I just love a good story. I’m reading The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo and it’s chock full of golden nuggets.
Gallo writes about Danny, who never wanted to be a lawyer, yet ended up at dinner with his uncle the night before writing the law school entrance exam.
When he told his uncle his true feelings, his uncle asked why he didn’t do what he had always loved? Danny didn’t know what that was, and his uncle said that he should open a restaurant because he was always so into food.
Danny wrote the LSAT the next day but never went to law school. He left a sales job making $125,000 a year to earn $250 a week as a restaurant assistant manager and loved it.
He learned all about the industry for a few years. Then Gallo explains, “Three years after that fateful dinner, Danny Meyer opened his first restaurant in New York City, Union Square Cafe. It would sit atop the Zagat restaurant guide food rankings for many years. More followed: Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern Maialino. Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group now owns and manages some of the most acclaimed restaurants in town. In 2001, Meyer tried something a little different. He opened a stand in Madison Square Park selling hot dogs. It lost $5,000 in its first year. It lost $7,500 in its second year, before breaking even in its third year. In the fourth year Meyer turned the cart into a 20-by-20-foot kiosk and added burgers, shakes and sundaes to the menu. Shake Shack was born. Fourteen years later Shake Shack had more than 60 locations around the world including London, Moscow, Dubai, and Tokyo. On January 30, 2014, Shake Shack went public. Shares doubled on their first day of trading, valuing the company at $1.6 billion.”
Not every journey of discovery has that kind of ending, but what a story about following your passion. It’s not easy, but it might be the one thing that only you can do in that way. And what could it mean if you are successful?
And what would you regret if you didn’t try at all? If you followed the path that society defined for you? Stayed at a job that didn’t set your heart on fire? Time passes no matter what we are doing as it ticks by. Should we be doing something that gives us purpose or doing something that is transactional?
Everybody has a story. What will yours be?