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Recipe for Success

Recipe of Success

So how young is too young to start your entrepreneurial endeavors?

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Certainly you can sell lemonade on the sidewalk or bake homemade cookies and sell them on the street, but that’s just kid’s stuff, right? They’re not “real” businesses.

You’d think, but that is not what one little girl thought.
Now let this little girl inspire your big dreams.

Dee grew up in a Catholic working-class family in Oakland, California. Her father was a welder and her mother raised Dee and her sisters to become good wives and mothers. As Dee grew up she held a burning desire to be special, to do something different.


was a mediocre student, but she learned to work hard. Dee graduated from high school and then worked at various jobs before fulfilling her mom’s vision for her by marrying at 19 years old.

For about a year as a new wife, Dee tried to fit into her husband’s world as a dutiful spouse. She hosted visitors and made polite conversation. But she was out of her element. Pretending to be someone else made her decide 

to do something else with her life. It was in that moment she realized she wanted to succeed in her own element. She concluded, “I couldn’t be in my husband’s shadow anymore. I didn’t want to be his tagalong. I needed to change, to become an independent self-respecting individual able to stand on my two feet.”

Dee decided to start a business based on the only thing she had done as a girl. From age 13 she had baked chocolate chip cookies and sold them to her family, friends and neighbors.

Her husband’s business acquaintances loved her cookies, so she asked them what they thought about starting a cookie business. “Bad idea,” they said with their mouths stuffed full of cookies. “Never work,” they said, “Forget it.” Even Dee’s mother, her in-laws, and her friends and schoolmates also said she would fail.

Undeterred, at age 20, Dee started her first cookie store. As she walked out the door to open the store for her very first day, her husband said she wouldn’t sell $50 worth of cookies.

She opened promptly at 9 a.m., but by noon nobody had bought even one cookie. Frustrated and afraid to fail, she took samples to people on the streets. They liked the samples and returned to actually buy cookies. By the end of the day she rang up $75 in sales. Take that hubby!

In fact, her husband, an economist with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, would eventually join her “silly” little cookie business, as it was

doing FAR better than his own.

The Dee I am talking about is of course Debbi Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies. Founded in 1977, her “silly little cookie business” grew to more than 600 stores earning more than $150 million in revenue and employing several thousand people. Not bad for a woman whose dreams started as a 13-year-old entrepreneur.

Kinda makes you wonder what our excuse is, right?

Decide right now, what excuse did you have to give up or are going to give up right now in order to unleash your greater success?




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  43. i’m actually heading for something big – the best-selling book of this year though i don’t havet a publisher yet and the money for its publishing. but i just know one of you guys will show up and i shall be taken to ‘Another Dimension’ (the title of my book). Debbie’s story is so inspiring and now i know i can’t be stopped.

  44. Debbi Fields succeeded because she refused to give up or throw away her goal of being independent. For her, having a successful cookie business meant so much that she had to make it happen.

    Debbi also had a powerful desire which helped to accomplish her goal.

  45. I think it’s very important NOT to solicit opinions from family and friends if you want to start a business.

    Most will think they are being kind by trying to warn you of anything & everything that can go wrong. After all they don’t want you to be “disappointed”! Unless someone you know has some very specific expertise, it is problably only going to sap your motivation.

    Many people are so risk averse that they are scared to take a chance at anything (and some may be envious at the thought of someone close to them possibly getting quite rich). Consider the source: is your relative someone who took a “safe” job and never moved from it, whose life hasn’t changed in 40 years? Have they no work experience outside of that clerical job they had back in the 1950’s? Do they have any experience at all in owning their own business? Just because you love them, doesn’t mean you should go to them for business advice.

    Invest in a good accountant and attorney, both should be experienced in coaching start ups. Both should be able to help you protect yourself without being unnecessarily discouraging.

    You should also read:

    Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

  46. I love this story. You know, I make a killer creamy Flan. Everyone says I should start selling them. Maybe, I should….

  47. Love this story. I was selling Christmas cards door to door at 6 years old. My own daughter’s lemon aid stand made over $100 in one day last summer. Now she makes cakes… I inspire her every day to hone that skill of decorating cakes and she loves it. It’s a messy job but Moms have got to inspire the Entrepreneur in our children. It can literally change the world… one kid at a time.

  48. Darren, As Always, Thanks for the boosting encouragement to get out off the sofa and into passion driven action.

    Dreams do come true! As with Dee, dreams are initiated through Ambition. And transform into their material equivalence through Planning and Action. Dee proves to us once again, that if we expect to find the rewards of SUCCESS, we Cannot sub-navigate this sequence.

    The beauty of Ambition – It knows not Age, or Gender, or Creed, or Color, or Preference or Time, or Day. It is available in ABUNDANCE for all who will simply seek its assistance.

    Ambitious SUCCESS to us all!

  49. @prasad madhav, You are welcome. I hope that it will inspire you to rise above the naysayers in your life. Everyone is put in our lives for a reason. Naysayers are put into our lives to strengthen our emotional muscle.Live your dreams…..

  50. Awesome post, Daren. This story of Debbie Fields is very inspiring to me and lets me know that you can go with what others say about your dreams. The important thing is that you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will believe in you. When people see that you have the belief, they won’t have a choice but to join you in believing that it’s possible for you.

    Thanks for sharing!

  51. This is the story of my life! All my life I have had people tell me that I would not be able to do what I wanted to do because of this or that. Instead of being angry at them,I love to chellenge their words and their mindset about me.This started when I was 7 years old.I find naysayers in my life a blessing.They get me fired up! I have to this date accomplished everything that I have ever put my mind to and continue to turn around what naysayers say to me.

    I no longer battle naysayers,but tell them what a blessing they are.I love seeing the looks on their faces when I thank them for their feedback.Naysayers, have grown my confidence in my ability to create my destiny.I have to admit that the hardest naysayers to get over are the people closest to you.The most damaging naysayer is being one to yourself…

  52. Great story Darren. I intend to get over the excuse of how busy I am to consistently be on time for planned events through better time management.

    I also intend to get over the uncertainty of the economy by leading and empowering our team at our heavy highway civil business to grow 20% in revenues and add 20 high quality jobs to our existing team of 200 employees.

    Have a great week!

  53. Great post Darren, Just go’s to show you to follow your dreams and passions and never give up. Don’t listen to the naysayer’s, their are people who just don’t have the will or ambition to succeed so they have to be negative towards your will to succeed.

  54. Great story, thanks for posting! I never understand why people (parents, friends, siblings, etc.) tell the future business owner that they would fail. I’m so lucky that I had parents who did the exact opposite. Heck, they even let me fail! But always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. For that I am so thankful!

  55. That Dee sounds like one smart cookie!

    Seriously though, the thing that struck me is that everyone (friends and family) told her not to bother with the endeavor. Why does society shatter dreams instead of harness them? I think it’s because THEY could never it a success themselves.

    For anyone reading this looking for inspiration – just do what Dee did and focus on something you love doing. Above all though, don’t let ANYONE tell you that you can’t do something!

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