Our Neighbor Was a Millionaire

I grew up in Lodi, California, a small town 30 miles south of Sacramento. My Mom used to say that our neighbor on the other side of our backyard fence was a millionaire. I didn’t know him personally, but I always wondered how he became a millionaire, because we lived in the same modest neighborhood. Years later, I found a newspaper article that my Mom saved about our neighbor, Fred Baybarz.

At the time of the article, Fred Baybarz was 64 years old. I believe the article was written sometime in the 1970s. The article describes Fred as dynamic and handsome, and said that he probably singlehandedly did more for Lodi’s economy than any person in the past two decades.

Fred started a small industrial products company, built it up, then sold it. He started another small company, built it up, then sold it. He did it again, and at the time of the article, he was working on his fourth company.

His secret to success? He found a need, and filled it. Each of his businesses was built by meeting a need, by supplying products in demand to industrial users. He never sold to the retail market.

A lot of people dream about getting rich because they have an idea for a new invention or product. But Fred Baybarz had a slightly different approach. Instead of trying to invent something new, he looked for existing needs and figured out ways to meet those needs.

Fred’s earliest trade was carpentry, which probably helped him later in manufacturing industrial products. Some of his characteristics: He loves a challenge. When one challenge is met, he is ready for another. He had an uncanny sense and knowledge of what is going on. He also likes people, and enjoys giving employment to people. Fred had the right personality, drive and determination to make his businesses successful.

I personally may not have been able to do what Fred Baybarz did, but I’m sure there are people who are reading this who could do it, not necessarily in industrial products, but in any business. Find an existing need, and figure out a way to meet that need.

What Happens When You Fail?

In this blog, I’m trying to share my experience in getting my dream job. It didn’t come easy, and it took me a long time to get it. There were long stretches of time when I didn’t get much work. So what do you do when you try something and it doesn’t work out?

When you are trying to get your dream job, you will have setbacks and yes, even failures. The best advice I can give when you fail is, you have to figure out a way to keep going. If you try something, try not to bet your whole life savings on it. Be aware of the risks, try to be realistic and don’t be swayed by fantasy ideas. For example, a lot of people think that a restaurant would be a good business. But most new restaurants fail within a few years. If you try any business, try to start small, then if you have some success, then you can build upon it.

If you try anything that requires monetary investment, try to minimize your risk so that if you fail, you can try again, and keep going. For example, if you take out a large loan from the bank, and your business fails, that might ruin you financially, and you might have to give up hope for your dream job. That’s why it’s better to start out small, then grow gradually if you are successful. Try not to let the failure force you to give up on your dream job, so be careful and realistic.

Walt Disney Liked To Do The Impossible

Walt Disney was planning to build a mine train ride in Disneyland, it was known as ‘Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland’, opened from 1956 to 1979, when it was replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The original mine train went through ‘Rainbow Caverns’ which was an indoor cave with fluorescent waterfalls.

Walt wanted all six primary colors to fall side by side in one big waterfall. He assembled a group of his artists to figure how to do it. Most of the artists, including the lead art director, thought that it was impossible to have different colors of water falling side by side in the waterfall, because they would splash over each other and soon blend into a single muddy color.

Walt, who didn’t like to be told that something couldn’t be done, asked, “Well, is there anyone who does think that this is can be done?” Artist Claude Coats raised his hand, and Walt said, “Ok, you’re now the art director for this project”.

Claude was taking a risk, because he basically promised he could do it without exactly knowing how he could do it. I got a chance to meet and ask Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter about how Claude Coats solved the problem, and he said that Claude used a kind of Brillo pad, which is like a sponge, to reduce the splashing. Walt got what he wanted, even though people thought it was impossible.

Aptitude vs. Passion

Many people choose their career based on their aptitude in school. For example, if you get good grades in a particular subject, you might consider a career related to that subject. Aptitude is defined as “A natural ability to do something”.

If you want to get your dream job, you have to figure out what you are naturally good at, and what you love to do, and find a way to combine them. In other words, you have to combine your aptitude with your passion. Most people consider aptitude when choosing their career, but they usually don’t consider their passion, or what they love to do.

People who choose their career based only on aptitude may have a great and successful career. But they may be lacking the satisfaction that comes from doing what you love.

Regardless of pay, your dream job may be more satisfying, because you are doing both – what you are naturally good at, and what you love to do.