Cameron Mitchell was a young man from a little town in Ohio on a road to nowhere. He had one of the lowest grade point averages in his graduating high school class. By his own admission, he was a bad employee working a dead end job at a restaurant with little or no prospects. Soon, he found himself getting into more serious trouble and was at a crossroad.
One night while working his shift he had a spark of inspiration that would go on to change his entire course and the lives of more than 4,000 people.
Young Mitchell realized that the restaurant he worked at was a pocket business for the owners and they were running it into the ground. With little to lose he felt like he could do a much better job and committed his dream of owning his own restaurant to paper the very same night.
Overnight he became the restaurant’s hardest working employee as he soaked up as much knowledge as he could. Eager to learn all aspects of the business, Mitchell later went to culinary school and eventually opened his first location.
Fast forward a couple of decades and Cameron Mitchell restaurants are a thing. Mitchell has banked hundreds of millions in revenue with deals and new locations that continue to thrive with no slowing down in sight.
What is the secret to Mitchell’s success in an industry mostly wrought with failure? The short answer can be found in his philosophy, which is: “The Answer is ‘Yes,’ What’s the Question?”
That is, Cameron Mitchell is in the hospitality and amazing experience business. He also happens to serve extraordinary food. He also puts his 4,000+ employees, not customers, first. By taking good care of his people and building trust, his people in turn take good care of the restaurant patrons. It’s that simple.
Mitchell’s privately-owned company Cameron Mitchell Restaurants now has 32 locations in 12 states, and sister company Rusty Bucket runs another 24. Despite his success, Mitchell doesn’t take his wins for granted because he’s in touch with his roots and how difficult being an entrepreneur can be.
“I’m scared all the time,” Mitchell says. “I still live with fear even today . . . . But, fear is like the sun. It comes up every day. It’s always there, and it’s the same with competition. You just have to go out and do it.”
I hope you will enjoy this video with restaurateur, Cameron Mitchell as much as I did. Be sure to leave a comment, hit me back on Instagram, Tweet me @Bryan Elliott or check out the full library of videos on my Youtube channel.
Originally published at medium.com