I was wide awake at 3:30 a couple of mornings ago. I had a feeling I was awake for a reason and that there was something I was to do, experience or learn. I quick thought and prayed through my family and friends. After checking our lawn and neighborhood, I turned on the TV news and nothing unusual seemed to be going on, so I turned on Carole’s Kindle for news. There was something in the air that I was supposed to know about. I made coffee and settled in to figure out what was stirring my soul.
I found a story in the Washington Post about Ron Shaich, one of the founders of Panera’s, He says,
“Entrepreneurs are guys who see opportunities that others don’t and see in that opportunity where value can be created.”
I don’t particularly like Panera coffee and their food is pricier than I prefer. But then, I don’t like Starbuck’s coffee either, but I sure like to read about and watch them do business. Half way through the article I sensed there was truth there that I was supposed to grasp.
“Every year, I go away for Christmas usually to a beach somewhere, and I think about where I am and where I want to be in five years.” Ron Shaich
Shaich says he was emotionally “down” during at least two of those Christmas beach Sabbaths. A phone call from one of his partners changed the way he was seeing bread. Instead of the bread being the prime product, he changed it to the platform on which to sell soup, salads and sandwiches. Without the “down,” and retreat to think and the phone call, Panera’s would never have happened. In 1993, he went to the beach again to sort where they were and where his company needed to go in the following months. He became aware that “…what had made us successful were starting to limit us.” When you visit a Panera’s this week, you will be standing in line for products that are valued because Shaich responded to the challenge to change and get rid of what was limiting the company.
- What is your real product?
- What are people really wanting to buy from you?
When the interviewer asked Ron Shaich what he wished he had known earlier and what he would tell people today, he said—“Trust yourself.” Trust your gut. He is able to say that because he has spent time and other resources to fill his “gut” with experience, knowledge, information and counsel.
One conversation this season produced a list of assets and streams of emotional revenue. The list was larger and the assets much more wealth-intensive than the writer of the list had first guessed. So build on that! Cut loose from what is limiting you, including all the self-destructive and self-imposed limits and build on that list of emotional and economic revenue streams!
Of the 2-3 dozen messages Carole and I have listened to this holiday season, one of the sermons we heard on Sunday made a huge impact. We have heard the message at least three times. When it was first presented in 2012, then as a podcast and again on Sunday on a repackaged program on a different network. It seems so important to our friends, family and to us as we prepare for the New Year 2015. I invite you to contemplate a strategic plan from Andy Stanley.
Thank you for joining me for a series of blogs this week before the New Year.
©2014 D. Dean Benton—Writer, Wonderer, Provoker