Careers

‘Cake Boss’ Buddy Valastro’s 7 tips to succeed in business

Baking is big business for the "Cake Boss."

Buddy Valastro first rose to fame in 2009 after scoring his own reality series, "Cake Boss"' on TLC, centered around him and his staff creating customized novelty cakes.

But before he was a celebrity chef, Valastro, who describes himself as "just a baker from Hoboken" had to rise to many challenges, including potential bankruptcy of his original store, Carlo's Bakery.

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CNBC recently baked with him to learn how the celebrity chef went from a business of just 30 employees to more than 2,000.

1. Take pride in everything you do

"You have to take the same amount of pride in cleaning the toilet bowl as you do in making a five tier wedding cake," Valastro said. "If you have that attention to detail and you put your heart and soul into everything you do, whatever you do, you're going to be successful."

2. Find your dream job

Valastro said he knew he wanted to spend his career as a baker from a very young age after working at his father's bakery. "My dad never said to me 'buddy you have to be a baker like me,'" Valastro said. "He said to me, 'you're going to have to wake up in the morning, you're going to have to go into work.'"

3. Get into a concentration zone

While the ability to multitask may seem like an asset in a career, Buddy attributes a large part of his success to the exact opposite. Instead, he advises single-tasking.

"When I make a cake, I go into a zone. All of a sudden, the cake's in front of me and my focus is laser-sharp, I don't hear anything else around me and it's just me and the cake," he said. "You step back and you look at what you created, and you get that feeling of wow, look at what I did."

4. Believe in yourself

"It's hard work, I work like an animal all the time," Valastro said, "But if you believe in yourself and work hard, do it with all your heart, wake up in the morning and you're happy to go there, you're going to be more successful."

5. Be your authentic self

Valastro, whose series "Cake Boss" has had more than a dozen seasons and currently has more than 5.5 million fans on Facebook, said he constantly remembers his roots.

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"If you have to put on a show all the time, it's too much pressure in life," he said. "Although they'll make me feel like a rock-star, I'm just a baker from Hoboken."

6. Know your limits

When Valastro was 27, he said he had his first panic attack, "I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest," he said.

The incident led him to the emergency room and forced him to reflect on the stress in his life. "Over the years, you learn to adapt to it, so I know when the pressure's coming," he said. "There comes a time then you say I need to detox; I need five minutes to clear my head."

7. Rise to the challenge

Valastro's father died when Buddy was just 17 years old, which prompted him to drop out of high school to take over the family business. At the time, the business had 30 employees, whom would rely on him to run the business.

"I wasn't ready to be the boss," he said. "When you're put into a situation like that, a switch goes on inside you."

Valastro said there were many problems including competition from grocery stores and difficult employees who feared that the shop would shut down.

"One day I made a decision," he said. "No matter what, we are not going to fail. I don't care how hard I have to work, I'll be the first one in every morning, I'll be the last to leave."

He studied, asked for advice and read up on topics that he wanted to better himself in. "After about three years, things got under control," he said.