc. For more info check out:

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