Fred Gratzon, Author
Fred Gratzon is an entrepreneur who does not believe in work - not hard work, not soft work, not even smart work. Avoiding work is Fred's secret to success.
By following this unusual formula, Fred grew businesses like Jack grew beanstalks. His companies have made Inc Magazine's list of the fastest growing businesses in America four times. One was even ranked #2 - the second fastest.
In 1979 Fred started his first business, The Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company, with no money, no business experience, and absolutely no knowledge of how to make ice cream. Yet by 1984, when People Magazine held a national ice cream competition, his ice cream was judged to be the best in America. Playboy made the same declaration in 1986.
Stories about Fred and his ice cream have appeared in Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and numerous other newspapers and magazines, even the National Enquirer. Fred has been interviewed extensively on radio and television including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Morning News, and NBC Evening News.
While Fred is cool in his own right, it should be noted that his ice cream was off-the-charts spectacular. Great Midwestern was the first packaged ice cream ever sold in Bloomingdales in New York City. It was served to first class passengers on United Airlines. The US Olympic Basketball Teams in 1984 (Michael Jordan and Pat Ewing) and 1988 (David Robinson and Danny Manning) requested the ice cream during their training camps. Presidential candidates, upon tasting his ice cream, made campaign promises to Fred. And when Nancy Reagan tasted the ice cream, she insisted it be served at White House functions.
However, in 1988 Fred was forced out of the company he founded and away from the ice cream he developed.
Because he had signed a non-compete agreement with his investors, Fred was prohibited from pursuing a livelihood in the ice cream industry, even though it was the only thing he knew.
So Fred had to start from scratch all over again. To complicate matters he now had a wife, a one year-old son, a mortgage, and a bank loan. He made all these commitments based on a salary he thought would never go away. But go away it did.
In a desperate attempt to make ends meet while he figured out what to do with the rest of his life, Fred started a telecommunications company - again with no money and no experience or knowledge of telecommunications. Over the next nine years, that company (Telegroup) grew from one man (Fred) operating out of a spare bedroom in his house to becoming a sophisticated international long distance carrier, employing 1100 worldwide, and grossing over $300 million in annual sales. Fred took the company public in 1997 and retired in 1998.
During his retirement he completed The Lazy Way to Success. The book has been translated into 8 languages and as a result, Fred receives fan mail from all over the world.
Fred loves to turn dreams into reality, especially if those dreams are capable of shifting the paradigm. To this end, he is currently co-authoring a book which he believes will completely transform the way sports are taught, practiced, and competed. The title of the book is Instant Athlete, Instant Zone: The Discovery of Sports' Holy Grail. This book is due to be released at the end of 2008.
If you wish to be notified of its release, please be sure to submit your e-mail address.
Lawrence Sheaff, Illustrator
Lawrence Sheaff, multi-faceted artiste extraordinaire, stumbled into the world with a paint brush clenched in one fist and a violin bow in the other.
In his autobiography, Ron Woods, the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones, credits Lawrence with having taught him to play the guitar.
Lawrence's formal art education took place during daylight hours in 'swinging' London of the early sixties. But when the sun set, it was his stand-up bass - reverberating from the rhythm section of the Mike Westbrook Band - that sizzled the city. His musical journey continued as founding member of AMM, the much-celebrated ensemble that defied both musical convention and categorization. AMM exists to this day.
These days Lawrence is older, wiser, but still very much in the vanguard for art and architecture. He focuses on designing buildings in harmony with Natural Law and, in his contemplative moments, he examines fundamental values of fine art in his series of paintings entitled Absolute Image: The Structure of Consciousness in Visual Form. More on Lawrence.
Apart from his illustrations for The Lazy Way to Success, Lawrence will go down in history for propagating the word-concepts 'fostering', 'wig-wig', 'slabbing', 'sconsoning' and 'skwinking'.