Oceans of Abundance


Think of it this way… if you were to go the Oceans of Abundance with a dump truck instead of a teaspoon you still wouldn’t even put a little dent into the Oceans of Abundance. Even if you took out a hundred dump trucks, you still wouldn’t put a dent into the Oceans of Abundance. Quit thinking small! Start Thinking Big! Start going to the Oceans of Abundance with the biggest dump truck you can find and load yourself up!

When you are passionately devoted or obsessively committed to bettering the lives of others… you are unleashing a positive energy force that is unlimited in the goodness it creates. The better your ability to increase the well being of others is like rocket fuel for own prosperity, wealth, and success.

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Famous Dave’s Enlightenment


Start everyday like everything was “brand new!” Don’t pollute your new day with the negatives of yesterday. Treat everyone with genuine interest like they were the one person that you were just dying to meet, no matter how frustrating they might have been to you the day before. Give them the same second chance in life that you would want if you messed up. Put aside your worries and disappointments. Instead look at everything with optimism and hope. Start seeing the good in everything or everyone that you come in contact each new day and soon your days will be filled with blessings and joy.

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Become a Miracle Worker!


Do you believe in miracles?
Yes, I believe in miracles…
Because I am the one that makes the miracles happen!
If you want to experience miracles in your life… you’ve got to work like a “Miracle Worker!”
You’ve got to work with unwavering resolve…
You’ve got to work with obsessive intensity…
You’ve got to work relentlessly harder than you have ever worked before…
You have to work so hard that people will say… “Look at that guy work! …will miracles never cease to happen!”
Non-stop hard work. Working harder than everyone else. Working longer hours than everyone else. Working until you drop. Working until you have achieved your goal.
You’ve got to work with greatest devotion that you have ever poured into a job with the unwavering belief that someday…all your dreams will manifest into reality with such abundance that your success exceeds even beyond your wildest dream! This is how miracles are created.
You’ve got to be the miracle!

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An Easy Way to Increase Your Paycheck!


The value you add to the marketplace is reflected in your paycheck, which means the amount printed on your paycheck is YOUR responsibility. So if you want to make more money look in the mirror and ask yourself:
1. How can I keep improving the profitability of my company?
2. How can I bring more value to the marketplace?
If you don’t know how you are creating value you’d better find out! You could be replaced or eliminated because your bosses are probably thinking the same thing! It is your responsibility to save your job and increase your paycheck…go to your boss or supervisor and ask them how you can contribute more to making the company more profitable!

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The Concept of Profit Creation


The days of just showing up and working are over. No business can succeed without profits and you cannot succeed in your career if you do not know how your job contributes to the profits of the company!

The Concept of Profit Creation… Profit is a good thing yet many people do not understand the concept of profit creation. Profit is really nothing more than making the world a better place. Profit is leaving something better because of your influence, your service, or your hard work. Profit is giving more than expected. Profit is giving more than what you are being paid. Profit is creating more than you consume. Profit is making everything around you better… Profit is making everything you touch increase in value…this is the concept of profit.

Ask yourself… how does the work I do add profit to the business? Most people go to work without ever knowing how their work adds value to the marketplace. To them it is just a job.

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I am a certified judge and have judged in many contests as well as competed in many contests over 35 years.  I was recently asked to participate in a survey about judging barbeque; the survey was interesting but all it did was give me choices – how can a man pick just one?! … just like saying anyone rib is the best rib. I love all barbeque! Barbeque is like sex… it’s all good!!!  The questions were about as meaningful as asking if you love blonds or brunettes. Do you love tall pretty girls or short pretty girls? I had to really laugh at one of your categories about whether “Whole thighs minimally trimmed but still looked good” OR… “Smaller, trimmed, better looking thighs!”

Barbeque is tough to judge… as I think all garnishes are appreciated if the contestant is talented in the use of garnishes. I have seen what appeared to be whole gardens in a contestants box and had to go digging through the bushes to find the meat! Personally I would prefer not to see garnishes at all as a really great ribber can do amazing things just with the meat and it is the meat that we are judging after all. I do think that if garnishes are going to be part of the presentation then there should actually be a garnishing award. This then separates out the task of judging garnishing versus judging the real skills of smoking and the quality of barbequed meats. Barbeque Contests are not florist conventions! As someone who has spent his whole life in the food business… I follow a very well accepted culinary discipline regarding garnishes… “if you can’t eat it or if it is not used in the recipe… don’t even think of putting it on the plate!”

Regarding sauce… again this is a tough question and it all depends on the quality of the smoked meat, a ribber’s expertise in applying rubs, and the quality of a sauce. For me there isn’t anything better than a rib right out of the smoker. However in the same breath I love a great rib with a great sauce that is running down to my elbows. There are times with the right smoked rib and the right great tasting sauce that I can’t get enough of the stuff all over my face!

And to ask which sauce you prefer is almost insane. I have tasted very tasty sweet tomato based sauces that I would kill for. I have been in southern states where I have tasted really great spicy sauces that have no tomato or sweetness to them… much like a great southern texas style chili that is not sweet and tomato is forbidden…and I absolutely loved these sauces as well especially if the meat was smoked over mesquite or in certain parts of New Mexico where I have tasted some really great barbeque smoked with the fragrance of pinon. Then when I am in the Georgia… how can you say you don’t absolutely love the smoky pulled pork slathered with a great mustard based sauce? or if you’re in the Carolinas and you have a great vinegar basted smoky pork… ITS ALL GOOD… how can you in your right mind decide which one is better over the other?

Regarding brisket… I don’t think it is fair to ask judges whether they prefer brisket or burnt ends. Two different categories. I think burnt ends should be a category
all by itself. And asking if there should be a ”smoke ring” is tantamount to asking if the Pope is Catholic. To me there is no barbeque if there no smoke ring.
Wood is good. The ring is the thing!

When it comes to pulled or chopped pork, sauced or not sauced… again this is all personal taste depending on what part of the country you grew up in.
I love a really great slow smoked no sauced pulled pork with some bark… just as much as enjoy chopped pork with no sauce with some bark. Then if the sauce is
really tasty, spicy, and flavorful… I am just a apt to drown my pulled or chopped pork with the bark with this tasty nectar from the barbeque gods!

I think if you had a panel of judges you could not get a consensus with everyone in agreement and it all comes down to one thing and one thing only… whether it is the ribs, loin backs, chicken, or pork… Does it taste good? If it tastes good. If is authentically smoked slow until tender. If the sauce is tasty whether it is mustardy, spiked with molasses, tomato or no tomato, spicy or sweet, tangy or zippy…  the only thing that
matters is whether you feel like you have just tasted the best barbeque in the whole world and you will know that the moment these succulent
morsels of barbeque heaven touch your lips!

I love’em all!!! (I suck at being a judge)

Snout-standingly Yours

“Famous Dave”

P.S. This evening I was out in my backyard playing around with a new sauce made with some fresh cranberries that are grown up near the original Famous Dave’s in Hayward, Wisconsin and the natural tartness made a really great zippy sauce that made you think that Elvis was dancing on your tongue!

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The Tough Economy…


I get tons of requests & questions through my website, I wish I had time to answer the all, but I just can’t.  However I recently received a comment from a read of my book and was compelled to respond.  I think this applies to a lot of us these days, please see her comments & my response….

Hi Dave, We have a business in XXXXXX, XX.

I’ve loved your book but we have lots to learn as I am a negative, frustrated person who has been trying to change, but frankley with  this business climate, It’s extremely hard. I’m frustrated because  there is no reason for this. It’s a mind set in this area, but we  get tired of trying to change peoples mindset and be the  cheerleaders for the area.

I loved the positive thinking and have been trying to get into all  of that but I wanted to be “enlightened” in a biblical way and your  book does that. Thank you.

I have some questions and one comment.

I know that most of your book was for regular people, I took offense  and had a hard time at the part where you told everyone to never pay  retail for anything.

We have a coffee shop with food, furniture and more. How would you  feel if people came into your restaurant and asked if that was the  best price you could give them and walk out. We have that all the  time in the furniture business because of what the media has  created. It’s extremely discouraging!!!

Here are some other things I have comments and questions about. We  are really struggling right now because of the economy. We have had  to take our retirement out of our accounts to pay bills as we also  have 2 extra houses we can’t sell. Great huh! This has been a long,  long two years.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on how to stay positive  through this.

Our banker told us the other day that this area is really in a depression. Great huh.

Are you speaking anywhere and do you ever address just business  people. Thanks Dave!

Hey Mary! normally I can’t answer all the emails I get just because  there is no physical way I can do that… however your email struck a  chord with me because tough times is no respecter of persons. We have  all been hit hard and just because I have achieved a certain amount of  success in my life… one good recession can wipe out a lot of what we  have worked so hard all these years to build up. So it is all  relative. By the way… we have property that we can’t sell either…  it may be larger value but all the same if you can’t sell it… it  doesn’t really matter what the value is!!! …so I am aware of all the  ”ughs” you are going through!

First let me qualify something… when I encourage people not to pay retail… that is for all big purchases… as I couldn’t stay in  business too long either if every one wanted a discount on our rib  dinners. When you are making big purchases like refrigerators,  couches, and stuff like that… many retailers will deal with you.  Basically I was suggesting that every purchase should be well thought  out and to make sure you have done your homework.

Next… I need to encourage you to get rid of your whining, moaning,  and complaining. I know exactly how you feel because there are days  when you just want to grab your hair and pull it out while screaming  ”Why Me???” If you feel the need to… go ahead and get it out of  your system…  but then make a choice that you are going to move  forward.

Here’s the thing… you can’t change what is happening with the  economy. The only thing you can change is your attitude and how you  are going to reinvent yourself to move forward.

Yes it has been a long two years… but just think you have two great years ahead of you if you choose to focus on what’s ahead.

You see when you say “The Economy is causing me to lose money… The Economy has caused people to lose their jobs…  The Economy has hurt  my business… then you have made a choice to be “a victim” of The  Economy. Everything changes the moment you start saying “My  Economy!” …all of a sudden you are now responsible for what happens  in your life.

I have been bankrupt twice and know what it means to see the banks  come and repo your cars and I know how agonizing it is to have to go  to my wife and ask her for her jewelry so I could take it to a pawn  shop. But if I had given up on myself back then… I would have never  had the self esteem to believe in myself to go forward with fulfilling  my dream of creating Famous Dave’s.

The real unfortunate thing is that… it is no longer business as usual…and business will never go back to being like it used to be.

Yes you are losing your retirement little bit by little bit.

But I am also believing that you will get through this… if you first don’t give up on yourself.

Here’s the tough part… as much as you would like to be blameful…  you can’t… it serves no purpose.

You can’t be using all your energy to be whining about what has  already happened and stuff you can’t control. You need to be  preserving your energy for being optimistic about your future. You  need to using your energy being creative to find solutions to better  your situation. You need to using your energy to being cheerful and  forward looking so people will want to be around you and be uplifting  to you.

Here’s what I found the hard way… your life will never be the same.  So quit living in the dreams you used to have… and start figuring  out how you are going to reinvent yourself for going forward. What you  do going forward may not be easy and you are certainly going to have  to make some tough choices. That is called “life”… but look at it  this way… you are a smarter person today for all the years that you  have been able to be in business and build up some equity even though  you may be losing it right now… but what you have learned… nobody  can take this away from you. You have a lot of experience from being  in business this long and now you need to really dig deeper to use  this experience to find better solutions.

Life is tough and the tougher you are on yourself… the easier life  will be on you!

I am glad to see that you are talking to your banker… that is a good thing… he may have his responsibilities to protect his bank’s assets but the worst thing you can do is to avoid talking with your  creditors… even if you don’t have the right answers they are looking  for. Just keep talking to them and asking them for whatever help they  can give you.

Probably the most important thing you can do is to not lose your optimistic attitude that give you the dreams to go into business in  the first place. Being “optimistic” is not the same thing as being  Happy Happy and not cognizant of the seriousness of the challenges you  are facing. Being optimistic is being fully aware of the challenges  that are ahead of you… but you go forward believing that one way or  another you will get through your tough times… that is what really  matters.

So far… you have been sharing all the “material things” you have  been losing to the economy… start focusing on the blessings you have  in your life. Find the real things to be thankful for and focus on  these things.

Yes… my wife and I have lost some of the things we have worked so  hard to acquire over the years… but we still have our family that we  love. I am believing that we are going to be better people for what we  have gone through… even though right now we may not know how it is  all going to work out… but I am counting on the fact that what I  have developed in “experience and a great network of people” over the  years… I am sincerely believing that “The Best Is Yet To Come!”

You see when you are whining and complaining about how tough life is being on you and what you are losing… nobody wants to be around  you… everyone has their own problems too and the last thing they  want to hear is someone else whining, moaning, and complaining.

Do you really think that the creative solutions will come to you while you are whining? Do you really think that the people who might have  the creative ideas and the financial solutions will come to your aid  while you are whining, moaning, and complaining? Of course NOT! They  are going to avoid you like the plague!!!  They don’t want whatever is bringing you down to rub off on them!

So get out of your pity party… it isn’t doing you any good!

A long time ago… I learned that it is not good to tell people your problems because 80% of the people could care less and the other 20%  are actually glad!

When someone is having a tough time dealing with crushing adversities  and they maintain a positive optimistic outlook on life and the keep  their noses to the grindstone determined to never give up… the  people with creative solutions and financial resources will look at  this person and they will say… “Now there is someone we need to  help! …because they are good for the community! …they are not  quitters and their determination is something to be admired!”

I know being grateful is a tough thing for you right now… but it is your best answer.

At Famous Dave’s ( and I am not talking out of school here because we  are a publicly traded company ) …we have had a tough go of things ourselves… sales have been soft and we have had to make some very  tough decisions. We have had to close some marginal restaurants and we  have had to stream line our operations including down sizing or “right sizing” as some want to say… and laying off people we have come to  love and appreciate. But this last quarter even though we have had a  decrease in overall sales… we actually made more money then we did  last year at the same time. But we had to go through the angst of  making some really tough decisions that caused us much soul searching.

Next we gathered all our best minds to figure out how we could retrain our people to leave their own problems at home so while they are at Famous Dave’s that they can be even more cheerful and welcoming to our valued guests. We recognized that if we were going to have a fun place where our weary customers who were also getting beat up by the economy would feel welcome… that we had to step up our efforts to be even  more cheerful than we have ever been before. This last year, we have  put more of our key people through leadership training then we have  ever committed to in our entire 15 year history! And it is paying  off… our team is up to the challenge and we are all together in our optimistic beliefs that The Best Is Yet To Come!

We also worked hard at making sure our food was the best tasting food that we could prepare… so people just had to come back to us. We created some new specials that worked out really well. We put in some hard thinking to come up with some new promotional ideas that have  also paid off. We have come up with more ideas in this last two years  then we have ever come up with during our entire 15 years being in  business! Today our restaurants are running more efficiently then they  have ever been running before! …and when things turn around… we  are going to be in a better position to take advantage of the improved  economy and make up what we have lost.

There is no doubt in my mind that we have to recognize that these  times are not business as usual… everyone is going to have to work  harder then they have ever worked before. There is no going back…  only moving forward.

My questions to you…

Are you working longer harder hours to improve the quality of your  food drastically enough to cause your customers to take notice and  then spread the word around town that they need to come and check out  your new tasty delicious food?

Are you working harder on yourself to be a bit more cheerful everyday  and put on your make-up a little bit more special so you can wow  everyone that walks in your business?

Have you worked harder at cleaning up your restaurant and sprucing it  up so that it sparkles a little bit more so that your guest  immediately recognize the difference?

Have you inspired your employees to be more cheerful to your guests?

Are you going out of your way to acknowledge and greet everyone that walks in your door?

Have you wracked your brain coming up with some ideas how you can  create more value to your guests when they come to visit you?

Are you working on sprucing up the houses you can’t sell so when the economy picks up again that your properties are the first to sell?

Are you leaving your problems at home so you don’t run off your  customers because they have their own problems and they don’t really  need to visit your place of business to hear you whine, moan, and  complain?

Go on line… and order Willie Jollie’s audio CD… “Every Setback Is  A Setup For A Comeback”

Start listening to positive audio books in your car as you are driving around.

Or go online and take our 2 day LifeSkills for Leadership seminar…  it will jumpstart your life and your business… it is what we put our  key executives through earlier this year at Famous Dave’s… the  website is … >>> I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS  FOR YOU  ASAP!

The lessons are:

1. You are not going to change “The Economy” but you can change your attitude and how you are going to deal with your tough times.

2. Believe that you will get through these tough times… and you are going to be tougher, wiser, and more optimistic about your future.

3. Get used to the fact that you will need to reinvent yourself so  that you can be the architect of your future and not a victim of change.

4. Quit grousing about what you are losing… you can’t get it back…  so don’t live in the past… it will only grate on you and that is not  good.

5. Start being optimistic about your future and start focusing on the blessings you have in your life.

6. Quit whining, moaning, and complaining so that you don’t run off  the people who may be able to help you!

7. Start a lifequest to transform who you are now into a positive lifeforce that will make the world a better place!

My final thoughts are that everything I read in your email is all  about you and what you are losing… I learned my biggest lesson…  was that when I got knocked down to my knees… and this happened when  I got sober 15 years ago…that learned… I had to get Dave Anderson  out of the way and that I needed to trust in a higher power–God..  that I finally learned that life was all about giving and not getting.  I learned that my higher purpose in life is to be obsessively devoted  to the service of others to make their life better. When you can start  living your life looking how to bless others throughout your day…  you will find that all the people who you have helped will soon give  of themselves to make your life blessed. Go to sleep repeating the  23rd Psalm. Many nights I have gone to bed repeating over and over  again hundreds of times… I am a child of God. If God before me…  who can be against me! The Best Is Yet To Come!

God Bless You.. and I wish you peace!


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I remember how hot it would get in Chicago when I was a kid. It seemed that back in the 50’s it would get so hot and not just one day or two …but several weeks in a row of temperatures up over 100 degrees… I remember it was so hot and humid that when I looked out of the window of our little third floor apartment…I would see the heat waves rising up off of all that concrete and asphalt… we had no air conditioning in our little third floor apartment.

My mom wanting to get us kids out of that incredible heat would put us on the Soo Line Railroad and we would travel through the night… stopping at all the small towns from Chicago through the farmlands of Wisconsin. Arriving into Spooner, Wisconsin early in the morning… I can remember waking up and seeing the morning fog over the fields and forestlands…I often thought how beautiful vibrant all the colors of the sky as the morning sun started to peek its orange fiery head over dark green pines… once we got off the train… we had to wait on the train station platform until someone picked us up and drove us on dirt roads to the Lac Courte Oreilles reservation where my grandmother’s house was in the Whitefish Reserve on Potato Lake Road… it was a small little three room shack with no running water, no electricity and no gas.  But I can remember how much cooler it was up in the northwoods of Wisconsin.

At night, I remember looking out my grandmother’s bedroom into the northern sky up over the towering pines… I was amazed at how incredibly dark blue the sky was…there were no city lights just billions of sparkling stars lighting up the night.

When folks say that “Up North” is God’s country I really believe it… as I stared at those stars that just seemed so close… but then there were a few stars that shown really bright in the northern sky… and there were billions of other stars that kinda were there… but then they just faded off into the vastness of space.

As a kid… I can still remember looking at these stars and thinking to myself… Would my life be like one of these stars that shown so bright in the northern sky or would my life be like one of the other billions of stars that just seemed to fade off into the vastness of space?

In the morning…I remember waking up to the smell and sounds of fresh coffee percolating on the wood fired stove and seeing the wisps of smoke like some kind of ghost had escaped from the inner chambers of the old cast iron stove weaving their way through the room riding the rays of early morning sunshine that was streaming through the kitchen windows.

My grandmother Anna Johnson would sit by the kitchen window wearing an old well worn dress with tan-colored droopy stockings and big black sturdy shoes. My grandmother always wore a hand knit sagging sweater with big pockets where she kept her tin of Prince Albert chewing tobacco. Next to her chair was an old Folger’s can where she spit.

When I heard the coffee percolating…I knew this was my signal to go outside to the pump and haul up the bucket that was kept in the cold depths of the well… this is where we kept our eggs, slab bacon, and milk. I don’t think there is a better breakfast than smoky slab bacon, fried eggs, and fresh baked bread slathered with dairy fresh butter and home made raspberry jam… handmade from the big juicy raspberries that we had just picked fresh the day before.

Spending time on my mom’s Indian reservation was also a great time for me because it was there… where I first learned how to cook. In order to raise extra money for the family… my mom would often cook at Indian Pow-Wows… for those who have never seen a real Indian Pow-wow… it is a time of celebration where many Indian families would get together in their traditional Indian outfits. There would be singing around a drum and there would be Indian dancing around a pine bough arbor.

Lac Courte Oreilles’ annual Honor the Earth Celebration Pow-Wow…in Hayward Wisconsin is a magnificent gathering of the tribes during the third week in July.  Indian families across the Midwest gather at the Lac Courte Oreilles Pow-Wow grounds and for four days they honor our mother earth through Indian dancing, feasts, and give-a-ways.

My mom had an Indian Fry Bread stand where we would cook Indian Fry Bread and serve venison deer meat sandwiches served on the Indian Fry bread and we would cook wild rice. This is where I learned how to cook my famous Wild Rice Soup that is still served in all of our restaurants. You might say this was my first restaurant experience! …a Indian Fry Bread stand made out of saplings and a canvas tarp at an Indian Pow-wow…

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Dave’s Pig Jokes


When you’re creating a brand its important to research EVERYTHING about what you’re working on.  During my barbeque travels I researched restaurants decor, spices, sauces, techniques,… and jokes!  What restaurant doesn’t need a few humorous t-shirts!  I’m working on my new book and going through old files, I found all my pig jokes – most of them didn’t make the t-shirts but I had to share them!


A pig and a chicken were walking by a church where a charity event was taking place. Getting caught up in the atmosphere, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make an offering.

“Great idea!” the chicken replied. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs!”

“Not so fast,” said the pig. “For you, that’s an offering. For me, it’s a sacrifice.”


A man was driving up a steep and narrow mountain road. A woman was driving down the same road.
As they pass each other, the woman leans out the window and yells “Pig!” 
The man immediately leans out his window and replied, “Hag!”
They continue on their way and as the man rounds the next corner, he crashes into a pig in the middle of the road.

Q. What do you say to a naked pig?

A. “I never sausage a body.”

Q. What do you call a pig with no legs?

A. A groundhog!

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Famous Dave’s Famous Fan Jay


Dave Anderson at the Minnesota State FairThis Summer Famous Dave’s had a contest online to find their Famous Fan – the entires submitted were hilarious, there were several that I saved in case I needed a good laugh including a video from a couple college guys in Madison.

The winner of the contest was Jay from California – Jay and his wife flew out to Minnesota on Monday – we had some good ‘ol ‘que at the Roseville Famous Dave’s and then did what every Minnesotan does in the end of August… headed to the Minnesota State Fair.  Last year Famous Dave’s was all the buzz when they came out with Pig Lickers – chocolate covered bacon!  Well they had to try and out do themselves this year; the big reveal… Peach Glazed Pig Cheeks!  I headed over to the Famous Dave’s booth took a couple turns at the grill and snapped photos with some fans – I always enjoy meeting the raving fans! Maybe next year they’ll have Dave on a Stick – yikes!

I’m off to the ribfest in Reno this weekend!


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