By Thomas M. Loarie

BOOK REVIEW: Invest Yourself, How to Lead with Abundance

May 3, 2019
Column: CEO Learnings

After going through his own “Road to Emmaus” experience, Catholic businessman John Abbate wanted to encourage business leaders at all levels to stay true to their faith-driven, ethical compass. To that end, and as a successful central California owner-operator of 37 McDonald’s outlets and one of central California’s largest employers, Abbate was inspired to author the book, Invest Yourself: Daring to be Catholic in Today’s Business World.

Abbate believes that today’s culture desperately needs Catholic leaders who dare to live their faith in their careers and in every other aspect of their lives.

We live in a culture where the advertised, culturally defined “abundant life” is fake news. The path to this so-called abundant life fueled by substitutes for God—wealth, pleasure, power and honor. But this is a sure path to unhappiness, emptiness and darkness which leads to addictions that include pills, alcohol, sex, food and work; an attempt to fill the inner void left by the absence of the divine.

Abbate himself was on this path. However, before it was too late, he realized that path was an illusion and a lie.
Invest Yourself is Abbate’s story of finding a new path, one that leads to the genuine “abundant life” we seek, and the one God destined for each of us.

Key to finding genuine abundance

The only things that are truly important in life and that lead to real abundance are: hope, happiness, and the satisfaction that comes from knowing our life counted for something.

Key to getting on this path is the movement from the scarcity mentality of “me first” to a mentality of abundance in self-sacrifice and giving. “Dare to be the first in that,” says Abbate, and become an example for others.

Change your paradigm

Greed, envy and scarcity, the author shows, has great power and is holding humanity hostage. Now is the time for Catholics to step up and change the paradigm. “Opportunities abound,” says Abbate. He knows well, for he has himself taken a leadership role. In that role, he expanded the focus of his organization to focus on its employees.

Employees Matter

Abbate came to the realization that the motivation of his employees is not necessarily the promise of bigger paycheck but rather the actualization of their dreams. (Isn’t that what we all want?)

Once he came to realize the real issue, he and his organization began to address the immediate problems in the lives of his employees. He became physically and emotionally involved in their lives. He got to know his employees at a deeper level and was able to bring resources they did not have available to help their lives.

John Abbate now sees that McDonald’s is far more than fast-food or an entry level job. Instead, the famed Golden Arches can serve a bridge to a better life for all—a bridge to a long-term career with McDonald’s or to college, a bridge for those who need short-term help for their family, or simply a bridge to another job opportunity. In his organization, Abbate has provided scholarships and assistance, access to computers for children, transportation, and financial know-how for managing the family budget.

Thanks to his own paradigm shift, providing a “bridge” for his employees has become the most rewarding part of his job.

Four simple steps

Abbate outlines four steps we can take today:

  • Declare and believe in yourself as a gift and worthy of contribution
  • Strive to make a difference by investing your time, talent and treasure
  • Get out of the scarcity mode of success or failure and into the mentality of contributing
  • Accept that we are meant (by God) not for comfort but for greatness. (Has there ever been a saint who did not accept discomfort and persecution for the sake of the Kingdom?)

A daily choice

There is no easy way to accomplish much of what Abbate has in his book. Living your faith in business is an everyday choice. There is no finish line. It is the journey that yields true abundance and happiness.

But if you do choose this path to genuine abundance and happiness, you will change your perspective and realize that abundance is defined by love, and God will provide more than what you need.



Thomas M. Loarie is the CEO of BryoLogyx, a rotating host of THE MENTORS RADIO SHOW, and a senior editorial advisor and columnist for Catholic Business Journal. He may be reached at

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