Using Shame to Fuel Hopes

Debbi was the youngest of five children born in Oakland California. She was known as the cookie girl because she hoped to have her own cookie business someday.

When she was 20, she married a Stanford graduate who had his own investment group. She would often be in charge of entertaining clients in their home. It was one of those evenings that eventually led to her hopes being realized. In a conversation with a client, she was asked what she did other than entertain for her husband. The tone of the question was condescending as he munched on one of her cookies.

After the event, Debbi put together a plan for a cookie store. While her husband was skeptical of her venture, he did agree to help get a bank to finance it. At first she sold only chocolate chip cookies.

What seemed like a good idea was initially a flop. No one bought cookies until Debbi stood outside the store and offered free samples. Again, her shame helped fuel the success of her hopes. Once people tried a cookie they raved about them and the business took off.

Debbi added other types of cookies to her store and renamed it Mrs. Field’s cookies. In roughly 10 years, Mrs. Fields cookies grew to 425 stores. Debbi was insistent on the quality of her product and visited every store on a regular basis. Debbi became an author and a TV host.

It often takes a moment to spur us to achieve our hopes. These moments can be pleasant ones or, like in Debbi’s case, a moment of shame. What matters is to use the moment as a motivator. This requires an awareness of what moments may mean for our future.

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“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.” – Anais Nin (Author)

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