Colonel Harland Sanders was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Commonly known around the world as KFC.
Recently, I was sitting down at the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Los Angeles, California, by myself.
I looked up, and on the wall was a huge signature of Colonel Sanders.
I recall the story of Col. Sanders and his path to success.
At the age of sixty five years old he really reinvented himself.
He founded a restaurant chain, and he went basically door to door and sold his recipe in a franchise model.
That became the foundation of KFC.
Now, of course, KFC is one of the biggest restaurant companies in the world.
But, in the beginning it literally was a sixty five year old man with nothing but one hundred five dollars a month from his social security check.
Imagine that sixty five year old man going from restaurant to restaurant selling recipes.
If you think about it, most people give up by the time they’re sixty five. If they haven’t made it by then, they just give up.
But, this guy had something different.
One of the things I’ve always found fascinating about human beings is that successful people do what unsuccessful people won’t do.
So, I look at his writing, and what immediately jumped out at me not only were the typical things like he slants to the right and he’s emotive and a little sensitive to criticism.
In addition to all that, he has a trait which I find in highly successful people called determination.
When I wrote my book Success Secrets of the Rich and Happy, I isolated traits like persistence, high self-esteem, and determination that you find in the handwriting of rich and happy people.
Determination is seen by extra long downstrokes in letters such as the d-stem, t-stem, and even the lower zone letters.
Any time I have seen it, it has been in the handwriting of a person who has overcome great odds either physically or emotionally.
He really did start at the age of sixty five and build one of the most impressive restaurant franchises in history.
His quotes and his philosophies of the world also ring true, and I think there are some lessons here.
He said, “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”
I also like this quote: “You have got to like what you’re doing, and you’ve got to be doing something worthwhile so you can like it — because it is worthwhile, that it makes a difference, don’t you see?”
I love that quote because he found that selling chicken made a difference. You may be finding that charity makes a difference. You may be finding that selling makes a difference.
I find teaching people personality insights in handwriting makes a difference. And, because I like it, it’s fun for me.
So, hopefully you’re finding something fun in your life. To make your life living.
Lean or Clean?
If you look back at his handwriting, he does have very high d-stems.
They reveal pride and self respect.
And there’s a quote where he talks about pride in his establishment, and I think it’s one of the reasons he succeeded.
He said, “if you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.” I think it is very funny, and it goes to show that every little detail makes a difference.
Now you may not think of KFC as the cleanest restaurant in the world, but as a world traveler I can’t eat the normal food in certain countries, it would just make me sick because I born and raised in America.
No matter where in the world I go, I know that if I stop in the KFC, the water’s going to be purified.
I know the food’s going to be safe. And it may not be the best meal I had on my trip to that wonderful country, but at least I know it’s going to be safe.
So I’ve noticed that it is still clean seventy five years later, and it’s a safe place to go.
He always said to set high standards so you can take pride in your product, and I think his handwriting reveals that he takes pride in himself.
You know he was famous for wearing those horn-rimmed glasses, his white suit, and that black bow tie. That’s a very classic Colonial Southern American gentleman.
So, he took pride in the way he looked. He took pride in his restaurant.
And, he of course succeeded.
Could you Take 1,000 Nos Before Your First Yes?
Just a final inspiration: I love the way he did all this.
He said at first he had nothing but his check for one hundred five dollars per month from Social Security.
“That paid for my gas and the travel needed to get the franchises started. Lots of nights I would sleep in the back of my car so I would have enough money to buy cookers the next day if someone took a franchise.”
And, guess how many restaurants he tried before he got his FIRST sale? One? No. Ten? Nope. One hundred? A lot higher…
He went to 1,009 restaurants to get his first yes.
So, I’ll just leave you with this:
You don’t have to have to determination.
You don’t have to have pride.
You don’t have to have good self-esteem.
BUT, if you have all those, it’s going to make what you’re doing better. It will allow you to get up when you get knocked down.
It’s going to allow you to sleep in your car with the internal sense that the next person you ask might say yes to your offer.
And then, maybe you’re the next Colonel Sanders!
Happiness is a choice. Success is a decision.