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Mike Montague interviews Michael Coles on How to Succeed at Getting Tough. Michael J. Coles, the co-founder of the Great American Cookie Company and the former CEO of Caribou Coffee, did not follow a conventional path into business. He does not have an Ivy League pedigree or an MBA from a top-ten business school. He grew up poor, starting work at the age of thirteen. He had many false starts and painful defeats, but Coles has a habit of defying expectations. His life and career have been about turning obstacles into opportunities, tragedies into triumphs, and poverty into philanthropy. 

Get his book, Time To Get Tough, at:  

In this episode: 

  • The best attitude, behavior, and technique on how to succeed at getting tough
  • Why Michael says it’s Time to Get Tough - TTGT
  • Take risks early in your career
  • Hope for the best and plan for the worst
  • It’s okay if you forget the oven mitts...once
  • A mistake Michael made his first day as CEO of Caribou Coffee
  • Before you figure out how to do more, figure out what you’re doing well
  • Michael’s definition of success and a challenge he had to overcome




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