I am not one to define “success” in terms of money and notoriety, so I do not usually spend a lot of time studying and researching people who have achieved either one. However, I could not help but notice an article in the business section of the Sunday, September 16, 2012, edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
I do not know what caught my attention more–the big, bold letters screaming “IN YOUR FACE” or Jeff Ruby's piercing blue eyes staring back at me. But I will admit Ruby's look alone was daring me to read this article, and I took the dare. What I originally mistaken as a fierce, hard stance that I found intimidating and yes, a little fearful, was actually a stare of passion that swells up in Ruby and is released in a honest, “tell it like it is” expression of his beliefs and convictions.
Jeff Ruby is a renowned restaurant entrepreneur in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. However, recently he has become better known as the man that was thrown out of a Joliet, Illinois courtroom during the Drew Peterson trial for yelling out explicit remarks at Peterson. Ruby became passionate about this case as part of his victim's advocacy work that helps people and their families hurting due to hideous, criminal behavior.
The majority of the article centers on why and how Ruby became involved with this case and his work to help the victims. Reading this article made me understand what drives this man–Pure Passion. This same passion he shows toward his advocacy work is also the driving force behind the success of his restaurants.
To give a little insight into the makeup of this man, the article included a short biography of Ruby and a synopsis of his 101 “Rubyisms.” These “Rubyisms” were attention-grabbing for me. “Rubyisms” are Jeff Ruby's publication, “101 Things I Didn't Learn in Hotel/Restaurant School,” that he distributes to all his managers as a quick study advice on how to run a restaurant. The article went on to list 5 of those “Rubyisms:”
- “My way of making an important decision (a la throwing out O.J. Simpson) is to run it by my brain, my heart and my gut. If two out of the three tell me to do it, then I do it.”
- “Food doesn't touch a person the way another person can. We're not in the food business. We're in the people business.”
- “Employees better support what they helped create. Get their input, ideas and suggestions.”
- “Everyone loves being called by their name. It is everyone's favorite word.”
- “Don't get down on yourself. There are enough people doing that for you.”1
What I found notable about all 5 of these is that they focus on the person not the product or service. That tells me that success starts from within–it is the conviction and passion of one's heart; it is recognition and concern for the customer; it is employee confidence; it is freedom of expression and ideas; it is that gut feeling of knowing what is right.
Until now, Jeff Ruby was just a name I recognized. I have never met him. I have not even eaten at one of his restaurants. But I am glad his eyes enticed me to read this article because after reading it, I am convinced he has some true insight into the meaning of success. For me, Ruby best sums it up in his “Rubyism–” “Food doesn't touch a person the way another person can. We're not in the food business. We're in the people business.”
This holds true no matter what type of business we are in. I know here at HG Logistics LLC, a freight transportation broker and third party logistics company, we are about much more that just freight. We are the travel agent who works on behalf of our customers to ensure that their needs and specifications are personally handled with great care and consideration. Jeff Ruby just confirmed what I already knew from working at HG Logistics LLC because we too, like Jeff Ruby, stand by the claim:
“We're not in the freight business. We're in the people business.”
1 Williams, Jason. “In Your Face.” Cincinnati Enquirer [Cincinnati] 16 September 2012, Business: G1-G2.