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From a Hooters Waitress to the President of a Billion-Dollar Brand: Kat Cole's Success Secrets

From a Hooters Waitress to the President of a Billion-Dollar Brand: Kat Cole's Success Secrets

Kat Cole was born in Jacksonville, Fla., to a single mother who worked three jobs.

She started serving beer and wings and quickly moved up the ranks at the restaurant chain by helping to expand the Hooters franchise to locations around the world.

Cole was the first of her family to attend college but because Hooters was sending her all over the world to open franchise locations, she was forced to drop out. She continued to climb the ladder and work her way up the chain until she became Hooter's youngest-ever vice president.

According to Business Insider, after being VP of Hooters, Cole was hired by Cinnabon and she helped reinvigorate and transform it into a billion-dollar business.

Cinnabon is owned by Focus Brands, the umbrella company that also owns Carvel ice cream, Auntie Anne's pretzel company, Schlotzkey's sandwich shop and Moe's Southwest Grill.

While at Cinnabon, Cole has advanced the company's licensing programs with other franchises, including Cinnabon Delights at Taco Bell, Minibons at more than 700 Burger Kings, and International Delight, according to Entrepreneur.

Along with breaking the glass ceiling, Cole loves to share her knowledge and advice to help push people to succeed. Here are her three keys to success from her recent interview with "TODAY."

1. Be honest, authentic, and confident in what you stand for.

2. Stay incredibly close to the customer.

3. Do the right thing for the right reasons.

Many people have taken to twitter to share how Cole has encouraged them to succeed:

And just in case you need a little momentum on your road to success, here are some motivating quotes from Cole:

"If you don't use your voice, there’s someone waiting behind you who will."

"Success is mostly driven by how badly you want something and how well you partner with other great people. It has to do with how hungry you are."

"Have empathy, gratitude and respect for every position in the company."

NEXT: Sara Blakely On Early Entrepreneurship »

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