Fortune Cookie Friday: Small Business Advice in an Edible Wrapper

It seems such a waste. Fortune cookies are the grand finale to our Moo Shoo Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein dinners, and yet we toss their little slips of paper with kernels of wisdom aside after a quick read and a brief chuckle.

OK, maybe “wisdom” is a stretch, but why not use them to exercise our creative thinking and powers of reflection?

Here’s what I have in mind: Each week, I’m going to take a fortune, interpret its meaning, and expand upon it as it relates to running a small business. I’m particularly excited about this idea because it gives me a justifiable excuse to order take-out from my favorite locally-owned Asian restaurants in the area. Talk about a win-win (or would that be “won ton”?)!

Anyways, our featured fortune this week:

“We must have old memories and young hopes.”

This has a lot of merit. Regardless of your type or size of business, you need to remember and learn from your past experiences. Your frame of reference will help you avoid repeating mistakes, and it will drive you to focus on the actions and approaches that bring you the best results and use your time most wisely.

As a small business owner, having fresh hope about your future and your community is what will make you stand out in your market. Optimism is contagious – and magnetizing! Although you need to hold onto memories to learn and grow, you also need to let go of the fears and disappointments that some of them may have implanted in your psyche. In short: don’t dwell! Take the lesson learned and then move on.

I’m open to interpreting your fortune cookie finds, too. Feel free to share your next slip of confectionary-bound wisdom here or email it to me at and I’ll try to use it in my next Fortune Cookie Friday post!

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