Menu labeling expert's book a life-tested lesson in persistence

Restaurateurs, perhaps more than most in business, know the value of persistence and determination. But remaining persistent in the face of the most harrowing setbacks not only can deplete even topnotch leaders but also their businesses and their lives, both personal and professional.

Enter one of this site's top bloggers, Betsy Craig, and her new book, Unstoppable, with some 10 principles that can help see leaders through even the toughest times. 

Betsy Craig, author, Unstoppable

Craig knows whereof she speaks in this tome that relays the 10 guiding thoughts she first developed at just 20 years old, but have seen her through ongoing bouts with a painful, life-threatening disease while simultaneously helping her create and lead food safety and menu labeling efforts through her company, MenuTrinfo. 

Craig, diagnosed 13 years ago with the excruciating skin- and connective tissue-tightening illness scleroderma, has battled symptoms that damaged internal organs and created unthinkable pain for most of that time. 

"My hands felt like immobile claws," she said in a news release advancing her new book. "I couldn't button my own pants. My face was so tight that my ears were pulling away at the earlobe and blood would drip down the sides of my face daily. I walked around feeling like a leper. Not being able to hug my daughter or husband without it causing excruciating pain devastated me. I desperately wanted to give up but knew if I did that, I'd be dead."

Quite the contrary to giving up, this "unstoppable" woman instead has created her million-dollar business around the many aspects of both menu transparency and food safety, while also doing a lot of public speaking, conducting foodservice seminars, even battling alcoholism. 

The book and her business, as well as her blogging on this website, is all part of a promise she made to herself and the world at large while undergoing a particularly debilitating round of chemotherapy. Craig pledged that if she survived she'd do something worthwhile in her life. 

Having reduced her scleroderma symptoms by avoiding foods that tend to cause inflammation, she formed a vision to challenge prevailing paradigms in the food industry. Craig committed to helping those that needed nutritional information in order to eat out as well as the 15 million people in the U.S. with food allergies, some life-threatening. 

"This book is an inspiration to those impacted by scleroderma as well as entrepreneurs and businesswomen everywhere," Scleroderma Foundation Rocky Mountain Chapter Executive Director Cyndy Besselievre, said in the release. Craig "is a true testament that anything can be overcome and that we can all achieve our goals in life with passion, integrity, facing our fears and persistence"

Today, her woman-owned company has grown into a million-dollar business that helps consumers find nutritional information that can help them eat safely with food allergies or other dietary needs. 

"To me, the principle of persistence equates to being unstoppable," said Craig. "It's about facing challenges head-on and not giving up until you have succeeded or tried every avenue possible and once you have tried everything possible you dig a little deeper and try just a few more things."

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Unstoppable will be donated to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Scleroderma Foundation.

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Operations Management

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