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The Lazy Way to Success: How to Do Nothing and Accomplish Everything Hardcover – January 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Soma Press; 1ST edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972046402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972046404
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #798,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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."


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book is an interesting book as well as a fun read.
M. Nelson
As I read this book it calmed me down, reminding me that success comes naturally as a result of keeping ourselves happy and simplifying life's tasks.
Marie
Fred's book is a much needed antidote to the crazy work 'ethic' that permeates most materialistic cultures today.
Avi Solomon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Michael Schein on January 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The author of this book was apparently the founder of two highly successful companies. I think the secret to his success is hatching schemes like getting people to plop down $30 for a book telling people that they can be "lazy" and have everything they've ever dreamed of. The problem is the book goes on to ramble about hippie pseudo-metaphysics for 200 pages but never really gives any advice whatsoever other than "do what you love and success will follow." Closely related to that theme is "if you are doing what you love, you are actually being lazy even if you work 16 hours a day, because you are not really working." I have heard that advice six thousand times before. A major flaw in this argument is that every job has a lot of unpleasant routine work, and this philopophy of only doing what you love accounts for many of the bankrupt musicians, writers, and people perpetually starting their own businesses. Furthermore, I was hoping to learn how to find more efficient, effective ways to accomplish the same amount of work -- instead all I got was essentially advice saying "you should find more effective ways to accomplish tasks" without any direction on how to do so. To add insult to injury, this guy used the hippie-aesthetic from his youth to talk about how making money is nature's way of saying that you're zen is on the right cosmic track. If that isn't an encapsulation of the Yuppie justifications of that generation and their failed ideals, I don't know what is. And then the plug for the Maharishi - jeez, even the Beatles ended up rejecting that guy as a fraud. The plusses of this book - nice cartoons, easy to read, and mildly inspirational for me to find more effective ways to get things done. But come to think of it, I was already inspired to do that before I read this -- why else would have I bought it?
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Eikenberry on January 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can you think of a more compelling book title than this? How about the subtitle: How to do nothing and accomplish anything? Pretty strong stuff.

The author has built two multimillion dollar businesses, and brings that credibility to the table, but insists that he is lazy. Here are his three major premises:

* Success is inversely proportional to hard work.

* People who espouse the virtues of hard work publicly are doing a grave disservice to humanity because hard work is, in fact, counterproductive to success.

* The impulse to find ways of avoiding work drives all of civilization

* The deepest, most profound, most complete spiritual experience you can have is based on doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This book is irreverent (if you haven't figured that out yet), fun to read, full of great illustrations, and correct. It is the size of a coffee table book, and comes in at 215 pages. Buy yourself a copy for a great read and for a chance to re-examine some of your beliefs and principles. Read it and then put it on your coffee table or in your office. I guarantee with this title, it will stimulate conversation.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Avi Solomon on October 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Fred's book is a much needed antidote to the crazy work 'ethic' that permeates most materialistic cultures today.
A feliticious combination of imagery and text, the design of the book makes abundantly clear the importance of having an aim in life, turning work into fun, making passionate commitments and trusting the inner compass to discover one's unique calling and happiness.
Personally the book is motivating me to transcend my own conditioning of doing 'busy work' as proof of my 'worth', and to have more time and space for contemplation of Life's depths.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Gerri Detweiler on September 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I invited Fred Grazton on my radio show to talk about his book. When it arrived it, the first thing I noticed was how different it is from the many books I receive as a radio show host.

First of all, it's a beautiful book, a high-quality coffee table-type book.

Secondly, the flow of the text and illustrations is gorgeous. I don't know how he and his editor managed it, but this book doesn't seem to contain any fluff or distractions or extraneous text. I had the feeling that every word was just right. It drew me in, kept me entertained, and challenged some of my long-held notions.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and the opportunity to interview Fred about it. (You can listen to the interview if you'd like). It's purely delightful, and has some very relevant applications not just to work, but to what's going on in the world today in terms of terrorism, Katrina, etc. I highly recommend it!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Lazy Way To Success: How To Do Nothing And Accomplish Everything, is a uniquely insightful self-help book, illustrated with humorous caricatures, and which presents a very strong message -- frantically working yourself to fragments is not the way to success and happiness. Instead, self-improvement and self-enhancement arises from using our mind, from choosing carefully the work that needs to be done, from seeking solutions at a subtler level than the problem, and from avoiding the insanity of unnecessary work at all costs. Featuring a wisdom that is reminiscent of (and in some ways similar to) Taoism, The Lazy Way To Success is a very highly recommended self-help guide.
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