Jul 12, 2017
Ari Weinzweig is the co-founder of Zingerman’s Community, a chain of delis with purpose. Ari and his business partner, Paul Saginaw, opened their first deli in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan.
Today, Ari and Paul have over 700 employees and their business grosses around $60 million in annual sales. Named one of the world’s top ten CEOs by Inc. Magazine, Ari has a world of knowledge on how to lead a purposeful business no matter what industry you’re in.
Ari had no dreams or desires of owning a business. In fact, he had pretty negative beliefs about business, growing up. After he graduated college, he got a job as a dishwasher to try and ‘figure things out.’
This is where Ari met his now business partner,
Paul Saginaw, who was the general manager at the restaurant. After 40 years later, Ari says that they — still — like each other and are good friends.
An important lesson Ari learned from Paul was that business is merely a tool. It’s not the tool itself that’s the issue, it’s how it’s used. This concept completely changed Ari’s belief about business.
It sounds odd, but Ari never really thought about the impact of beliefs in business on a fundamental level until about 5 years ago, despite already incorporating (almost subconsciously) strong beliefs into his businesses.
Everything people ever do is based on beliefs. Every action they take is based on their set of beliefs. So, it makes sense why also bringing beliefs into a business, and making them clear, helps the business thrive on new levels.