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Better than the Law of Attraction: How a restaurant could have cheated at LOA and won

Shortly after The Secret, a best-selling book and video about the Law of Attraction, was published in 2007, my husband and I were eating hamburgers a little after noon in a small, not-so-great diner in a modest strip mall in California. The mailman entered and handed the sole employee on duty (and apparent owner) her mail.

The joint had been quiet—the owner and the two of us were almost the only people there—when she turned on her energy for her daily confidant.

Eureka! She found the Law of Attraction

“I will soon be rich,” she exclaimed. “Last night I found out the secret. I read the whole book and I’ve made up my mind. I know just what to do. Incredible wealth is manifesting and my life will totally turn around in no time at all.”

She continued in this vein, excited by all the miracles and money that were inevitable. Nothing specific about what she would do to earn all this cash, but she showed off-the-charts joy in learning the secret known only to the most impressive names in world history.

The mailman had completed his task and took off for the next store, having listened without comment, a little short on the passion such imminent success should inspire.

I was disappointed. I had eavesdropped as much as I could, not concerned that I may appear to be nosy, trying to pick up an idea that would maybe work for me too.

But alas, I had gained no specific ideas, having witnessed a blast of fire but with no sparks of brilliance.

If I were her, I would have started where I was. The restaurant had plenty of room for improvement. There were hardly any customers at lunchtime. The place wasn’t dirty but it wasn’t sparkling clean either. There was little appeal.

So I came up with my own inspirations, clustered around a central theme of bringing in more customers and more revenue per customer right here in the opportunity (that is, the restaurant) she already owned

Here are some ideas to start with:

  • Clean the large glass windows until they shine. (They were cloudy, and the rays of harsh sunshine highlighted the dust and the streaks from hasty wipes.)

  • Really clean the rest of the establishment. Perhaps bring in some potted plants or paint the walls, maybe even change up some of the furnishings if there was an affordable way to do it.

  • Expand the menu. (To someone like me from the Midwest, there’s something sad about a California restaurant where the most attractive offering is a simple hamburger.)

  • Reprint the menu with photos or artwork or something else to jazz it up.

  • Garnish the dishes with California pizzazz, such as orange and lemon wedges, avocado, fresh cherry tomatoes and even that old standby, a sprig of parsley.

  • Combine elements of the existing menu to make interesting California-style platters, perhaps vegetarian or gluten-free or seasonal. Maybe some new diet plates.

  • Invent clever names for these new items on the menu.

  • Hand out coupons to encourage repeat business.

  • Offer ready-to-go carryout to neighboring stores to encourage their business. Visit each store and establish relationships to bring in business.

  • Initiate brief but cheerful conversations with customers.

  • Develop new dessert offerings and post mouth-watering photos of them.

I have no idea what actually did happen to this restaurant and its owner. She may be incredibly rich by now and living it up on a tropical island. Or she may be plodding along in the same situation she was in years ago.

I hope the former but I fear the latter.

Originally posted 9-21-15

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