107 | Facing Your Fears with Gene Landrum

Gene LandrumEveryone will have fears to face as they build their businesses. The battle of fear and courage is constant, because there are always new parts to explore. For some it is sales, others struggle with speaking to strangers, or maybe it is just raising your prices. The point is, fear is part of business. Gene Landrum, former president of Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, shares insights about fear that he has learned within the decade of his career building multiple businesses from the ground up. Watch out for some of the funny moments where Gene talks about fears that he encountered while launching Chuck E. Cheese restaurants.

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Gene’s Target Audience: Gene writes books and gives lectures for entrepreneurs to help them understand the trials and tribulations he’s been through in building his own businesses. His consulting work aims to help and empower individuals develop marketing plans, business opportunity analyses and licensing/franchising organization.

When Gene became the first president of Chuck E. Cheese, he remembers being in the trenches. He admits not knowing anything about opening up a restaurant chain and shares how many people (including his mom) thought he was nuts.

He learned the rules of business very quickly. He remembers being criticised in the early years of Chucky E. Cheese because a family noticed that the children were urinating in the Ball Pit. They suggested that the Ball Pit be removed from the restaurant. Well, Gene thought this was just ridiculous because the children (the real target clients) were enjoying it. His solution was simply to regularly wash the balls. He knew that his job as a business owner was not about appeasing the adults or the employees- but the kids who could be themselves in the Chuck E. Cheese environment. They couldn’t be themselves in typical restaurants. Gene recognized this.

Gene LandrumGene never went to school to learn how to start business. But he does remember the Fall of 2011, when he was at the Cowboy Stadium and was inducted into the International Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame. Why? Because he managed to launch 5 business and created a hundred million dollar revenue within 2 years for 3 of those businesses. Gene says this was because he was willing to go where other people weren’t. He went where people are typically afraid to go.

Gene studied the psychology of success and understands what keeps people in fear. They are afraid of failure; they are afraid of being judged. Additionally, most have been conditioned to hold these fears as part of their story and thus their belief system and mindset. The inability to flip their belief system holds them apart from where they really want to go. Willingness to change is the foundation for facing these fears.


In this episode we’ll cover:

  • Why mindset and a positive belief system is more important than business school
  • Why people remain in fear and don’t pursue their dreams
  • The importance of being aware of your mindset
  • How Gene created a hundred million dollar revenue for 3 businesses in 2 years
  • How to let go the fear of being judged for your big ideas
  • Why the fear of failure is holding you apart from what you are meant to do
  • Why fear is part of the entrepreneural journey

Resources and Links


Practical and Actionable:

Be what you are not. If you have a big problem- play the mental game and go for it!

To give Gene a shout out, follow him and send him a message. Or connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @genehammett.

Do you have questions about today’s episode?

Did you know that you can apply to chat with me by phone? This is a limited time offer to help anyone that is serious about refining their business as well as developing a clear & compelling strategy that will drive them forward. Complete the questions and our team will follow up with you to schedule time for your “Vision Breakthrough Session”. These are limited to 30 minutes, completely free and oh, so valuable. Apply Now!

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