Unbelievably Phenomenal


Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…

Pass It On – January 20, 2020


Click the play button to listen to Francis Pass tell this story.


I don’t like Cracker Barrel. I love Cracker Barrel.

More on that in a minute.

I learned something many years ago, out in Phoenix, Arizona, while I was listening to a talk by this real estate big shot. He opened his presentation by asking the crowd, “How’s business?”

He strutted up and down that stage like a circus chicken on a frying pan.

“How’s business? How’s Business?”

We all rubbernecked the room, waiting for someone to speak up… but nobody dared make a peep. That must’ve ruffled this little banty rooster’s feathers, because he pointed to the gentlemen next to me and shouted, “Come on now! How’s business. Right there!”

That poor man looked like a deer in headlights as he meekly replied, “It’s ok.”

The speaker was suddenly possessed by the spirit of James Brown. He started jumping and hollering, “No No No! It’s no okay! It’s UNBELIEVABLE! Everybody shout with me… It’s unbelievable! It’s unbelievable!”

For a moment, I wondered if we were on Candid Camera.

“How are you doing?”, pointing at a man wearing a red tie in the front row.

“Doing good” the man chirped.

“No No No! You’re unbelievable!”

Then, all of the sudden, he started making sense. He told us there are two different types of people with two different types of mindsets:

  • Those who consider the word “unbelievable” to mean fantastic…
  • And those who wonder if being unbelievable is a good thing or a bad thing.

You can tell a lot about a person by how they answer.

From that day forward, anytime someone would ask me how I was doing, I’d say “Unbelievable.”

Until the day I said it to Paul Howard.

Paul is one of the managers at the Cracker Barrel in Marion.

One day, during one of my many trips to the restaurant, Paul passed by our table and asked how I was doing.

“Unbelievable!” I said proudly.

Then, Paul looked straight through my soul, cocked his right eyebrow, and said, “You know you’re not unbelievable. You’re not unbelievable at all. You’re phenomenal. Now I want you to change that, Francis. Phenomenal is better than unbelievable. Unbelievable leaves something to question… but phenomenal doesn’t.”

You know what? He was absolutely right.

That day, “unbelievable” became “phenomenal” … and I’ve never looked back.

What would you rather be? Unbelievable? Or Phenomenal? Or maybe you are “Unbelievably Phenomenal.”

Whatever it is… believe in yourself, and it’ll will become true. Fifty percent of what you believe is what you are. It’s an attitude.

Stay positive. Stay phenomenal.

Thanks for readin’ …

Francis Pass

P.S. – Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

I bet ol’ Henry would’ve loved Cracker Barrel, too.