This is definitely not a story about chocolate chip cookies (as we all know, cookies are loaded with refined sugars and preservatives that will seriously impair your ability to lose those inches and will prohibit your goals of getting into the best shape of your life). This is a story about following your heart and being true to yourself. Thanks to Peter Guber’s book “Tell To Win”, in which he details the story of Wally Amos, I am able to bring you this message on being authentic and congruent with your inner self.
Wally’s story is the classic Rags to Riches tale. From high school dropout to starting with a low level position in the mailroom to one of the most successful talent agents in Hollywood, Amos was the first ever African-American talent agent at the vaunted William Morris Agency in Los Angeles. He was the first to book The Supremes, Simon & Garfunkel, Marvin Gaye, and many other stars of that era. As he says; “My dream back then was to be a big-time show business manager. If the clients were important, then I was important, because to get them, you had to go through me. That’s the whole show business mentality.”
While Wally was a rising star in Hollywood, he had a problem; “I never felt a part of show business. I was in it, but I never felt that I actually belonged.” Wally simply didn’t feel authentic in Hollywood. What did Wally do? He began to bake cookies according to his aunt’s recipe, because baking cookies was one of the only ways for him to escape the rigors, stresses and anxieties that he felt about show business.
Before long, Wally started bringing cookies into the office and handing them out to everybody. He’d give them to co-workers, clients, friends and family. After five years of handing out these cookies and five years of people prodding him to sell these cookies, he decided to make the move! With financial backing from Marvin Gaye and others, he left his position with William Morris and launched Famous Amos Cookies.
Wally says; “I made a commitment to chocolate chip cookies not to be famous, not to have a chain of stores, but just to have fun and be more in control of my life.” And once Wally was having fun and once he was authentic with himself the magic happened. Famous Amos became a household name and national icon.
This story tells us that whether you are a Fit Coach, Manager, Salesperson or Business leader, you will never get full buy-in from yourself or your listeners if you do not fully believe in what you are doing. Call it mental telepathy or call it a sixth sense, people “feel” when you are authentic or not. And as in Wally’s case, when you are authentic and when you are true and congruent to your inner self, then and only then will you reach your full potential.
Are you being true to yourself?