Tag Archive: inspired


Say Anything is one of the greatest movies of all time.

I’ve had the amazing experience lately of being able to relive the 80’s again, but in a whole new way.  Recently I had the  joy of interviewing my dear old friend and new author Kari Luna on my radio show (here’s the link to that show:http://paramaniaradio.com/On-Demand.php?ondemanddir=Traveling%20Psychic%20Supper%20Club )- she wrote a bad ass book all about the 80’s, mixed tapes and kooky wonderful outfits, which also includes physics, loving friends and a wonderful story.  Her book is called The Theory of Everything.  You should read it.  it’s Awesome.  The 80’s were Awesome!  And we lived it.  The music the clothes, the awkward situations… everything….SO –  I watched Say Anything this morning with my daughter, who is 15.  I just let her watch it, and didn’t add anything.  That’s the way to watch a movie like that, without any extra stuff to think about.  But here’s the stuff I wanted to say:

Actually, I’m not going to tell you the things I wanted to say about the movie or the people in the movie and where they are now…  I’ll see what everyone remembers about the movie, how it made you feel, or what you think of it now, watching it again as an adult or watching it for the first time.  I’d love it if you added a comment about your thoughts on Say Anything…..Either way, watch it.  This is something I got out of it….and was thinking about as I was watching it.

I am lucky.  NO – I am tremendously lucky.  Diane, the main character in the movie has this wonderful relationship with her father, where she can literally say anything.  It made me start thinking about the people in my life, and how I too, can say anything.  I am amazingly grateful for this.  It has to do with dropping fear.  For me, but also for the people around me, not being afraid.  In the past few weeks I’ve had some opportunities to tell someone, and hear back from someone – Anything.  And coming from a place of not being afraid, was the key.  Not being afraid they couldn’t handle it.  Not being afraid it was the wrong thing.  Or would be taken the wrong way.  Just knowing what I was saying was the right thing – the only thing – this person at this time expected to hear from me.  This is tremendously freeing.  To be able to SAY and HEAR ANYTHING.

No, it’s not always been that way.  Who hasn’t been Diane Court, amazingly hopeful, also disappointed, afraid, not knowing what to do or what comes next?  On a pedestal one minute, then had the rug pulled out, not knowing how bad the fall is going to be?  Who hasn’t been Lloyd Dobler – put it all out there, told the truth, gotten smashed?  Had the opportunity to be the one with the upper hand, and used it with love?  Who hasn’t been Jim Court, wanting to hold onto what you’ve got, while you’re losing everything, living in a prison of poor choices and grave mistakes, created out of sheer love, but turned wrong somewhere all because of wanting to protect someone we love?  Who hasn’t been looked up to, or the one looking up to them?  The one standing on the rug, or the one having the rug pulled out, hard and fast?  The one needing a hand, or the one extending it?  The mistake maker, or the one the mistake was made against?  Who hasn’t been all of them, in one lifetime, at one point or another?

I heard In Your Eyes a whole new way today too, the song Lloyd plays for Diane, yes the iconic  with John Cusack holding the boom box in the rain – there’s only a piece of it, here:  And if you haven’t watched the movie, DON’T WATCH THIS!!  Watch the movie first.  But if you’ve seen it, it’s a nice little recap.  And you get to hear the song.  I like what it says, we’re all complete.  Not YOU COMPLETE ME.  But we are all complete in each other’s eyes.  Especially the eyes of those we love.

Watching this movie again after so many years of experiences…I have a new perspective.  And it’s just as wonderful as my perspective when I saw it the first time.  It’s one of hope.  With a lifetime of education.  It’s waking up not knowing every day, but working with what I’ve got, flying, Like Diane, into the future, with people around and behind me, each a Lloyd Dobler, who is turning it UP past the red line.  We all are each of the characters, looking up, in anticipation, waiting for it, waiting for it…

DING.

 

Today is a melancholy day.  Kids back in school, mixed feelings.  Pictures taken.  Started great, watched my sophomore walk off to the bus stop with her best friend, curls bobbing as she got smaller.  Drove the other to Middle School with Beastie Boys on the stere-O, Kisses goodbye.  Now I have the house to myself again, and hours of silence and peace and quiet, except for the occasional chicken cackle from out back or the new budgie chirping from up front.  Or phone call.  And all these emails to answer.

Still moving forward on that little idea, that little flag that was raised, which is snowballing into its own wonderful entity…

THE PROJECT we call it.  For now.

So with phone calls made for the day, emails sent, I finally get to sit down and write on the blog again.  And having come through all different kinds of emotions today I’m settling on words that I guess are a poem, constructed from a few of todays experiences.  If you like this, great.  If not, I’m not going to apologize.  It’s where I am, right now.

Where are you?

Walking back through the doors of the haunted house, I get a glimpse of who I am.  In my space which I have created, alone again.  Not bad alone, not good alone, indifferent, sloshing from light to dark and back again.  Swirling on the tilt a whirl.

Darkness on my right shoulder is mirrored by the angel on my left.  The constant tornado of light that pounds into my head from above, directly behind my left eye, is now joined by the new spike hammered in through my left temple.  A steel hammer on a steel spike, tink, tink, tink.  Not nearly as unpleasant as it sounds.

I’m done with talking, voice worn out.  Just watching and waiting, for the next piece.  I’ve extended the only hand I can.  So I’m Ophelia now.  Sinking slowly, gently smiling.  Not in water, but in blood.  As the sun warms my face, I wait.

 I’ve got my number now.

by Katie Rose Pipkin

artwork by Katie Rose Pipkin

 

 

Last night I went to a Chopped watching party for Nate Echelberger – a local pastor, half of the team Holy Smokers (check out their super awesome BBQ sauce – on shelves now in Austin, and available online at www.sauceonpurpose.com) and oh yea, an amateur chef who competed on last night’s Chopped.

When we got to the party, it was PACKED!  So many people were there to support Nate, it’s clear that he’s loved by so many.  I don’t even know Nate, but my husband does.  So I’ve been following his Chopped story since the beginning.  And I’m a HUGE fan of Chopped – my kids and I have watched it forever.  I’ve even written about it before here on the Supper Club blog.  And after writing about it got my own phone call that put the Traveling Psychic Supper Club’s Cable Network Connection engine in motion.  But this post isn’t about us, it’s about Nate, and being inspired.

So Nate ended up on Chopped – and I ended up at this party because of hot sauce.  By a series of clicks and connections Nate and his Holy Smokers Cohort Jon entered and won a cooking contest, which lead to another cooking contest and so on.  Since I’ve gotten all of this info second-hand I’ll just skip to last night – watching Chopped with 300 other people.  The energy there was great – anxious and hopeful, supportive and happy.  As a viewer of not only the show, but the scene going on around me, it was fun to watch. Of course nobody knew going in the outcome of the show so we all watched together, applauding and laughing through the appetizer round  then…ohhh no.  Nate was chopped – and as he walked down the hall, with the camera on him, he was smiling and happy and everyone at the party was cheering.  We were all cheering – not because he won probably one of the craziest, anxiety provoking cooking competitions there is.  No, we were cheering because he took the chance to get there in the first place.  Because that show is CRAZY and he got everything on the plate, and the flavors were there.  But unfortunately because he hadn’t worked with scallops straight out of the shell before (I mean really, who HAS??  we all get scallops from the store, pretty and squeaky clean…) so was some sand.  So he got chopped.

But the story doesn’t end there.  Last night’s party was also part of the launch of the Holy Smokers sauce.

sauce

So everyone there was there for Chopped of course, but also to be part of this inspiring new path that Nate and Jon have started on (with some help from a friend of ours, Todd – an inspiration in his own right – who helped make it happen, along with I’m sure many, many others).  It was inspiring to see these guys on a path they may not have foreseen, but are taking the steps and doing it.  On a path that started with entering a cooking competition, and led to their sauce on grocery store shelves and beyond.  It made me reflect on my own path, that doesn’t involve sauce, but a supper club.  And it made me reflect on all the people who are a part of it, and supporting it and making it happen.  Can Sauce change someone’s life?  Or a TV show?  Sure, why not?  We’ll see.

We recently got Cinnabon – not once but TWICE over the Thanksgiving holiday.  My family LOVES Cinnabon.  It’s too sweet for me, it’s so appealing to the eye, but one bite is more than enough for me.  So I tweeted (@suburbanclair) that Cinnabon just isn’t for me (or something along those lines…)

Then that night Cinnabon started following me, which tickled me because it’s not like I tweeted WHHOOOO HOOO LOVES ME SOME CINNABON!!  And I didn’t think about it again.  Then today – wait, and please, stay with me…I normally use Google Chrome but for some reason it’s been running slow so I’ve gone back to using Explorer because it doesn’t drag so bad.  The downside of that is when it opens a window it opens Yahoo.  I always get sucked into the story on the front page.  And it usually is a total waste of time.  But today the article caught my attention particularly because it was about, of course… CINNABON!!

Or more specifically the president Kat Cole.  Now I know some Yahoo stories can be all fluff and who knows how valid they are, but I read this article and enjoyed it.  Reading it reminded me of what I’ve already had on my mind – that I need to do better on the business aspect of my business.  or actually, BUSINESSES.  I know ya’ll all know me from this blog and the TRAVELING PSYCHIC SUPPER CLUB and everything having to do with that, but I also spent a couple of years writing a curriculum for kids (specifically girls) to teach them to trust their instincts under my company I PROJECT CONFIDENCE.

www.iprojectconfidence.com

I’ve got the program working in a couple of schools, and through some community centers a little bit.  But not NEARLY as well as it should be.  What I want it to be and where it is are so far apart that sometimes it depresses me.  And the reason for this is probably because I’m not a very good business woman.  When I look at it from the perspective of an outsider I think, wait!  This person wrote this whole thing, and isn’t pushing it day and night?? What’s up with that??  but in reality, IPC is just me.  Kind of like with the supper club…

www.travelingpsychicsupperclub.com

 I’m the marketer, the press release writer, the contact, the accountant, the website designer and updater…all the way back to blog writer.  For both businesses.  *SIGH*  It gets kind of overwhelming at times.  Which is probably one of the reasons I’ve been sick for the past two weeks, my body saying, “HEY!! Take a break, will ya??”  But you are probably saying what does that have to do with CINNABON??

Well, I was inspired by Kat Cole’s story.  I know doors open and blocks are moved and things happen as they are supposed to.  I agree so much that helping others (out of love, not the desire to “get ahead”) helps us.  I’ve learned that from doing the work I do with CASA – which has also been on my mind today.  So, at this moment in time, I stopped to read about someone inspirational.  I even went to follow her on twitter – and she sent me a little shout back.  That made me feel happy.  That someone so busy – uh, running a massive company- takes the time to say hi.  Just another nice little connection.

SO here is the article in full – I know people don’t normally click links – so if you have the time, read it.  And then take a minute to help someone.  Who knows where it may take you?  maybe it will take you to Cinnabon…

From Hooters To High Places: How Kat Cole Turned Cinnabon Into A $1 Billion Brand

ForbesForbes – 22 hours ago

Kat Cole, 34, got an unlikely start in the food industry. While in high school in Jacksonville, Fla., she worked part-time as a Hooters girl, serving beer and chicken wings in those tiny orange shorts. At age 19, she got a once-in-lifetime opportunity to help the restaurant chain expand internationally. She hung up her plans to become an engineer and lawyer, opting instead to take the executive path in food retail. In the decade she spent at Hooters, Cole says it went from approximately 100 locations and $300 million in revenue to 500 locations in 33 countries and $1 billion in revenue.
Now Cole hopes to work her magic again. This time as president of shopping-mall cinnamon roll brand Cinnabon, an Atlanta, Ga.-based unit of the FOCUS Brands portfolio, which also includes Carvel, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Moe’s Southwestern Grill. Beyond its 1000 franchise locations in 50 countries, Cinnabon has expanded into grocery-store products by partnering with packaged-food kings Pillsbury and Kellogg. It’s also ramping up its presence in other restaurant chains by teaming up with fast-food leaders Burger King and Taco Bell. Cole says it’s about to hit $1 billion in retail sales and will soon be considered one of the “world’s greatest food brands.”
She sat down with me to reveal what’s in store for the company, how she ended up here and why those little shorts were the best thing that happened to her.
Jenna Goudreau: Bring me up to speed on the Cinnabon business.
Kate Cole: It’s becoming one of the world’s greatest food brands. Eventually it will end up in the bucket with brands like Oreo and Hershey.
That’s a bold statement for a shopping-mall pastry.  It’s no longer just a bakery in malls. That’s still the heart, but it’s only the nucleus of a much bigger thing. Several years ago Cinnabon started getting into consumer packaged goods. We own a proprietary ingredient, Cinnabon cinnamon, which is chemically different at the cellular level, making it gooey and aromatic. Because we’ve built credibility in the cinnamon roll space and Pillsbury is the largest seller of refrigerated dough, we joined forces and put our cinnamon in their rolls and our name on the package.
We continued to expand into waffles and pancakes, which led to a partnership with Kellogg’s cereal and other smaller branded partnerships. We now have 60 products—including syrups, sprinkles and Cinnabon International Delight creamer—in grocery and big-box stores like Costco, Wal-Mart, Target and Publix. People go to the grocery much more often than the mall or airport, so it’s a good way to be a regular part of their lives.
You’re also venturing into product licensing. How does that work?
Making products for other restaurant chains is the final frontier and the reason we’re about to hit $1 billion in retail sales, a major milestone for the brand. Licensing is the love-child of franchising and consumer packaged goods because we are now developing products for immediate consumption at other restaurant chains. We’ve got a doughnut product that we developed for Taco Bell called Cinnabon Delights, and we just launched Cinnabon Minibons in over 7,000 Burger King locations. The chains want something that will resonate with consumers, so they’ll pay a premium. The cinnamon, dough and frosting are all proprietary, so with these ingredients we can go anywhere.
How do you mitigate the risks of expanding so rapidly?
Many leaders go wrong by turning their backs on their core and chasing the next thing. My licensing deals would have limited life if the franchises went away, so it’s critical to reinvest in the core. We have about 25% of our domestic franchises remodeled. They’ve got a sexier, sleek look that doesn’t look like Grandma’s bakery. By the end of next year, 50% will be reimaged.
This is not a healthy food. The classic roll has 800 calories. How do you balance business and community responsibility?
There is a place in the market for indulgent brands. Even though there’s a big focus on health, Pres. Obama still has a greasy hamburger every once in a while. We’re not telling people to eat a classic roll every day. Everybody gives themselves discretionary calories. If you’re going to give yourself a treat, give yourself something that is so worth it. It has more pleasure per calorie than anything else that’s out there. You’ve been running major food brands since you were in your early 20s. Do other leaders raise an eyebrow at your age?
If they do, they’re doing it on the inside. Youth is in my favor. Anytime you’ve got someone young, they’re curious. I’m humble enough to know there’s a whole lot of [stuff] I don’t know. I ask for a lot of help and people are generous when you ask.
Your career path began in an unusual place: A Hooters restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla.
I had a single parent—a mother who worked three jobs and fed us on $10 a week—so I started working as early as the law would permit. I sold clothes at The Avenues mall after school before I was recruited to be a Hooters hostess. By 18, I was a Hooters girl and loved it. When the cook quit, I learned how to run the kitchen, and when the manager quit, I learned how to run a shift.
I went to college at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, planning to get an engineering degree and then go to law school. When I was 19, I got the opportunity to go open the first Hooters restaurant in Australia. I’d never been on a plane. I didn’t even have a passport. I realized that in Miami you could get a passport in one day, so I flew to Miami, got a passport and flew to Australia the next day.
I was in Sydney for 40 days, came back and within 10 days was asked to open the first restaurant in Central America. Then ones in South America, Asia, Africa and Canada. By the time I was 20, I’d opened up the first Hooters on most continents outside the US and was failing school. So I quit to become the head of Hooters corporate training. I’m a college dropout.
I read that you have an MBA. How did you swing that?
It’s very rare. I moved up quickly at Hooters, becoming vice president of the company, and was urged by mentors to go back to school. I was 29 and thinking: Gosh, I’m already a VP of a $1 billion company. Do I really need to go back and finish my Bachelor’s? I took the GMAT, went through double the interviews at the university and got letters from every CEO I knew, including a recommendation from Ted Turner. I was accepted to Georgia State’s MBA program and did nights and weekends from 2008 to 2010. I graduated two months after I started at Cinnabon.
What attracted you to Cinnabon?
I met the current CEO, Russ Umphenour, and developed a major business crush on him. It felt right. It’s a multi-brand portfolio, and I knew I’d get to learn from the other brands. I was interviewing there, still in school, running the Georgia Restaurant Association and handling a huge, complicated Hooters transaction. The CEO had died, and I was asked to lead the company’s liquidation, dealing with analysts, brokers, investors and the internal team. The whole time I was thinking: Thank God I went to class yesterday or I wouldn’t have known what that meant! I started at Cinnabon after Hooters signed the purchase agreement.
Do you have some supernatural ability of multitasking?
I don’t have kids. The work is incredibly fulfilling and I’ve had fun, so it’s easy to do it. Layering in the education was the most difficult.
What advice would you give other young women hoping to succeed in business?
Get diversity in where your experience comes from. Volunteer. Be a part of some industry organization. I started out as the nametag lady, handing out nametags at the Women’s Foodservice Forum events. They took me in when I was 24 and made critical introductions and gave me volunteer opportunities that allowed me to develop other areas of my career like finance and marketing that I wasn’t getting the technical opportunity to do in my company. It was a safe place to run committees and work on projects in different areas.

At one of their events, this woman was lost and I helped her find her way. It turns out she was the founder of Pink magazine, on a ton of tech startup boards and doing big things. I was just helping her find her way, and we ended up being friends. When you do the right things for the right reasons, it always pays you back.

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