How to Find Success Without a Recipe with Mignon Francious
By Yuresh Shayzer
July 18, 2023
In today’s episode, our guest is Mignon Francious. She is the Founder and CEO of The Cupcake Collection (TCC). Mignon developed an iconic flavor that drew lines and attention to the hip nature of her Historic Germantown neighborhood, which hadn’t seen this concept developed prior.
[2:45] Why should I listen to you?
I struggle with self-promotion, but let me share it with you. I recently authored a book titled "Made from Scratch: Finding Success Without a Recipe." I genuinely believe that everyone has a unique story to tell, and it's important to embrace and share it. In my own story, I experienced a remarkable journey guided by divine intervention. God would awaken me every morning at 3:17, providing instructions and insights that eventually led me to establish the Cupcake Collection
[5:25] Can you explain the process of turning your amazing cupcakes into a business?
In my neighborhood, amidst a time when I had no electricity and only $5 to my name, a remarkable opportunity presented itself. A neighbor knocked on my door, offering a significant cupcake order for her clients. It was a moment of perplexity and uncertainty. However, I had a heartfelt conversation with God, questioning why such an opportunity arose amid my financial struggles. In response, I was reminded of how birds don't worry about their provisions, as they are always taken care of. Encouraged by this, I decided to take a leap of faith. With that meager $5, I ventured to the store, purchasing the necessary supplies to fulfill the order. To my delight, she paid me as promised. That humble $5 transformed into $16 within a day and soared to $600 by the end of the week. This catalyzed my journey toward success and recognition as the best bakery in Tennessee and Louisiana. Through our hard work and determination, we have overcome financial challenges, become debt-free, and even gained ownership of the property we were once on the verge of losing. Our bakery not only provides delicious treats but also supports students' graduations and helps them pursue their dreams.
[8:55] Have you ever experienced doubts or skepticism about the sustainability of your success?
In my heart, there was always a belief that I was destined for fame, though I wasn't sure in what capacity. At that time, I wasn't actively seeking something significant to happen in my life. My main focus was on finding ways to bring in additional income, to make ends meet. Being married, I wanted to support my husband, even though I could sense that our relationship was deteriorating. He appeared vibrant and full of life on the surface, but little did I know that he was slowly fading away emotionally, leading to the eventual revelation that he wanted a divorce after 21 years together. In the midst of praying for guidance, God provided me with an opportunity that would not only help my husband but also empower me. It was a time of financial constraint, with no extra money for field trips or even basic necessities. However, an idea began to take shape, urging me to step out of my comfort zone and reach a larger audience.
[10:30] How did it feel to expand your presence and compete with other businesses in your industry?
I believe that many people tend to underestimate the journey and lessons behind someone's success. In my own experience, I have established myself as a respected business leader in my community, known for my grassroots efforts and spirit-driven approach. However, amidst the challenges I faced, I was simply following my instincts and doing what I knew best. Interestingly, my college education was focused on pursuing a career in medicine, but it was only 17 years later, in my kitchen, that I began to understand the valuable lessons I had been taught. Making those first mixes awakened a passion within me, and I continued along my path, often unaware that I was building something remarkable. It was the support and encouragement from others, sitting in the bakery with me, praising my creations, and urging me to share them with more people, that propelled me forward. As we started winning awards and experiencing high demand, it became clear that we needed to be where the people were. And then, when I turned 40, I received a significant accolade as part of the "40 under 40" recognition by the Nashville Business Journal.
[16:30] Did you ever find yourself comparing your progress to others and feeling inadequate?
I understand what you're saying. It's common for many people, including myself, to have a tendency to compare themselves to others and sometimes downplay their skills or achievements while being overly critical of themselves. I've personally struggled with self-esteem and confidence issues, constantly beating myself up inside as I watched others accomplish the things I yearned for. However, I discovered that my lack of self-esteem was rooted in a distorted perception of myself. It wasn't until I saw a picture of myself without any filters or Instagram enhancements that I couldn't deny the beauty that was captured in that image. It was a turning point for me. I realized that I could walk into a room with confidence, share my ideas, and trust in my own abilities without fearing judgment or rejection. It wasn't about tearing others down; it was always about tearing myself down.
[22:55] How did you develop a strong sense of self and confidence in your abilities?
I wrote this book because of the support and encouragement from my clients and customers. They believed in me and inspired me to fulfill my promise to God. It's for those who are awake at night, seeking connection and inspiration. Women from different countries have reached out, sharing similar stories. Writing this book was a vulnerable and challenging process, but it taught me important lessons. Every chapter and detail can resonate with others, whether they're single women, single mothers, or aspiring entrepreneurs over 30. Starting a business at that age can lead to greater success. Those two years of writing were not wasted; they allowed me to meet people who needed my story. I want readers to find themselves in these pages and embrace their dreams. It's a tangible piece of my journey that can be intimately shared.
[28:50] Can you share which aspects of your personal story were particularly difficult for you to write about?
The most challenging part of my writing journey was sharing something I had never spoken about publicly before. It was the day my life was shattered, and my children witnessed the painful events unfold. As I completed writing the story, I eagerly showed it to my youngest daughter, telling her it was good. However, she responded with a thought-provoking question, expressing that she couldn't call such a day "good" despite acknowledging its well-written nature. This interaction made me realize the power of perspective and the importance of choosing our words carefully. It was a struggle for me to decide whether to share this deeply personal experience, but I knew there are others out there feeling trapped and isolated. I wanted them to know they are not alone, and that success and triumph are still within their reach.
[33:40] Were there any specific obstacles or difficulties that arose as your business achieved greater success?
I firmly believe that every business exists to solve a problem. In my case, the problem I set out to solve was freeing my family from debt and providing for their basic needs. As my business grew, the nature of my problems changed, but they certainly didn't disappear. People often assume that because you're successful, you're rich and should provide financial support or cover their expenses. However, the truth is that my problems may be of a different magnitude, but they are still challenges to navigate. Throughout my divorce and other difficult situations, I faced circumstances that seemed unfair, yet I discovered that God, in His wisdom and grace, guided me through them.
[42:53] What promise did God make to the world when he created you?
That I will take your tears and bond them up and in exchange for your tears, I will give you joy.
[30:15-30:17] Everything happening to you is actually happening for you.
[33:55-33:58] Once you solve a problem, you are presented with new ones.
How to connect with Mignon Francious