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What Would You Do If You Found Yourself in a Strange Place with Three Kids to Feed and No Source of Income?


by Glenn Shepard
August 8, 2017
Category: Epic Leadership



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Entrepreneurs who succeeded in a prior venture only have a 30% chance of success in their next venture. First time business owners have only an 18% chance of succeeding.
(Source: SSRN)

George Swift and Paula Ramsey of the Lake Charles, LA chamber of commerce presenting the 2016 Glenn Shepard Excellence in Leadership Award to Kathi the Shrimp Lady Vidrine.


Thatís where Kathi Vidrine was in 1982.

Through an act of unexpected fate, she and her three daughters relocated from Chicago to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where she had no friends or family, and knew very little about business.

The only two things she had going for her were:

1. An incredible work ethic
2. A burning passion and unrelenting desire to succeed

Fortunately for her, thatís enough to succeed in the Land of Opportunity.

Kathiís bubbly personality, integrity and genuine love for humanity won her the respect of the public. Soon, ďKathi the Shrimp LadyĒ became a staple in the business community.

She enlisted the support of her brother to help her manage the overwhelming growth. They bought a shrimp dock and purchasing plant. But ancient Napoleonic laws and restrictions plagued her growth, eventually landing her before the Supreme Court. To the delight of the community, she emerged victorious.

Years later, Bill Vidrine joined her and used his experience to accelerate the growth of Steamboat Billís seafood restaurants. Thirty-five years later, Steamboat Billís has consistently been voted the best seafood and crawfish in southwest Louisiana. And thatís saying a lot, because they looooooooove seafood in Cajun country.

Kathiís humble beginnings have transformed into four existing franchises with five more opening within the next few years. This is why she won last yearís Glenn Shepard Excellence in Leadership Award.

Hereís an excerpt from the nomination sent in by her daughter Paige Vidrine:

"Have you ever met someone who has an unnatural ability to overcome, accomplish and inspire? My mother is a person like this! She lived in poverty most of her life. Raising three young girls alone was hard for her, but she always found a way to make ends meet. When she relocated from Chicago to Louisiana, she started peddling shrimp on the side of the road. Years later she was able to open her first restaurant. Each year she faced horrible circumstances, including fires that nearly destroyed everything she built. But she always found a way to overcome those terrible circumstances with a smile on her face. Her attitude and heart have inspired thousands of people over the years. Her generosity and kindness to the young, poor and elderly have touched more hearts than you could imagine. She's a teacher, a leader, a coach and a friend. Her spirit is that of a giant living in a pint-sized body!Ē

So what about you? Is there someone in your life who has inspired you like Kathi has done for so many people? Have you been fortunate enough to have a boss, teacher, or other mentor who helped you become the best you can be?

If you have, you should nominate them for this yearís Glenn Shepard Excellence in Leadership Award. Ten finalists will receive a Certificate of Recognition, and the winner will receive a $1,000.00 check from Glenn Shepard Seminars, along with the trophy.

Click here for submission guidelines and dates.

Good Luck!

To Your Success,

Glenn Shepard

Kathiís story embodies the American Dream, and is proof that these lines from my favorite Brooks and Dunn song are so true:

"Only in America,
Where we dream as big as we want to.
We all get a chance,
Everybody gets to dance,
Only in America!"


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