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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Look on the Bright Side

Gary Walls' life was an inspiration to us all who don't appreciate what we have.  He proved that optimism is attractive and will win you customers, employees and loyal suppliers.

Key Question:


See the good.  See the glass at least half  full.  You have heard Gary.  When he knew the end was not far away, he counted his blessings every day.  We all should.  Time is so strange.  It goes so quickly and slowly in the same breath.  Yet, we all know that time should never be taken for granted.

It is so much better to live interntionally and  to enjoy every moment for all that it offers.  

For more, search by Subject and then select  Motivation.   There are over 200 video clips about how to stay motivated! Within each video, notice the Key Question within the right panel. Click on that question and you will find even more answers!

Think about it

How do you stay positive?

Clip from: Trailblazer Foods

Portland, Oregon: Employing over 60 people, in this episode we take you from the source -- beautiful berry fields throughout Oregon -- to the finished product. For his success in building a business and for championing the export of Oregon's wonderful fruit, The Small Business Administration named Gary Small Business Person of the Year for Oregon.

Sometimes our show becomes a tribute to a life well lived. When we taped this show, Gary had physical limitations. He paced himself. But in August 2001, Gary died and left this wonderful legacy to his immediate family, his family of employees, his family of customers and suppliers, and his largest family, the world. Surely you will see why by tasting value, you also have an after-taste that profits many. For Gary Walls, it is a taste that is tangibly intangible. It may first be in the taste of the berry; it is also in a taste for life's greatest blessings.

Trailblazer Foods

Gary Walls, Founder

17900 NE San Rafael
Portland, OR 97230
503 666 5800

Visit our web site:

Office: 503 666 5800

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1985

Look on the Bright Side

GARY: If you've had kidney failure, and you know what it's like to be on dialysis, when you get up now in the morning and you feel good and your feet hit the floor and you can wiggle your toes, it's a good day. It's really a good day. And I think that once you have come to that kind of part of your life, and I think all of us will at some time, then it gives you a greater renewal, an appreciation of your new life. And so the energy--I'm out of energy but I'm full of energy, because I'm excited about being able to have an extended life. So I'm tired but I'm not tired. I mean, I'm excited. Physically I'm tired, but I'm mentally excited to be where I am.

Success--you know, you can measure it so many ways. Successful with this business, yes, but I was successful when I had my paper route and I had an opportunity to--if you sold 10 subscriptions you could go to the Pendleton Roundup. And so I went around I got my 10 subscriptions, I got to go to the Pendleton Roundup, the first time I'd been away from Salem. Went to Pendleton on the train, and on the way to Pendleton on the train, the only thing they had were beverages, cold drinks, nothing to eat. So while I was in Pendleton I bought two boxes of HiHo crackers, and on the way back, I had something to eat, but I noticed the other kids wanted to have some of them. I said, `Well, I'll sell you some.' So I was selling them two for a nickel, and I came home with these two big pocketfuls of nickels, and I was a highly successful businessman. So it's a different level of success.

Everybody is different. Everybody's style is different. You need to be who you are. If you try to be somebody else, it's not gonna work. If I read a book that tells me how to be a businessman, and I try to follow that and be different than who I am, I'll lose my focus, and my focus is to be who I am. And who I am is that I count on other people to be involved as a partner with me in our business. Be yourself, and be all you can be, and I think if you do those two things, success is yours.

When I was very young, I grew up with a single-parent family, I had a brother and sister, and it was commonplace that if you wanted something, you had to go out and have an extra job, paper route, picking berries, whatever. And we were not poor, but we were broke. And we had a wonderful family, that we had, but we were broke. So I always had another job, and I always looked for another opportunity to do something. And I think there was a lot of drive that you build up within yourself, a lot of competitive spirit to succeed and to be like others. And so I think that was a main part of my drive, and, of course, my mother was my hero. She was a very hard worker, a very wonderful person, and I always wanted to be like her. And so in some ways I am.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Just remember, when you wake up tomorrow morning and you can wiggle your toes, jump out of bed and make your dream come true. If Gary can do it, you can, too.

GARY: You know, it's kind of like falling in love. You know, when you fall in love you know it's right. I feel that way about what I'm doing. It's not a job, it's our business. And making fruits and jams and preserves, I love doing that, and I like sharing that opportunity and that skill with people who say, `I love that jam' or `Thank you very much.' It's very thrilling. And that's something that you can't earn, you can't buy it. It's just a reward that's part of your job.

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