“Making people feel “special” is the important ingredient in my recipe for success”, Mrs. Field
Topics for Motivation from Founders: Mrs. Fields – Early Start, Keep it Real, Lessons & Quotes from Mrs. Fields
Debbi Fields is one of the greatest Founders – Mrs. Fields Cookies. She loved making Cookies from age 13 in her home town of Palo Alto, CA and everyone loved her cookies. At age 20, Debbi decided being a house-wife wasn’t enough and despite family, husband, friends and bankers who said NO “with cookie breath and their lips smeared with chocolate”, she managed to get a Business Loan.
Mrs. Field’s Cookies was started in 1977 in Palo Alto, CA. Her husband Randy said she wouldn’t sell $50 worth of cookies the first day. After several hours in the shop with no sales – as any good entrepreneur would do – she took to the streets! She assembled a tray of cookies and started to offer samples to the passers-by. By the end of the day, she rang-up $75 in sales. Her husband Randy, would later become an integral part of the companies growth.
#1. As the business grew, Debbi was very conscious of her regular customers. She would often have coffee & cookies ready when they arrived. In fact, it was on the advice and persistence of her loyal customers, that she opened additional stores.
MFC (not KFC) is now based in Utah and has enjoyed a tremendous level of success and now employs over 5,000 people. Debbi speaks to many groups and published a cook book entitled, “I Love Chocolate”. She is involved in many philanthropic causes. Her present responsibility in the company is Operations Management, New Product Development, Public Relations and of course, Brand Name management. The company now grosses over $300 million from over 1000 outlets in 9 countries.
#2. Entrepreneurship at an Early Age
Keeping it Real !!! Debbi got the baking bug and a “taste” for entrepreneurship at the age of 13 when she received her first paycheck from a job with the Oakland A’s baseball organization. She found that “real” ingredients such as butter, vanilla, and real chocolate made for the best “real” cookies. She also learned the wonderful lesson that everyone needs to feel important. She received inspiration from her father – learning that happiness was found in friends, family & enjoying what you do.
#3. She floundered, before she became one of Founders. She barely scraped through HS and went to JC to see if she could finally earn an “A” in school. She met her husband to be, Randy Fields, an economist who would later become a key catalyst for the company’s growth and management in years to come. In this instance, behind every great woman there’s a great man!
#4. Sweet Treats for Entrepreneurs. Mrs. Field’s Cookies began as Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chippery. While a name change for this company was made early on to include a broader range of cookie flavors, the name of a company can have a tremendous impact on success. “Let’s Talk” Business Radio often asks the esteemed guests what things would have been done differently – if they could turn back the clock on their journey’s. While there are “many” thoughts, many feel they failed to dream big enough! This is very humbling from people who have companies valued at hundreds of $Ms of dollars.
#5. the Sweetest Lessons: If you would have asked Mrs. Field’s back in 1977, if she thought her company would have grown to 1000 stores, she probably would have laughed the way others laughed upon opening her first store. There are many lessons here:
1) We all must be open to the many people & ideas around us. As we move through the entrepreneurial journey, opportunities will come along that we can’t possibly dream of. Mrs. Field’s now sells a wide variety of cookies. When you name your company, it should be broad-based enough to incorporate growth. A tag line can also support your name very effectively. This is used on all marketing materials, press releases, trade show banners etc. You’ll notice that large companies will change their tag lines and more or less use them as advertising slogans. Large companies are always looking to “freshen up” their image in the market with latest public opinion, people, & places.
2) Treat people with quality ingredients, care & respect and you’ll have a great start on success. She is an inspiration to every one of us because she is every one of us. She is not a Harvard grad nor a Trust Fund beneficiary. She was a simple person with a fire in her oven, tremendous values & a great idea to put smiles on customers faces with her baking. Some statistics say that each person has several ideas in their lifetime that could be make them millionaires. Success is found in the execution of an honest idea.
Quotes from Mrs. Field.
“I knew I loved making cookies and every time I did, I made people happy. That, simply, was my Business Plan”
“The only thing I had was this recipe, and with that recipe was a dream. And those were the only things that I had to build my business – a recipe & a dream. And there was no way, no way, I wasn’t going to see this dream through.”
“I knew I had something special when my customers started calling in late to come have Cookies & Coffee before going to work”
“I’ve never felt like I was in the cookie business. I’ve always been in a “feel good” feeling business. My job is to sell joy. My job is to sell happiness. My job is to sell an experience.”
“What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best — which I believed then & now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that success found me.”
“You know, Mrs. Fields was never a business. It was a part of me. It was an extension of me. I was never 9-to-5. I never separated business from personal, because to me, they all blended together.”
“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is not to try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.
“If you’re going to be at a job environment, you should love it. You shouldn’t do it just for money. You should do it because you love it. And the money comes naturally.”
“When you’re starting out, especially as an entrepreneur, you really don’t know what you’re doing. You go out there and you try so many things. The key in the process, to me, is that you keep trying and you never give up.”
Comments: What do you think of these sweet chips, er, tips?
from Let’s Talk Network Ate/16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz