Don’t forget you are a guest, so behave accordingly.

As with nearly all of my posts, this one is especially for my grandkids.

Whether you believe in god and country is of little matter to me. I simply hope you recognize that we are nothing more than a brief guest here in this world – and we should behave accordingly.

No one likes a bad guest.

We all know the bad guest. They take advantage of everything and add little. They expect to be served and satisfied. They are entitled – and they truly believe their existence [or the brief entertainment or service they provide] justifies their insouciance.

On a small scale, they expect it all and provide little. They borrow something and rarely return it in its original condition. They order big and tip small. They drive your car and never fill up the tank. They piss in the well but expect fresh water when they are thirsty. They demand 100% and are aggrieved by anything less. And they always deserve more.

The bottom line is that they expect more than they give.

The common thread with poor guests is that they just don’t get it. They think their bill was somehow overpaid in advance. They have a steadfast belief in their exaggerated self-worth – as if they matter. They fool themselves into thinking they are valuable because they attract, support, and feed off other bad guests. They harbor a secret zest in others’ complaints. They are a nidus.

As long as they have something to complain about, they have the air-cover they need to tear down anything without consequence [to them].

In the big picture, they are more destructive. They are morally superior while always the critic and never the builder. To the bad guest, those in charge are always idiots or corrupt, the accommodations are always substandard, the water is never hot enough, the salmon is never cooked right, the weather never suits them, the service never measures up, and it is always someone else’s fault. Accountability is not their strong suit. It is always someone else who is accountable for their hardship – and their hardships are endless.

They are in no one’s debt because they believe they are always getting less than they deserve. Of course, their host is always distressed by their complaints – knowing the accommodations will never be enough.

Unfortunately, with victimhood now in fashion, it’s getting harder to tell the bad guests from the truly afflicted. But you still know who they are – and it would be a big help to everyone if you told them that they are merely guests here and should start behaving accordingly. And remind them that nothing is free – and nothing is just there for the taking. And then tell them to try not to make a mess – even if they think they are a rock star. We are all getting tired of cleaning up after them.

Of course, it might help if they knew whose guest they really were. Maybe then they would appreciate the accommodations and just how fortunate they are to be staying here for a while. After all, even if fate gives them a late checkout, their stay here will eventually come to an end – and the bill will come due. And they are the only ones who can pay that bill – the host insists.

On the other hand, I have some friends, family, and associates among the most generous guests. The family member who cares, the employee who everyone relies on, the doctor who is tireless in his aide, the business partner who builds and then builds some more, the friend who stands fast, and those that love. They are the ones that don’t just pass thorough but actually make it better. They appreciate life. They are the guests you want in your world, and it’s the guest I am trying to be [knowing full well that I’ve not always been a good guest].

Be big, be a builder. Your host will appreciate it.

The Root Keeps Growing


Originally Posted: January 1, 2017
Last Updated:  March 28, 2023

From the very beginning in 1978, it has been my goal to provide the vision, resources, and confidence necessary for the development of the Advantage Co as a business experience for those willing to take the full measure of the challenge.  This approach has energized our Root Philosophy for over 40 years, and it has been our good fortune to build a number of world-class businesses.

Note:  The Advantage Co is not an operating entity; it is simply an informal name that has evolved over 40 years to reference the eclectic mix of independently owned and operated businesses and partnerships that I am involved with in some manner.  Likewise, there is no Tony Walker.  It is also a legacy name that has evolved over the years as my nom de plume, starting with my authorship of The Third Factor [The Advantage Co Handbook].

Here is a short list of the independently owned and operated businesses we have started or helped to start over the years. [180 and counting].  The businesses in italics are partnerships. The businesses in bold are currently operational.  Each one has been visited by success and failure.  Some businesses never really got off the ground, while others have been thriving for decades.  One of these nights, I’ll start filling in the stories.   The really good news is that over 50 of the businesses we have helped to launch are thriving enterprises.

All told we estimate there have been over 8,000 participants in the building of these opportunities.  If you have a backstory for any of them, why not share it with us?  I’ll take the good with the bad [they all have their share].  It is never meant to be easy, but it is always meant to be rewarding.

A man who says he never had a chance is a man who never took one.  Be big, be a builder.

Advantage Co Businesses

  1. Advantage Brands Group
  2. Advantage Catalog
  3. Advantage Computer Co.
  4. Advantage Global Resources
  5. Advantage Home Theater
  6. Advantage Outlet
  7. Advantage Properties
  8. Advantage TI
  9. Advantage Trade Group
  10. Advacovery
  11. Aussie T Co
  12. Beautiful Business Life
  13. Bogavia
  14. Brinkley Builders
  15. Chuggs
  16. Computer Head Start
  17. Giancarlo’s Sicilian Steakhouse & Pizzeria
  18. Giancarlo’s Cafe & Patisserie
  19. Gift Giving Registry
  20. Grivani
  21. Grivani Wine Cellar
  22. Grivani Wine [Distributing]
  23. House of Cotton
  24. Forrestel Clothing Co
  25. iFul
  26. iSport
  28. iWorld Shopping Center
  29. King Finley
  30. Lab to Beauty
  31. Leave It To Alison**
  32. Lifetime Service Trust
  33. Love Pink & Green
  34. Luxuri Link
  35. Merwin & Payne
  36. Modern Luxuri
  38. Nantucket Clothing
  39. Naples Properties
  40. Osaka Speakers
  41. PALM Investments
  42. Piece Apparel
  43. Pioneer Home Theater
  44. Prato Way Management
  45. Pure + Fresh
  46. Scotch Boots of Holland
  47. Smart Car Store
  48. Smart House Cafe**
  49. Smart Squad Design
  50. Smart Squad Install
  51. SmartLinks
  52. Sneaker Advantage
  53. SONY Home Theater
  54. Stereo Advantage
  55. Stereo Advantage [Olean]
  56. JVC Home Theater
  57. Taplin Marketing
  58. Tiny Walker
  59. Touche’
  60. TW Outlet [Niagara Falls]**
  61. TW&Co
  62. Walker Center
  63. Walker Kids Trust
  64. Walker Global Parts
  65. Walker Global Solutions
  66. Wehrle Properties
  67. White Box Services

Advantage Co Partnerships

  1. ABX Professionals
  2. Advantage Business Exchange
  3. Advantage Investment, Development & Oversight
  4. Advantage Legal & Fiduciary
  5. Advantage Marketing & Incentives
  6. Advantage Systems Professionals [now iWorld Professionals]
  7. Advantage Woodshop
  8. American Wireless
  9. AP Charlotte
  10. AP Cincinnati
  11. AP Cleveland
  12. AP Denver
  13. APHQ 
  14. AP Metro**
  15. AP Phoenix
  16. AP Rochester [sold to Matt Taylor]
  17. AP Solutions
  18. AP Syracuse
  19. AP Tampa
  20. AP Washington DC
  21. AP WNY
  22. Arcivium for Azure
  23. At Your Service
  24. Aussie Outfitters
  25. Autonomic Resources [sold to CSC]
  26. Beacon Global Resources
  27. Bellus Development
  28. BFSI Data, Inc.
  29. BizHop [support only]
  30. Black Progress Matters
  31. Black Progress Executive Resources
  32. BPX Executive Staffing
  33. BPM Minority-Owned Business Incubator
  34. BP College Advisors
  35. BP Alliance
  36. Butler Chemical
  37. Cascade Point**
  38. c1 Advantage
  39. c1 Secure
  40. Carolina Clothing Co
  41. Capax Alpha 
  42. Capax Global [sold to Hitachi Data Systems]*
  43. Capax India
  44. Capax Resource Management*
  46. Chiampou Travis & Kershner*
  47. Christeus
  48. Cleary & Sullivan
  49. Cleary Travel
  50. Cocoa by CeCe
  51. Consilium1 
  52. Cross Pointe**
  53. DACKS
  54. Data Detect + Connect
  55. Delta Road Properties
  56. Duke Fund**
  57. FedCLOUD Resources
  58. Free Trade Consultants
  59. Gauntlet Design
  60. Greenview Landscaping*
  61. GRW For Hair
  62. Hudson Walker
  63. Images & Graphics
  64. Inspired Global Resources*
  65. Irwin Lazarus
  66. iWorld Professionals
  67. JALMAR Graphics
  68. JNorman & Co
  69. KATINI Skin
  70. King Finley
  71. Kizer Data Solutions
  72. LeCleanse Officiel
  73. LD World Resources
  74. Lifetime EndPoint Resources
  75. M&L Devine Resources
  76. Manzella Productions [support only]
  77. My Personal Advisor
  78. Mode*
  79. One Global Culture
  80. Outback Paging [AdTel Worldwide]
  81. Pacific Data Resources
  82. Panther Data Solutions
  83. Phroket
  84. Pizza Shoppe
  85. PremCloud Resources
  86. Ragusa Executive Solutions
  87. Real Properties Services
  88. Sceven
  89. SmartGov Data Technologies
  90. SmartLink [Bailey & Kensington]
  91. SmartLink [Main Place Mall]
  92. Sozae
  93. Stereo Advantage [Phoenix]
  94. Stereo Shops [3 Rochester stores]**
  95. Strategic Finance
  96. Taplin Design
  97. Tony Walker Golf Club [4 locations nationally]
  98. Total Health & Fitness
  99. Trend Depot
  100. TW Charter Stores [92 Aussie Outfitter stores nationally]
  101. UnBiasIt
  102. UnCarbonIt
  103. Walker Sports Audit
  104. Watch Commander Data Resources
  105. Watch Commander Staffing
  106. Wellingtin Resources
  107. White & Co
  108. Wynnovation Labs
  109. Zantaz EAS [formerly Capax Discovery LLC]
  110. ZiDOL
  111. Z Legal Data Resources
  112. ZNZ Resources
  113. Zovy Cloud

Coming Sooner or Later or Never

  1. Ana Blu Mediterranean Kitchen
  2. Aussie T Co [Retro]
  3. 2 Girls 1 Deal
  4. 2×4 Office Anywhere
  5. Bambini Beauty
  6. Balance Bra
  7. Beach to Beauty
  8. Bedtime Monster Spray
  9. Christian Coop
  10. Church of the Good
  11. Clean Your Closets For Kids
  12. College Rep Program
  13. CopDrop
  14. The Fantasy League
  15. FedDrop
  16. FedSecure Data Centers
  17. FedCloud Vault
  18. Forrestel Clothing Co [Retro]
  19. Giancarlo’s Boutique Hotel
  20. GoToCloud Express
  21. Greenskeeper Coop
  22. Grivani Golf
  23. International Transfer Pricing
  24. iWorld Auto
  25. iWorld Banking
  26. iWolrd Accounting
  27. Life Source Insurance
  28. Meta Data Stack
  29. OffShore Secure
  30. Scrubs
  31. Walker Global Mergers Acquisitions & Review
  32. Walker University

* No longer involved in this partnership.
**Ended successfully.

There are three worlds: the one we are given, the one we are stuck with, and the one we bend to our will.

Theodore Roosevelt’s famous Man in the Arena speech.  ‘It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause and who, if he fails, at least fails while bearing greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.’

My Favorite Things 009

My favorite newspaper article.

Over the years, I have read countless newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, and postings.  I have been inspired, confused, dismayed, educated, informed, outraged, misled, disappointed, relieved, encouraged, assured, influenced, stimulated, transported, convinced, and energized in one way or another by everything I have come across for the past 60 years.  And still standing at the top of my favorite books is Will Durant’s Mansions of Philosophy.

But at the top of my list of newspaper articles sits Janan Ganesh’s The Devil and Roger Federer.  Published in 2017 in London’s Financial Times, Janan exquisitely elucidates what I agree are the essentials of preparing for the world we are living in.
“To prosper in life, or just to withstand its vicissitudes, a person has to possess some dark traits in controlled doses: aggression, swagger, ruthlessness verging on chicanery, an ability to block out other people and their judgments.”  – Janan Ganesh
Admittedly, I had a hard time writing after reading this article.  What fascinated me most was that it was a throw-away article by Janan.  No Pulitzer Prize ambitions here, no scoops, and certainly not front-page news – just everyday journalism with terrific insight, written in a cadence that challenges my writing rhythm every time I have a go at the keyboard.  It is this kind of brilliance I admire most.  It’s not only having the intuition, but, more importantly, the ability to transport it succinctly and convincingly while entertaining and enthralling with every phrase –  and to do it all so effortlessly.
I continue to read the Devil and Roger Federer on occasion and I recommend it often.
“There is such a thing as the optimal amount of devil in a person, and it is not zero.  Call it the Federer Quotient.”  Janan Ganesh