After four decades of working in the hospitality industry Barry Jessurun, president of Green Valley Hospitality, has decided to write a book. Green Valley Hospitality is a restaurant group in Northeastern Connecticut, which boasts a portfolio of restaurants including Pomfret’s Vanilla Bean Café, Putnam’s 85 Main, Mansfield’s Fenton River Grill and Storrs’ own Dog Lane Café.
The Daily Campus was lucky enough to speak with Jessurun about his new book, “The Drunkard’s Path: Self-Help and Guidance for Your Career Path.”
This book has been many years in the making, Jessurun stated that many of the ideas formulated in the text were written “about 10 or 12 years ago.”
“I write because I want to understand things better. I find when I research and write, I then gain a better understanding and better knowledge. From my writing, I either share it with my managers or my employees, or I just use it as a place to talk from,” Jessurun said. “I started writing for me, to be a better communicator, and [I] ended up [creating] a book in 2019, and it was ready for editing right before COVID-19 hit.”
Jessurun originally struggled with formulating his ideas into a cohesive text that had a clear intended audience. “I never really had a good outline, I never really had a good idea of who my audience was,” Jessurun added, “Somewhere in 2019, I had been speaking at Eastern Connecticut State University and at UConn a couple of times … [t]hrough those conversations with students, the feedback and the back-and-forth I was able to really come up with a story and an outline for who I [was] writing for and what I [thought] the book [could] be.”
After being inspired by his conversations with college students, Jessurun went to work writing “The Drunkard’s Path,” completing close to 60% of the novel in four months.
“The drunkard’s path is a stitch in quilting,” Jessurun explained, “What I liked about the name is that the drunkard’s path is a difficult stitch to do. So if you’re a beginner you’re not going to start with a drunkard’s path. But as you have gotten some practice and you start the drunkard’s path and you can do it, it opens up a whole new space of design possibilities in your quilting.”
The work needed to master this quilting technique directly translates to the content of the text. “There’s practices [in the book] that if you step up and learn them and do them and embody them, which means you do them without thinking, it opens up a whole new space of possibilities in your career,” Jessurun said.
Being based on a jagged stitching technique, “The Drunkard’s Path” is also the perfect name for a book on professional trajectory. “[Y]our career path is never a straight line,” Jessurun emphasized, “When you’re young and looking at it you think it might be, but it never is. When you’re old and you look back, even if you stayed in the same line of work you probably had different jobs. So your life in itself as you navigate through it is a drunkard’s path.”
Ultimately, Jessurun wanted to share the lessons he learned from his four decades in the workforce. “The Drunkard’s Path” is intended for both young professionals focusing on their future and managers who work with those young individuals.
“Show up, just show up. Life is 90% showing up. If you’re on the couch it didn’t happen,” Jessurun explained. “You don’t feel like going, show up anyway. Show up in a good mood. Be in a good mood. If your shields are up you are not going to learn anything, nobody wants to interact with you… [B]e curious because [if] you … walk around life with your blinders on thinking you know it all, you’re done. Be curious all the time. Show up in a good mood, be curious and learn. It’s going to come naturally from that.”
“The Drunkard’s Path” is available for purchase at Dog Lane Café in Storrs Center and through online book retailers.