The Rest of My Life

Be Inspired: Josh

Hands down this Be Inspired series is my favorite part of this blog. I am passionate about not only dreaming big, but chasing those dreams and this series has given me the opportunity to share the stories of so many people doing just that with their lives. Unfortunately, most of the people I interview don’t live near me so I don’t get to do the interviews in person but today’s feature, Josh, lives nearby so I was able to interview him in person. I first met Josh when I went to his restaurant, Stratford at the Harbor for brunch (you can read about my experience at Stratford including the amazing coffee cake) and after connecting via email I knew he was a perfect fit for this series.

Even though he had very limited restaurant experience Josh has known for years that he wanted to own a restaurant. Despite the reality that this dream seemed impossible, he knew he didn’t want to be the guy that looked back at his life and realized he didn’t take chances, didn’t take risks and didn’t pursue his dreams. So eight years ago, while working in sales, he bought his first book about how to open your own restaurant. He didn’t get a restaurant over night but one year ago Josh, and his business partner Greg, opened Stratford at the Harbor.

You can connect with Josh and Stratford at the Harbor on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and if you’re ever in San Diego or Orange County, CA I would HIGHLY recommend stopping by the restaurant to eat.

It is my hope that you leave this blog feeling inspired.  Whether you spend 2 minutes reading the blog every month or check the blog on a daily basis, it is my hope that when you click away from my site you leave inspired.  Inspired to try something new.  Inspired to step out of your comfort zone.  Inspired to embrace a new challenge.  Inspired to make a difference.  Inspired to dream big and chase those dreams.  Inspired to live life a little bit different.  Inspired to be the best you possible.  This series introduces you to people and stories that inspire me and it is my hope that they will inspire you as well.

Meet Josh…

Be Inspired Josh - Stratford at the Harbor
Josh (R) and his business partners Gregg (L) and Terry Sonken


What dream are you currently pursuing?

Currently Josh is pursuing the dream of owning his own restaurant. He became the owner of Stratford at the Harbor in May 2014. Stratford is open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch and Josh suggests getting the fish tacos or pancakes (I would also recommend getting the coffee cake!)

What is your biggest dream?

Josh’s biggest dream is to someday open an adventure camp for kids where inner city kids and kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity would learn wilderness and outdoor skills.

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?

Owning Stratford at the Harbor is the accomplishment Josh is most proud of because even up to just a couple of weeks before the final papers were signed, there was so much doubt that everything would work out. The journey to opening this restaurant was not an easy one but it is incredibly clear in talking to Josh that God’s timing and plan was at work in opening Stratford.  There were times along the way when it seemed like a crazy dream to be pursuing but Josh continued to pursue this dream and owning the restaurant allows him to put so many of his gifts into practice.

Who has been an inspiration to you and how have they inspired you?

There are several people in his family that inspire Josh, specifically his brother and his grandfather. His brother, Casey, has so much confidence in Josh and absolutely believes in him and that inspires Josh to pursue his dreams. His grandfather’s strong, quiet presence inspires Josh to pause and reflect on what his grandfather would do in particular situations.

How do you handle obstacles that arise as you pursue your dreams?

There are a number of different ways that Josh handles obstacles that arise (and they definitely did during the process of opening Stratford!) including asking input from others, processing and thinking through the situation and giving the situation over to God. Ultimately he’s learned that in difficult situations, you just need to pray.

Can you share five interesting facts about yourself?

-Once broke his neck and back in a snowboarding accident

-His dream career would be to be a stand-up comedian

-Josh owns a restaurant but is not a good cook…but he’s learning!

-He loves talking about politics and religion

-Josh is motivated by fear failure

I hope that hearing Josh’s story of how he pursued his dreams inspires you to pursue your own dreams.  And I’d love to hear, what is one of your biggest dreams?


  • Joanna

    What a neat dream to pursue! Although, I’m the opposite in terms of living preference… I’m a west coaster but long to live on the east coast!;)

  • Christy

    Wow! I loved this! Just want I’ve been needing to hear! I’ve been in the process of getting my own photography business going. It’s been a slow go and I’ve been a tad impatient because I’m just ready to have everything up and going. So encouraging to hear Josh’s answers. 🙂

  • Seana Turner

    I think I can identify with that fear of failure:) Starting a restaurant is not easy — it is a tough business. I think starting any business is very challenging, and you need to have grace for yourself, and just keep showing up. I never would have thought I’d have this organizing business, but now I love it. Still, there are always new challenges, but in the end, that keeps me morphing and progressing and adapting, which I think is healthy.

  • Jeannine O'Neil

    I love this series Julie! It is so inspiring! No matter what are goals maybe we all have similar hurdles to overcome and challenges to accomplish. It is a fantastic way to highlight those accomplishments and inspire others. My pie in the sky dream is to be successful enough to be able to afford to take my Husband and his family to Ireland one day. It has been a dream of theirs and a fantastic motivator for me to stay on track on days where I may be having more battles than success.

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