Advice on Entrepreneurship & Motherhood from Debbi Fields
One of my fond memories as a kid was going to the mall with my parents and being treated with a warm chocolate chip cookie from a Mrs. Fields location. I bet many of us have similar memories of happiness in the form of a cookie, and we have Debbie Fields, the “Mrs. Fields,” to thank for that. Not only did she start her business from scratch (pun intended), she single-handedly created one of the most well-known dessert empires. When I was asked if I wanted to interview her about her newest adventure, becoming a mentor on Lifetime’s new Supermarket Superstar, I jumped at the chance. Here is a woman who has followed her dreams of starting her own business, without sacrificing the family she always wanted.
I felt at home talking with Debbi, like she was a life-long friend. It may be the connection we have of both being woman entrepreneurs, as well as moms, but I think it was more due to Debbi’s ability to make people feel welcome. It is that comfort that she said was important to bestow to her customers through cookies. When asked what inspired her to start her own business, she said “I love to make people smile…it is my oxygen.”
I related to Debbi as she stated that she never anticipated being an entrepreneur, she just wanted to help people feel good. It was that simple desire, and her belief that cookies should only be made from quality ingredients that started her down the path to creating her own business. And it is this quality that makes her an excellent mentor on Supermarket Superstar.
About Supermarket Superstar
Debbi said she is excited to be a part of Supermarket Superstar because she can help to encourage, inspire, and motivate people. The show allows everyday people with a product they are passionate about to follow their dreams of getting it into mass production. It provides resources to help them along the entrepreneur path – and that is an exciting opportunity! The show isn’t just about new products; it is about helping small businesses grow. Debbi said she wanted to be a mentor because it allows her to help build people up, and encourage them to keep going through the hurdles of running a business. It may not be easy, but it is the people that look at failure as a lesson that are able to learn and move on.
Debbi Field’s Advice
I asked Debbi what the best piece of advice she received was and her answer was a bit surprising. She told me that after many rejections, her mom told her that she should just give up. It was this “advice” that pushed her to become even more determined to succeed. She now has a motto: “No is an unacceptable answer” that has guided her through many rejections and challenges as a business woman. Along those same lines, her advice for her children is to always give your personal best, celebrate greatness, and improve mediocrity.
And to those of us that try to balance entrepreneurship with motherhood? Debbi said it perfectly when she stated that “on both sides, you are always on call.” There is no reason to pick one or the other; it is possible to have both dreams. She recommends setting priorities, planning mini-goals, giving yourself affirmations, and managing expectations. Zero in on loving your family when you are with them, and when you are able to work, focus on getting done what needs to be done. For a woman with 25+ years of entrepreneur experience, an author, a mother and a mentor, I was inspired by her story and drive. I’m looking forward to seeing more episodes of Supermarket Superstar to find even more inspiration – aren’t you?
Catch Debbi and the rest of the Supermarket Superstar cast on Thursday 10:30.9:30c on Lifetime.