At the age of 18, Kat Cole, who studied engineering at the University of North Florida, started working as a waitress at Hooters so that she could take care of her school needs without burdening her family. Cole, who also did everything needed in Hooters apart from waitressing, soon became the most popular employee and the person sent to Australia to give a new franchise.
But school life prevented him from doing so, and Cole took a huge risk and dropped out, deciding to seize this opportunity. When we examine the great works that are emerging these days, we often encounter drop-out stories, as in Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. But remember that not every school dropout becomes a billionaire.
Kat Cole quickly climbed the ladder of success without missing any opportunity and without even a college degree. It was one of the most influential events that he accepted the offer to go to Australia here, at the cost of dropping out of school. Cole learned from his mother, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” He is someone who has adopted his word as a philosophy of life and has evaluated the opportunities that come before him in this direction.
It can be very difficult to predict which doors the opportunities will open for us, so never forget that it is necessary to take bold steps and take risks without fear!
After Australia, Cole went to Hooters’ new overseas franchises and continued to train and motivate employees there. Even though he could not graduate from university, he applied to the MBA program and was accepted. (Some universities in the USA accept experienced students into MBA programs even if they have not yet graduated from university.)
Making the most of every opportunity he got, Cole left Hooters in 2010 and was hired at Cinnabon. After his success there, he became CEO of Cinnabon in 2011, at just 32 years old. In 2013, Cinnabon’s sales were estimated to reach billions of dollars. In addition, Kat Cole is currently serving as the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Cinnabon.
While working at Hooters at a young age, not only being a waitress but also working as a cook or a cleaner when necessary, enabled the young CEO to observe the work and the employees closely. In this way, we can say that it can analyze the problems better and produce more rational and logical solutions. Here are some advices on the way to success from this amazing woman who has achieved so much in her young age!
Never turn down an opportunity. (If Kat Cole, who agreed to go to Australia even though she didn’t even have a passport at the time, had she turned down this offer, we probably wouldn’t know any of us right now.)
As a leader, listen carefully and closely to your employees.
See every challenge you face as a chance to learn something new.
If the risk is big, start small and prove success. Kat Cole’s favorite quote on this subject is “Taking small steps is not moving away from your goals, it’s getting one step ahead.”
Stay true to yourself. Taking risks will put you out of a comfortable position; but it should never change your character and self.
Focus on the goal and never forget what you are risking for.