I LOST IT at the Diner

Anyone who knows me will tell you: I almost never lose my temper.

I even consider my ability to stay calm in stressful, even argumentative, circumstances to be one of my super-powers.

But the other day I LOST IT.

At a diner.

About breakfast.

See, I was out early running errands, and it suddenly occurred to me that I could try out this nearby diner for the first time and treat myself to a nice breakfast.

I *love* diner food.

When I get there and the server points out a booth to me, I scootch myself in. I am very pleased that the decor is classic – refreshingly unironic – and the food smells great.

Especially the biscuits and gravy, which I consider a rare treat indeed.

I decide to order something with the unappetizing name of “The Kitchen Sink.” Which is all the bits and pieces of all the things I want to try. Which is excellent because….

I *love* a sample platter.

So a diner-breakfast-sample-platter is kind of my ideal order.

Except – the way the dish is described on the menu, they pile all of the elements up in a stack on one plate. Home fries on the bottom, then eggs, then a biscuit and gravy on that, then bacon. I think this sounds sort of gross.

So when the server comes to take my order, I explain that I would like The Kitchen Sink, but may I please have it spread out instead of stacked up? Or even on different plates?



“We don’t serve it that way.”


“Let me get the manager.”

Wow. That escalated quickly. But I’m not mad – more puzzled than anything else.

Now the manager comes over – one of those short, stocky, thick-necked men who has a sort of bulldog-like demeanor.

“Is there a problem?” he gruffs.

I explain my thing about wanting a Deconstructed Kitchen Sink.


HUH? Why?

“We were getting slammed with substitutions, and….”

Oh! I get it! Yes – I’ve worked in hospitality and food service and I get it – substitutions are a nightmare. I totally get it. I clarify that I’m happy to accept the meal as cooked, I just want it spread out a bit.


Wow. I ask again, “Why?!?!?!?”

“These are the rules,” says Mr. Bulldog. “The government has rules, I have rules, we all have to follow the rules.”

The government has rules about my breakfast?

“Can I get you something else?”

Now this would be my big opportunity to shrug my shoulders, smile sweetly and order everything in that Kitchen Sink thing, but à la carte.

Or pick something else on the menu to eat.

Or simply ask for a hot tea and take some time to reconsider the life choices that brought me to here.

But I don’t.

Because of all the things that piss me off (and again – there aren’t that many of those things) the phrase, “That’s just the rules, ma’am” is the WORST.

My Inner Teenager was incensed, and the next thing I knew I was in my car, pulling away, still hungry and now, angry and crying.

To be fair, I’ve been doing a lot of crying the past few weeks, so even in that moment I knew that the tears may not have been about the diner.

I try to calm down. I remember I haven’t eaten, which is probably why I’m reacting so strongly. Eat something, I think. So I pull in to good, old, reliable Starbucks and order a tea and a breakfast egg-and-sausage sandwich. (Which is an all-piled-up thing, I know. #icontradictmyself #icontainmultitudes)

While I’m waiting for my order, I make a point to try and notice the other people in the Starbucks being human with one another. There are two teenage girls bent over a phone. There is a couple having an intense discussion about something that had happened the day before. There are two workers outside, stringing up holiday lights.

Usually noticing other people just being their dear, human selves is enough to cheer me up and calm me down.

Not today, though.

I get back in my car and do some of my favorite 4-7-8 breathing (inhale for 4, hold for 7, exhale for 8) which almost always calms me down like magic.

Not today.

I consider calling a friend to vent. Then I remember how my friend Billy always referred to that “venting” as “praying the problem.” Anytime you find yourself repeating a story over and over – especially one in which you are the innocent victim, you are energizing that story. You are perpetuating that reality. So while normally I would be perfectly happy to dump this whole silly story on a friend so that I can be told how right I am and how dumb everyone else is, I chose not to. So – no venting.

Not today.

As I drove, I caught myself re-running the conversation with Mr. Bulldog in my head – especially the part at the end, where I just sort of wiggled out of the booth, grabbed my bag and left without saying much. I kept mentally re-writing better and better lines of dialogue for myself. You may have noticed in your own life that re-playing old conversations, or pre-rehearsing conversations you haven’t had yet, is NOT the highest and best use of your imagination. So I knew that replaying the incident over and over was not going to help me, no matter how clever my l’esprit de l’escalier (literally: the wit, or inspiration, of the stairs. Leave it to the French to come up with a term that describes the thing you think of to say when you’ve already stormed out, slammed the door and are halfway down the stairwell. Genius.) So – no reruns.

Not today.

OK – time for the big medicine. I started to run through Byron Katie’s Four Questions. If you aren’t familiar with Katie’s work (www.TheWork.com) I cannot recommend it highly enough. I find her simple process to be revelatory, every single time.

But not today.


I was almost home. I had run through my favorite tools for self-management, and I was still mad.

I resolved that this diner dude and his dumb breakfast rules were NOT going to ruin my day. No, sir! Not today, sir!

So I called the restaurant, and asked to speak to Mr. Bulldog. I introduced myself, and then I said that I was calling to apologize to him. I explained that it was unlike me to storm out like that, and that I was sorry for behaving that way.

“I just want people to have a nice breakfast, ” he blustered, still defensive.

I said I understood, and I thanked him for hearing me out. As he was hanging up, he sort of mumbled something I couldn’t hear. I hope it was something nice.

He didn’t apologize.
He certainly didn’t he hoped they’d see me again soon.
He wasn’t even particularly nice about me apologizing.

But I didn’t call him because I wanted him to apologize.
I didn’t call him to try to make him feel bad about his behavior.

I called because I felt bad about MY behavior.

I apologized to him not because he “deserved” it.
I apologized to him because I deserved it.

And I felt so much better afterwards.

There were a million different ways I could have handled this diner situation. Obviously, it was a completely minor matter to which I had an outsized emotional response.

That’s what happens when your values get stepped on.

So when you find yourself getting unusually peeved about something or someone – ask yourself, “Which values of mine are getting squashed here? And how can I realign myself with my values right now?”

I called him because kindness and good humor and empathy and finding creative solutions are some of my most important values, and when Mr. Bulldog demonstrated NONE of those, I freaked out.

The fact that I was able to un-freak myself out in less than an hour is the result of thousands of hours of spiritual study and personal development.

I used my tools:

1) Eat something. Drink something reassuring.

2) Notice all the humans around you being human.

3) Try 4-7-8 breathing.

4) Avoid “praying the problem.” Quit collecting evidence about how right you are.

5) Stay in the present moment. Do not allow your imagination to get stuck replaying, re-writing or rehearsing hard conversations.

6) Explore www.TheWork.com by Byron Katie.

7) Examine your values, and notice which ones are at play.

8) Treat others as you would like to be treated. Especially if they don’t deserve it.

What tools work for you when you get upset?

By The Way, You Look Really Great Today

How I Got My Recent Book Deal #thewholestory


When I started teaching the Get It Done Workshop in 2001, I had no intention of starting a business.
I just needed to make some extra money, and I thought that maybe I could help people.

So I borrowed a seldom-used room at my church and ended up getting 11 people to take my 6-week course.

I think I made $8250, which I thought was amazing.

I still think it’s amazing.

In 2009, I got the idea that maybe I could teach Get It Done full time. I started teaching on InstantTeleseminar (remember that??) and started building my email list, because I could now teach people no matter where they lived.

I started to learn about small business and marketing and sales. It was like learning a new language – but I liked it.

Turns out “business” is just another word for “people.”

In 2012 I got my first book deal with New World Library – with a very modest advance and a long publication timeline, since I was a complete unknown.

But thanks to my (then) over 10 years of experience teaching Get It Done, I could demonstrate that there was an audience for this work. Plus my email list had grown quite a bit, and publishers love that.

By now I was offering an array of courses, workshops and live events.
I adored it.
Still do.

In 2016, I wrote and published my second book with New World, “Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers and Recovering Perfectionists.”

More workshops, more courses, more live events – and I was starting to be asked to teach and speak and deliver keynotes at conferences all over.

In March, 2020 I had just returned from co-leading an amazing retreat workshop with my best friend in Belize when the world shut down.

I started filming courses with Madecraft, a production company in Santa Barbara, and they sold them to LinkedIn Learning and other online learning platforms.

In the last two and a half years, I got kicked out of the apartment on the beach I’d been in for 10 years (the building got sold and turned into an AirBnB), my cat died, my best friend died, my father got a terminal diagnosis and died, and I got Long-Haul C0vid, making it almost impossible for me to work.

In any other business, this all would have spelt complete disaster.

Thanks to all that is good, my business is based on workshops.

So I was able to keep teaching online, even while sick, plus my LinkedIn Courses keep gathering steam.

I now have almost a million “learners” worldwide on LinkedIn Learning.

Which helped me get my latest book deal.

We adopted two more kitties, and I was able to buy my first house – in Connecticut – with four bedrooms and private lake access. I am getting treatment from the Long-Haul Clinic at Yale, and am feeling better all the time.

The ability to lead and teach workshops has not just built my business – it’s saved my life.

By “workshop” I mean everything from:
– simple 2-hour Saturday afternoon trainings
– six-week intensives
– 3-Day Live Events (with over 100 people coming from all over the world)
– high-end year-long trainings
– luxury week-long Retreat in Belize (and this year – Crete!)

Yesterday I delivered a little training about how to Turn Your Wisdom Into (Online) Workshops) and you can see it here https://fb.watch/lkwLZQoRi6/

We’ve got a VERY SPECIAL SALE going on right now for my Turn Your Wisdom Into (Online) Workshops right now –

—-> Check out the offer here and get $100 OFF plus a $750 BONUS: https://therealsambennett.com/wiow

Leading workshops (online or in real life) is an amazing way to share your wealth of knowledge, make some extra cash and have a lot of fun.

Consider it, won’t you?

I can’t wait to hear what *****your workshop success story***** will be.

P.S. Can you think of a friend who might be interested in this special offer? Feel free to send them over to https://therealsambennett.com/wiow to see all the details. Thanks – S.

By The Way, You Look Really Great Today

Are you good at too many things?

Are you good at too many things?

My bio could easily read: “Sam Bennett is an accomplished teacher, bestselling author, career coach, producer, actor, businesswoman, meeting facilitator, improviser, sock-monkey maker, playwright, decoupage artist, popular LinkedIn Learner course creator, chronic over-thinker, amateur systems analyst and professional organizer, and she delights in cheerfully mentoring creatives and frustrate over-achievers on their way to great productivity and success.”

You see, who I am is not singular. The bio above is simply me turning my multiplicity of talents and skills into a statement that ***demonstrates*** that I am a multi-dimensional, Creativity and Productivity Specialist.

So here’s my #1 tip for multi-hyphenate people like you and me: Go with it.

You shine brightly in so many ways. So quit thinking that you need to “narrow down” and “just focus on one thing,” and start thinking about what the cumulative effect of your body of experience and your many skills and talents might mean for you then, please, share with us in the comments.

Dear Busy Person…

Dear Busy Person…

Dear Busy Person –

You don’t need my applause, nor my sympathy – but I want you to know that I see you.

I see how hard you work every.single.dip.dang.day.

You work hard at work.

Which, in a time in which up to 80% of employees report being “disengaged,” is really saying something. (So if it feels like you are one of just 20% of the people who are doing 80% of the work, well, that actually IS what is happening.)

And even when they are constantly moving the goalposts, you still manage to excel. You make sure your team feels appreciated, and I see you protecting them as much as you can.

There’s no such thing as an 8-hour workday anymore either, is there? You work from early to late, and “lunch” is a myth.

Luckily, when you get home, you really get to put your feet up and relax.


Because there is still the dinner and the laundry and kids and the spouse and the garden and the in-laws and the bills to be paid.

You didn’t know that having a family meant you were now CEO of a million-dollar business, did you?

But it’s true. You are.

Luckily, you get to reward yourself with perks like great vacations, time with friends, and plenty of afternoons devoted to long walks in the park and other soul-restoring activities.


You spend your vacation time visiting family, which is – and hear me when I say this – NOT A VACATION.

And your time with friends is a quick chat from the car while you are on the way back from dropping the kids off somewhere.

And soul-restoring activities….well, that’s just going to have to be put off, isn’t it?


I know you are a crazy-busy, and most of the stuff on your platter cannot be delegated or changed –

but you MUST start making time for yourself.

Even just 15 minutes a day.

You must take time each day to fill your tank, otherwise, you will burn out completely.

(You know this is true.)

Productivity is not about doing more.
Productivity is about doing what matters.

And when you spend even just 15 minutes a day on whatever it is that matters to you, well – the other twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes go a lot more smoothly.

So this is my invitation – my plea –

You matter.
What matters to you matters.

Find 15 minutes today when you can quit putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own and do something that you know will make a difference for YOU.

Because, darling – you are the hero of this story.

And so perhaps I misspoke when I started this – you may not need my applause, but you are definitely getting it.

(insert slow clap that builds to crowds roaring in gratitude and appreciation)

Thank you, our hero.

Dear Busy Person…

3 Signs You Are Ready to Create Your Own Online Workshop, Class or Program

1. You would love to reach people all over the world.

Why limit your work to the people who are available to show up at your selected date, time and location? 

When you teach online, you get to work with to a whole world full of wonderful people who are eager to learn what you have to offer. I’ve had students from all over the US, plus Peru, Israel, Switzerland, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Chile and all over the UK. 

PRO TIP: If you schedule your classes for 12noon PT / 3pm ET/ 8pm GMT / 7am+1day AEDT, that covers most of the English-speaking world. Remember to check for daylight savings time, and use https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/ to double check time zones.

2. You would like to sell the recordings of your classes.

Now we all know that there isn’t really any such thing as totally “passive” income. Everything requires some work to set up and maintain. Everything. (And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.)

But on-demand courses are more popular than ever. A recent report from Renub Research suggests that the online education industry will reach $350 billion, worldwide, by 2025. That’s some tall cake.

Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning and see a notification that someone has bought your course and started watching it? Particularly for your “foundational” courses, a moderately-priced on-demand course can be a terrific income stream, and a great first step on your customer’s journey.

Plus it feels great to know that your work is getting out there and really helping people.

PRO TIP: You’ll need to spend some money on some kind of automated system to process payments and deliver the recordings. Fortunately, there are a lot of them out there. The space is changing so rapidly and there are new systems coming out all the time – so ask some other online trainers you trust and then see which system works best for you and your budget.

3. You’ve been thinking about it for long enough, ammiright?

When an idea takes up permanent residence in your mind, that’s a good sign. In fact, for most of us, it’s the only sign.

You don’t have to be an “expert” – you just have to be willing to authentically share what you know with the people who need it. Think about reaching back to folks who are 10 steps behind you. You don’t need to know everything, you just need to be able to get them from where they are to where you are. Make sense?

So quit waiting for the perfect time, and start taking some inspired right action right now.

PRO TIP: Here’s a great first step – check out my free online, on-demand training, 24 Painful Mistakes to Avoid When Creating A Workshop Online (That I Learned the Hard Way) 

[Podcast] 10 Unusual Characteristics of the Highly Creative Person

[Podcast] 10 Unusual Characteristics of the Highly Creative Person

In this inaugural episode, Sam Bennett shares ten qualities and characteristics of highly creative people. So, if you think you are one, this episode may answer some of the questions about why you act the way you do.

Everyone has at least one zone of creative genius. But, some people have multiple zones of genius. These people are known as highly creative people. If you have a grillon ideas all the time and zig when everyone else zags, you might be a highly creative person.