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You Won't Regret It

Routine trips to the post office, hair salon, grocery store, or my favorite eating establishment don’t typically rock my world.

But last week was an exception.

I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me… because my reason for the visit was NOT routine.

Friday morning, I was at Season’s 52 restaurant for a purpose other than eating… I was speaking.

If you saw my Friday’s Perspective video, you know what happened. (click here to watch)

But what you don’t know, and what did completely take me by surprise was happened AFTER I finished speaking and filming.

It was my fortunate conversation with the managing partner, Barbara Rafalowski.

It began as I shared how helpful her staff had been six years ago as Sam was arranging his proposal of marriage to me at her restaurant.

But as the conversation unfolded, she teed up an incredible lesson on the power of self-leadership; one that you need to hear.

Her initial interest in the hospitality industry began when as a little girl she sat behind the counter at her uncle’s restaurant and helped out when someone said, “Kid, get me some chips.”

In her words, “I fell in love with it.”

As a freshman in high school she wrote a paper on hospitality management and in it detailed out her plan for managing her own restaurant; complete with college she would attend.

In her area there were two colleges; one where she had family connections (a “sure thing”) and the one she wanted to attend (too expensive).

“I remember my mom said there was no way I could do that.”

But Barbara was determined.

A talented soccer player, she not only attended… but did so with an athletic scholarship; combining two things she loved.

And by reading the college catalog, she found, applied for and received a scholarship for restaurant management all four years… because no one else bothered to apply!

It’s easy to see how she ended up where she is now, managing partner of a restaurant that every time I visit (which is often) is bustling and busy.

Their mission – to provide a better way to eat.

My experience has been…. they absolutely do.

But what really struck me about Barbara’s story was her definite purpose backed by a definite plan that she successfully achieved when others (even her own family) doubted.

The icing on the cake for me was hearing her story just minutes after I had shared with a group of professionals the importance and power of personal growth.

She absolutely affirmed Jim Rohn’s statement that I believe in the core of my being, “If you really want to do something you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

What I have experienced is that going after something you really want is not:

· a straight line

· free from distractions

· simple and easy

· void of disappointments

BUT…. it is precisely because of what it is NOT, that makes it what it IS when you achieve it!

“Everything worthwhile is up hill.” ~ John C Maxwell

As you read this, I’m gearing up for the final dress rehearsal for Mary Poppins; definitely an uphill experience!

For months, we’ve been singing, learning choreography, blocking, creating costumes and designing sets (and I’ve loved every minute).

And yet, it was only a few days ago that the power of the words I’ve been singing in one particular song hit home…. because of the words I heard from Barbara.

The song says:

“Sally forth the way you’re steering. Obstacles keep disappearing.

Go on chase your dream you won’t regret it. Anything can happen if you let it.”

Stretch your mind beyond fantastic. Dreams are made of strong elastic.

Go on chase your dream you won’t regret it. Anything can happen if you let it.”

Barbara did it.

Her dream that began with the simple words, “Kid, get me some chips,” is one she is now living.

Dreaming is free… the journey isn’t.

But it is SO worth it.

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