Find Joy in Every Task

Video / Produced by partner of TOW

Joe T. Garcia’s is a busy restaurant and considered an icon in Fort Worth, Texas. Lanny Lancarte and his wife Jodi are part of the third generation that runs this family-owned operation. They say they work hard at having fun while they deliver delicious food and extraordinary service.


JODI: Now I'm in charge of catering and sales and on-premise parties.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Jodi was 17 and Lanny was 20 when they married. Twenty-seven years later she tells me why she has always been part of this family business.

JODI: I mean, we grew up together, and I think that's the reason we've lasted so long and we've had such a great relationship is because we were children growing up together and it just stayed that way.

HATTIE: But why did you decide to come to work here?

JODI: If I wanted to see him, if I wanted to be with him at any time during the day or night, I came to work.

HATTIE: ... because he was here.

JODI: He was here. This is his priority.

HATTIE: OK. So, Lanny, if you were giving advice to someone about starting a restaurant, what would you tell them? What do they have to be doing?

LANNY: Well, I think to run a restaurant, you've got to love two things. You've got to love to wash dishes and to cook.

HATTIE: But a lot of people love cooking, but they don't want to wash the dishes. Are you saying that we have to be able and be willing to do all of it?

LANNY: In a restaurant business you have to love to do everything, from mopping up the floors to sweep--I mean, just you've got to love the whole package.

HATTIE: (In the Studio) I said at the beginning that Hope -- Lanny’s mom -- has never had a job. We here at SMALL BUSINESS SCHOOL believe a job is when you're doing something when you'd rather be doing something else. Work is great; jobs are just to make ends meet. Hope has never created a job for herself. She's created work for herself and many others.

So for Hope, running a business is not a job. It's a way of life, and that work is a way of shaping her world just the way she wants it.

(Voiceover) Meaning in work is easy to find when you look closely. Making the perfect tortilla, handling the chili rellenos gently, marinating the meats at the right temperature -- this is meaningful. The result delights the customers who've been coming to Joe T.'s, some for over 60 years.

Lanny says that if you want to run a successful restaurant, sure, you have to love cooking, but you also have to love washing the dishes. What this says to me is Lanny believes that loving each step is what is important. When you do hundreds of little things right, the customer is delighted.

Hope and her family all love people; they all love work and they pull together as a family. Anyone can do the first two but very few companies have so many family members engaged in the same goals. That's a magic formula. New Americans particularly benefit from strong family ties that reach into the extended family. Work and personal lives are lived in a swirl of activity and those involved don’t seem to think they have a job. They have a life. They have a purpose and they have a sense of completeness.

This video serves as an illustration of joy in "Joy (Eccl 5:1-6:9)" in Ecclesiastes and Work at