WALLY AMOS: BE POSITIVE
Wally Amos is the
founder of Uncle
can reach him at
It was 5:55 a.m., and the agent went into
the backroom, usually a sign of serious prob- Learning from
lems. After three or four minutes she returned,
made a phone call, played with the computer mistakes
some more and advised that the only way I
could get a ticket was to pay the original fare. It
was about 6:08 a.m., and without hesitation I
whipped out my wallet.
have an e-ticket authorization.
There was a time when I would have argued
The power of that they were wrong, and I would have missed
my flight. One of the greatest lessons I’ve
learned is the quote from “The Serenity Prayer”:
attitude “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things
I cannot change, courage to change the things I
can, and wisdom to know the difference.” A
strong positive attitude helps you
HOW MANY TIMES have you allowed a situation know the difference and accept
that you could have changed, by acting positively, those things you cannot change. I’ve
get totally out of control? Let me give an example. learned one thing during my life: I, and
After traveling for five weeks, I arrived at 5: 35 only I, am in complete control of my
a.m. at the Madison, Wisconsin, airport to board attitude. Attitude is everything!
a 6: 30 plane for Chicago on the first leg of a A great teacher who helped me
three-leg trip home to Hawaii. I showed my ID. improve my attitude is my friend Jerry
Key to marketing:
Keep it simple
FOR ALL THOSE business owners who love to use a lot of words—
the bigger, the better—long sentences and “legalese” when trying to
communicate with customers, Naomi Finkel has some advice.
Knock it off!
Finkel, a Costco member and owner of Say It With Words in
Westlake Village, California, says brochures, signs, postcards, flyers
and other marketing tools are more effective if they’re simple.
Attempting to impress clients with complicated language often has
the opposite effect.
Finkel offers these simple tips for success.
➡ Don’t use three, five or 10 words when one will do. For example,
“when” is better than “in the event” and “now” beats “at this
moment in time.”
➡ Keep your paragraphs short, about five to six sentences. And limit
the length of your sentences.
➡ Every time you write a promotional piece, make believe you have
to pay by the word, just like in classified ads. When it comes to
writing right, keep it short and to the point.
➡ And what about those words that look like they came from a
Fuhgeddabout it! C
BEHIND MANY successful
companies are a series of
stops and starts, steps and
missteps that the business
owner has survived. The
good news is that the rest
of us can learn from those
mistakes and succeed.
That’s the gist of Do
As I Say, Not As I
Did (Brown Books
2005), by Costco
Frank. The book’s
subtitle sums it
up best: “Gaining
Wisdom in Busi-
Frank, of Dallas, asked
29 highly successful entrepreneurs to tell their secret
business horror stories
and how they overcame
them. She found these top
Believing bigger is
better. Smaller, hungrier
service providers might
offer more personal service and a better value.
Putting all your eggs
in one basket. Rely on a
single supplier, vendor
or type of customer and
you’re only one move
away from disaster.
Neglecting your best
employees. How well you
explain upcoming changes
In one case, the partner
turned out to have a
Ignoring your finances. In short, don’t let the
fox guard the henhouse.
In the end, says Frank,
we can say, “Whew, I’m
glad it was them and not
me. Now I know better.” C
After a while, the agent asked if I had a Jampolsky, founder of the Center for
paper ticket; this was my first clue that I had a Attitudinal Healing in Sausalito, California .
problem. I had flown almost 30 legs with elec- Jerry is celebrating 30 years of helping
tronic tickets. Why would I have a paper ticket people the world over heal their attitudes.
now? She checked further and advised that the I invite you to visit their Web site, www.healing
e-ticket had been voided shortly after it was
center.org, for more information on the center. I
issued. She added that the computer could not promise that you will be glad you did.
issue me a boarding pass because it did not Have a very positive life! C