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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Get Some Rose-Colored Glasses

Optimism wins every time.

Key Question:


You have to see the glass half  full and you need to hang around others who see the world as a wonderful place full of opportunity.

Q:  Who taught Andy to be an optimist?

A:  His grandmother. 

Q:  Why is optimist key to success?

A:  Because it opens the flow of ideas for problem solving.  If one is always down and suffering from that terrible disease called pessimism, one can't come up with new ways to deal with the complexities of starting and growing a business.

A pessimist will usually assume that an optimist is naive.  Well, history is on the side of the optimist and the great preacher, Norman Vincent Peale said, "Genius is taking enthusiasm (optimism) for life to the grave."

A pessimist should not start a business.

Think about it

Do you have some rose-colored glasses?  Do you wear them when you are running your business? Has life beaten you up and sometime during the fight the glasses you used to have got knocked off? Do you need a new pair?  Where can you get some?  Hint:  Have a conversation with a child.

Clip from: Boston Duck Tours: The Money is Out There

Boston: Meet Andy Wilson, founder of Boston Duck Tours. A Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year, he turned three passions into a single business – his love of Boston, his respect for early American history, and the Charles River.

First, he wants us all to know the history of this country's early struggles for religious toleration, freedom, equality, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Learn how such passion moved him to quit his job and raise over $1M to launch this dream -- an 80-minute, historically-narrated tour from an authentic World War II amphibious landing craft.

Take the tour now as we wander the narrow streets of Boston and splash down onto the Charles River for the grande tour Boston.

Go to all the key ideas and video of this episode...
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Boston Duck Tours

Cindy Brown, CEO (Andy Wilson, founder)

3 Copely Place
Suite 310
Boston, MA 02116

Visit our web site:

Office: 6172673825

Business Classification:
Entertainment / education

Year Founded: 1994

Get Some Rose-Colored Glasses

ANDY: There was a defining moment... I was 19 years old when my dad dropped dead in front of me... from that point forward, I was on my own financially. And, the world has never been the same for me again.  I got that sense that the world was against me. But the whole point is, if you think that way, you'll never go anywhere in life and you'll be a miserable person.

And so it's optimism, and passion -- and that passion has to be optimistic passion -- you have to be optimistic about the world and about being able to do something. Otherwise, you'll never take any action and your life will never move forward.

My grandmother taught me that everything fits into banking someplace, meaning that as you get older, you accumulate more and more knowledge, deposits of knowledge. And at some point in your life, you're going to withdraw that knowledge again. So everything fits into banking someplace. always learn from your experiences ... don't let your experiences just go by without gleaning something from it.

There's a lot of knowledge you can never get in college... As you go through the world, you accumulate that knowledge, and I think that's very important, as you accumulate it and try to apply it. There's a reason... to become very philosophical.  The Ten Commandments say, `Respect thy elders.' If somebody does accumulate that knowledge through their lives, they're going to be a lot more powerful. Knowledge is power.

And so I believe that to be very important.

One of the things I'll tell you --  when you have a business and after you've been through the struggle and then it all of a sudden becomes so wildly successful from the outside looking in ...even passing your expectations... your head gets a little bit swollen at first. And you know, again, I thought I was ready to take on the whole world and expand the duck business everywhere I could.

All of a sudden I said, `Do I want to have 55 employees and 20 different locations around the world?' And the answer was no. And so I feel very fortunate, again, that this has taken off, and so I need to make sure that this business stays as a long-term, sustainable business.

PAUL GUZZI  (Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce):  I am president and chief executive officer of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. What Duck Tours has done is built upon the culture and heritage of Boston and our whole region.

In just four years, they have become a role model for other businesses throughout our region.

MARY MCALENEY  (SBA Official):  I'm the regional administrator for the US Small Business Administration.  Duck Tours is a great American success story. Entrepreneurs have a unique heart and a unique drive, and Andy Wilson has that, personified. When he finished his remarks at the awards banquet for the Small Businessperson of the Year, you could have heard a pin drop.

I mean, I think his last line was, `God bless America. You couldn't do this, what I've done, anywhere else in the world.'

ANDY: Once you have a successful business, people look at you differently, which bothers me. See, this is what bothers me is that before, people wouldn't listen to me. You know, I was a no one, and now you have this kind of successful visible business, and now all of a sudden people hang on my words more. And so I realize I can do more with my life.

The world is a difficult place; and there is a lot that's a sham; there is a lot of drudgery, but it really is a beautiful place.

And with that kind of attitude, you can conquer the world.


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