Think and Grow Rich Book Review: Chapter 2

New Photo w Logos A Focused Mind-Set?

What is it in the psyche that makes someone persevere and overcome obstacles?

What talents do you need to have to be successful and get to a point where you are accepting riches into your life?


In the second chapter of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill gives us a snapshot of just what is necessary to get to your final destination. The first story that he

relayed had to do with the Chicago fire in the late 1800s. After the fire all of the merchants had two different paths that they could follow. They could either stay

and rebuild and make a new Chicago, or they could leave the city completely and go somewhere else to begin business anew. All of the merchants and shopkeepers

decided to leave except for one. Marshall Fields decided to stay in Chicago and rebuild. He even told his fellow business owners that he was prepared to rebuild on

the ashes where his store had once stood. This is exactly what he did, and he fulfilled his promise of making the biggest store in the area once he had completed his rebuild.

Burning Desire

Hill also comments about other people who overcame obstacles because they had what he termed a “burning desire” to succeed. Among those that he named were

Helen Keller, Booker T. Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford. Taking them one at a time: Keller overcame incredible obstacles in terms of lacking sight

and hearing, while Booker T. Washington overcame racism and intolerance in the post-Civil War South. Abraham Lincoln was completely obsessed and fixated on freeing

the slaves, while Thomas Edison used 10,000 tries to get to a successful electric light. Henry Ford used those around him to build an automobile giant based on the simplicity of interchangeable

parts and an affordable model. What do all of these people have in common? They had a dream and they did not let anything dissuade them from attaining a successful resolution. They used their

obsessions to focus their talents to a laser-light point and complete the journey that they themselves knew was their destiny.

Blair Hill: A Profile in Burning Desire

Another story that Hill told was that of his son Blair. Now Blair Hill was born without ears and also without the auditory structures to enable him to hear. Napoleon Hill and his wife never actually let

Blair know or feel that he was different from anyone else. Even at an early age when he could not hear, Napoleon Hill never treated them any differently and spoke to him with the knowledge that one day his

son would be able to hear. Blair Hill successfully completed his school work and went on to college where he eventually was given a hearing aid that did allow him to hear clearly for the first time. He then

approached the company that made the hearing aid and they were so impressed with the young Blair Hill that he was brought on board the company to be an intermediary with those in the community who

were deaf.

Dream Big and Make Those Dreams Your Reality

Dreams are what we need to keep us whole, and the dreams that we have are the basis for thinking and growing rich. If people who have overcome such great obstacles can succeed in life and in business, then

using your dreams as a touchstone  for successful future is the only way to systematically build wealth. You must have a dream and focus on that dream with laser-like precision.

Our dreams are what keep us alive, and without them life is a barren desert.

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Think and Grow Rich: Chapter 1

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The Classic

A few months ago I said I was going to start

doing a book review of the 1937 classic written by Napoleon Hill:

Think and Grow Rich. The time is now for me to start this review!

I’ve also decided to do this by reviewing individual chapters in the book.

Everyone in their lifetime will run into obstacles that may seem insurmountable.

How we attack those obstacles and get to a successful conclusion is the nexus

of chapter 1 in this groundbreaking title.

The most amazing aspect of this book is that it is still relevant 75 years

after it was first published. There are books that were published yesterday

that are no longer relevant. To stand the test of time and continue to be sold

and absorbed by new generations eager to learn the secrets is a testament

to the amount of work that Napoleon Hill put into this influential tome.

Sometimes Obsession can be a Useful Tool!

The first story in chapter 1 finds us hearing the tale of Mr. Barnes who is completely

obsessed with partnering with Thomas Edison. The story reveals a very stark distinction

drawn early in the chapter between Barnes working for Thomas Edison or

partnering with Thomas Edison. The delineation was made that he would

be a partner and not just an employee.

Working with Edison

When the Edison Dictation Machine needed to be sold, Barnes was the

man who got the call and he ended up selling this machine and heading

up this section of the company for many years. Then there was the story of

Mr. Darby. Darby had done geologic and geographic research while he was

looking for Gold. All of this information pointed to one specific spot, and he

invested heavily in the machinery aspects that could bring the Gold from the

vein out of the ground. At first the Gold was flowing but finally an impasse

was reached because all of the digging equipment had not found any more

Gold. Unfortunately for Mr. Darby he did not enlist the services of a geologist

who could have told him exactly where the vein of Gold ran in relation to the

fault line.

Darby gave up, sold all of his equipment, and the new owner “the junkman”

did some research and found that the vein was only 3 feet in a different

direction from the initial digging site.

An Insurance Whiz is Made!

Darby took the lesson that he learned from his mining experience and

put his failure to good use. He became an insurance salesman who would not

take no for an answer. This persistence eventually led him to be a multi-million

dollar earner. Darby took his greatest defeat and turned it into his greatest triumph.

Then there was the story of the little “colored” girl. Now I have to put in a proviso here

as this is not at all politically correct in terminology in society today, but in 1937

this was a perfectly common descriptor.

Stand and Shriek:  You Will Win!

The colored child had been sent by her mother to get $.50 from Mr. Darby’s uncle.

When she first encounters him the uncle rebukes her and tells her basically to get lost.

She does not leave, and the uncle reprimands her vocally again. She still does not leave,

and at this point the uncle moves toward her in a manner that could be construed as

aggressive. The girl stands her ground and screams at the top of her lungs that her

mother needs the $.50!

At this the uncle takes a $.50 cent piece from his pocket and hands it to her.

She has won the confrontation!

What is the secret in Chapter 1? 

What do all these stories teach us: Persistence and Dogged-Determination are

able to turn defeat and failure into triumph and ultimate success!

Never give up when you are 3-feet from the Gold!

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The Magic of the Disney Kingdom

New Photo w Logos   Having just returned from Orlando and the Empower Conference event, my mind travelled back to a time in the distant past.  All the way back to 1975…

Tonight I started thinking about what I should write. I knew that I needed to write a blog post and sometimes that feeling is overwhelming and forces you to sit down and think about things that coalesce as a story. As I was talking to my video I remembered many of the nuances of my first trip to Disney World in 1975. I was 14 at the time and thought that I had died and gone to heaven. I had wanted to go to Disney World for so long that I was incredibly envious of classmates and even my cousins who regaled me with stories of the various rides and attractions within the confines of that mouse inspired play land.

In 1975, my siblings and I were all getting older. We spent numerous summers on the shores of Schroon Lake in upstate New York. We had learned to swim from the instructors at Schroon Lake but it was time to try a vacation that was completely different. Something that we had never done before as a family was in the works and my father was the driving force behind the new adventure. I can remember my father and mother talking about something in hushed voices that didn’t appear to be going well throughout 1973 and 1974. I knew that my father’s game plan was to have one gigantic vacation of a lifetime before college and life began to pull at the family fabric. I was not sure about all the intricate details, but he was having a hard time making all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. As I remember the story, and I got the story directly from my father himself, there was no disputing the level of frustration he felt because of the incredible backlog of people trying to reserve and confirm reservations at Disney World for the summer of 1975.

My father needed to call in the big guns. As an employee of NBC my father had a leg-up on other people who were trying to make reservations at Disney World. Being the film editor who actually worked on the television program ”The Wonderful World of Disney” he had an even larger leg-up on those trying to get reservations. My father went directly to his boss who placed a call to Disney and that began the series of events that led to our trip. Disney was incredibly responsive, and my father was given the time at the Contemporary Hotel that he was looking for. In mid-August 1975, we all piled into the family car which was a 1973 Chevy Impala four-door that we had inherited from my late grandfather. We made stops along the way and saw all of the signs for Pedro as we headed south on Interstate 95. We stopped in Rocky Mount North Carolina where we stayed next to a tobacco field. I actually pulled a few leaves off just to have them as a reminder. Seeing a tobacco field was amazing because we don’t have those kinds of crops on Long Island. We stopped and stayed overnight in Georgia as well, but at this point in time the town we stayed in escapes me.

Finally we arrived at our destination, Orlando, Florida and the Magic Kingdom. As we drove in we were amazed by the topiary creations of our favorite Disney characters. My dad being the gardener that he was automatically started to think about trimming some of our bushes into the shape of Pinocchio, Bambi, and Dumbo. He never actually did this, but I’m sure in the back of his mind he had it as a plan sometime in the future. We got to our hotel room and it was an amazing sight. We were staying in the contemporary Hotel on the 10th floor. From this vantage point, we could look over the rail and see the monorail coming in through the hotel wall. For a kid of 14, this was an amazing visual to watch. I cannot stress the importance of the Disney World experience. It’s akin to being allowed to run wild in Santa’s workshop without adult supervision.

Now along with helping to get our reservations set up, we were told to visit the Customer Service area at the Contemporary Hotel as soon as we got into the Disney World surroundings. It was at this time that my father was given books and books and books of tickets. These were tickets to the rides within the Magic Kingdom Park. The Disney Corporation had given us enough tickets for all of us to ride rides to our hearts content for the four days that we were there. My father took all the tickets and the Disney adventure began. We went on all the rides. We saw all the sites. One of the things that my father actually was very interested in seeing because of his background in film was the Hall of Presidents. We went through everything, we rode on everything. My father actually had his shirt pocket explode on the Space Mountain ride. He was a smoker, and had a pack of Benson and Hedges 100s and his Zippo lighter in his top pocket. When the ride took a tight turn, everything in his pocket along with his glasses flew off into the car. Needless to say, my father was completely blind without his glasses so most of the ride was a blur. We as a family had so much fun on this trip and thoroughly enjoyed our Disney World experience.

The one point that always irritated my father had to do with the tickets to the park. Disney had given us so many different tickets but they failed to give us a ticket to get into the park for four days. My father paid the entrance fee for a family of five for all four days that we were at the park. He could not understand why they would comp him tickets for the rides but not give the entrance tickets into the park. This was an irritation but did not diminish the fun that my father had with his family as we went through the Disney adventure. Disney was only the first part of our vacation.

The second part of the vacation we drove from Orlando down to Marathon Key to stay at a condo that was owned by family friends. While we were on the long drive down to The Keys I started to look through the tickets that Disney had given us. We had a large amount of tickets left over and we were told that they were good in perpetuity. As I looked through the tickets I found other tickets mixed in. I started to read what was written on the tickets and realized that they were the golden tickets to get into the park for the entire time that we were there. Unfortunately my father had not looked at all the tickets before we started our adventures in the parks. We never spoke about this again, and it was only recently that I relayed the story to my mother who never heard about this.

The moral of the story: Fun and adventure are not predicated on comp tickets!

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Leave It To Dunwoodie!

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Now that we are entering the season of Autumn I think back on my childhood to the days when I spent more than one weekend in a row raking leaves. Now I grew up in a little town on the south shore of Long Island. Depending upon which way you were driving you would miss it if you blinked. And actually no matter which way you drove through it you would miss it if you blinked. The name of the town was West Islip.  Not too far from Amityville and this house…

This is an extremely famous house on Long Island. ..._5488588043848430153_Photo

We’ve had our share of famous people from West Islip. The list includes: Mario Puzo (the guy who wrote The Godfather), Al Oerter (4-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the Discus), Tom Downey (congressman) and Rick Lazio (Congressman). The name Don Schmidt does not appear among them and that’s fine with me. But I digress from the main drift of the story…

When my parents moved to West Islip my father was big on privacy. He planned out the entire yard on how he would insert trees, bushes and flowers. He actually planted two rows of evergreens that we used as Christmas trees for about 10 years in a row. The bane of my existence as a child though, were the Maple trees that he planted on the extreme edge of the northern part of our property. This would be on the side of the house that bordered on N. Monroe Ave.


Now before I get into the entire story about the leaves and the Maple trees I want to talk a little bit about the streets in my neighborhood. The streets were all named for presidents. There was Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Washington, and then there was the street that I lived on. The street I grew up on and spent 30 years living on was named Dunwoodie. I could never understand how all the streets were named for presidents and we lived on Dunwoodie. Who was this Dunwoodie and why was he given such a great place with the rest of the presidential crowd? I never got an answer to this question but for 33 years 100 Dunwoodie in West Islip was my home. For roughly the first 20 years I spent a good deal of my time cleaning up those damn Maple leaves from the side of the house.

The best car ever!  My first and only new car purc..._5488588043851354792_Photo

It would start in late September. I would always try to figure out if I could mulch all the leaves and not have to bag them. This was folly. The amount of leaves from a Maple tree cannot be shredded into a tiny pile. These were towering Maple trees. They were 40-60 feet tall, and I continually cleaned up the leaves. While all my friends did other things on their weekends, I raked and bagged leaves. As I got older, friends would go and play golf as a foursome, and I raked the leaves on the side of my house. I’m not saying this was bad I’m just saying that a chainsaw would’ve made everything that much more pleasant. (only kidding!)

Mom sent me a couple of new pics recently.  This i..._5488588044921471029_Photo

Those Maple trees though, they gave shade in the summertime and they also gave a funny Pinocchio nose if you could split the leaves just right. Those Maple trees were my tree fort, they helped me keep watch for alien invaders and enemies who were going to attempt to attack my Fortress of Solitude at 100 Dunwoodie.

No playoffs this year-- but I do see promise!_5488588043849028680_Photo

Yes those Maple trees were the bane of my existence as a youth, but I remember them and I miss them and I know that they helped instill some character in my person that can never be duplicated or replaced by any other event.

Thank you Maple trees…  you did your job well.

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The Hump-T Chronicle

New Photo w Logos I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post for a long time. When the story first came to light we were told that we should definitely put this story into an article or blog post for anyone and everyone to read. I guess I should start at the beginning… It was around my birthday in 2009. My birthday is toward the end of the summer, so it’s always nice to have a barbecue to celebrate that end. My fiancé Susan, had decided that she would have the barbecue at her house but at the last minute the plans were changed, and we ended up going out to her parent’s house which is on the Eastern Prairie of Colorado. Hump-T Now both Susan and her parents knew that I love turtles. Her parents lived in a rural area where there are always turtles on the side of the road in the summertime. As we were driving there sometimes I would stop and move the turtles off the road to make sure that they did not get hurt. Now when we went to Florida in 2009, we went over to the Space Coast and there is a nature preserve there. As we were driving around the narrow roads between the sand dunes we came upon a couple of large tortoises that were walking across the road. I believe they call them Gopher Tortoises in Florida. Of course, I had to stop the car get out and move them off the road.

This is all the background that you need to know my affinity for turtles. As we were finishing dinner and the presents began to flow, Susan’s mom brought out a tank with a turtle in it (A Western Ornate Box Turtle). As I look into the tank I noticed that the turtle has a damaged shell. Not just a little damage, the turtle has roughly a 4 inch gash slashed in the back of its shell. My first thought was; “That’s going to shorten the turtle’s life.” I was told that the vet out on the Eastern Prairie had mentioned that the damage to the shell should not keep the turtle from living a normal life. I took this with a grain of salt and decided to do my own research.

Now I bought all the amenities that a turtle needs. A large terrarium, a heating unit, a feeding tank, and all sorts of little things that would make the turtle’s life in the terrarium that much sweeter. I started to feed the turtle live crickets and mealworms and it was here that I noticed that the gash in the back could not be left the way it was. The crickets would crawl into the gash stay there and then crawl out. I knew this was not a healthy, germ-free environment for the turtle. If this gash were left open, the turtle would not live very long due to germs and infections that might get in under the broken shell. I decided to contact my vet and see what could be done.

Unfortunately my vet did not handle reptiles, but they did refer me to a vet in my hometown of Broomfield that was even closer than my normal vet. I called the doctor up and gave him the information about the turtle. The doctor told me to bring the turtle in so that he could do an evaluation and see exactly what happened to the turtle’s shell.

I brought the turtle in and the first thing the doctor said was that the gash in the shell would shorten the turtle’s life. The shell could not be left the way it was. I asked him what we could do, how we could help this turtle. He told me to take the weekend and contact the office on Monday morning to set up an appointment. On Monday I called and set up the appointment, and two days later the doctor was operating on the turtle.

Now the doctor himself had never done anything like this on a turtle and had to research the operation before he undertook it. The turtle was put under anesthesia and then the dead shell was removed so that only growing tissue was showing. After that was completed, the doctor put a bio-preen resin over the crack and filled it in. He then took five zip ties and pulled them tight to pull the shell together. Over all of this the doctor had cut off the back end of a latex glove and then instructed me that I needed to do the same for the next six weeks. You will see from the picture how the turtle looked after the operation was finalized.

Because of everything that happened with the turtle shell, Susan and I named the turtle “Hump-T.” The name was derived from the old nursery rhyme where “all the King’s horses and all the King’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.” In this case we actually did put Hump-T back together again.

Be kind to the creatures we share this planet with, sometimes they need our help.

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The ZEEKS Don’t Want No Freaks!

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Three years ago I started a journey. I was working as the Production Manager for a Social Studies reference publisher but knew that I needed more in my life. I had started looking into the writings of Robert Kiyosaki and Brandon Bouchard and knew that working for a company was not going to give me the financial freedom that I desired. I started to look around. I had heard about multilevel marketing and network marketing in the past, but I had always shied away from getting involved with any type of situation that required an outlay of cash prior to results, especially if the outlay was extensive.

I had a subordinate who was very involved in the multilevel marketing field. This person knew that I was unhappy with my position and at one point asked me if I was interested in a business opportunity that seemed to be producing results. I wholeheartedly said yes, and asked for more information about the opportunity. It was at this point that I learned about Zeek Rewards. I don’t want to get it into the specific functions of how Zeek Rewards worked, but I will tell you that the promise to pay off for the amount of input was said to be astronomical.

The one thing I could never figure out during the course of my 4 to 6 months working with Zeek Rewards was the product itself. They really did not have a product that they were selling other than a marketing strategy to get people onto the premier website. I started working this opportunity. I dove in and did everything that I was supposed to do. I put more and more money into my account. I was so ready for a change that my mindset was totally focused on the small picture. If I had been adept enough to look closely and step back a few feet so that I could see the big picture, I would’ve realized that the possibility existed that this was a house of cards.

After putting more and more money into the system, I was actually building to a point where I was going to see some pay-off and the feeling was exhilarating to know that the pay-off was fast approaching. In the summer of 2012, I turned 51 years old. As my fiancée and I were out at dinner, a news report came over the radio that the SEC had seized all of the Zeek Rewards assets as a major Ponzi scheme. It was bad enough that I had potentially lost a few thousand dollars, but to have that realization thrown in your face on your birthday was a real party killer.

After two years and much due diligence on the part of the Zeek Rewards Receiver, I received a check on Friday 10/3/14 for 40% of the funds that I had initially put into this project. I am very happy that I got this 40% back, and also with the fact that the possibility exists that I may get as much is 85 to 90% back of my initial outlays.

What do I think? Was this a good idea? Did I take enough time to find out about the opportunity? Would I do it again?

Everyone in life is going to make mistakes. Everyone in life is going to have failures. There is one thing that we know for sure in our lifetimes: Working for someone else will never make you rich!

I learned that you must face your inner basic fears to overcome them. You must fail to succeed. You must continue to strive for excellence in everything you do and be willing to take a risk when and if an opportunity arises. It only takes one correct decision to change the rest of your life. Moving too slowly or not at all could be the recipe for malaise and disaster.

We are only given a certain amount of time on this planet, the spilt milk tears will have to wait until I leave this bio-dome.

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WUKAR? What is this WUKAR?

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About two months ago I received an email from a business associate and friend who was telling me about a new venture he was involved with. I read through the email and thought a little bit about it but didn’t really give it another thought. I was just then getting ready for my trip to Florida and New York, and did not really have any time to think about any new business ventures that I could put onto the front burner.

Watch this video first!

When I finished my traveling in early September, around September 7 to be exact, I decided to go back to this email and take a look and see exactly what my friend was talking about. There was a link attached to a Google hangout that had been recorded in August and the instructions were very matter of fact, “just watch the hangout and contact me if you have any questions later.”

Now I’m not exactly a born skeptic, but I do like to check into things before I actually make a move. There is something to be said for due diligence when you take a risk in your financial future. I’ve been a couple of ventures before that did not turn out all that well. That being said, if you base your entire life on previous bad experiences and never make a move or take a risk, then you are putting yourself in the position to never grow and advance. As we all know, some of the best innovations and inventions in process and industry were the result of numerous a continual failures.

With trembling fingers I clicked on the link and started to watch the Google hangout. As I watch this video unfold two things struck me:

  1. That Tony Rush and John Lavenia were involved in this project.
    • These are two men that I admire and respect who have already made a huge niche in the network marketing arena. What I was hearing put me in a position where I would have the opportunity to meet and deal directly with these two icons of the home-based business industry. For me, that was a step in the right direction to get me on board.
  2. When I heard that Matt Trainer was involved with the project, I went back and did some digging and found that this guy is the real SEO deal!
    • In watching how he related that he was not a fan of MLM or anything remotely associated with that type of business venture, I knew that this was someone worthy of respect and possible subordination as a business associate. When I heard that Matt was putting millions of dollars on hold to be part of this project that is what sealed the deal for me.

I have worked in corporate America for a long time, and I know that there are people out there who are looking for answers to financial questions. Can I stay home and raise my kids without leaving them with someone else while I go to work? Can I take a vacation whenever I want to and put my business on hold while it runs itself? Can I build multiple streams of income that will sustain me and give me enough residuals for a healthy and happy retirement in my later years?

The answer to these questions is: It is very possible to do everything you have asked!  Taking the next step would be to view the videos I have embedded in this blog post.  As Robert Kiyosaki wrote in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you must have multiple streams of income to make a viable residual financial safety net.  If you have reservations, just become a free member and take advantage of the CASH-BACK initiative.

If you are looking to change your life and be part of a new financial experience, I invite you and welcome you to do some homework and watch the videos that are embedded in this blog post. Any questions that you have please contact me and let me know, but since this is all new and moving at the speed of light the videos are our main reference point right now.


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