FRED GRATZON founded The Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company in 1979 (“Best Ice Cream in America”), and Telegroup in 1989. Telegroup grew to become a $300 million telecommunications company that went public in 1979. Author, Lazy Way to Success.
Advice from Fred
“I become an entrepreneur to avoid getting a job.”
“Commitment is just nature’s price of admission. She’s weeding out the weenies and pruning the pretenders.””I look at business as a playground, a way of growing personally.”
“The reason we walk this planet is not to get rich or manage twenty franchise stores or a big factory. It is to become enlightened. Everything else is just an illusion.”
“‘Follow your bliss!’ Look to where you naturally excel, where things go easily, what you feel passionately about, where you get the breaks.”
“With commitment comes good luck and with good luck comes more bliss and with more bliss comes more commitment.”
“When the goal is inspiring, the activity required to fulfill the goal becomes irresistible.”
“Team building is about fun, love and trust. Always do right by each other. Never allow backstabbing and criticizing. With positive collective creative energy it can become explosive, like rocket fuel. Any small crack between people on the feeling level must be attended to immediately.”
“Good leaders create an inspired vision and sell that vision with great enthusiasm. Leaders celebrate achievement and create heroes, cheering joyously and unabashedly. How much fun you have accomplishing it together matters more than the actual project.”
“The best salespeople know that sincere concern for the customer is the secret of sales. The secret of being a great boss is the same — have employees know that you are here for them, not the other way around.”
“Focusing on money retards us and drains us of power. Money comes from being true to ourselves, from doing things we love.”
“Everything in the entire universe joyfully follows the principle of least action. Advanced black belts in laziness enjoy the pleasures of work avoidance, accomplish great things, and amass great fortunes, all from abstaining from work.”
“Anything in life can be accomplished. It is simply a matter of finding the right angle.”
“I couldn’t bear the shame if I said I had to work hard. That would demonstrate I hadn’t found an intelligent way to accomplish a task.”
“What successful people call hard work is not work and for that matter, not hard. Any entrepreneur will tell you that building a business from scratch is exhilarating, profoundly absorbing, and intoxicating.”
“Play allows the mind to flow without restrictions — to explore, to experiment, to question, to take risks, to be adventurous, to create, to innovate, and to accomplish — without fear of rejection or disapproval. Thus, a business that regards fun as ‘unprofessional’ or ‘improper’ or ‘trivial’ causes rot.”
“To be successful and great at something, you must love doing it. It must race your blood, challenge your creativity, and be absorbing, passion inspiring, and joyful. It must be so compelling that you would do it without money.”
About Fred Gratzon
As Fred self-describes: “retired when first exited the womb on March 1946, Fred graduated in 1968 from Rutgers University sine laude et cuticula dentium (translated from the Latin—without praise and by the skin of teeth). Fred never held a job for longer than two months before becoming a teacher of TM in 1970. In 1979 he moved to Fairfield.”
At FredGratzon.com Fred further describes himself as an “archetypal tofu-eating, touchy-feely, tree-hugging, organically-nourished, yoga-practicing, New Age, rock-o-phonic
Child-of-the-Sixties, author, and entrepreneur. He is also an enthusiastic practitioner of Transcendental Meditation since 1968 and a transplanted-to-Iowa, long-suffering, yet ever-hopeful Philadelphia sports fan.”
Fred founded two companies that became well-known nationally and has authored several books.
In 1979 Fred founded The Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company with no money, no business experience, and no knowledge whatsoever of how to make ice cream. Yet in 1984, it was judged to be “the best ice cream in America” by People Magazine. Playboy made the same determination in 1986.
Nancy Reagan tasted the ice cream and insisted it be served at White House functions. The US Olympic Basketball Team requested the ice cream in 1984 & 1988. Great Midwestern was the first packaged ice cream ever sold in Bloomingdales.
Fred had signed a non-compete clause with the investors of Great Midwestern Ice Cream which forbade him from working in the ice cream industry.
Those investors then forced Fred out of Great Midwestern. Again with no money and no knowledge or experience in anything else, Fred started Telegroup in a spare room of his house. He simply wanted to support his family (wife and one-year old son) while he thought of what to do with the rest of his life.
Currently turning his Lazy Way book into a musical.