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Archive for August, 2012

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
The Power of the “Find a Way” Attitude – How a Business Owner turned Havoc to Profit!

By Charlie Adams

There are many attitudes that work together to make an organization or a person succeed. Of course, there is the positive attitude, but one of the most important is the “find a way” attitude or the “make the best of a bad situation” attitude!

I came across a remarkable example of that attitude on a recent Group Inspirational Trip that I hosted to the last frontier, Alaska. On the way to cross the arctic circle, we came across the Yukon River Cafe. I took the picture below of the giant grizzly painting.

(photograph of grizzly bear’s butt)

I do not know of any other business in the world that has a big picture of a grizzly’s butt at the entrance to their business.

But what a story there is to go with it…

In the brutal winter of 2004, the Cafe had been boarded up. An old grizzly came by and found that two other bears had created a hole into the place. They were in there for the winter. The grizzly promptly kicked them out and took over. He then proceeded to tear the place apart, ripping the fridge and oven open to look for food. He decided the large gift shop area would be his sleeping area and knocked all of the nice tshirts and sweatshirts off the rack and slept on them and did all his ‘bathroom’ duties on them.

A security guard for the nearby Alaska Pipeline saw this and word got to the owner of the Yukon River Cafe that a bear was wreaking havoc on the place. In what is truly another story in itself, the owner and two others arrived with guns … but no key. The owner had forget it. Not wanting to knock in the front door and damage it, they crawled through the same hole the bears had created wearing only head flashlights (the electricity had been turned off). Thank goodness the bear was not by the entrance. The first thing they saw were all the shirts torn and soiled.

They slowly moved through the place eventually getting to a long hallway that has a row of showers. At the far end, two menacing eyes stared back. As it started to charge, shots rang out and down went the grizzly. As it was explained to me, in Alaska you can kill a bear when you are defending life or property.

After things settled down, the owner surveyed the extensive damage to the place. The large amount of shirts looked awful. Now, in that situation most people (including ol’ motivational, positive attitude Charlie here) would have said, “Get those shirts to the dumpster.”

Not the owner.

He had them thoroughly washed over and over to where there was no bad smell. When warm weather arrived and the tourists started coming through, word got around about the bear that had torn the place apart. The owner took every one of those shirts and sweatshirts and put them back on the rack, with a sign that read “Bear-ly Worn.”

Every one of them sold.

It didn’t matter if they had soil stains all over them or ripped sleeves. Consumers gobbled them up. The owner made such a profit that it helped with the costs of repairing the rest of the place.

That’s the ‘find a way’ attitude. That’s the ‘let’s make the most of this situation’ attitude.

I continue to be amazed by the fire and creativity so many have within, and how their attitudes lead to positive results. No doubt, this story will be a part of the “How to Build an On Fire Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!!”

Charlie Adams

Charlie Adams Motivational Programs

Helping to keep Corporate, College/School and Church groups ‘on fire’ with keynotes, breakouts and workshops. Most requested programs:

“Stoke the Fire Within” (various editions tailored to the theme of the conference, retreat, meeting, assembly or dinner/luncheon)

“How to Build an On Fire Attitude and Body and KEEP the Darn Things!!!!”

(2, 3, or 4 hour workshop form)

To see how the “Stoke” presentations can work for your organization or event, email


574-254-0188 || Email Charlie