Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some Good Rules for Bad Times

Brief synopsis…I started grad school in the fall of 1993, but always the person to juggle more than one ball, I started a photo business out of my apartment and later out of an old run down house which I eventually bought and fixed up. I spent way too much money at Lowe’s and Home Depot, so much so I struggled to pay other bills and at the same time was a full-time student.

By the beginning of 1994 I was wondering if I had made the right decision putting so much money into equipment, the house, framing equipment, darkroom equipment, etc. I had also built a reception area to show off my pictures and a changing room.

My then girlfriend had maxed out her credit cards to try to help me out. It was freezing outside, minus 28, and I had thoughts of selling everything and just getting my old apartment back and focusing on school. As I was going through the Sunday newspaper I came across this article in Parade Magazine by Wally Amos, the founder of Famous Amos cookies. It was titled: “Some Good Rules for Bad Times”. I read the article several times and then grabbed a pair of scissors to cut it out and save it for future reading or motivation.

That one article alone helped me to turn my attitude & business around and by the summer of 1994 I had several large clients with money coming in and by 1995, still in grad school, I had to hire two people to keep up with all the work and business. Thanks Wally!

Fast forward to yesterday when I’m cleaning out and organizing my stuff in storage…and I find this old article…yellowed, but still full of good information. So I’ve decided to both retype it and post the original scan. Ciao!

Some Good Rules for Bad Times, by Wally Amos

“During the past four years of my life, I’ve been in debt. I’ve been sued. I’ve lost my name and had creditors call me every day. This is how I got through:”

PATIENCE: I’ve learned that it really is a virtue, especially if you’re involved in a lawsuit. The wheels of justice grind slowly, and there’s nothing you can do to hurry them. “I never feel victimized,” said Amos. “I take responsibility for what happened to me. That’s what’s important.”

ACCEPTANCE: Don’t become part of the problem. I have a friend who was chairman of a $4 billion company when the board fired him. He started listing all his options for the future. He didn’t waste a second. In very short order, his life moved in another direction. He’s happier than ever: Once you accept, you can get on to solutions.

FOCUS: When I started “Famous Amos”, I was so focused, I got it done in five months. Then I let my focus get diffused. I was all over the place when I should have been concentrating. I’ve learned to focus on starting my new company. The Rev. Robert Schuller once told me that the three important things are Faith, Focus and Follow Through-and Fulfillment follows those.

COMMITMENT: When you say “I will” with conviction, magic begins to happen. I was committed to creating a new life for myself. Commitment kept moving me on from one point to the next.

ENTHUSIAM: It is the well spring of life. It is contagious. Many times I walked into a situation where there was gloom in the room, and I walked in with a joyful attitude, a cookie and a smile and was able to change the whole energy. You do that by being enthusiastic.

POSITIVE ATTITUDE: It’s your mental attitude that creates the results in your life. I went through the lawsuit for 19 months. When it started, I was lying on the floor with them steamrolling me. But I had my attitude intact. It just kind of steers you in the direction of looking for solutions.

BY GIVING: I have not allowed my troubles to keep me from being involved with Literacy Volunteers of America and Cities in Schools, or from visiting the Boys and Girls Clubs. I believe good things have happened because I continue to give.

HONESTY & INTEGRITY: You must be positively consistent in what you say, think and do. That sends a clear picture to people of who you are. People believe you and want you to succeed and do what they can to assist.

(click on the picture to enlarge or print)


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