Motivational Maven And Restauranteur: Dave Magrogan

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By: Diane Feen Contributing Writer

Dave Magrogan is one of the few people who believes that failure is something to celebrate. If you ask him (or read his book “Do It Rhino Style,”) you will learn that failure is not something to hide but a stepping stone to greatness.

And if anyone knows about greatness it’s Magrogan.

He worked in restaurants throughout college (in Pennsylvania) and chiropractic school (in Atlanta). After school he started a chiropractic practice in Pennsylvania that became very successful.

During his chiropractic years he realized that nutrition had an important impact on the lives of his patients. He also noticed that most restaurants were not serving healthy food.

“I believed if people had healthy dining options they would want to go there. I also noticed that people were more conscious of where their food came from and the potential for pesticides and antibiotics in food. I saw a niche for a restaurant that served healthy food in a casual yet polished environment,” said the Brookhaven, Pennsylvania native.

So Magrogan hung up his doctor coat and began his foray into the restaurant business. He opened 17 restaurants before coming to Delray Beach to open Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. Their claim to fame is farm-to-table seasonal food that ranges from wood fired steak, to poultry, seafood and vegetarian dishes locally-grown and low in calories.

If you’ve seen Magrogan walking around the restaurant, or greeting guests, you will notice there is something special about this owner-CEO.

And there is.

“I grew up poor with a single mom and two sisters in a small two-bedroom apartment. We were poor but happy and I was taught that education and hard work were steps to success.”

But that’s only part of the story.

The rest is mired in motivational sayings and beliefs that are part Tony Robbins and part Gandhi.

“It’s all about where you put your focus. Roadblocks come up, but that is part of life and part of growth. When you’re a child and you learn to walk (or ride a bike) you fall down a few times, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get up again. As adults we believe we need to have it all figured out. But each failure teaches us how to do it better the next time.”

In his book “Do It Rhino Style,” Magrogan says failure increases your skills, your knowledge and improves your perspective. “Failure gives you wisdom—the wisdom to make better and more efficient decisions in the future. Many people look at failure as some permanent state that will forever define who they are. The fear of failure prevents most people from living their dreams.”

The book also talks about setting goals, seeing the world through a positive lens, clearing mental clutter, having passion for what you do and taking action. It all seems like common sense, but when it comes from Magrogan’s mouth it seems like the Gospel.

“You need a goal that’s important to you – that you’re excited and passionate about. It’s also important who you spend time with. It’s better to be with people who inspire you than with friends who are complainers.”

So how do you meet new people whose thoughts mirror your more sanctified ones? By surrounding yourself with people who have similar interests and beliefs that reflect the values you aspire to have.

Magrogan is also a big believer in dividing the day into different segments. Though he runs on the beach most mornings, other options include meditation, walking or weight training for empowerment and clarity.

As the day goes on you can take breaks to build a reservoir of positive vibes to detract from stress or strife. “Don’t take a bad attitude into a positive meeting, just think, ‘this is a new segment of my day.’”

The important things to remember, according to this motivational guru, are your attitude, vision, your mission and your passion. “Watch how you think, act and what you say. We can all achieve amazing things if we keep at it.”