Monthly Archives: October 2016


Seventy-eight years ago, journalist Napoleon Hill interviewed more than 500 self-made millionaires over a span of 20 years.

At the peak of Andrew Carnegie’s career, he crossed paths with journalist Hill, who he trusted to document—and share with the world—the strategies that turned Carnegie into one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen of all time.

It was Mr. Carnegie’s idea that the magic formula, which gave him a stupendous fortune, ought to be placed within reach of people who do not have time to investigate how men achieve success and make money.

His interviews and research culminated in the 1937 bestseller, “Think and Grow Reach,” which shares what he calls the “money-making secret” in 13 principles.

Here are Hill’s and Carnegie’s 13 steps, in their words and ours:

  1. Desire: You have to want it.

All of the super wealthy started with a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, planning, and desiring before they became rich.  They imagined riches before they saw them in their bank accounts, Hill explains:

Wishing will not bring success or riches.  But desiring success or riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring success or riches.

  1. Faith: Believe that you can achieve your goal.

Growing rich starts with your mindset—with the belief that you can accumulate wealth.

As self-made millionaire and author Dale Carnegie said, “Being rich isn’t a privilege.  Being rich is a right.  If you create massive value for others, you have the right to be as rich as you want.”

  1. Auto Suggestion: Use affirmations to reach your goal.

Turning desire for money or success into reality requires sending your subconscious mind phrases and mantras that support your goal.  You have to repeat out loud what it is that you want, and how you plan to get it, so you become obsessed with your purpose.

For example, if you aim to save $1 million for retirement by putting away money every week, you would repeat, “I will set aside money this week to have $1 million in retirement savings.

  1. Specialized knowledge: Gain experiences and continue learning.

Knowledge is potential power.  An education only becomes powerful and leads to great wealth when it is organized and applied to life.  It also must be continually sought after.  You’re never done learning.  Hill emphasizes:

“Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession.”

  1. Imagination: Come up with ideas and visualize your success.

If you can imagine it, you can create it, says Hill:

“Ideas are the beginning points of all success.  Ideas are products of the imagination… Man’s only limitation, within reason, lies in his development and use of his imagination.”

  1. Organized planning: Take action.

Once you’ve visualized your success, you need to take action and go after exactly what you want.  You must act with persistence and enthusiasm.  Hill explains:

“Most of us are good ‘starters’ but poor ‘finishers’ of everything we begin.  Moreover, people are prone to give up at the first signs of defeat.  There is no substitute for persistence.”

  1. Decision: Defeat procrastination with decisiveness.

A key trait Hill recognized in all of the individuals he studied who acquired great wealth was decisiveness.  Those who settle on decisions quickly know what they want, and they tend to get what they want.

  1. Persistence: Don’t stop until you get what you want.

Persistence is crucial when trying to accumulate wealth, yet few people possess the willpower required to turn their desire for money into actual money.  Hill writes:

“Riches do not respond to wishes.  They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant persistence.”

The most successful people tend to have dealt with and overcame failure.  “I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail,” Mark Cuban said.  “You only have to be right once.  I tried to sell powdered milk.  I was an idiot lots of times, and I learned from them all.”

  1. Power of the Master Team: Surround yourself with the best.

The most successful people create a master team, meaning they surround themselves with talented employees and colleagues who share their vision.  The alignment of several smart and creative minds is exponentially more powerful than just one.

  1. Choose a Compatible Partner

Sexual energy is an incredibly powerful human energy—it creates physical and emotional life, and when it is harnessed, it can enhance our creativity, passion, enthusiasm, and persistence, all which are crucial in accumulating success and wealth.

When combined, these emotions may lift one to an altitude of genius.

  1. The Subconscious Mind: Master positivity and dismiss negative emotions.

If you truly want to be successful and/or rich, you have to plant that desire, and your plan, into your subconscious mind.  Hill writes:

“The subconscious mind will not remain idle if you fail to plant desires in your subconscious mind, it will feed upon the thoughts which reach it as the result of your neglect.  Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time.  One or the other must dominate.”

  1. The Brain: Associate with other smart people and learn from them.

Our brain is a “transmitter and receiver of thought vibrations”—it absorbs thoughts from other individuals surrounding us, making it even more important to associate with intelligent, creative, and positive individuals.

It takes the Master Team principle one step further—rather than just surrounding yourself with people who are smarter and better, use the members of your group to find solutions to problems or brainstorm ideas.

  1. The Sixth Sense: Trust your gut.

The final principle—the “sixth sense”—occurs only after you’ve mastered the other 12.  You’ll experience a sort of mind-shift, Hill says:  “Through the aid of the sixth sense, you will be warned of impending dangers in time to avoid them, and notified of opportunities in time to embrace them.


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Gabriele and I had been living together in our Marina condo for about four years and we were happy clams; working, traveling and enjoying our relationship.  The subject of marriage didn’t seem necessary at our advanced age.

In 2000, a few things happened that brought the subject of marriage out of the shadows.  Sometime in the spring I was talking to Linda Dawson, my then accountant, and in the course of conversation I asked, “How’s Joe,” and she replied, “Joe no more,” and then explained, “he wouldn’t make a commitment.”

When I hung up, Gabriele, who was sitting behind me in our office asked, “What was that all about”?  When I told her about Linda and her dismissal of Joe, she said, “Good for her.”

Then Gabriele got sick one day at school and I was goofing off playing golf or something (no cell phones then), so Gabriele’s daughter, Julie, took her to the hospital ER.  Later that day, I tried to see her but they wouldn’t let me in.  I wasn’t related.

In the fall, I gave her a ring that I thought was quite attractive but not to memoralize a particular occasion.  A friend asked if it was an engagement ring.

There seemed to be a confluence of factors regarding marriage in motion.

In the beginning of 2001, we were in a Makenna Surf condo on Maui for eight weeks.  Why so long you ask?  Gabriele was leaving the full-time faculty at FIDM and I loved staying as long as possible.

Anyway, we had invited Spence and Donny to stay with us for a week.  After we took them to the airport, I casually said, “It was nice having our friends here for a week,” and Gabriele replied, “They’re not our friends, they’re your friends—we’re not married.”

I’m usually a little slow on the draw, but I quickly said, “Well, we still have two more weeks here, let’s get married.”  After convincing her I was serious, she agreed.  I said there would be three conditions:

  1. We do it here in a small simple way and tell everyone after;
  2. You have to contact an attorney and have a prenuptial agreement; and
  3. I can make fun of your idiosyncrasies in perpetuity.

No. 2 was there so both she and her kids would feel secure that her assets were being protected.  We already had a co-habitation agreement that worked well to make living together comfortable, but more about that in another blog.

Having been an avid reader of the Maui News, because it only took a maximum of 10 minutes a day, I checked the church listing page and sure enough, there was a Jewish temple right down the road, in Kihei.

I called the Rabbi and explained we wanted a simple ceremony on the beach.  He said he couldn’t do that.  He personally was Orthodox and he could only marry us if we first came in for counseling and then had a religious ceremony with a hoopa and breaking of the glass, etc.

I told him I was 70 and wasn’t sure I wasn’t too far gone for counseling, so I thanked him and went to the phonebook and found dozens of listings for people who were licensed by the state to perform weddings.  After a few calls, we settled on redheaded Patricia Wheeler O’Flaherty.  She sent me some wedding ceremony passages, which I cobbled together with a few additions of my own.

We went to the swap-meet-style marketplace in Kihei and bought two matching Hawaiian wedding bands for $175, and we were all set.

So on Tuesday, February 18th, at sunset, on the beach at the then Maui Prince Hotel, we had a semi-Hawaiian ceremony.  Patricia’s husband was the obligatory witness, took some pictures.

It was a total delight.  I can say some 15 years later, nothing changed.  We still live the same way.



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Democrats and Republicans both agree there is voter suppression.  The difference is they each accuse the other of orchestrating that suppression.

The Democrats claim that any attempt to impose voter ID laws is nothing more than an attempt to disenfranchise minority voters.

The Republicans contend that voter ID laws are the only way to contain the growing number of fraudulent voters.  In this day and age, they say you need an ID to cash a check at a grocery store or get on an airplane, so why not have one to vote?

J. Christian Adams, who worked for four years in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said, “Voter fraud is a problem that may have changed results in national and local elections.” He offers the following examples:

  • A report based on the Cooperative Congressional Election Study found that 6.4% of all non-citizens may have voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election and 2.2% may have illegally voted in the 2010 midterms. Since 80% of non-citizens vote Democratic, the study found that these illegal votes were “large enough to plausibly account for Democrat victories in a few close elections.”
  • An audit of the 2012 elections revealed that 35,570 people voted in North Carolina and another state in the same election.
  • A county Democratic Chairman in Indiana was sentenced to a year in prison for forging an estimated 200 or more signatures in 2008 to put Barack Obama on the primary ballot.
  • A police chief in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to voter fraud in a local election. The fraud flipped the outcome of the election.
  • A Democrat Connecticut state representative pleaded guilty to charges of illegal voting, including voting in districts she wasn’t allowed to vote in.
  • In 2014, seven people were indicted in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for illegal voting by ineligible felons and impersonation fraud.
  • Wendy Rosen, the Democratic nominee for Congress in Maryland’s First Congressional District admitted she illegally voted for President Obama in both Maryland and Florida at the same time. Obama’s Justice Department never brought charges against her.

“The list of voter fraud cases is as long as my arm—and growing every day.”  According to Adams, “the consequence of tainted elections goes viral.”  He offers this example:

“In 2008, Democrat Al Franken and Republican Senator Norm Coleman were locked in a close election.  The first canvas of votes had Coleman leading by 725 votes out of 2.9 million cast.  But then followed months of recounts where liberal election groups got the count changed so that Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes.

“Later it was revealed that 1,099 felons illegally voted—most likely for Franken.

“In addition, the dead cast 2,812 votes.

“Al Franken was likely elected by voter fraud.  Two years after Franken’s victory, he was the 60th vote for ObamaCare.  Voter fraud almost certainly gave us ObamaCare.”

California joins Nevada, Washington, Hawaii, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. in giving non-citizens driver’s licenses—making voter fraud that much easier.

Obama’s executive order of Amnesty for millions of illegal aliens opens the door to yet even more voter fraud.

The truest test of a democracy is clean, uncompromised elections.

Judicial Watch, an aggressive, non-partisan watchdog organization, supports states with legal assistance who have voter ID and other clean-election laws that help reduce voter fraud by groups like ACORN.  (A Washington Post poll showed that 74% of Americans believe that people should have to show photo identification to vote…just like we do to drive legally or, in many states, to collect welfare benefits.)

The highly respected, non-partisan Pew Charitable Trust found that “approximately 2.75 million people have active [voter] registrations in more than one state”; that, in addition, some “24 million…active voter registration lists are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate”; and that “more than 1.8 million deceased voters are listed as active voters.”

Those statistics are astonishing and should have the Justice Department and the Democratic left all joined in the effort to make sure only eligible voters take part in our elections—not felons, dead people, nor people who vote in two states.

It’s hard to believe the President of the United States and the federal government appear to support corrupt and dirty elections by fighting photo ID for voters tooth and nail.

A year or so ago, former President Bill Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young proposed that all Social Security cards have a photo ID included.  All Americans are required to have a Social Security card.

The Obama administration continues to sue states under the Voting Rights Act to block laws requiring a valid photo ID to vote and proof of citizenship to register.  The grievance industry believes that requiring IDs to vote is a plot to deny minorities and the elderly their voting rights.

Thirty-three states currently have voting ID laws and more are considering it because outdated registration rolls and increasing cases of voter fraud are casting a shadow over the integrity of our elections.

Photo IDs for voters, I believe, is another step we need to take to avoid becoming a Banana Republic.



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Writing in his Heart & Mind blog, Glenn Geffcken recently addressed this common subject quite meaningfully.

“How do we know when it’s time?  Time to make a move.  Time to launch a new project.  Time to change jobs.  Time to start a new business, birth a vision, initiate a relationship, have a child, go to college or take a sabbatical.

“Many times in my life I’ve been faced with an almost overwhelming feeling of stagnation, and that somehow, some way, things needed to change—and change radically.”

Time to change “comes from paying attention to the signs and being present with how I’m feeling about them.  If I see the signs and I feel stagnation and uneasiness with my life, coupled with the fear of change, most likely it’s time for change.  If I’m feeling like I want change, and the feeling is more like a desire to run, than most likely the place I need to be is right where I am, facing the fear of what it is I want to run from.

“In either case there is fear.  Fear of change, or, fear of staying where we are and facing the music.  If we can discern the difference then we’ll know when it’s time.”

In my own case history, I had to deal with quite a few career/business changes, as well as personal changes, to confront and move on with varying degrees of fear.

I dropped out of college one February and encountered probably the greatest fear I ever experienced; looking for a job.  There were times the fear made me almost sick and had me retreat to my room rather than continue to follow leads in the city.

It was debilitating and awful physically and emotionally.  I’ve never understood what triggered this reaction.

The career/biz path got going with a major change; leaving New York for Phoenix.  The fear didn’t arrive until I got there and the arrangements I thought were made with an insurance company V.P. were vacated when the V.P. was no longer there.

After two years of struggles and uncertainty, and forced to live on borrowed money, I was almost forced to look for a career change.

As the result of a small direct mail company, an opportunity fortunately appeared to join the Valley of the Sun Electric League.  I produced the Electrical Products Round Up trade show and helped run appliance dealer promotions, all while working under the tutelage of a terrific mentor who made it a great experience.

A few years later, my mentor encouraged me to accept an offer to join the NBC affiliate as a sales account executive.  It was a good gig.  It paid well and, with the station’s permission, gave me time to create the Arizona Home Beautiful Show.  The success of that endeavor really lit my fire.

After about three years, my old boss/mentor recommended me for the E.V.P. slot at the Electric League of Southern California.  So now it was on to Los Angeles and a major change in career and family life.

The three to four year change cycle kept reappearing and now the first appearance of a potential energy crisis made me aware that the fortunes of the electric utilities and their main support of the Electric Association were cloudy at best.

Time for a change?  What to do?  I thought I had three choices; look for another job, get my M.A. in marketing, or resurrect an old idea of creating an independent marketing agency to serve promotional trade associations and produce trade shows.

With a series of patient discussions over seven or eight months, I was able to convince the board of the Electric Association to become my first client.  What a great way to start a new venture.

These biz changes were all fairly easy with little fear and great excitement.  I probably didn’t experience much trepidation because I was a little more naïve than well informed.

On the personal side, it was a whole different story.  This area involved two separate divorces, both of which I instigated.  They were difficult and took a lot longer to overcome the fear and instability.  The feeling of liberation, albeit slowly, helped overcome the fear.

As Glenn said in his blog, “If I feel stagnation and uneasiness with my life, coupled with the fear of change, most likely it’s time for change.  In either case, there is fear.  Fear of change or fear of staying where we are.”

When all is said and done, change is good, at times even wonderful.  It’s healthy, invigorating, and sometimes, like all good things, it comes with a price to pay.

Probably the best way to deal with the fear of change is to remember why you wanted to make this change, why you believe the change will be beneficial, why you will be in a better place.  Remember that the fear of change may well increase as you age.  Not unusual.

Glenn Geffcken’s Heart and Mind Blog can be accessed at


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