Recipe for Success
If you’ve been to the ever popular eatery, Love & Honey Fried Chicken in Philly, you know the lively Laura Lyons, co-owner, and “Shot Caller” of this rapidly growing, hometown success story. What you may not know is how she credits visualization, in part, for carrying her and her husband, Todd Lyons, through the beginning, the middle, and the “what’s next” of this entrepreneurial journey. During our one-on-one Veraki Vision Story Interview, Laura provided us with an inside look to how she uses the power of visualization.
“Part of visualization is about being open to your goals happening, but not always in the way you thought they would,” says Lyons. With the twists and turns her career has taken, Lyons definitely speaks from a place of hard-earned wisdom.
Growing up in New Jersey, she thought the only way she could channel her love of food was to become a chef. Lyons attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and proceeded to work in a kitchen for a few years. While working as a chef, she had an “a-ha” moment. As much as she loved food—she didn’t really enjoy cooking it.
Switching her focus, Lyons took more management and marketing courses and discovered she enjoyed learning how customers make decisions. She took her skill set of creativity and drive and started her own business. After creating a traveling cooking school, developing curriculum, and going to students’ homes to teach them how to cook, she had to face the fact she wasn’t making enough money to keep herself financially solid. So, she got clear on her vision and set a new goal.
“One day, I took a small action. I wrote down on a piece of paper that I was going to make a six figure salary,” Lyons said. She posted that piece of paper on her bulletin board in her home office and looked at it every day. Soon after, she accepted the role of Director of National Consumer Culinary Education for Le Cordon Bleu, an international chain of hospitality and culinary schools. Her passion, coupled with her creativity, helped her develop consumer programs that were innovative and fresh. She loved the work, but the U.S. company abruptly closed, and she was facing another fork in the road.
Veraki suggests: When your path demands change, go back to the feeling your vision ignites. Ask yourself, "What do you want to feel every day while living this goal?"
Lyons looked at her vision and realized what she truly desired was to work alongside her husband, Todd Lyons, because, when they are together, she feels such a loving, strong bond between them. That feeling is noticeable to everyone who meets them. Customers even call them an adorable couple.
As a team, she knew they could be successful at anything they tried. Without a clear path of what type of venture they would start, Lyons continued to visualize the feeling she wanted when working alongside her husband.
Then, one day, both her and her husband had an idea. If they could combine her creativity and his love of cooking, they could bring their passion of food into something new. They envisioned opening a small restaurant that did one dish really well – and that signature dish would be fried chicken.
Next, she envisioned the business in action. “We visualized being successful,” said Lyons. “I knew immediately when I saw the location of the restaurant that it was the one. I could see lines out the door at the restaurant, the great press we’d get, etc. I saw our restaurant as a go-to place for families. I could see our success before it happened.”
Step by step, Laura and Todd worked to make their vision a reality. “Those original feelings of success really are what carried me over the finish line, especially when the work load got heavy.” she said.
Three years later, Love & Honey has earned top accolades including being voted Best of Philly (2018), Best in America by the Today Show (2019), Best in PA by Food Network (2019).
What’s next for Lyons? “Love & Honey Friend Chicken will eventually be a global brand,” she said. “I am confident in our success. I know what the stores will look like. I feel that excitement building again. We’re working hard to grow the business.”
When asked what she’d like to share with her followers about what she’s learned, Lyons says, “Visualization without action is nothing. Know your skill set. Be realistic. Work hard. Know what action steps you need to take to make this goal happen and keep doing them until you form a habit. And most of all, trust your gut feelings. It’s easy to get talked out of something. If you’re displeased with your life and how it’s going (job, relationship, weight, etc) fix it now! Do the work and fix it. What’s keeping you from changing?”
What's your Vision Story? How do you use visualization in your life? Watch for more Veraki Vision Story Interviews and send them to your friends. Our connection deepens when we share our feelings and experiences. www.veraki.com