Barry’s Story

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Barry’s Story

    We’ve just had one of our top apprentices, Barry Pope, featured in the Herald Sun, the largest-read newspaper in Australia. Barry is a 71-year-old great-grandfather, but he’s not willing to “let an old person in” and give up on challenging himself. It was a terrific story, and it just got better. He was also written up in the editorial section, and the next day in the letters to the editor.Barry had most of the TV stations chasing him for an interview, plus lots of radio stations. But he did not have the time to do the interviews, for he had to take his wife to the hairdressers. Plus, he’s busy as a volunteer bus driver for the elderly.

The same week Barry was in the news, I was speaking in Melbourne. The MC got on stage and told Barry’s story. The audience loved it. Since then, I’ve been asked heaps of questions about Barry. What people love about his story is how he’s willing to keep changing and learning. He loves what he’s doing. It’s all about passion and emotion, and he is not afraid to express it.

Barry has motivated so many others, and it doesn’t have to be about making bread. It’s about doing what you love. It’s about having a go. In the Herald Sun, our manager Marty is quoted as saying: “Barry’s determination has inspired the locals.” The editor believes he has inspired the nation. Wow!

We can all make a difference in people’s lives, just by doing a great job. Treat your co-workers and customers with dignity and respect. When our customers visit us, we want them to have a wonderful experience. Some of us are uncomfortable expressing emotion, but it’s passion and emotion that will attract and motivate others.

That is what Barry has done. He has made a difference in people’s lives. We can all do that, by doing that little bit extra. With its tastes and smells, the bakery gives us a huge opportunity to connect with people, but it doesn’t need to just be baking. You can connect whether you’re selling newspapers, cars, clothes, or plumbing supplies. Business is all about people.

We can all make the world a better place. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all go to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful?