Auntie Anne Beiler is no overnight success. Her journey as one of eight children growing up in a loving Amish household to later found the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise is one of epic proportions. Anne has found healing and her life’s true purpose in confessing—telling her story, and the lessons she learned to help others tell their story and find their life’s purpose. In 2005, she sold Auntie Anne’s Pretzels to pursue writing and speaking to audiences around the world, inspiring people with her authentic stories and life experiences. Her mission is to help women overcome the pain, blame and shame of their past by sharing their stories. And she is pleased to announce her newest book, Overcome and Lead, available today from Amazon and her website.
Anne tells Dr. Nancy that she lived a fairy tale life, marrying her “Eighth grade graduation sweetheart” and pursuing the life she had been raised to have as a wife and mother, when tragedy struck, and her life was changed forever in the blink of an eye. Her 19-month-old daughter was killed in her parents’ lane when Anne’s sister ran over her with a Bobcat. Not knowing how to cope with such a massive trauma, the young couple existed and went through the motions of life when Anne sought help from her pastor. Instead of helping, the pastor seized on her vulnerability and abused her. Anne hid the shame of it for nearly seven years before telling her husband. The subsequent healing caused both of them to want to help others. So, Anne bought a stall at a local farmer’s market and rolled and sold the pretzels she learned to make as a child. This early effort grew into Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and earned her awards for being among an elite group of women who have founded national companies and owned an international franchise company. She was also named as one of America’s 500 Women Entrepreneurs by “Working Women” and Entrepreneur of the Year by “Inc. Magazine.”
There’s Only One Auntie Anne in the Whole Wide World
Anne said that where women get in trouble is we compare ourselves to one another. She said we look at famous women who are doing great things in the world and think, “I’ll never be a Dr. Nancy. I’ll never be Oprah Winfrey. I will never be somebody else, no matter how grand and glorious they are and how much I wish I was.” When she started Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, she went from being a stay-at-home mom to operating two stores in one year, 12 stores the next year, then 35 the next year. She was overwhelmed and started feeling fearful because she looked around at others with successful businesses. She didn’t have what they did: formal educations, start up capital, even a business plan. But she couldn’t articulate her fear and whined to her husband about what she didn’t have. Finally he said, “Hon, why don’t you stop complaining and stop wishing that you were like someone else, because there is not another Auntie Anne that I know of in the whole wide world. And so, you are chosen to do this. And since you were chosen, God has equipped you. You’re going to learn as you go, and God will equip you as you go.” With this wisdom in mind, she began to focus on what she had: a great product, wonderful people working for her and a purpose in life. Anne says that is the great truth. When you find your purpose, it puts “fire in your bones.”
Anne starts her new book by saying her greatest success is not Auntie Anne’s the pretzel franchise, but Auntie Anne the person. “In order to overcome our obstacles, we must overcome ourselves.” She goes on to explain that once you overcome the obstacles (doubts and fears) you’ve put in your own way, opportunities open up. And the more opportunities present themselves, the more there are. Understanding that she has unique gifts to achieve her life’s purpose was her most powerful truth. Then she relied on many of the things she was taught as a child. To value people, as she says in this interview, value everyone the same—from the top management to the person sweeping the floor. And do not shirk any aspect of work. Don’t ask anyone to do anything you won’t do yourself. Respect everyone’s gifts. She found that trusting, valuing, and respecting her employees created ownership within them. And when people feel they own the company, they build a strong company.
A Miracle Story
Anne says that her story is a God story, a miracle story. She found success in her life and business out of the deepest, darkest despair. She felt that she had lost herself. She warns others not to be gullible and believe the pack of lies that point you to an easy fix. She says that when you discover who you are, “which is a beautiful person that has talents and gifts and has a great purpose that only you can fulfill…you will overcome any obstacle that comes your way.”
Listen to this conversation for more of Anne’s compelling story and Dr. Nancy’s philosophy about seizing on our talents and abilities. Check out all of Anne’s books, The Secret Lies Within, A Twist of Faith and her new, Overcome and Lead. Each one tells different aspects of Anne’s story and shares wisdom and triumphs of faith and love. Go to her website, AuntieAnnneBeiler.com, to find out about bonuses you can get if you buy Overcome and Lead during the first week it’s available on Amazon. That week starts NOW.