At Hals & Hounds we believe in your dreams, in your ideas, in your capacity for greatness.

See, it’s hard when you are 49 years old and working on a job for 17 years, and they come in and tell you, ‘you’re finished’ and give you one week’s severance pay. And you have to start all over again. It’s hard when you are married and raising children and your children are crawling and your husband dies unexpectedly. It’s hard handling just the tragedies of life. It’s hard when you’re working on something and you put everything you have in it and it doesn’t work out. You lose your money and other people’s money. It’s hard.

It was rough when I lost my job and I could not find a job. It was humiliating and embarrassing borrowing money and then I couldn’t pay the money back when I told them I would. That’s rough, how people look at you, how they respond to you, it’s very hard. It’s humiliating.

Here’s what I discovered that happens to you in life. You will go through things and while you’re going through them, you can’t understand why it’s happening to you. But after you go through it, you look back and you say, ‘Oh, now I understand why I needed that lesson’. Has that ever happened to you? Raise your hand. If that ever happened to you. That you couldn’t understand it then, but after you got through it, then you saw that, that was preparing you for bigger and better things. That as you go through the challenges of life and you look at it and embrace whatever comes to you. Don’t run from it, step toward it. Don’t try and duck it like most people do.

See, most people want it easy. See, if easy come easy what? Easy go! See, but when you go at what you’re going to deal wit,h and you deal with the difficulties of it, when you handle those hard things close at hand, making those hard decisions right now, that you don’t want to make, learning those things that you don’t like to do, but you know that in order for you to get where you want to go, this is one of the hoops that you have to flip through. And I’m saying to you whatever you got to do, do it, because if you don’t, life is going to whoop you until you surrender. And say it’s okay, all right, all right, all right, I cooperate. OK, I’ll learn, OK. It had to wear me out a long time.

So if it’s hard then, do it hard. Now how do you hang in there doing the hard difficult times, Les? You must have faith. You’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to believe in your abilities. You’ve got to believe in your service, your company, your ideas, unquestionably. You’ve got to have faith and that faith gives you patience. That it’s not going to happen as quickly as you want it to happen. A lot of things are going to happen that will catch you off guard. And so therefore you’ve got to deal with and handle it as it comes. And not only that, but that faith and patience drives you into action. You’ve got to keep moving and keep plugging away.

In the Far East, they have something that’s called the Chinese bamboo tree. The Chinese bamboo tree takes five years to grow. And when they go through a process of growing it, they have to water and fertilize the ground where it is every day. And it doesn’t break through the ground until the fifth year, OK. But once it breaks through the ground within five weeks, it grows 90 feet tall.

Now the question is does it grow 90 feet tall in five weeks or five years? The answer is obvious; it grows 90 feet tall in five years, because at any time had that person stopped watering and nurturing and fertilizing that dream, that bamboo tree would have died in the ground. And I can see people coming out talking to a guy out there watering and fertilizing the ground that’s not showing anything: ‘Hey what you doing? You’ve been out here a long time, man! And the conversation in the neighborhood is: you’re growing a Chinese bamboo tree, is that right?’

‘Yeah, that’s right’.

You know, that’s what people are going to do to you. ‘So how long you’ve been working on this? How long have you been working on your dreams and you have nothing to show. This is all you got to show’. People are going to do that to you. And some people, ladies and gentlemen, they stop because they don’t see instant results. It doesn’t happen quickly, they stop. Oh, no, no, no, you’ve got to keep on watering your dream. And when it begins to happen, they stop laughing. They say, ‘Look, whoa, look here, it’s — look, hey man, you know, huh I know you could do it. Look, you’ve got a job here?’.

See, during those hard times, when you didn’t know how you’re going to make payroll, during those times when you failed and things didn’t work out, they were nowhere to be found. But you know what I discovered? When you are working at your dream, somebody said ‘the harder the battle the sweeter the victory’. When you are working at your dream it’s always sweet to you. It’s good to you. Why? See, when it’s hard and there’s a struggle.

See, what you become in the process is more important than the dream. That’s far more important. The kind of person you become, the character that you build, the courage that you develop, the faith that you’re manifesting, oh, it’s something that you get up in the morning, you look yourself in the mirror, you’re different kind of person, you walk with a different kind of spirit. And people know that you know what life is, that you have embraced life. You know it was hard but you did it hard.