You can see by the strong opinions that chefs are proud people, and thats very important to remember.
when it comes to money its allways going to be tough to start with, after a few hard (and i mean hard) years you start earning enough to get you by apprentice and commis money is crap, but stick with it when you start to become junior cdp etc it gets a lil easier, the money is important because it can afford you luxurys that help take the edge off some off the stress, and also the more you earn the less you have to worry about bills etc.
to be a good chef in my view (when your starting out) you need :
1. a basic idea of what's to come , dont kid yourself, you wont make head chef over night and you wont be a ''Big name'' two days out of college.
2. be ''Kitchen savy'' this is a natural thing, chefs dont lean on worksurfaces or stand idle, if it dirty then clean it, if you havent got any prep left then help someone else allways be on the move.
3. allways prepare prepare prepare, sharp knives, a clean set of spare whites, spoons in your back pocket, make sure you have everything for service, check it, check it again.
4. listen to advice, take in critism, your not a master chef yet.
5. have stamina, this is learnt as well as natural, when i was a kid there was a 64 year old bloke that used to run rings round me in the kitchen, i was shattered after twelve hours, he was still going after 16.
6. know how to make a good ommlette
7. check that stuff again
8. remember you cant go out on friday nights anymore, your going to miss your girlfriends birthday every year, hell mostof us on here dont know when our own birthdays anymore, as for christmass lets not go there
9. try hard and keep going, your going to take a lot of shit, your going to need a thick skin.
10. date and label everything! and i mean EVERYTHING!!
11 check it again
12 and again
13 passion is important to an extent but balls, effecientcy, self motivatoin and being able to stick up for yourself is more so.
14 eat three meals a day, sleep when you can and drink plenty of water, real chefs dont drink the night before thier shift so much that they are hungover
15 never get ill
16 be a team player
17 work as a waiter and a barman, put yourself in others shoes and try and understand.
18 aim for the top, if you miss and land in the middle atleast you will be comfortable