Advice To A 16 Year Old

The advice I gave to this 16 year old is the same advice I gave my son. More at;


Hey Lee,


I just wanted to let you know that I got your book for Christmas last year and I love it! I especially like how you write it in a way that even though I’m reading a book, it feels like your in the room with me discussing the secret workings of Disney World. And though I can’t use these strategies in the business world yet being only 16, I’ve found that your strategies work well in real life situations too!

I’m a semi-professional magician and I’ve started up my magic business in full force this year! Though right now things are a bit slow, hopefully that will change after I preform at the State Fair this year. Anyways, I know your not a magician, but I was just wondering if you had any general business advice to give me?

And also, I’m starting so look around at my college options and I saw that UK’s Agricultural school had a Hospitality Management and Tourism degree, which I am really interested in. Though I get into another university for free since my dad works there, but they only has a general business degree. So I was wondering if you would recommend me to apply for UK since they have a degree in the specific area of business I want to go into or would you say I should apply to the other university since its free and more convenient for me since it is in the town I live in?

Thanks for all that you do!

                               Lee Cockerell’s Advice To This Young Man


Thank you very much for your nice comments about my book. My advice is to take the free education and get a business degree which will serve you better in case you eventually go into other businesses besides hospitality. Start right now to get experience in the hospitality business. Focus on restaurant and hotel jobs. Go to the best hotel or restaurant in your city and tell them you want to learn the business. From now until you graduate from college you have 6-7 years to gain tremendous experience which will reflect well on your resume and will go along nicely with your business degree. Take lots of finance and accounting courses and for your electives you can take some hospitality classes or take some on-line from a university. For instance I developed a master’s level course for Strayer University which is a 3 credit hour course and is on-line. Start now to read everything you can on management, leadership and service. Read my blog each week on my website which is: Spend a semester on the Disney College Program. That on your resume will be worth a lot.

Take a speech course and join toastmaster to become a great public speaker. Start to make contacts now in the hospitality business every chance you get and keep in touch with them.  I have attached four PDF attachments of some of my work. Study the Time Management and implement it now in your life. I hope these suggestions help you. My son got a political science degree ( liberal arts ) and later his MBA and is now the VP of Epcot. I received no degree and did pretty well. Experience really matters. Start acting and behaving now like what you want to be and you will get a big jump on the rest of the world. The other approach is to get a liberal arts degree and then get your MBA after you have worked awhile. You parents can help you then because you will want to go to a good university that has a highly rated MBA program…..Good luck and stay in touch. Run this by your parents to make sure they agree with this approach……What you can do for me is to recommend my book to others. I know it will help them….Lee

  1. He is right about the Disney College Program, and don’t listen to those who tell you differently. I can’t tell you how much Disney has benefited me. It will continue to benefit me many years to come.

  2. Lee,
    Hi, what ever happened to Bud Davis? Don’t know if you remember me, but was a Food Standards manager when Bud arrived from Hilton. He got me in trouble with Mary Lee
    and I moved on. I retired as VP HR from Residence Inns and am now a Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Want to read your book, a great deal of magic in my life and career.
    Best wishes,
    Pat Adams

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