She was born at Oakland in California to a welder father and a housewife mother. She enjoyed making cookies right from her childhood days. She landed her first job at the age of 13. And she used the money ($5 a week) from the job to purchase cookie ingredients. She lacked any business experience when she was 20. But she was quite well informed of her passion of making cookies.
In the year 1977, Debbi set up her first cookie shop (Mrs Fields Chocolate Chippery) in Palo Alto, California. People thought she had gone crazy. They told her that it was just impossible to establish a business out of selling cookies. But Debbi had a rock-solid determination. She knew that she could make it happen.
Today, Debbi has the privilege of being a worldwide celebrity. Mrs Fields Cookies (which Debbi founded) is one of the largest retailers of freshly baked products in the US. The company currently serves around 650 locations across the United States.
Debbi Fields has also authored several cookbooks. How Debbie built a million dollar business out of a small cookie shop is also listed among the topics at the Harvard Business School. Debbie’s book titled “Mrs Fields Cookie Book: 100 Recipes from the Kitchen of Debbi Fields” topped the New York Times’ bestseller list. Yes, she truly made it happen!
Let us now have a look at the key success secrets that led Debbi to build a million dollar business out of her love of making cookies.
She Found Her Love Quite Early in Life
Debbi was fortunate to find the love of her life quite early. She kept herself busy making cookies right from the time she was a kid. She continued to experiment with different types of ingredients. She nurtured this love in the years that followed. She was truly passionate!
She Took Control of Her Life
You can’t realize your full potential unless you take control of your life. When you dream of doing something, you should believe in it as well. No matter what people think or say, you should carry on with a headstrong determination. Debbi knew she was really passionate about making cookies and she could establish a million dollar business out of it.
“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it”, says Debbi.
She Worked Really Hard
Though she wasn’t naturally talented, she was quite hard working. She was always ready to walk that extra mile throughout her entrepreneurial journey. The first cookie shop that Debbi opened in Palo Alto had not made a single sale by noon of the first day. Soon, Debbi was out into the street and began distributing cookies to people at no cost. As those cookies tasted good, people returned to her shop to buy more. That’s the attitude you need to have in order to achieve business success.
She Had a Sincere Concern for People
Debbi’s prime focus was to satisfy customers. She continued to produce superior quality baked products to make people happy. She never felt like she was running a cookie business. In fact, she sold joy. She sold a unique experience to people. So, her cookie business continued to grow. And she became successful.
She Automated the Business Operations
As Mrs Fields Cookies continued to grow and attract more customers, Debbi felt an urgent need to automate the business operations. In the year 1989, she set up highly efficient computer systems to fine-tune operations. The process of automation also brought franchising opportunities for her cookie business.
Do you find Debbi’s million-dollar story inspiring? Please feel free to share your own views and experiences.