I have just finished reading a book by Tom O’Toole, the founder of the renowned Beechworth Bakery in Beechworth, Victoria. And I’ll tell you, it’s bloody fantastic. This guy can’t use a computer, can’t use a calculator, and can’t spell. But I learnt so much from this book.

Tom overcame immense adversity in life, by following a number of simple rules:

Don’t listen to the dream-takers
Write down your goals, every day, and give them a date
Don’t wait till you’re bloody organised – do it now, otherwise you never will!
Get out of bed each morning thinking it’s a new day – every day is a new opportunity
Never be complacent, always dream as high as you can climb
You can only ever change the man in the mirror

I would recommend anyone wanting to, or trying to, struggle their way through their own business, or even their life, to read this book. It teaches you to look way beyond the square, challenging all the boundaries and restrictions we all (believe) we face in life.

Tom took a tiny bakery in a tiny town (a population just over 3,000 people) and created it as a destination. People come from miles away, even from overseas, just to visit his bakery. People don’t come to the bakery to buy cakes and pies, they come for the experience.

Tom preaches one of the most important factors in business – the little things, the one percenters, that in combination make an experience 100% better. He uses his toilets as an example. He installed public toilets on the top floor of the bakery to try and get people to go up there. He has no signs on the toilets that say ‘patrons only’. In fact, he encourages any person off the street to use his toilets. More often than not, they’ll leave with a pie or two. He takes absolutely every opportunity he has.

So take a lesson from Tom O’Toole. I certainly have. People laugh at me because I get excited about everything. I get excited about cooking dinner each night. I get excited about my birthday. I get excited about my new i-pod. I get excited about buying a new pair of shoes. I get excited about getting out of bed each morning. I get excited about tomorrow. Why not get excited? Otherwise life is just bloody boring.

Thanks Tom, you made me feel just a (little) less crazy.