What Does Hell’s Kitchen and Internet Marketing Have in Common?

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Does Hell’s Kitchen have anything to do with Internet Marketing?

Show: Hell’s Kitchen Reality Show
Owner and Operator: Chef Gordon Ramsey
Place: Hell’s Kitchen, Hollywood, California

Object: Eliminate Participants one by one through team challenges and dinner services.  As the competition progresses, the red and blue teams will be reduced until only two chefs are left to compete for the ultimate prize and fulfill their dreams of working in the culinary industry as the winner of Hell’s Kitchen.

Hell's KitchenThese aspiring restaurateurs will brave Ramsay and his fiery command of the kitchen as he puts the competitors through an intense culinary academy to prove they possess the right combination of ingredients to win the life-changing grand prize.


Reward: A head chef position with Gordon Ramsay at chosen half million dollar prestigious restaurant.

You may or may not have watched Hell’s Kitchen but I’ve watched it in the past because I am fascinated with food preparation shows.  Each season 14-16 aspiring chefs apply to be on the show. Most are young competitors, but there is always a mix of older people from different backgrounds from moms, sous chefs, and occasionally executive chefs.

The competitors are selected and stay in Hells Kitchen for the duration of the show until the final winner is chosen. They house together in the dorms and are under the total control and wrath of Chef Ramsey who puts the chefs through rigorous and devastating challenges. Every day there is a challenge among the teams and the winners are treated to elaborate rewards such as limousine rides to fine dining, helicopter rides, and private plane trips to other cities. The losers are subjected to horrendous penalties such as cleaning both kitchens, doing the restaurant’s laundry by hand, or preparing the raw ingredients for the next meal service for both kitchens.

What are the dominant characteristics needed to win the competition?

Hard Work
Skill Sets

There is a lot of drama throughout the show since the competitors are housed together and have to endure wins and losses on a daily basis. In addition they endure Chef Gordon Ramsey’s temper!

Sometimes there is joy.
Sometimes there is sadness.
Sometimes there are tears.
Sometimes there is sarcasm.
Sometimes serious decisions need to be made.
Sometimes there are disappointments in themselves or others.
Sometimes there is anger.
Sometimes there is jealousy.
Sometimes there is compassion.
Sometimes there are injuries.
Sometimes there is teamwork.
Sometimes there is isolation.
Sometimes there is pity.

In other words, the show brings out the best and the worst of each competitor. It’s a reality show so the competitor’s true characteristics surface under extreme circumstances.

There are two main parts of each episode. The challenge is set up for rewards and penalties. The kitchen service is the main determiner of elimination. Each team selects contestants for elimination. However, the final judgment comes from Chef Gordon Ramsey.

The early eliminations come as a result of many factors such as lack of knowledge, leadership, and skill. As each day progresses, those who are not competent in the basics are eliminated one by one. The overall skill sets and positive characteristics become more and more apparent as fewer competitors are in the game.

Finally, there are only two competitors left standing and by that time each one excelled and withstood through every challenge and dinner service.

What Does Hell’s Kitchen have anything to do with Internet Marketing?

Internet Marketing as a business can feel like being in this type of competition. Envision yourself as an Internet marketer as a competitor in  Hell’s Kitchen. You start out among beginners. You are enthusiastic with a vision to reach your dreams of financial success, or make it “to the top.” You feel confident and determined. As you get in the game, you must have all the positive characteristics I listed to make it to the top. If you don’t have them, you need to develop them, or you are left in the dust.

You do whatever you think you need to do to move forward in your business. Along the way, you discover the task to become successful is much more challenging and difficult than you ever imagined.  You will experience the wrath of Chef Gordon Ramsey, who represents your internal and external influences. You may have self-doubt. He puts you down, cusses you out, and says you will never make it. That could be true if you believe it. He screams, or kicks you out, or you quit. He could be your family or friends telling you that you are insane for trying to start an online business. They may pressure you into thinking it’s better if you get a job like everyone else. “You will never make it.” “You don’t have what it takes.” Their opinions could be true, if you believe it. You are among many.

Some will fight through with determination.

Some will have leadership abilities.

Some will get through every disappointment, let down, and loss.

Some will give up.

As time goes by, less will overcome.

Less will never surrender until finally, they are the last left standing.

Once they get to that level, they have exhibited every positive characteristic, they need to reach their dreams. In the end, they reap the rewards.

Which competitor are you?

Will you be eliminated early in the game?

Will you stay half way through and get eliminated?

Will you make it to the top 5? 3? 2?

Internet Marketing can be a tough business. Getting to the top is not an easy task. You need guts and determination. You need to believe in yourself, and never give up.

If you keep going, and tolerate Chef Gordon Ramsey, you will make it until your dreams come true.

Welcome to Hell’s Kitchen

Where are you in the competition?





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24 thoughts on “What Does Hell’s Kitchen and Internet Marketing Have in Common?

  1. Jodene

    Raena Lynn, awesome post! You got me with that title…I’ve never watched the show, but wanted to see where you were going with this one. I couldn’t look away. I could fully understand and see the relationship. You totally nailed it. As I was reading the last section of how internet marketers are like the contestants, I found that I was nodding my head in agreement and saying yes through the checklist. I thoroughly enjoyed this post from beginning to end!
    ~ Jodene

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Jodene,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post comparing Hell’s Kitchen to Internet Marketing. I believe internet marketing can sometimes feel dramatic and frustrating, but we both know there are a lot of great things about it too. I liked the show even though it is a reality show packed with drama…LOL

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ve learned a lot about how people react to stress and extreme situations. It’s a good peek how drama looks from an outsider. Culinary and Marketing are both tough, but the tough survive 🙂

      Raena Lynn

  2. Sue Price

    Hi Raena

    I have never seen the show and am not even sure if we get it here in Australia. I do not in way like Gordon Ramsay but I I have seen him in action enough to get what this would be like.

    I get your analogy and I do think most of us along the way can be our own Gordon Ramsay. I certainly have my times when I doubt myself.

    For me though there is no other choice than to make this work. You know I have not had a job as such since I was in my twenties. I have had my own businesses and been in partnerships and been in charge.

    I have to make this work.

    Thanks for a great message with an interesting twist.


  3. Alan Jenkin

    What a great parallel! You found an attention-grabbing title and really carried the theme through successfully. I admire your imagination, Raena – you make it clear why you are such a successful internet marketer!


  4. Love the analogy Raena!

    I never watched the show, but as many like that, I “get it” One must have all those characteristics to win. I sometimes watch a show that is about designers. The judges push people to their limits and only a few can do it.

    It does remind me of Internet Marketing when I watch it. We have to have these characteristics and if not, learn them! We have to be willing to learn how to be strong and focused. We cannot let anyone talk us out of it. Especially our selves. It is easy sometimes to feel overwhelmed and sometimes just wanting to throw in the towel. But it’s like that with any challenge.

    We as internet marketers need to realize that there is only 3% that “make it” and for me, I strive to be in that percentile range! I’m determined and have the patience to do so.

    I enjoyed this analogy


  5. What a great metaphor Rena,
    I have seen the show although I live in Italy and I seldom watch TV!
    What caught my attention on these shows is the competition, the way one participant can be eliminated if discipline and the mix of qualities you describe are missing.
    I is always about balance, mindset, leadership and creativity.
    We all need to be creative in what we do and in our marketing the way you did with this awesome parallel!
    We are the chefs of our businesses and balance is the result of inner work and experience as well.

  6. I love your analogy Raena! I’ve never watched the show, but I’ve seen enough of Ramsey and clips of the show to be able to relate to your description. I suppose I feel confident enough at this point to consider myself one of those still hanging in there. It’s interesting to look back over the last 2 years because I can see some very specific transition periods. Last year was a period of steady growth for me; this year is shaping up to be another time of change as I branch out into new directions … learning yet again to get used to discomfort 🙂

  7. Hi Raena,

    That’s an excellent analogy you did here. Even though I haven’t seen a whole episode of Hell’s kitchen, I know what this show is about. Only those who have what it takes can win. It’s not only talent, but determination and perseverance. Exactly what is needed to make it out successfully in internet marketing.

    As you said in the post, it’s probably going to be a bit more difficult then what you expected. Because of the illusion that so many gurus have created out there that you can make thousands at the push of a button, some expectation are totally off the chart. We know that’s not the case, don’t we?

    I’ve seen so many newbies very enthusiastic at first, but they enthusiasm faded out very quickly and they were gone before they could even understand what this business is all about.

    Thank you for this interesting post that can help such newbies to see what internet marketing is all about.

  8. Garen

    Hey Raena,

    Great title! I’m the competitor that quietly works his way to the top by doing my best and not getting involved in the drama. Or maybe the competitor that picks up a kitchen knife and gets rid of everyone in their sleep (one by one)…jk. That show is very entertaining. Good reference to how it relates to Internet marketing. Motivation is probably the most important part to both. Without motivation you won’t ever get anything done. As we all know anyone who had any success with anything had to be motivated and persistence is priceless. Some of us want it, some of don’t. Some of us are willing to stick with while others will call it quits. Really you choose your own path in Internet marketing. I have had my share of setbacks, but I keep fighting.

  9. Adrienne

    Well I’ve never really sat through an episode but I have been at Mom’s and she’s glued to it. She loves cooking shows and although she’s not up on them being humiliated like they sometimes are, she loves to watch them cool.

    This is a really great analogy though and I can totally see it. Shucks, any reality show they have on now that’s a competition is like that. To me if you aren’t willing to do what it takes then you shouldn’t have enrolled to be on the show. Sometimes I wonder what some of these internet marketers are thinking as well. Who said this would be easy so you definitely have to want something better for yourself whether it’s making more money, wanting a better life for your family or working from home.

    It takes hard work, dedication and a will to succeed. Awesome post Raena, thanks!

    I got my education about Hell’s Kitchen!


  10. Jupiter Jim


    Love the show and love the analogy! Just watching Chef Ramsey inspires me. I am amazed because in the midst of being a leader and a television personality, when it comes to cooking, he truly is the Master! I have watched his show Kitchen Nightmares and once again I just cannot get over his skills. And that is one of the reason that many internet marketers and bloggers fail — they don’t have the skills. The trend on the Internet now is to develop a few basic skills and then tout yourself as the Expert! What a joke! You look at Chef Ramsey and you see a man who has dedicated his life to food preparation, cooking, kitchen management. That inspires me to excel in my field as well which is WordPress Web Design and Internet Marketing.

    Thanks for making this a fun post to read and yet one with some serious points to be made.

    And, of course, persistence, is another thing that wipes out most people online. They just don’t have it. And I don’t blame them. If you are not passionate about what you are doing or promoting, you will get crushed.

    Take Care,

    Jupiter Jim

  11. It’s like Hell’s Kitchen if you accept the competitive edge to internment marketing, Raena.

    There is an alternative, though. You can compete only with yourself, and not concern yourself with the taunts and jeers of “Chef Ramsey” or anyone else. Be true to yourself, continue on your path, accept and overcome your challenges, not to compete with others, but to bring your own game to the highest level possible.

    We’re all in the same business, but don’t all have to walk the same path.

  12. Ted Hunsaker says:

    Hi Raena,

    Great post. It takes a lot of staying power and determination to make it to the top. Not everyone can do it. Those who do will reap the fruits of their labor.


    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Ted,

      Thank your for your comment. Staying power is the key and being able to withstand all the challenges that face us in this business. You are right, not everyone can do it. The structure of the show uses the process of elimination and I think it works the same way in internet marketing.

      Raena Lynn

  13. I loved this posted Raena.

    I have always thought that great results are the product of many of the characteristics that you mentioned about. From start to finish, the distinguishing characteristics of success are found in the details.

    The characteristic that I am personally focusing on right now is a relentless commitment to excellence and the meticulous attention to details associated with that journey. I believe that high achievers turn over all stones, understanding and exploiting to their benefit the fact that the critical distinction between merely acceptable vs excellent results lies in the smallest of details. After all, the difference between gold and
    silver at the Olympics can be traced to the tiniest of differences in training or execution, right?

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Rachel,

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I like your point about the difference between gold and silver at the Olympics. The tiniest detail can make the difference between first and second place in any competition. In the show, the contestants that pay attention to the details and give their 110% are the ones that have a chance to make it too the top. It is obvious that you have a “relentless commitment to excellence and meticulous attention to details associated with your journey.” This business is certainly a journey! You will definitely make it. Your blog is one of my favorites and I’ve seen you around the internet marketing communities and you have established a wonderful online presence.

      Raena Lynn

  14. Hi Raena,

    That is a great way to look at internet marketing I think there are so many different competitors out there and sometimes there is joy, sadness, happiness as you said but you’ve got to keep fighting and you know the outcome is worth it.

    Regards, Jessica.

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Jessica,

      Welcome back! I was trying out a creative way to describe internet marketing. There are many parallels to the show and this business. It’s a lot about having what it takes to make it to the top. There will be a lot of emotional experiences along the way. As you said, “keep fighting and you know the outcome is worth it.”

      Raena Lynn

  15. Michael Shook

    This is a great analogy, Raena, so many people start out in internet marketing thinking it is going to be an easy way to accumulate fabulous riches and endless streams of wealth and they have no idea what they are letting themselves in for.

    The competition in some markets can be intense, often overwhelming, and people keep spending their money hoping to buy that competitive edge over the others starting out. But what it really takes are the ideas of determination and stick-to-it-ness. Not giving up, not throwing in the towel and learning something from the false starts we make along the way. Thank you Raena, for showing us this idea in a positive light.

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Michael,

      I always love your comments. You get right to the point. This is a tough business but for those who stay with it, develop their skills, and have the right mindset will make it. Hell’s Kitchen is a typical reality show and at times it isn’t very positive. Sometimes it reveals the raw nature of humans when they are put into extreme conditions. However, there are lessons to be learned that relate to internet marketing or any pursuit to excellence. Thanks Michael.

      Raena Lynn

  16. Raena Lynn, I agree with you with the exception of one point: there is no way my internal and external forces are as merciless as Gordon Ramsay!! 🙂 I think I would prefer to have someone like Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser as my coach: she is tough, tough, tough, but with a heart. I’m not sure Gordon has a heart, sometimes.

    But I love your analogy of how internet marketing is similar. I’ve been at it since 2007, so I hope I’ve developed some of the traits you speak of. However, I’ve a long way to go.

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Steve,

      I agree! Sometimes Gordon Ramsey seems like he is heartless. He is tough, but it’s so interesting how most of the competitors still respect him. I suppose we really don’t know for sure. I’ve seen his compassionate side, but not on this show! He’s a type of person that gets away with a lot! I used to watch Hell’s Kitchen, but since then I really don’t watch television. I wrote this post based on what I remember about the show. At the end of the post, I quoted “Welcome to Hell’s Kitchen” referring to internet marketing. I don’t think internet marketing is terrible and I hope my readers didn’t take it negatively. The show has similar competitiveness to this business. I also thought it was an interesting analogy to what it takes to succeed. We all have a long way to go, but the ones who persevere will make it!

      Raena Lynn

  17. Lynn Jones

    Reana, Great analogy, but man….that Gordon Ramsey is so cruel! I don’t watch the show very often, but my husband does, so I have seen enough to know what you are speaking of. I realize some of the drama is just for “show” and quite frankly there is a lot of “show” or should I say “hype” in network marketing. So, like Hells Kitchen… the challenge is to find the real deal.
    All the best!

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Lynn,

      Yes! Finding the Real Deal is a challenge in this business. There is a lot of hype and it is difficult to separate the keepers from the losers. I don’t know why I like cooking shows, but I do. Honestly, I have neutral feelings about cooking. It’s fun for me to watch other people cook! Hell’s Kitchen isn’t just a “cooking” show. It is a great example of how people behave. The setting happens to be the culinary scene. The show parallels well with network marketing and a lot of other competitive businesses. Gordon Ramsey can be cruel, but it is funny how the competitors appreciate his toughness at the end of the show. Glad to see you here!

      Raena Lynn

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