I do not “read” many books these days, as I prefer to listen while I exercise, but as I was packing up for my family’s spring break this year, I knew that I would have some beach time so I threw Misty Young’s book, From Rags to Restaurants, in my suitcase. It was a great decision! My copy of the physical book now has 11 dog-eared pages and 114 hand written notes.


How to guide for making your small business thriveFor anyone that has not chased their dreams because the world dealt you a bad hand, read this book. For anyone that doubts the power of faith, focus and persistence, read this book. For anyone that feels like you are on life’s treadmill, working hard, but not getting anywhere, read this book. For anyone that does not have a personal or professional plan in place, read this book.

Misty’s story of growing up in poverty (moved 17 times before she was 15), becoming a continuous learner (putting herself through college, graduating from healing school, reading every book she could get her hands on, becoming a certified John Maxwell Team Member and much more), having a career in politics, buying the Squeeze In (a small restaurant in Truckee, California), building the foundation for growth, and transforming it into five locations is what Passion for Possibilities is all about. But don’t think extraordinary businesses and cultures, like that of the Squeeze In, are built with luck or in a year or two. Businesses like the Squeeze In are built by passionate people that develop a plan and tirelessly perfect, tweak and refine the processes to create scale. It’s the how to guide to the American Dream!

As I sat on the beach reading this book and reflecting on the hundreds of small business owners I have worked with throughout my career, I smiled often as Misty talked about her processes and the importance of collecting data, financial reporting and using information to make decisions in your business. I smiled as she describes her loyalty program, the Egg Head Club, how the Squeeze In creatively financed expansion, and how they decided that building a company to create jobs for family was a good thing. Yes, it takes passion and vision to build a thriving business, but marry that with the essential fundamentals (great financials, a plan, attracting good people and creating culture of transparency and accountability), and literally, sky’s the limits.

Misty, her husband Gary and now their daughter and President of Squeeze In, Shila Morris (who we had the pleasure of speaking with on The Second Stage), did not let less than perfect beginnings stop them from chasing their dreams. Since reading this book, I tried to think of an example of an “unhappy person” that had a personal passion and a plan to reach their goals. I could not think of one. Can you? Maybe it is worth the effort – only you can decide.


Posted by: Brendan AndersonA co-founder and managing partner at Evolution, Brendan has spent the past 20 years as an investor and manager of businesses ranging from manufacturing to financial services. @Brendan_Andersn