I know a talented young chef named Brandon with a big dream:
To open up his first business: a dessert spot specializing in gourmet ice cream, coffee, and hot donuts fresh from the fryer. (Yum.)
He’s got everything in place. The menu items have been thoroughly tested. The website is up and running. The budget numbers have been crunched. He’s even got an investor who’s eager to fund the project and proceed.
There’s just one thing standing between this chef and his dream:
The right piece of real estate!
For close to nine months, Brandon has been searching, searching, searching and… searching.
He has prowled real estate websites, daily, hunting for new listings in his city.
He has emailed every commercial real estate agent in town, inquiring about properties.
So many websites. So many emails. And yet? The right venue still hasn’t shown up.
There’s been something “off” with each potential spot — not the right price, not the right size, no ventilation system, wrong zoning, too close to a competitor’s shop, and so on.
Brandon was beginning to feel deflated. (“Will I ever find a place to open my damn ice cream shop?”).
Then, on the night before his 33rd birthday, Brandon popped over to a bustling local sandwich place (the kind that always has a line out the door) to grab some dinner.
Walking across the patio, he noticed a cute little “food shack” right by the sandwich spot. Cute blue paint with white trim. Little window out front. Just the right size for a tiny ice cream and donut cart. And… it seemed vacant.
Brandon noticed a man grabbing something out of the back of the shack.
“I bet he’s the owner,” he thought to himself.
Acting on instinct, Brandon marched over and said, “Is this your cart?”
The man seemed surprised, caught off guard. He said, yes, it was.
“I’m looking to open an ice cream and donut business. Would you rent out this cart to me?”
The cart man seemed dubious. He explained that he was considering other options for the cart, already, and rattled off a few of his potential plans.
Brandon decided, in that moment, that he wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer.
He said, confidently, “A dessert cart would add huge value to this lot. Customers from your sandwich place could stop here afterwards for sweets, and they’d love that. Plus the coffee and donuts that I make would bring ‘morning traffic’ to your restaurant, too. It’s a win-win. You should rent this space to me. What do you need in order for this to be worth your while?”
The cart man smiled — recognizing a fellow entrepreneur, standing right in front of him — and handed Brandon his card. “Email me a proposal,” he said.
And Brandon did. That very same night.
I got this awesome update from Brandon’s girlfriend, a friend and colleague of mine, and I knew right away: I have to share this story on my blog!
Because it reinforces a powerful lesson:
If you’re waiting for a “miracle” to happen in your life — like having the perfect job, the perfect mentor, or the perfect spot for your first business just land in your lap — you’re going to be waiting an awfully long time.
Miracles don’t just “happen.” You have to chase them, demand them, create them!
If you’re trying to create a miracle by just “searching online” or “emailing people,” that’s a great start, but often, that’s not enough.
At a certain point, you need to close your computer, get outside, take a class, attend an event, connect face to face with people who might be able to help you, and in some cases, march right up to someone, introduce yourself, and make an offer on the spot!
So many people are very timid and uneasy when it comes to just “getting out there” — but when you find the confidence to do this (just like Brandon), that’s when the real breakthroughs occur.
What could you do, this week, to boldly put yourself out there?
Who could you invite out for a meal?
What kinds of meet-ups or parties could you attend?
What might happen if you got out of the house and started marching up and down the street, following your instincts, keeping your eyes wide open for career opportunities that will never, ever be “posted online”?
You can find amazing, meaningful work, no doubt about it — but it’s unlikely to happen if you’re approaching things “passively” or hiding shyly behind a computer screen.
Clicking, emailing, and perusing online job boards will only get you so far.
Bold, decisive action is what will unlock the door to the life and career you’ve always wanted.
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Image: Made U Look