It's Not A Job...It's An Adventure
Thinking Like An Entrepreneur is All About Attitude and Choices
Here's the Big Idea in a Nutshell
You can think like an entrepreneur or think like an employee. It depends on which one you want to be.
Carmel By The Sea
Having grown up in Santa Cruz California, we often found ourselves visiting the beautiful and quiet town nearby known as Carmel. Carmel is most famous for its luxurious setting “by the sea” with celebrated residents and visitors. At one time the actor Clint Eastwood was the town’s mayor and anytime he would drive through the main square it would cause quite a stir.
We saw a few famous faces among our visits there; musician Kenny Loggins, actress Doris Day, actor George Lindsey (“Goober” from the Andy Griffith Show) just to name a few. With Pacific Grove nearby (home of Merv Griffin and the famous PGA golf tournaments), it’s no surprise that many well know personalities graced the streets of Carmel By the Sea.
Because of Carmel’s “ritzy” atmosphere, it was not uncommon to find small parties of rather snobbish people with money. You know the kind. Those who have just enough money that they think they have license to be rude and demanding to the waitress.
But the person I remember most during our short day-trips to Carmel was not famous at all. He was just a young college-aged boy working behind the counter of a bakery.
As I walked into that little shop one day just to see if I could find a chocolate cookie, I instead found absolute chaos.
The place was crowded with mostly older women who all wanted the attention of this young man behind the counter – all at the same time. It was as if each one thought they were the only one in the room. Each assumed they were the only customer of importance. Oblivious to the very noise they were creating, each was calling out orders for cookies, cakes, bread, pastries and a plethora of other baked goods - all talking louder than the next. Clearly, the young man needed some help behind the counter as his patrons were showing him no mercy. Like a crowd of screaming Beatlemainia fans they kept pushing at each other to get to him as if it was a race to see who could get attention.
I was amazed. I wondered if there was a convention in town of rude people. Somehow all of the pushy folks of the world showed up in this tiny little bakery at the same time just to annoy this poor young man. I didn’t understand how this room was so full of scattered noise.
In fact, I stood silent and amazed at this scene, and as the young man stood still behind the counter, paralyzed by the predicament he was in, he caught my eye and I caught his. For a moment, we both stared at each other as if to say to each other, "where are we?"
Somehow, he knew I was his friend because I was the only person in the shop NOT demanding his attention. He must have been able to tell by the look on my face that I was full of pity for him and wondered how he would react to this ridiculous commotion.
Without missing a beat, he grinned and spoke directly to me as if no one else was in the room.
He said to me, “It’s not a job…it’s an adventure.”
I burst into laughter. I was so delighted and surprised by his incredibly positive attitude. What would have annoyed me enough to cause my immediate resignation – he found entertaining! He was unflustered and seemed unshakeable.
Instead of rolling up his apron and throwing it to the ground in a fury of aggravation and walking out…he smiled and calmly helped each customer, no matter how rude, irritating or selfish each one was.
I will never forget what a great response he had and how friendly he was to each self-absorbed customer.
I don’t know where that bakery employee is today, but my guess is that he is not an employee anymore. He had the makings of a true Entrepreneur!
The Snowball Factor
This article is an exerpt from the book The Snowball Factor by Greg Hughes; originally published in 2009 by Outskirts Publishing, then revised, rereleased and updated in 2019.
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