Common Sense Career Success Advice from Famous Amos

If you read this career success blog with any regularity you know that I am The Common Sense Guy.  I help people create the life and career success they want and deserve by showing them how to apply their common sense to build their careers.

I was reading the August 2011 issue of The Costco Connection the other day, and was struck by a column written by Wally Amos, founder of Famous Amos Cookies and Uncle Wally’s Muffin Company.  This particular column was entitled “Common Sense,” so it immediately grabbed my attention.

Here’s what Wally had to say…

“It has been said that common sense is not so common.  When I was an agent in show business, attending a recording session or a television taping, and the performer would miss a lyric or flub a line, the producer or director would stop the tape, have a friendly chat with the artist, and announce, ‘OK, let’s do another take.  We’re rolling, take 25.’

“Why is it when people make a mistake in business we get so angry, and our response is anything but friendly?  It would help us all to remember the times we made mistakes and to realize we are all in training and in becoming a better parent, student, friend, employer and employee…

“So, remember one more age-old saying, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’  As they say, it’s just good common sense.”

Two things about this little column caught my attention.  First is Wally’s suggestion that we are all in training, trying to become better at all of the roles in our life.  Tweet 81 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Become a lifelong learner.  The half life of knowledge is rapidly diminishing.  Staying in the same place is the same as going backwards.”

That’s what Wally is talking about when he says we are all in training.  The world changes, and we need to change with it if we are going to create the life and career success we all want and deserve.  We have to keep learning.  Thinking of yourself as always being in training is a great way to become a lifelong learner.

Louis L’Amour, the great American writer of stories about the Old West says it very well in two of my favorite quotes…

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

“No one can get an education, for of necessity education is a continuing process.”

In other words, even though you think you know it all, you need to keep learning, as education and learning — and creating your life and career success — are continuing processes.  Or as Wally Amos says, we’re all in training.

The second point that struck me in Wally’s column was the one about anger.  Tweet 136 in Success Tweets says, “Be responsible for yourself.  No one can ‘make you angry.’  Choose to act in a civil, constructive manner in tense situations.”

In the column, Wally tells a story about an employee who burned a rack of 20 trays of cookies.  “Just before I yelled, a little voice reminded me of the times I burned cookies.  I settled down, explained the tremendous loss incurred when we burn cookies…and told the employee to do another take, only more carefully the next time.”

That little voice is what I’m talking about in Success Tweet 136.  You’re a human being.  You get to choose how you respond to every person and every situation you encounter.  It’s true that no one can make you angry.  You choose to get angry.  Most of us have a little voice that can help us from taking out our frustrations on others.  It’s the voice of reason, or common sense.  Sadly though, we often don’t listen to that little voice of common sense and we choose anger over a constructive response.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Besides making great cookies and muffins Wally Amos is a wise man.  He suggests that we use our common sense in tense situations to avoid anger and making a bad situation worse.  He also suggests that we are all in training in all that we do, a great way of encouraging us to become lifelong learners.  Taking responsibility for yourself in tense situations and responding positively, and being a lifelong learner are two small but important keys to creating the career success you deserve.  And, as Wally Amos says, they are simple common sense.

That’s the career advice I found in Wally Amos’ column in a recent Costco Connection.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, you can download a free copy of my latest career success book Success Tweets Explained.  It’s a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.


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