Nancy Cushman

Nancy Cushman

Nancy Cushman, Co-Owner and Founder of Cushman Concepts, in New York City and Boston, shares her career timeline and advice for up-and-coming talent.

Be surrounded by people who motivate you, challenge you, and make you be your better self.

“Never take or leave a job because of one person”- that person could be gone and you’ll miss out on the opportunity.
My Director of HR at Hill Holiday Advertising once said to me “the world belongs to the people that show up”. Be your best professional self, every single day! This industry is tough, demanding, and has intense personalities that you are working with. Try to never get caught up in the drama, so you can go to sleep every night with no regrets of what you have said or done. This will allow you to rest easy knowing you were your best professional self.
My background is account management in Advertising. What I always loved was the mix of creativity and business side. My role was very people related there. But when I opened the restaurant with my husband Tim, I realized that the industry was so much more hands on, minute to minute business, which was so much more satisfying to me. You get instant gratification from this industry. I thrive on the pace and intensity. It would be very hard for me to do anything else at this point, unless it was dramatically different.
We’ve grown from 1 to 5 restaurants very quickly and have a strict "No Asshole" rule. We mention it during most interviews, which catches people off guard but we mean it. The industry can be tough, but when you have a great team, you can get through it all.
We have our "forever a student" attitude. Remain humble from the top to the bottom because there is always room for growth. We foster a culture of caring. We find this more productive and really a team focused attitude. Hiring and crafting a team that brings different things to the table, and allowing them to be themselves but also contribute to what we do and how we do it, is one of the keys to our success of hiring a great team!
We hire “bright lights”. Someone that has a spark in their eye, has the passion for the business, is easy to talk to and has great communication skills. We also hope that they will generally do the right thing even when people aren’t looking and are self motivated. They also must be looking to contribute but also to learn and always looking to improve.
I cannot do my job without my staff! They do it all! And a caring attitude, no one should ever be in a job that they don’t feel good about going to work every day. You’re never going to be at your best if you’re not caring and contributing to something.
Inspiration is such an intangible thing. You can easily get caught in tunnel vision, so it's important to change your eye, take a look and observe everything around you. Try taking a new route home, listen to a new type of music that you generally wouldn’t listen to. Inspiration is everywhere!

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Inspirational Career Timelines

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