Training & Development

Bert’s Secrets to Success

(Photo: Joseph Baucum/

Bert Thornton will serve as the first keynote speaker on the second day of this year’s EntreCon, a two-day business conference starting Nov. 14 at Pensacola Little Theatre.

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Thornton started at Waffle House in 1971 as a manager trainee, with his first duties including washing dishes, turning eggs and flipping hamburgers. After multiple promotions and locations, he ascended to president of the company in 2004.

As part of his talk as a keynote at this year’s conference, he hopes to teach attendees the basic laws to success in business and life. He said during his time at Waffle House, he learned a prosperous business starts with its employees. So finding the right people, he added, remains pivotal. A company must then create the environment where workers love what they do. Employees must be financially satisfied and properly trained to tackle daily tasks.

The core of Thornton’s keynote will center on the fifth chapter of his book, “Find an Old Gorilla: Pathways Through the Jungle of Business and Life.” The chapter lays out 10 tactics for finding success:

  • Always make notes
  • Hang around the right people
  • Be honest
  • Keep a great attitude — always
  • Get up earlier than your friends
  • Learn to say yes and learn how to say no
  • Nourish yourself
  • Learn to manage your time
  • Give away all the credit and take all the blame
  • Give away anonymously things of value

Full story originally written by Joseph Baucum, PNJ


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