How I realized things weren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be

When it comes to posting on social media as a restaurant, most restaurants post beautiful food shots under the perfect lighting with professional quality cameras.

Something I recently learned is that’s not the only way to run a food-based business social media account.

Other than the pretty food pictures, what’s equally as valuable are interesting stories, or things that would make a customer’s decision making process easier.

Like sharing what kind of items are easy to eat in a car, or photos of customers who walk in with incredible fashion sense.

Once I started putting out more stories, I realized that was more captivating to our audience than nice food shots.

It was an interesting moment to me when I realized things weren’t going to fail when I posted less of what I deemed as “perfect” content.

Making the Perfect Choice is Hard

In these past few months, it has come to my attention again that we as creators don’t get to dictate what gets liked and loved.

For example, we relaunched and rebranded the Habit Factory workshop for early January and thought it was the perfect move for us to grow and make new steps—nobody joined that round. And though the reason could have been a thousand different factors, perhaps our culmination of choices weren’t “perfect” enough to give someone else real value at that point in time in January. Next.

Another example from our family restaurant in Scarborough: We make our sauces in-house on a daily basis, and it’s been a company recipe for decades. Occasionally we get a customer telling us that it’s too salty, or it doesn’t taste like anything, or it’s too watery. On the other hand, we get customers begging for extra sauce on their meals, asking us how we do it. Just who do we please? The perfect recipe is simply out of our hands. 

All of this is to say, making the perfect choice is hard. We don’t get to decide what gets liked and loved, the audience does. All we can do is try to make changes for better along the way.

How Our Family Restaurant is Doing Instagram in 2021

I’ve been posting regularly on our restaurant’s instagram account for about a year now, and at this point I’ve been seeing the slow but real life changes and benefits of having a social media presence as a local food business, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What I found to be most important in the past 365 days is this:

I shouldn’t listen to my mom.

And of course, I can’t leave without an explanation so here goes. My mom believes in something along the lines of, “If it’s not picture perfect, we shouldn’t share it.”

On the other hand, I want to post the rough, the real, and the action because I believe that’s where the charm of our restaurant really is. We don’t pride ourselves in food aesthetic, or specialty cultures, or a nicely curated feed. Instead our food is for the everyday human being who come from humble immigrant roots. It’s not fancy, nor is it supposed to be. 

Had I asked for her permission every time we had to make a post, we would not be on anybody’s radars at all. 

Since then, we’ve 10x’ed our following count (numbers beware, 10x is fun to say when you start with really low numbers), and have around 3-4 new customers on average every day who order in person via our Instagram feed.

I’d consider that a win to me in January 2021.

How I Feel About My Work Today, January 20, 2021

I think it took a lot of inner effort and reflection, but how I feel about my work 5 years ago versus how I feel about my work today is—I can safely say—different.

Off the bat, I would describe my current work as rough yet thoughtful, almost like every bit is a WIP posting (because it is).

Why I would consider it different from some time 5 years ago is because I used to want everything up to my own personal standard of “perfect”, or “ready” before ever sharing it with anybody. That process caused a lot of stalling, stopping, and professional hardship because I never felt it was good enough to let other people see.

With my current writing bits, I don’t edit my way into perfection because I simply don’t give myself the time (and I think that’s for the better). There’s a due date I have, 12AM, which pushes me to get to the point of it all before going to bed. Doing this over and over and over again has broken down my creative process into tiny, doable bits rather than one behemoth of a project to finish overnight. 

I would say my relationship with creativity has become more relaxed, simply knowing that I’m not looking for my best work all the time, but instead looking for practice overtime.

I believe that continuing this ritual of delivering daily work, whatever it may be, will change my outlook on my own work and my thoughts on creativity.

Did You Really Share if Nobody Saw It?

This is a babble on people who post stuff online.

People who want to put out perfect are slow because they won’t budge for anything experimental, not willing to test, and are more interested in preserving their own vision rather than helping others find theirs.

If the goal is to build a community on a social platform, or to help a small business gain a following, maybe it’s better to share things to test the waters rather than leave it empty in search for the perfect post.

An Artist’s Mentality Towards Sharing Work

Hilariously enough, it doesn’t matter whether or not we’ve lined up all the pieces in the right order, if the font we chose is the perfect one, or even if printing CMYK turned out perfectly.

We don’t get to decide what’s good and what’s not when we share our work.

So we can fuss about the details and whether or not it’ll align with our “brand image” or Instagram layout, but the real decision makers aren’t us.


I don’t always wake up on time.

I don’t always get a chance to find my own focus.

I don’t always feel ready to carpe diem.

I don’t always have a great day.

I don’t always feel energized and motivated to do my work.

I know I’m not the only one in this, so my only hope with this piece is finding solace with others who feel this too.

The perfect day doesn’t exist.

On Hiding as a Creative Person

A few years ago, you could find me doodling or writing in some page of my notebooks, except you wouldn’t be able to find any of it shared. I didn’t think it was any good, and I was even too embarrassed to share it with friends and family.

There was a part of me that was in fear I would be judged for expressing myself more than I usually did.

So I kept to myself.

I was prone to hiding.

It wasn’t until earlier this year when I started to go against my gut instinct to keep everything a secret.

I started sharing my fashion illustration work bit by bit at first, and then a pause. Friends were enjoying it and giving support, but again, I was unsure if this was what I wanted to do. Why would anyone care (and at the same time, do they have to care)? More importantly, why did I care?

Coming face to face with my hiding problem once again, I quickly grew tired of wanting things to be perfect before anyone saw it. I grew tired of “aesthetic feeds”. I wanted to talk about things that mattered to me, not just share pretty pictures.

And so now I do just that.

I’m overly certain that there are a lot more fittings and changes to go through, but I’m also overly relieved that what seemed to be a great personal ordeal is now addressed.