More About the 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 controversial 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. His telecom company (Telegroup) was even ranked #2 -- the second fastest growing company in America.
In 1979 Fred started his first business, The Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company, with no money, no business experience, and absolutely no clue how to make ice cream. Yet, when People Magazine held a national ice cream competition in 1984, his ice cream was judged to be the best in America -- even better than Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's. Playboy made the exact same declaration in 1986.
Fred's ice cream was the first packaged ice cream ever sold in Bloomingdale's in New York City. It was served to first class passengers on United Airlines. The US Olympic Basketball Teams in 1984 and 1988 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.
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.
However, in 1988 Fred was fired from the company he founded.
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 had made all those life 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 rinky-dink discount telecommunications service -- again with no money, experience, or knowledge of telecommunications. However, 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, serving over 250,000 customers, and grossing $338 million in annual sales. Fred took the company public in 1997 and retired as Chairman in 1998.
During his retirement he wrote The Lazy Way to Success: How to Do Nothing and Accomplish Everything. That book has been translated into 10 languages and enjoys multiple printings in several countries.
Fred obviously doesn't shy away from controversy. He especially loves concepts that shift the paradigm. His second book does just that for sports. The Mentally Quiet Athlete is an explosive book. It teaches an approach that completely revolutionizes how sports are taught, practiced, and competed.
Fred is now engaged in a project that is completely frivolous, highly impractical, and totally unrealistic. In other words, he is turning his Lazy Way book into a musical. But the impossible nature of this project doesn't seem to faze him as he says he's having the time of his life.
"I go to bed giddy every night."