Friday, November 6, 2009

Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress

I am currently reading a book called Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress by Carolyn Gable (It's All Good Publishing, LLC), and as crazy as that title sounds, I believe in the idea. As a former waitress myself, I've learned that sometimes the smallest lessons you learn while serving tables can dramatically change the way you see completing tasks at your ideal job. Think about it: I'm (almost) college educated, and I'm definitely smarter than scooping chips and wiping salsa. There is absolutely no shame in serving tables, and it was definitely quick money, but I knew if I could do this, I could do anything. She has authored that this is true. I wanted to share a few principles she highlighted, as well as my interpretations, and maybe you can benefit in your career path as well.

  1. Have Fun: Loving your job starts with loving your life. Showing gratitude for your place in the working world starts with an appreciation of the blessings God has bestowed upon you. When I was serving I always reminded myself that this was a much needed way to pay my bills, and honestly, you work hardest when there is no other way. Often times we find our thoughts so involved with what we're doing at the present time that we forget we're working toward a goal. Although you may not be in the place you want to be right now, or even the field you wish to pursue, there are lessons to be learned at every step of your path. Why miss out on the great opportunity you have to find out what you like, how to deal with your shortcomings, or how to really exude your strengths in the work world? If you think of your starting position as a practice field, consider exercising accordingly. Show that you truly are a star player, and the habit for excellence you have developed will show in your ideal path.
  2. Patience is not Complacency: I believe that if I demonstrate patience the universe will reward me. We really do live in the world of "now." Things come so quickly and can be found so fast. But if everyone could easily reach the level of success you deserve, it wouldn't really be a rewarding feat, would it? Think about people you know who have had nice things. Did it really resonate within them if they got them easily? Now think about those you know with great things? The hard work builds character. By understanding the great things come in time, we are not settling for a mediocre lifestyle. We just know that our diligence will pay off. I know I have what I need to make it, I'm just waiting for my time to come.
  3. Be Personable. Because it's all about Relationships: We often hear the phrase "It's not about what you know, but who you know." I hear this often as I've continued to try to work in media for some time. The flip side to this is "It's not about who you know, but who knows you." This is the essence of a relationship. Who can you call that will actually answer? To take it back to serving, when I combined these three key elements my wallet had the best feeling at the end of the night. I mean, who do you tip when you're dining out? In the working world, your payoff is the network you have built by being personable. My big fat tip is the connection I have made to an individual, and where the feeling I leave them with puts me. Networking is essential to succeeding in business, you know that. Your name is your brand. What are you doing to take it to the next level?
As her "About the Author" states, we should all aim "to be a credit to society." This means you have to humbly work toward your goals and make the most you can out of all of the situations life has given you. These are only three of the wonderful tips she learned as a waitress that took her company to multi-million dollar earning status, and I encourage all of you to pick up the book if you can. Even if these ideas seem basic, they will definitely serve as encouragement for you to build a stronger character as you move toward your goals. Everything I Know as a CEO I Learned as a Waitress is available at ($15.95), and you can go to her website at

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