Why a Little Crazy is OK


Everyone told me writing a book while running my businesses would be crazy.

It’s not the first time I’ve been called crazy and probably won’t be the last. To me, what’s crazy is for anyone to do something they’re not passionate about or that doesn’t bring meaning to their life. When I took on the challenge of writing a book, I viewed it as if I were starting a new company and searched for this project’s purpose, asking myself: “Why should I, Nick Sarillo, write a book?” By starting with “why”, I was able to clearly articulate my vision for the book to my team and the people around me. Through the writing process, I learned that there is great value in defining what has made you and your company successful. The experience helped me better understand my team and also provided insight to areas that we need to improve like our succession planning.

I felt compelled to share our business model with other entrepreneurs and managers like myself –- your average, everyday businessman in America. I didn’t go to college or earn an MBA and was still able to build a successful business in a way that creates healthy, meaningful jobs. I saw the value in sharing the practical tools and success that we’ve experienced in our two restaurants through real stories from our team and wanted to save others the investment of time and money on the learning curve. Since writing the book was simply an extension of what we already do, the process itself was actually fairly easy and something I enjoyed. The only frustration I encountered was when there was a miss due to unclear expectations.

Letting go of controlling day to day operations was never an issue because I have trust in the systems we have built over the years to set our teams up for success. With an understanding of the commitment required, I was fully confident in the team to run the restaurants. Sure enough, the response to the majority of our media outreach has been overwhelmingly positive and resulted in an interview or request for me to write an article! Holy cow! How amazing?!

Creating systems that help my team perform effectively and efficiently has been enormously supportive for this project, just as it has in our two restaurants. Trusting in my team and letting go of controlling every detail has allowed me to embrace the success that we’ve received from this endeavor with open arms and gratitude. There has certainly been some stress along the way and adjustments had to be made, but that’s all part of the grand plan.

Nick Sarillo is owner of Nick’s Pizza and Pub restaurants in Crystal Lake and Elgin, Ill., and the author of the recently released A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business

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