Fifty Smart Cookies

statue of man thinking

Pass It On is a new, bi-weekly peek inside the heart and mind of Francis Pass…


Click the play button to listen to Francis Pass tell this story.

I started my business to have a paycheck. Plain and simple.

I was a technician. I figured that if I knew how to fix anything and everything, that’s all I would ever need to be successful.

But it takes more than that.

If I wanted to grow the business… I would have to become a businessman. And I would have to learn quick.

I didn’t go to business school. But I certainly got an education.

Actually, I first started learning about business back in high school art class. One day, as I was getting frustrated with a painting I was working on, my art teacher, Judy Webster, ordered me to put down my brush.

When I told her I wasn’t happy with my painting, she said something to me that I’ve never forgotten. She told me that most artists are never totally satisfied with their work.

She went on to say, “As you go through life, you’ll always be looking for ways to be better, do better, and to make something better. You’ll never be satisfied, Francis. And that’s okay. You just need to be prepared so you know how to handle it.”

Mrs. Webster was one smart cookie.

statue of man thinking

Then, in 1982, I met this fella named Mike Callahan… and he introduced me to a new phrase: Paradigm Shift.

I didn’t know what that phrase meant. I didn’t even know how to spell the word “paradigm.” That silent G will get ya every time.

Turns out, a paradigm shift is when the usual way of thinking is replaced with a new and unusual way.

If you’re searching for a new frontier, just veer slightly off the path and take a route through some unexplored terrain.

Three months later the phrase “paradigm shift” was on the cover of Time magazine. Mike Callahan was literally ahead of his Time.

He was a smart cookie, too.

In my journey through business and life, I have met a lot of smart cookies. I’ve learned a little something from every one of ‘em.

Nobody is self-made. Our success and abilities are a composite of the people around us.

statue of man thinking

Thankfully, I’ve been surrounded by the smartest cookies I know.

And it’s paid off, too. This month, we celebrate our 50th year in business.

I’m grateful to the smart cookies who went before me and left a trail of crumbs for me to follow.

I’m give thanks to God for blessing our business with phenomenal employees and the greatest customers in the world.

And I’m thankful to you… for reading.

Be well. Stay well.

Francis Pass

P.S. –What’s your favorite cookie? Mine is oatmeal cranberry orange peel.