'Famous Dave' inspires Detroit Lakes crowd
Today, "Famous Dave" Anderson's name is recognized by barbecue lovers across the U.S. and beyond.
He is a best-selling author, entrepreneur and educator who holds the unique distinction of possessing a master's degree from Harvard University --without ever having obtained a bachelor's degree.
But as Anderson told a standing-room-only conference center audience at the Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes on Friday, none of his achievements would have been possible if he hadn't believed in his own potential -- and refused to give up on his dreams.
"Every one of you has the opportunity to succeed in life -- if you stay true to your dreams, incredible things can happen," Anderson said.
Not that Anderson himself has never strayed from the road to success. As he told a very attentive audience ranging in age from high school students to established business and community leaders, he has experienced alcoholism, bankruptcy, and a wealth of other frustrations in his life, both major and minor.
"We live in a country where, despite its hardships, if you never give up, good things can happen," said Anderson, noting that this is still true even in troubled economic times.
"There are people out there right now who are capitalizing on this slow economy," he said, adding that when faced with financial setbacks, "Don't give up! Get more creative."
Getting out of our personal comfort zones and taking risks is important, he added, because "that's what it takes" to truly be a successful entrepreneur.
"Let the energy and passion that's bubbling underneath come out," he added.
Anderson said that his company was able to realize a 14 percent growth in sales, despite the country's financial crisis, because "we decided we weren't going to let the economy hold us back."
In order to succeed, no matter your chosen field, it's important to "always give more than is expected," Anderson continued.
"Your fortune will never be made by what you earn (in an eight-hour work day)," he said. "It's by the extra time, the extra value you bring (to the job)."
Anderson also noted, however, that it's easier to have passion and enthusiasm for what you do if you follow your own dreams -- not someone else's.
"Find the one thing you love to do, and do it -- don't follow someone else's dream," he said.