Words of Wisdom: Perseverance

Jan bio photo
Jan Muhleman
July 17, 2018
July 17, 2018

I just read an article on Susan Todoroff, a longtime friend and the founder of Juicy Kitchen Café, in a local publication, The Brick Magazine. Susan exemplifies perseverance. In the article, she shares the challenges and rewards she faced in building her restaurant.

I witnessed her gaunt frame and tired expression firsthand, when she was considering closing her café and again, when after selling it, she stepped in and took it back. Through it all she kept going, working to create her vision of healthy food and friendly service—her effort rewarded by the line at her door and the compliments of her customers.

Every business goes through ups and downs, sometimes through the consequences of your own actions but often due to circumstances beyond your control. What defines success is how you respond to the situation, determining when to pivot, when to double down or when to jump ship altogether.

REGROUP is the fourth generation of a company I co-founded over 40 years ago. Throughout the journey, there has been a lot of change but also a lot of consistency. Our founding values and core beliefs are intact, and we are fortunate to have a core team of leaders who have persevered through seven different parent companies and back to independence.

Perseverance is not about doggedly sticking to one idea or direction. It is about figuring out what is next and which way to go when you come to a roadblock. We were totally energized when our parent company fired 100 of us and resigned the $85 million in billings that we were responsible for. It gave us license to find a new home and pursue the resigned business.

Little did we know that over the next five years, the scenario would be repeated again and again. Fortunately, through it all, our team persevered.

We have been happily independent for the past 15 years. Today our focus is on our continued sustainability and independence. Our products, services, people and even our name may change, but our sense of purpose—to help grow people and businesses—will remain.