Where Do You Sit in the Classroom?


The Dynamics Of Being A Front Row Seater!

Front Row Seaters signal to the world that they are Showing Up, Standing Up, and Ready To Take On The World! The students who sit in the front rows will be tomorrow’s leaders driving the marketplace, the leaders in their communities, and the ones who step up to make the world a better place. Front Row Seaters are eager, they are ambitious, and they have an above average drive to make the best of their learning opportunities. They have a relentless drive to be front and center where all the action takes place. Being a front row seater means you have to come early… you have to put some effort and energy into scrambling for the highly prized front row seats. There is thought and some strategy necessary for getting the best seat possible.

Being where the teacher can see you means that you need to be fully prepared because you might be called on. Sitting as close to the instructor also shows respect for their knowledge and their efforts to teach you. Being a Front Row Seater also means that you need to take good care of yourself because you are conscious of making a good impression. Being a Front Row Seater means that you are confident with a healthy self-esteem; sitting in front of all the other students, subject to their critical eye as they notice everything you do. By the way, being in the front rows is also a good reason to be a very good note taker…the instructor, teacher, or seminar leader notices quite easily who are the ambitious note takers. Your industriousness in taking notes will be thought about when leadership opportunities are discussed. Here’s a good reason why you want to be noticed by your instructor: Everyone needs letters of recommendation for getting into a school of higher learning or for getting your dream job. From now on, make it a point to be a Front Row Seater! “Scrambling to be front and center” will be a leadership character trait that will be your ticket to greatness!

The Demise Of The Back Row Seater

Back Row Seaters signal to the world that they really don’t care. Back Row Seaters, do you realize that not only are you are condemning your future but you are condemning your children by where you sit? When you sit in the back rows you are establishing a pattern for life. You squash any ambition you have by settling for the seats that are left over. It takes no effort to get a back seat. You can come in late. You sit in the back where you will not be noticed. You have a good chance of escaping being called on so you can get by not being fully prepared for class. Sitting in the back rows show you have no respect for the teacher. You can be sloppy in appearance because no one will notice you in the back rows. Creating a great future for yourself is not in your plans… as you would rather sit with your other jackass friends and goof off. Back row seaters usually end up wondering how come the rewards of life have passed them by. They get passed over for raises, promotions, and prime assignments that can lead to career changing opportunities. Ask yourself… Where else does this “back row seater mentality” show up in my life and how has this held me back? Don’t let your back row seating casualness turn you into one of life’s casualties!

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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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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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Your passion and enthusiasm must be noticeable. Be different. Be “The Best!”  Find ways to stand out in a crowd. If you are at an event…conduct yourself like you were the host of the party… be the one that introduces everyone you know to everyone else and profusely sing the praises of the person you are introducing… pretty soon you will find everyone singing your praises!

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Don’t Quit!


Everyone has those days, including me!  In a series of events yesterday, which only can be explained with Murphy’s Law – my cell phone broke, I missed my flight…  I always remind myself -


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.
For life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a person turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the struggler has given up,
When he could have captured the victor’s cup.
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!


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Dealing With Tough Times


If you think its tough around here…its because we are doing what only the tough can do!

1. First Get Your Emotions Out of Your Thinking
It’s only human to get down when faced with crushing times. But you cannot be sick enough to heal the sickness around you. The same way now… you cannot solve your down times by being down on yourself! By removing the emotions from your thinking… because your problem solving thinking needs to be larger than your problems.

2. You Must Consider The Worst Case If All Fails… then come to a conclusion that:
• You will be OK
• You will still have the real things that matter most to you—your family, your health, and your willingness to work.
• Believe that it’s OK to start over if need be

3. Once You Have Considered The Worst—Put It Behind You and From NOW On You Will Only Look To The Future!
• No more pity parties
• This is important—don’t beat yourself up! …you can’t move forward to solve your problems… if you are beating yourself up.
• Only a positive attitude and hard work will help solve your problems
• Be grateful for what you do have
• Be determined that no matter what…you ain’t quittin’!

4. Decide You Are Going To Be a Positive Breath of Fresh Air To Everyone Around You
• Be the steadying force everyone can believe in
• Be confident in who you are, the things you believe in, never losing sight of your vision and your goals

5. Take It One Day At A Time
• Don’t worry about what may never happen—you can’t control the future
• Focus all your energy to making a positive difference now
• Enjoy the moment

6. You Must Communicate With All Your Stakeholders
• Don’t let the fact that you are having a tough time cause you embarrassment to the point where you start hiding from your creditors. Best thing you can do is stay in constant communication with them and let them know everything that is happening.

7. Negotiate
• Just because you had one set of agreements doesn’t mean you can’t go back in and negotiate.—the key is not to be arrogant about it but ask for their help in a win/win sort of way. Don’t negotiate while whining—you must present to your creditors that you are confident of your future and you are not giving up.

8. Give Them Something No Matter How Small The Payment
• Every month give your creditors something even it is just $50. It demonstrates to the creditors that you have their invoice on your mind. They get raving mad if they think that you are stiffing them on purpose and abusing the fact that they put their trust in you—so give them something. This will help immensely until you have things figured out. If you can’t pay something—make sure you call them ahead of time to let them know what’s up.

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Dave’s Thoughts On Success


Somebody once said to me in passing… “Dave it seems like everything you touch turns to gold… I would sure like to be in your shoes just for a day!”

I was somewhat taken back by this remark because the more I thought about it, I quickly realized how much people really don’t understand about what it takes to be successful and even more misunderstood is the fact that unlimited success is available to all people who make a decision to live their lives free of excuses.

I shared the following thought with this friend… “I don’t think so… I don’t know if you could handle the extreme adversity and the most challenging problems that I face on a daily basis and even more than that… I don’t know if you want to force yourself to work like I work everyday!”

This person countered… “It sure sounds like your life is awful especially if you have to work all the time… besides don’t you have enough?

I answered… “On the contrary I am very happy doing what I love to do and I love working because it gives me a great sense of accomplishment and I am constantly amazed at what I am learning all the time. It is this joy of expectation that keeps me excited about what tomorrow is going to bring. And no… I am not working because I am greedy and trying to accumulate more… I am grateful to be blessed with abundance from the fruits of my labors because my success creates job opportunities for many others and I am in a position to share our abundance with those less fortunate. I am thankful to be living in such a great country where I can follow MY dreams! It is so unfortunate that many people spend their whole lives doing something they don’t love to do and then work everyday fulfilling the dreams of someone else because they have no goals or plans for their own life.”

This person than asked if I could share with him the secrets to success from what I have learned the hard way.

I thought for moment and said… “It is really simple… it starts with having an open mind to explore how to develop a meaningful relationship with an Almighty Living God. Success requires a positive cheerful attitude, a willingness to work hard, being responsible and not blaming others for your failures, and then a complete understanding that the problems in your life… are not there to make your life miserable but these problems which often seem like insurmountable crisis’s… are really your opportunities for unlimited success. Most people think that success is limited to only just a few select people… I shared that it only seems that way… because most people run from their problems and only a few are willing to step up and meet these problems head on.

Problems are unlimited so therefore the opportunity for success is unlimited!”

Here’s my understanding of what it takes to be successful…

You need a positive cheerful attitude fueled by a crystal clear vision of your goals in life. This vision must be anchored by the strongest unwavering resolve to never… never… ever quit… until you have manifested your dreams into reality. How you program your mind moment by moment on a daily basis is the secret to creating that deep foundation to your positive attitude and this is what gives substance to your dreams.

Most people go through life without spending any time on a daily basis to develop their minds or investing in on-going education to empower their thinking… and then they wonder why their dreams are so elusive.

Here’s why you need an awake mind that is filled with positive attitudes…

You can never experience the unbelievable rewards of being enormously successful unless you have experienced the sheer terror of facing the most challenging adversity caused by going where you have never gone before… to do the things you have never done before… to experience the success that you have never experienced before!

There will be days that you will wish you never started out on this journey into the unknown. There will be days that it seems that everything around you is crashing in on you… and there is no way out. There will be days when you feel all alone and that all your friends have abandoned you. There will be days that you want to scream to the universe to give you a break because you can’t take it anymore. It is then… that you must dig deep and tell yourself that you are not going to give up on yourself. This is the time that you will need a deep understanding of the greatest power you possess and this power is your spiritual faith.

The greater your success… the greater your effort will have to be give up your own understanding to in order to ask for wisdom from God. The greater your success… the greater your effort to give up your self-righteous pride to do the things you said you would never do! The greater your success… the greater your effort will be to get yourself out of the way and place greater attention to being a servant to other people.

The greater your success… the greater your risk of failure. The greater your success… the more determined you will have to be to jerk yourself out of your comfort zone. The greater your success… the greater your self discipline will have to be… in order for you to change who you are right now.

You cannot be enormously successful being the person you are right now.

The thinking and behavior that got you to where you are today… is not the thinking and behavior that will need to stretch to where you want to grow… tomorrow. Luke 1:37

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The Power of Dreams and Surrender


One of the most meaningful lessons you will learn in life is that your future begins to be manifested into reality, the moment when you fully focus on your vision, trust in your ideas, and follow where your heart leads you. Successful people see their futures as already being achieved. They believe in their dreams—Always!

The second part of this lesson is that your future is never determined by your present circumstances. People who focus on their present circumstances never move into their future. Remember your future quality of life is always determined by what is in you and never by what is around you! All failures in life always blame what is around them for their excuses and lack of success. The successful will always tell you it was past circumstances that were the motivating factors for their success but never their excuses!

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 screwed 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.

When I was young I spent much time and effort trying to earn a lot of money so that everyone would think that I was “rich and important!” My whole life changed from the depths of personal failure when I was stunned by the fact that my selfishness to make myself look important was greatest stumbling block.

I also learned a very significant lesson when I finally understood that there was power in the word “surrender.” By surrendering my personal ego and self-righteous pride, my blindness turned into enlightenment. This incredible awakening enable me to access a universal wisdom that life’s higher purpose was to become a positive difference in the life’s other people. Instead of asking “what’s in it for me?”…I started asking, “how can I give of myself to make someone else’s life better?” Today with humbleness, I am now recognized beyond anything that I might have dreamed possible because I have surrendered myself into the service of others. Using the giftedness that God blessed me with to make someone else’s life a little bit better is the greatest reward and personal fulfillment that cannot be matched by any selfish need to feel important.

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