A few years ago I saw on interview with Cordia Harrington, on Donny Deutsch’s show The Big Idea. It really struck a cord with me and I think of it and refer to it frequently. When stuck or frustrated, I sometimes think, "What would Cordia do?" So I thought I would share the bullet points with you.
* Cordia Harrington opened a McDonalds restaurant in Effingham, Illinois, population 10,000.
* Her McDonalds wasn’t doing well and she needed a way to drive traffic to this rural location. So she borrowed the money to buy a Greyhound Bus franchise and put the bus stop right on the corner of her McDonalds parking lot. (I didn’t know Greyhound bus stops were franchises. Interesting.) On a normal day, 88 buses would stop daily, and over 120 buses a day stopped during the summer. Sales took off, and Cordia’s McDonalds became one of the top forty in the US. She was able to open two more McDonalds in the Midwest.
* During this time she was put on the McDonalds bun committee, the group that oversaw quality and consistency of the hamburger buns. Cordia learned a lot and decided that she could produce buns for McDonalds more efficiently than the current producers.
* Today, she is CEO of The Bun Company with three high volume bakeries, which supply buns and English muffins worldwide to McDonalds and other food distributors.
* Cordia Harrington also started a trucking company, Bun Lady Trucking, to make sure that her buns get to market on time.
Cordia Harrington sums up her philosophy, saying “Instead of moaning and complaining, you have to take that energy, when problems happen, and put it towards taking you to the next level.”
The lesson: If you have a problem, look at it from every angle, and then fix it by taking control of the situation.