"If you're not proud of it, don't serve it."

I was at a restaurant recently, and I happened to catch a glimpse inside their kitchen. There I saw it, prominently displayed on the wall in big bold letters set in Helvetica; “If you’re not proud of it, don’t serve it!”. The typography was questionable, but the message was clear.

I think it’s important to take pride in your work, wether it’s food you’re serving to a customer, or a logo you’re presenting to a client. Whatever your particular work is, be proud of it. It doesn’t have to be the greatest thing you’ve ever done, but if you can say “yeah, I feel like I did my very best, and I’m happy with the final product” then you’re good to go.

Of course, there is pride and then there is arrogance. I myself have been in situations where I was proud of my work, and someone would tell me what’s wrong or what they don’t like and I would get defensive. It’s not easy to let something like that go, especially after you’ve put so much care and effort into the creation. Maybe you’re wrong, maybe you’re right, but you can’t make an effective argument, nor can you accept and fix a mistake, if you let your pride get in the way.

Like the chefs at this restaurant, make a point to deliver quality. Something that you can point to and enthusiastically say “yeah, I made that”. But also remember, there is always room to improve, to make it better, and that’s how you can stay proud of your work.