Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wally and the Watermelon

I had the pleasure while in Hawaii to meet Wally Amos. He was substituted in as one of our keynote speakers when a hot shot former COO of Wal Mart canceled one week prior to the event. I shouldn't sound so so smarmy - the Wally World guy did claim to have a family medical emergency. I hope it wasn't anything serious, really I do. Because his emergency turned into our blessing.

Instead of being regaled with all the insidious particulars of a mom-and-pop retail killing machine, we were inspired by a 73 year old man with a love of watermelon and a thirst for life. He walked into the room looking exactly like the photo, watermelon hat, big smile, cool shirt and baring baskets of cookies. Perfect!

He is a man with a mission, having had a difficult childhood, he rose to fame by creating the Famous Amos cookie brand, then due to mismanagement and financial difficulties, he lost it. When I say he lost it, I mean he lost the cookie brand along with the right to use his name. When you buy Famous Amos cookies now, you are purchasing a Kellogg product.

Undaunted, he marched on. He tried several new products using "Uncle Wally" as a brand name. Later, he created an "Uncle Noname" (pronounced no-nam-ee) line of products with some success. You have got to love the guy. He saunters up to the convention center stage carrying a plastic container full of watermelon, interspersing his pleasure to be there while munching down on the melon. Dude loves him some watermelon.

He proceeded to enlighten us with his Watermelon Credo, explaining each line with a story from his life or illustrating a point by reading a children's book. We were captivated. I share it with you here.

The highlights that really stuck with me had to do with his belief system. Most all of us seem to get the whole Law of Attraction, The Secret philosophy but sometimes it slips away from us when we're busy wallowing in the day to day doldrums. What we believe, we achieve - or as Wally says, "Whatever you believe creates your reality".

Go on now, get busy believing up a life for yourself.

I was also particularly moved by his take on enthusiasm, love, respect and attitude. It's all very basic stuff but when you hear it from him you sorta sit there thinking, "oh, I get it now", figuratively slapping yourself on the head with a great big duh!

Without these traits, you will wrinkle your soul. Fierce, huh? They don't make any anti-wrinkle cream for the soul.

It is fitting that he closes his credo with the thought of never giving up. This from a man who could have thrown in the towel when he lost the right to use his own name. He has a new retail venture called Chip & Cookie. He has two locations in Hawaii, has been in business for just over four years and hasn't made a profit yet. But you won't see him giving up anytime soon.

Never give up on your dreams.

I think I'd like to write my own credo. I'll have to think of something I love as much as Wally Amos loves watermelon. All I can think of right now is wine and chocolate. I don't think either of those would make for a good credo. Though they do definitely improve my attitude.

Thanks Wally, I'm very happy to have met you.

Please visit Wally Amos at his website. You can order your very own free Watermelon Credo poster, sign up for his inspirational e-newsletter, order from his Chip & Cookie product line, find out about his involvement with literacy and so much more.

This post is dedicated to a friend who seemed to need a little Watermelon inspiration.

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