In 1969, Oakland A’s owner Charles Finley introduced to major league baseball, “ball girls” – young girls who would sit in foul territory to retrieve baseballs grounded foul by batters -. Debbi, was one of the first girls hired. Debbi saved the money she earned to buy ingredients to bake cookies. She introduced a milk & cookies break for umpires in Major League games. At the age of twenty this same Debbi started her own business, a cookie business. You know them as Mrs. Fields Cookies.
I recently read an article by Mrs. Fields written several years ago. In the article, she gives what she deems a “Recipe for Success” which included four ingredients. (Do you see a theme here?) I’ll give Debbi’s four ingredients, Mixed with some personal comments.
Ingredient #1: Good is never enough. Why would anyone settle for a good cookie when you can have a delicious one that sends your taste-buds into orbit? Debbie is always looking for the very best cookie to be eaten. Good is the enemy of great. When we settle for good, we’ll never strive for the greatness for which we were created by God. Whatever you do, never settle for what seems good. It will only withhold you from the greatness you could achieve. Even yesterday’s best is likely only mediocre today.
Ingredient #2: Don’t just make a customer. Mrs. Fields employees get to know their customers. Not names only. They build relationships, find out their likes and dislikes. Each store’s employees determine which seven of the fourteen cookies get baked each day, based on the likes of their customers. Whatever your business, nurturing relationships is the sustaining factor on keeping people coming back.
Ingredient #3: Don’t be afraid to fail. You can imagine, not all cookie recipes made the cut. When you strive for the best, you will go through recipes (trials, campaigns, products or processes) that just aren’t illustrious enough for your brand. Push through the trials, setbacks, and almost good enough”. Like Mrs. Fields keep looking for that better recipe.
Ingredient #4: Enjoy the Journey. You don’t have all the answers. Stop beating yourself up when trials come your way. Build a support team around you – family, close friends, church family. Mrs. Fields says the two things that kept her going and motivated was, a supportive family and a passion. Follow your passion. If its not baking cookies, you might want to get out of the kitchen. The joy in your life’s journey is based in your God-given passion. Unearth your passion for your greatest enjoyment.
Many people have written their “Recipe for Success” and published books about how. I’m not saying this one is the best cookie on the shelf. But Mrs. Fields has a few great points to consider. What will you do this week to unearth your passion and stop settling for good?
George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.
4 ingredients adapted from “Recipe for Success”, pg 19, Get Motivated 2010