It Helps to Be Positive

There is one thing I noticed when I read about Fred Baybarz. He loves a challenge, and when one challenge was met, he was ready for the next one. Another way you could say it was that he faced problems with positive anticipation.

When you face a problem with positive anticipation, you are more open to see solutions. If you face a problem with negative dread, you’ve already kind of given up because your mind has already shut down because you think you can’t do it. If you love the challenge, it means that you believe you can solve that challenge.

When I was a struggling freelance artist, I can’t say that I woke up every morning thinking, “I love a challenge!” At best I was probably neutral about whatever problems I faced. But now I realize that the more positive you are, the more likely you are to solve your problems and achieve your goals, even if they seem hard or impossible to get. If you are negative about your problems or goals, you are more likely to get stuck or give up.

More About Our Neighbor Fred Baybarz

Here is the entire newspaper article about our neighbor, Fred Baybarz. I think it’s helpful to analyze the subtle details of how he became successful. I don’t know the exact date of the article, but I believe it’s from the 1970s, and I believe it was published in the Lodi News Sentinel newspaper.

Lodi Industrialist is a Business Builder

First it was the Baybarz Binder plant. He sold it. Then it was Valley Tow Rite, started with a handful of workers and built up to 250 employees. He sold it. Then came Lodi Fab, started with a small force that grew to 300 full-time employees. He sold it. Now it’s Lodi Metal Technology, started in 1971, and in its first expansion. He hasn’t sold it yet.

He is Fred L. Baybarz, a dynamic, handsome man of 64 who probably singlehandedly has done more for Lodi’s economy than any other person in the past two decades. Baybarz, whose earliest trade was carpentry, loves a challenge. And when that is met, he is ready for another.

His record in Lodi industry proves it. His first little venture, Baybarz Binder, was successful, so he sold. And he followed the same procedure in his other plants. Each is still a thriving Lodi business. And each was built by meeting a need in the industrial field – supplying a product in demand. And this takes an uncanny sense and knowledge of what is going on. Baybarz has both.

He admits he could have retired after selling Lodi Fab, “But I like a challenge. And I like giving employment to people.” He likes Lodi, and he likes the people.

Baybarz’s success is built upon supplying needed items to industrial users. He has never produced for the retail market. His Valley Tow Rite, a tow hitch manufacturing firm, was built upon the growing trailer and mobile home business. Lodi Fab built metal industrial racks, pallets, and shelving. And his customers included some of the state’s biggest firms – Lockheed, Breuners, Sears, to name a few.

Some of his ideas for improving the products have been patented. He and his key associates have met the challenge of new materials and new industrial needs. At Lodi Metal Tech, steel is the primary material. Among its products are the custom trailer beds upon which big mobile homes are constructed. And a key item now is steel components for relocatable classrooms and for buildings that are constructed on the site with component parts. Lodi Metal Tech is the largest independent producer of the steel components now used in building. Equipment includes a huge 600 ton ‘brake’ which can mold a 52-foot piece of steel 1/4 of an inch thick.

Working with Baybarz in his venture is Les La Maie, who comes from San Francisco with experience in the steel industry. Lodi Metal Tech developed when the two men merged their thinking on market needs using steel to the best advantage, and using only prime structural grade steel delivered in carload lots.

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.

You Have to Direct Your Life

Most people don’t consider their dream job, because it may seem impossible. They usually choose whatever job is available to them at the time, the ones that seem possible for them to get. They might think “Ok, I can do that”, and then apply for that job.

But I’ve come to realize that anyone can get their dream job, even if it seems impossible, if they consciously and purposely direct their life to get it. Achieving something that seems impossible usually is not easy, but the secret is to point your life towards that direction.

When I was young, I didn’t really think that it was possible to become a Disney artist, even though I loved Disney. I was talented at drawing, but when I look back at my work in art school, it was not very good, so I didn’t get much work in the beginning of my career. Even though my work didn’t really demonstrate success, I did have a direction, and I kept at it. When you keep at it, you find little ways to improve along the way, and that’s what helped me to eventually get work from Disney.

It may take time. It took me 10 plus years, because I wasn’t very serious about it at first. But because I at least had a direction, and I didn’t give up, my dream job eventually happened.

Don’t Just Dream, Do Something About It

I was listening to an interview with Frederic Pastuszak, an attractions designer for Europa Park in Germany. Europa Park is the second most popular theme park in Europe, after Disneyland Paris.

Frederic said that he was often disappointed with theme park fans, because they would come up to him with great ideas, and say “Oh, we could do a dark ride, we could do this and that”, and he would ask “Well, what is your job?” And they would answer, (for example) “I work in a bank.” These theme park fans had great ideas, but were not doing anything about them.

Frederic said that he actually knew only a few people who intentionally studied and worked to get their job in the theme park business because it was their dream job, and he wished that more people would follow their dream.

Actually, I was surprised to hear that so few people intentionally worked to get their dream job in theme parks. As a theme park fan, I assumed that everyone working there had their dream job, but I realized that sometimes it’s not the case. I’ve even met some people who work at Disney who aren’t really Disney fans.

Frederic always knew from an early age that he wanted to work in theme park design, so he studied to be an architect. One of his colleagues pursued his dream and studied mechanical engineering to design roller coasters. Whatever dream you have, don’t just think about it, try to figure out how you can actually do it.

Walter Knott Was Discouraged at the Opening of Disneyland

Walt Disney and Walter Knott, founder of Knott’s Berry Farm, were cordial associates. Walt Disney sought Walter Knott’s advice when building Disneyland, because Walter was already operating Knott’s Berry Farm, which at the time consisted of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant, Ghost Town, some shops and a few small attractions.

Walter Knott and his wife Cordelia were invited to the grand opening of Disneyland in 1955. Knott’s Berry Farm is about eight miles from Disneyland. When Walter saw how big Disneyland was, he drove home feeling discouraged when thinking about his own little park. He probably felt that no one would visit Knott’s Berry Farm after they saw how big and extensive¬†Disneyland was.

But when he arrived home, he found his Chicken Dinner Restaurant packed with customers. It turned out that Knott’s Berry Farm actually benefited from it’s proximity to Disneyland, because people would go to have Knott’s famous chicken dinners after spending their day at Disneyland. So sometimes, something that you think is bad may actually turn out to be good.

Even Walt Disney Had Discouraging Moments

Harper Goff, an artist who designed Disneyland’s Main Street, Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise boats, recounted a story when Walt Disney was discouraged during Disneyland’s construction. The construction site was just ‘dirt, drains and ditches’ and Walt said “I have half of the money spent, and I have nothing to show for it”, and Harper Goff saw tears in Walt’s eyes, which struck Harper because Walt was not a fearful person. It’s easy to get discouraged, because no dream is guaranteed to work, but somehow Walt Disney fought the discouraging feelings and made it through to build Disneyland.