Dave Thomas was an orphan. Growing up, eating hamburgers in restaurants was the only thing that gave him a sense of belonging and purpose. When he was 8-years-old, he set out a plan to open the best restaurant in the world and later founded Wendy’s.
But even at an early age Dave knew that in order to grow a successful business, he was prepared to learn everything about the business from the ground up.
15 year old Dave started as a busboy at a Hobby House Restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana where a guy named Cornel Sanders was touring the country, trying to convince restaurant owners into converting their buildings into Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises.
Thomas’ boss, Hobby House owner Phil Clauss, was one of those restaurant owners. Hobby House became Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Thomas became one of KFC’s first cooks.
A new waitress, Lorraine Buskirk, caught his eye and they were soon married in 1954.
Dave and his wife Lorraine grew their family to include five children – Pam, Ken, Lori, Molly and Melinda (Wendy was her nickname and who Dave named the business after). All the while, Dave worked toward his goal of owning his own restaurant.
He was pivotal in helping grow KFC. He simplified the menu and came up with the classic rotating red bucket sign. Thomas also convinced the colonel to appear in TV ads for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Thomas’ success eventually enabled him to sell his stake in the four franchises back to the colonel, for $1.5 million. He used the money to open his first Wendy’s and became multimillionaire by the age of 35.
Today there are 6,900 restaurants worldwide.
Dave Thomas passed away in 2002 with a net worth of $4.2 billion. Dave wins.
Holy S@#$ LEGO Has Sold Over 400 Billion Plastic Bricks?
Having sold over 400 billion plastic bricks worldwide (75 billion annually), LEGO is easily the most popular and best-selling toys on the planet. It also holds the title one of the most painful things you can step on in bare feet…
But few people today know just how insanely unlikely the founder was to succeed against the series of tragedies that plagued his pursuit to success.
As successful as they are today, LEGO’s history is one of unexpected misfortune. Here’s why…
The Tragic Beginning of the World’s Most Successful Toy
In 1916, Ole Kirk Christiansen was an independent carpenter who primarily built wood furniture and home goods. He purchased a workshop in Billund, Denmark, that would ultimately become the birthplace of LEGO. He immediately faced a number of setbacks and tragedies during his first years in business:
His workshop burned down in 1924 after his sons accidentally set fire to it (losing all the inventory)
He (and the world) was hit hard during the Great Depression from 1929-1939
Effectively erasing any demand for furniture and toys for an entire decade. It wouldn’t see consumer discretionary spending increase until after ww2 ended in 1945.
But Wait, There’s More…
His wife passed away in 1932 leaving him alone to fend for himself and his kids
With the economy in shambles, he was forced to lay off half of his employees.
To stay afloat, Christiansen began carving cheap wooden trinkets, eventually landing a wheeled duck that became the company’s first popular toy.
But he still wasn’t generating enough sales to pay the mounting bills he owed. Christinasen’s brothers had to bail him out to save him from bankruptcy.
He Had to Beg His Family For Cash to Avoid Bankruptcy
Ole’s brothers agreed to bail him out on the condition that he stop making toys and turn his skills to a more practical profession.
But Ole refused to give up his passion of making innovative toys. So he changed the name of his workshop to LEGO (derived the Danish phrase leg godt, or “play well”).
Plot twist, his shop burned down for the second time…
Still unwilling to give up on his dream of breaking into the toy market, it was in this moment where Ole said: “Fuck wood! I’m moving to plastics!”…That’s not a real quote but you know he thought it.
Is This Why LEGO Went From Making Wood Toys to Plastics?
Because when Ole rebuilt his factory for the 3rd time, he turned his attention to making plastic toys (which was a brand new thing at the time).
During the 40s, plastic injection molding machines were introduced into the toy market to mass produce toys. But they were hella expensive. Buying one with the lack of much if any funds, would be a major risk.
He did it anyways…
The early toys included the Ferguson tractor, a plastic vehicle available as either a finished model or a buildable set that could be taken apart and put back together, (which later became the core feature of LEGO products).
How Lego Was Invented. After a 39 Year Struggle!
It wasn’t long before the idea of bricks to assemble a small house in the form of building blocks was invented. They designed literal plastic bricks that clipped together.
He patented the design and they released its first set, the LEGO System of Play – in 1955. 39 years after starting his toy business.
In the beginning of LEGO’s growth, they were still selling both wood and plastic LEGO toys (even though LEGO sales were much higher by this time).
But Then His Factory Burned Down Again…
Then, a lightning strike to the workshop caused a fire to burn down the entire workshop for the 3rd time. He rebuilt it again but decided this time, to switch the operations entirely to plastics.
Which turned out to be a good call…
Fast forward to today, the LEGO brand as of 2021 was up 27% (that’s a whopping $8B in sales) compared to the previous two years with $55.3 billion in revenue. The company saw massive gains during the pandemic as consumers of all ages looked for new ways to entertain themselves at home.
Which is pretty impressive growth for a company that for the most part, shouldn’t still be standing.
Sri Lanka Just Announced They Are Bankrupt. And Out of Fuel…
A country thriving and wealthy in 2012 just announced they are bankrupt in 2022.
Before it’s recent bankruptcy Sri Lanka had a thriving economy. In fact its economy grew at an accelerated rate, ranked above Singapore, Ireland, and South Korea.
Located in the center of the world’s most important shipping location, the country was set up to be a world economic import superpower. But a crisis hit…
On Tuesday, the country’s president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, told the Sri Lankan parliament that the country is not only bankrupt and that it also has no fuel left. Government employees have been told to stay home due to fuel unavailability.
Inflation spiked 54.6% in a year and is expected to hit 60% soon, and transportation costs have gone up 128% in only one month, according to Bloomberg.
At the G7 Summit last month, the US pledged $20 million to assist Sri Lankans in the fight for food security. This came in addition to a previously donated amount of $12 million.
But despite global assistance, the nightmare is far from over for Sri Lanka. Premier Wickremesinghe said that the country was participating in negotiations as a bankrupt state, and the worse is yet to come…
“Due to the state of bankruptcy our country is in, we have to submit a plan on our debt sustainability to (the IMF) separately. Only when they are satisfied with that plan can we reach an agreement at the staff level. This is not a straightforward process,” he said, and CNN reported.
Northern Italy’s worst drought in 70 years is about to take a big hit on olive oil and tomato prices.
Farmers say the drought could dramatically impact crops on olive oil, tomatoes, and rice resulting in yet another increase in prices for these products.
The Italian government declared a state of emergency in northern regions of Italy as the weather dried out entire stretches of the Po River, the countries longest river and major source of water irrigation for the north of Italy.
The drought has already cost billions of dollars in damage to Italian crops resulting in higher prices around the world…
Italy embraces as their severe drought dries up it’s longest river (the Po River). The Po River irrigates one of the biggest bread baskets in Europe. And it’s all dried up.
Farmers are extremely exhausted, and the situation is only getting worse. Here is a video of how the river depletion is causing havoc on the region…
Did you know that the $14 billion Nordstrom chain stores were started by a sixteen year old who fled to America with only $5.00 (roughly $119.00 in today’s currency) in his pocket?
His name was John W. Nordstrom, who’s dad died when he was eight. In need of money John fled his home at 16 and emigrated to New York City in 1887.
Nordstom Did a Series of Back Breaking Jobs Just to Get By….
John labored in mines and logging camps for years as he crossed the country to California and Washington. In 1897, he headed north to Alaska and the Klondike in search of gold. Two years later, he returned to Seattle with a $13,000 in Alaskan gold ready to make his next move.
Nordstrom partnered up with business partner Carl F. Wallin, a Seattle shoemaker Nordstrom had met in Alaska. Wallin offered him a partnership in a shoe store with zero retail experience. In 1901, the gold rush veterans had opened their first store, Wallin & Nordstrom, on Fourth and Pike in Seattle.
Then Nordstrom’s Son Scaled the Family Business into an Empire…
Nordstrom’s sons took over in 1928. By 1960, two stores had grown into eight. The Seattle flagship was the largest shoe store in the country, and Wallin & Nordstrom became the nation’s largest independent shoe chain.
Under a third generation of Nordstrom sons, Nordstrom, Inc. entered into new markets well beyond Seattle. Clothing was added to the shelves in the 1960s and the company was renamed Nordstrom Best in 1969. In 1971, the company went public with its first stock offering and by 1973, Nordstrom Best formally changed its name to Nordstrom
Today, Nordstrom is doing $14.79 billion in revenue. The family still runs the chain of 247 rack stores across 40 states from their headquarters in Seattle.
$6 billion of savings deposits just disappeared, leaving more than 400,000 depositors of six rural banks in central China’s Henan province devastated.
The journey to get to the bottom of how such a large sum of money disappeared started to unravel a series of systemic financial corruption.
Allegations of crime and corruption are spreading through China’s small banks as more depositors are being locked out from their life savings. And it appears the CCP is making the situation worse.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Zhengzhou to protest their inability to withdraw money from four local banks since April! Similarly, citizens are accusing their local officials of widespread corruption and mismanagement. It’s getting ugly…
The demonstrations turned violent when a group of unidentified men in white shirts attacked the peaceful demonstrators.
Chinese authorities appear to be pinning blame for the banking issues on a group of “criminals” in charge of the local banks. But the issue runs much, much deeper. Watch the video for the full story. This is far from over…
Experts are likening the situation to be worse than the US 2008 financial crash and warn of it’s global impact.
The ‘finger-lickin’ good’ chicken has been dominating the American fast food fried chicken for decades after a man named Harland Sanders mastered his 11 herbs and spices recipe. But not many people these days know, that he did it from inside his gas station during the Great Depression.
It started way back in the 1930s when Colonel Sanders, who went by his name Harland Sanders back then was running a gas station in his home town in Kentucky.
Here’s the full story…
From Gas Station to Multi Billion KFC Franchise
Harland was born in 1890 and raised quick on a farm outside Henryville, Indiana. His father died when he was just five years old. The oldest child, Sanders was left to care for his two siblings.
His mother taught him how to cook when he was seven. By 13, Sanders left home to pursue a series of professions including railroad worker and insurance salesman. Neither panned out.
In 1930, he took over a Shell filling station on US Route 25 just outside North Corbin, a small city on the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. It was at this gas station when he converted a storeroom into a small eating area using his own dining table, originally serving home cooked meals like steaks, country ham, and fried chicken to his gas station customers. He called his side hustle, Sander’s Café.
Things were going great until one day when became absolutely obsessed with the thought of mass producing fried chicken. Here’s why…
The Simple Invention That Made KFC Immortal
Sanders was supper dissatisfied with the 35 minutes it took to prepare his chicken in an iron frying pan. Time is money and during the Great Depression, his customers couldn’t didn’t have either to spare.
To make matters more complicated, Harlen refused to deep fry. Although a much faster process, in Sanders’ opinion it produced dry and crusty chicken that was unevenly cooked.
The on the other hand, if he prepared the chicken in advance of an order, there was sometimes waste at the end of the day. Then a new product emerged…
In 1939, the first commercial pressure cookers were released, predominantly designed for steaming vegetables. Sanders bought one and modified it into a pressure fryer, which he then used to prepare chicken. The new method reduced his production time to be comparable with deep frying, while simultaneously retained the quality of pan-fried chicken. Now he could prepare high volumes of quality fried chicken at scale.
That is, as long as he could get anyone to buy into the his franchise model.
How Did Harland Sanders Franchise KFC?
In July 1940, Sanders finalized what later became known as his Original Recipe of 11 herbs and spices. Although he never publicly revealed the recipe, he admitted to the use of salt and pepper, and claimed that the ingredients “stand on everybody’s shelf”.
Sanders hit the highways pitching his chicken concept to as many restaurant owners he could meet. Independent restaurant owners would pay four cents on every piece of chicken sold as a franchise fee, in exchange for Sanders’ his recipe and method, and the right to advertise using his name and likeness.
Coined the name “Kentucky Fried Chicken”. Sanders adopted the name because it distinguished his product from the deep-fried “Southern fried chicken” product found in restaurants. Tripling his sales in the first year alone.
That’s when he met Wendy’s future founder Dave Thomas…
The Time Sanders Met the Future Founder of Wendy’s
By 1956, Sanders had six or eight franchisees, including Dave Thomas, who eventually founded the Wendy’s restaurant chain. Thomas developed the rotating red bucket sign, was an early advocate of the take-out concept that Harman had pioneered, and introduced a bookkeeping form that Sanders rolled out across the entire KFC chain. Thomas sold his shares in 1968 for $1 million and became regional manager for all KFC restaurants east of the Mississippi before founding Wendy’s in 1969.
Then, in another random series of cosmic associations, here’s the brief time a serial killer was made a KFC franchise manager at the request of his father in law..
The Time When a Serial Killer Became a KFC Manager…
In the 1960s, John Wayne Gacey was made manager of several Iowa KFC franchises where also around this time and would start his murder spree raping, torturing and murdered at least 33 young men and boys. Gacy regularly performed at children’s hospitals and charitable events as “Pogo the Clown” or “Patches the Clown”, personas he had devised.
There’s currently a documentary that covers the story on Netflix called Conversations With a Killer: The John Wayne Gacey Tapes.
It looks absolutely freaking terrifying…
Outside of the documentary, it’s often claimed that Gacy was such a fan of his workplace, he would provide free fried chicken to his colleagues and even insisted on being called the ‘Colonel’.
It would seem his love for the chain continued right up until he was put to death by lethal injection at the age of 52. His last meal request? A bucket of original recipe KFC.
The Fast Rise of the KFC Franchise
In 1960 the company had around 200 franchised restaurants; by 1963 this had grown to over 600, making it the largest fast food operation in the United States. At 73 years old, Harland Sanders sold KFC for $2 million in 1964 ($17.5 million in today’s dollars).
The company went through multiple acquisitions over the years to eventually Pepsico than Yum Brands who still owns and operates the franchise today. Yum Brands operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and The Habit Burger Grill.
Today KFC is pulling in $2.793 billion in revenue with 22,621 locations across 150 countries. And it all started in a gas station in Kentucky…
“We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.”
– Earl Nightingale
The secret of success starts with mindset, at least according to Earl Nightengale anyway. If anyone knows a thing or two about the mindset, it would be him. He spent his entire life trying to answer one single question.
Here is what he discovered in the process…
How a Man Spent a Lifetime Searching the Answer to One Question…
“How can a person, starting from scratch, who has no particular advantage in the world, reach the goals that he feels are important to him, and by so doing, make a major contribution to others?”
His desire to find an answer and willingness to share his knowledge with others, enabled him to become one of the world’s foremost experts on success and what makes people successful.
How Nightingale Became the Godfather of Self Development
The owner of an insurance company, Earl spent many hours motivating his sales force to greater accomplishments. When he decided to go on vacation for an extended period of time, his sales manager begged him to put his inspirational words on record.
The result later became the recording entitled The Strangest Secret, the first spoken word message to win a Gold Record by selling over a million copies. In The Strangest Secret, Earl had found an answer to the question that had inspired him as a youth and, in turn, found a way to leave a lasting legacy for others.
Here’s the original audio of Earl Nightingale’s best kept secret that has helped millions overcome life’s biggest challenges.
Turns out, pretty rich actually. But how much money are we talking about?
For starters, according to a study, becoming a professional YouTuber has officially become the most desirable jobs on the planet.
Which makes sense given some of the biggest YouTubers are generating more money than professional athletes.
The amount of money they are generating is pretty crazy. Here are some of the top content creators on YouTube with the highest earnings.
These Top YouTubers Are Making How Much Money?
Ryan’s World — $22 million
Jake Paul – $21.5 million
Dude Perfect – $20 million
Daniel Middleton (DanTDM) – $18.5 million
Jeffree Star – $18 million
Mark Fischbach (Markiplier) – $17.5 million
Evan Fong (VanossGaming) – $17 million
Sean McLoughlin (Jacksepticeye) – $16 million
Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) – $15.5 million
Logan Paul – $14.5 million
Which begs the question, how many views do you have to get on your YouTube channel to get a fat paycheck?
How Much Can You Make Off Your YouTube Videos?
YouTubers charge brands anywhere from $10 to $50 per 1,000 views, depending on the estimated amount of total views for the pending video. If the video hits 1 million views, then the YouTuber makes anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
Crazy right? But there’s a little more to it than that. Here’s the catch…
The Truth About Making Money on YouTube
The vast majority of YouTubers don’t make any money and despite how easy people think it is. Creating a quality YouTube audience and content is a hell of a lot harder than most people think. And it’s only getting harder…
It’s a competitive marketplace. As of 2022, there are more than 51 million YouTube channels out there. The number of channels is growing strong: last year it grew by 36%. People all around the world are creating a YouTube channel, and uploading 500 hours of video every minute.
But obstacles be damned, if you’re up to the task and are interested in cashing in on the billions of people tuning in to watch YouTube videos (and ads), here’s a video that breaks down exactly how to make money using the giant cash printing machine:
In a recent episode Valutainment’s Patrick Bet-David breaks down the myths surrounding the electric vehicle debate.
Which is timely considering Biden just announced that by 2030 50% of American cars need to be electric or EV’s.
But it’s obviously a little bit more complicated than that.
Patrick Bet David Breaks Down the Argument For & Against Having EV’s:
In a recent post the Valutainment team investigates and breaks down the argument for and against the environmental impact of the electric vehicle industry. Patrick breaks down;
Which industry will benefit the most from EVPS?
Who is hurt by EVs?
Are EV’s the new Diesel Scandal?
What is Valuetainment?
Valutainment is an entrepreneur channel created by Serial Entrepreneur, Patrick Bet-David. Valuetainment is referred to as the best channel for entrepreneurs with weekly How To’s, Motivation and interviews with unique individuals. About PBD: During the Iranian Revolution of 1978, Patrick’s family had to escape to survive and ended up living at a refugee camp in Erlangen, Germany. At 12 years old Patrick found himself collecting cans & beer bottles to raise money that could help his family and get him a Nintendo.
Thinking of buying an electric vehicle? Read this first…