Shawn Burcham wants to share his life's purpose with readers in his upcoming book.
The CEO of Holts Summit-based PFS Brands, which operates more than 1,200 food programs nationally, such as Champs Chicken, is having his first book published by ForbesBooks on Aug. 13. The book is titled "Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success."
"The overall message (of the book) definitely revolves around success and becoming more successful in everybody's personal life and just having a different mindset in how you go about your daily life," Burcham said.
Burcham founded PFS Brands in 1998 with his wife out of his garage, and it originally operated as a coffee company. The company started its first Champs Chicken in April 1999 and has grown nationally since then.
"For us entrepreneurs who've lived it, we don't think we've done anything exciting other than coming to work every day, but the more people heard about our story, they just encouraged me to write a book," Burcham explained.
He said the book's narrative primarily draws from an autobiographical view and some of the wisdom he's learned over the years.
"It is a really unique business book with how autobiographical it is. It goes back to my childhood and sees some of my challenges and overcoming those things and also with starting a business and all of the challenges that come from that," he said.
Burcham said he began writing the book about five years ago but really started getting serious about it the last 18 months. Writing the book was a challenge for him, as he was still operating multiple businesses and traveling often.
"You have to prioritize things like everything else in your life and carve out time to do those things that are priorities. That's all part of a goal-setting mindset," Burcham explained.
The book's title contains the acronym GRITT, which is a system he has unconsciously and consciously lived throughout his life. The acronym stands for "goal driven, responsible, involved, team and tolerance of failure."
"That second T is probably the most important part of the acronym because we as an organization push ourselves to have that tolerance of failure because all successful people have actually failed — a lot," Burcham said.
He explained PFS Brands began to conceptualize the GRITT system eight years ago. These principles are what his company is built around and continues to improve upon.
The book is targeted to a large audience all the way from CEOs to employees who are trying to be more successful in their careers or their lives, Burcham said. In fact, the original intended audience of the book was employee-owners of Champs Chicken nationwide.
"I really wanted (the owners) to have a good feel for who I was as a person and some of the challenges that we've overcome," he explained.
The entire book-writing process was very "ironic" for Burcham because he used to hate reading and writing growing up and even as a young adult. He said he did not begin reading for enjoyment until he was 40 years old. His new-found obsession with reading ultimately led him to be a writer himself.
Burcham explained he did not find his core purpose in life until that same time period and describes the second half of his life as being not only more successful, but more significant than the first half.
"My core purpose as an individual is to help others become more successful in work and in life," he said.
PFS Brands has now launched its own GRITT Business Coaching company that hosts business coaching workshops. The company looks to help other business entrepreneurs get better employee engagement, better financial literacy within their organization and helping them understand how they affect the company, Burcham said.
"Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success" will be available Aug. 13 with Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.