The Most Wonderful Advice from the Rabbi on How to Have Good Business

Marketing wisdom from an unexpected source.

Robert and Patricia Fripp keynoting a conference.

My brother Robert Fripp is the founding and ongoing member of the band King Crimson. Rolling Stone magazine named him the 42nd best guitarist in the world, living or dead. One of the thrills of my life is when I have the opportunity to share the stage with him when he has not strapped on his guitar. Robert is a deep thinker. Certainly, one of the most articulate speakers I have heard.

Enjoy this excerpt from our speech, Beginner to Mastery. In most of our speeches, I ask Robert questions. His answers are brilliant and his stories amusing. His comments are well thought through.

While attending college, Robert worked in a hotel dance band.

Robert tells the audience, “In 1966-68, when I was 18-21, I paid my way through Bournemouth College, where I was studying economics, economic history, and political history with a special paper on social conditions 1850-1900, by playing at the Majestic Hotel in Bournemouth. The Majestic was a well-known Jewish hotel, run by the formidable Fay Schneider.

The Majestic Dance Orchestra (a quintet) played three nights a week during the winter and four nights in the summer, accompanying visiting cabaret acts on Sundays. In addition to foxtrots, quicksteps, tangos, Jolsons (fast and slow), from time to time we also played for weddings and bar mitzvahs.

At one particular bar mitzvah, the Chief Rabbi addressed the congregation.

The directness of his advice and delivery continues to resonate to this day. The Chief Rabbi spoke very little English, so he got to the point quickly.

He rose and spoke: “When you go into your shop, say ‘Hello God!’ and you will have good business.”

The Chief Rabbi might have said…

“May we open ourselves to the unconditioned world that our wishing for the good, the real, and the true moves from conscience, hope, faith, acceptance, and love, and moves into and permeates a world governed by fashion, advertising, taste, habit, inventions, prices of near substitutes, expectations of trends and changes in price, changes in the distribution of income and the quantity and quality of the money supply – that our professional lives might be mediated by the imperatives of necessity and sufficiency.”

But this is not what the Chief Rabbi said.

First, because he could not speak English well. And second, because he wasn’t taking a course in economics at Bournemouth College just 400 yards from the Majestic Hotel

What the Chief Rabbi did do was convey a complex and difficult notion.

The impossibility of an endless and benevolent Grace entering our ungrateful and uncaring world –in 15 words: 12 words of one syllable, three words of two syllables, and one word of three syllables but pronounced as if having two (business):

“When you go into your shop, say ‘Hello God!’ and you will have good business.”

The Wit, World, and Wisdom of Robert Fripp Enjoy four live presentations with Robert Fripp and his sister Patricia Fripp. Two legends in two different worlds:


“Robert Fripp’s presentation was as insightful as it was sensationally delivered. Our opening general sessions of 1,200 audience members were enraptured by the fascinating stories of his most amazing career in the music industry.

Many of our APA members have long admired King Crimson and Fripp’s prowess as one of the best guitarists of all time. However, it didn’t matter that he is a famous musician. The wisdom he shared has direct parallels to every aspect of life and growth potential. His humble eloquence makes his wisdom so easy for everyone to get value. His grip on the audience was as tight as his hold on his guitar pick! “– Dan Maddux, Executive Director, American Payroll Association