PHOENIX -- As Randy Walters shows off the selection of treats in his restaurant, Wimpy’s Paradise, he also remembers a day that wasn't so sweet.
“I actually got fired from the hospital," he said. "I went home that night and my ego was on the floor. I haven't graduated college. I went for three years. That is what I did."
But advice from a friend and a television commercial turned the bad news into a new start.
“Jim said to me, 'You know what? You can't control that. You can't control what people are going to think or what was done to you. All you can do is control what you do from here on out,' " Walters recalled.
“I had a dream all my life to have a hot dog restaurant,” Walters told 3TV. “I had some money in retirement and bought the hot dog cart, and like I said, moved it around, did everything, did birthday parties in backyards for little kids. It didn’t matter because the other thing my dad told me was to never be too proud to take smaller jobs."
Those small jobs led to a shop at Chandler Antique Mall and this new restaurant in downtown Chandler, Wimpy’s Paradise, in honor of his father.
“Wimpy’s Paradise was my dad's restaurant, a little town outside of Pittsburgh,” Walters remembered.
While he serves up one mean dog and top-notch burgers, he also can serve up some advice for others who are ready to follow their dreams.
First, whether you are looking to break out on your own or move up in your current job, you have to be brave enough to go for it.
”So, there is some comfort in having the dream," Walters said. "The risk is actually going for it, but so is the reward, you know?"
However, you also need to be realistic.
“I couldn't open a $3 million restaurant, state of the art. I couldn't do that," Walters said.
Also, be ready to ask for help if there is something you don't know how to do.
“Surround yourself with people who are experts in their field. You do what you do best and let them do what they do best, and kind of keep an eye on all of it,” Walters said.
And finally, “Keep your eye on the prize. Don't take no for an answer," he said. "If one door closes, go through the back door or side door. There are always other ways to get to where you are going. Just never, ever, ever, ever, ever quit."
Walters says following your dream really can lead to having your dream job.
“I'm so blessed. When I open the door in the morning, it's like I walked into my own Disneyland," he said.