Life Give You Lemons? Make Tacos.

Imagine how lousy you’d feel if the restaurant you owned suffered a late night break-in. Glass shattered, your place in shambles, and valuables missing. You’d probably feel violated, frustrated, angry, and completely bummed out.

Those feelings are common when we’re dealt a setback. It’s easy to play the victim and let life’s challenges stop us dead in our tracks.  We bemoan our circumstances and focus on the injustice of it all.  We wallow in self-pity, fear, and doubt. Often, these obstacles are the very things that obstruct our path to achievement. The cards we’re dealt can feel overwhelming, and may hinder our ability to reach our full potential.

Alberto and Francisco poured their hearts into launching Frijoles & Frescas in the spring of 2014.  This wasn’t some corporate outpost; this was their life’s work. Which is why the break-in and vandalism stung even more when their place was robbed on December 16 in the dead of night. Security cameras captured the incident, and the heartbreak was felt deeply the next morning when these passionate co-owners learned the news.

Instead of experiencing defeat, Alberto and Francisco had something else in mind.  They saw this setback as an opportunity to both promote their restaurant and catch the thieves.  Twisting their troubles, they took the security footage of the robbery and turned it into a hilarious video.  As the security footage rolls, the video shows captions explaining that the thieves really wanted tacos.  The sidesplitting commentary goes on to say that their tacos are so good, people would do anything to get them.  As the thieves scour the store for cash, the caption reads “Guys frantically search for tacos.”   When the crooks rip the cash register from the counter, the caption reads, “Maybe they keep the tacos in the register.”

Set to funny music, more antics unfold with silly captions to crack up the viewers.  Near the end, a picture of the restaurant’s logo with a delicious plate of food appears with the caption, “We take full responsibility for what our tacos cause people to do.”

Promotion wasn’t enough; the creative restaurateurs also wanted revenge.  The video shows the faces of the felons with a caption “Please help us find these guys so we can get them the tacos they deserve.”  Next, of course, is the contact info for the local police department.

This creative flip probably felt great to produce and was cathartic for the owners in dealing with the crime.  Even better, it has now been viewed nearly four million times.  The corresponding media exposure and buzz has driven breakaway visibility and success for Alberto and Francisco, as the lines for their tacos are longer than ever.  Business is booming, and the setback was vaulted far into positive territory.

The same can be true for you.

2016 will likely bring its share of speed bumps, challenges, and obstacles. The good news is that you get to choose your response.  Don’t let the inevitable hurdles hold you back. Instead, take inspiration from the creative owners of a Las Vegas taco joint. Toss your problems back on the grill, add some spicy hot sauce, and serve up a delicious dish of progress and success.