Tag Archives: motivation

Who to emulate?

I must admit reading is addictive! I thank James Altucher and Tai Lopez for talking about how much they read. I heard them talking about reading on their podcasts and was intrigued by how much they learned from reading. As a person who likes to share and help others reading is fuel for my fire. And copying them could lead to their success. So I challenged myself, friends and followers to also read a book or more a week. After all other successful people also read a lot every day including Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. But then I read more and learned more about Gary and his methods of madness .

So emulating Tai and James seems like a logical thing to do to find success. But maybe you don’t like to read but you feel like you should because other successful people do. Here is something to ponder. James Altucher and Tai Lopez read a lot and are both considered successful by many people. Contrast this with the habits of Gary Vaynerchuk who has read less books in his lifetime than Tai and James read in their average week.

So you can’t emulate Tai and Gary or can you? And another contrast appears when you compare Chalene Johnson to Gary Vee. you will notice she doesn’t want people to be all about the hustle but rather to have a great work and life balance and she likes to take off for a month or two at a time. I did hear Gary mention he had a good week or two vacation. I’m wondering if he will start to enjoy less of the grind as his kid grows up a bit. Maybe he will look into Chalene’s methods in the years to come.

Gary doesn’t read so what does he attribute his success to? Well he hustles aka works a lot, works efficiently and knows where to put the effort which he calls “Clouds and Dirt”. But how does he learn and keep a pulse on what works in the advertising world and what startups he should invest in? He says he watches people to see what they are doing, he watches which mobile apps are in the top 150, he reads websites that collate stories. Compare this to James Altucher who tries not to know what is going on by avoiding the news and media and suggests to only read things that have passed the test of time. And James used to be a regular on the cable networks as a guest so he advises to avoid watching the news since he has seen how it is curated. Yet James also invests in startups. If you are trying to replicate success by taking the action of successful people the action you copy will be very different depending on who you emulate. So who or what should you emulate?

So what do you do? Should you emulate all their actions to cover all the bases? Reading lots of newspapers and a book a day like Tai? Maybe avoid books like Gary Vee? Oh wait you can’t do both of those or can you. How are they both so successful with different approaches? I’d like you to consider that each of them just like each of us should do things we enjoy. They find success is doing what they enjoy. I think Gary really enjoys watching people in person and online to learn so much so he said he thought a dad got the wrong impression when he was watching the guys daughter to see what she was doing on her cell phone. He really wants to know which apps and sites people are using. James Altucher says he still knows what is going on in the world because people will tell you about the important things. I can attest to that! I’m betting James learns a good deal from his weekly podcast where he interviews people who surely bring up some of the day to day topics along with the topics for the episode. Oh he interviewed Gary V which I thought was great and now has me putting the Crush It book on my list to read.

Back to who you should emulate. Some of their actions will vibrate with you in a positive way while others feel like a chore. Trying different things that intrigue sounds great. We all will create our own mix of things we do that lead us to success.After all we can’t emulate all of someone else’s actions, doubtful they even know all the things that bring them success.And the chances of us continuing to emulate actions for months and years is tied to how much we enjoy them. Especially if these are things you are doing on the side versus a job. Try many things and see which ones feel the best and resonate with you. So commonly referred to as following your passions or better yet following your bliss.

Creating Content
Lots of people like to learn from podcasts or audiobooks yet I’ve never heard James, Tai or Gary say they listen to a podcast a day. Yet they all produce a podcast a week and Tai put out 4 podcasts on April 13th and probably more snap chats and live broadcasts than that. I know I average listening to more than a podcast a day because I have the time to and I enjoy learning from audio. Now what kind of fame can I get by saying I listen to 3 podcasts a day probably not much since it is rather common. I’d be willing to bet Gary and Tai produce more podcast and audio content than they consume. I reckon they enjoy spending their time creating content more than taking in others content. And I believe their success which many people want to emulate comes from their creating content which is what they enjoy doing in their daily life. I heard Tai say “Social Media should enhance your life”. I hear that and apply it with a much broader brush saying what you do each day should enhance your life. And I suggest what you do the most each day should surely enhance your life! I’m thankful that James Altucher said everyone should do a podcast of their own because right about that time I was told I should stop doing my “business / freedom” podcast and focus on a niche like “autocross”. Hearing James suggest podcasting helped me realize I should keep doing something I enjoy. James also said having a podcast gives you good opportunities to interview a lot of people! Plus it is good practice to interview people for you and yourself. Back to the creating content thought, these people only have a following as well as products to sell because they produce content from: articles, books, podcasts, videos, video programs, newsletters….

A little side note for those of you who listen to podcasts. I agree with Chalene Johnson’s suggestion to focus your listening to podcasts on the subject you are currently learning about or implementing. This has really helped me get momentum to take action on varying tasks from permaculture farming to Facebook advertising. I’ve found it irresistible after learning about all the benefits as well as how to implement a Facebook video ad for example. A random thought for those of you who listen to a lot of podcasts: maybe you can take notes from each of the good ones and put each of the tips in a post like this, blog, or video which will save people time and lead them to great resources. I listen to and recommend the podcasts of all four of these individuals (Chalene Johnson, Gary Vaynerchuk, James Altucher and Tai Lopez). I have contributed to each of them buy buying their books, online courses and attending their conferences and they have contibuted to me. They all give lots of great content for free which is another thing you can emulate if you are looking to follow in their footsteps. I want to thank Cole Hatter for putting together the Thrive event which is where I was introduced to Tai Lopez and Gary Vaynerchuk. I hope Cole gets all four of these speakers for his next Thrive event.

Have a great time finding you bliss! And share your thoughts with us (you will be creating content :).

Kinch Reindl


Book Review of Philip McKernan’s Rich On Paper Poor On Life by

Another fantastic book that I just had the amazing chance to read recently – a book called Rich On Paper Poor On Life by Philip McKernan. This is the link to the book on Amazon $12.95 kindle, $19.95 paperback.

Quote: We are accustomed to a life where we work endlessly to belong, to assimilate to what is normal, what society dictates us to be. This sort of pressure misaligns us to our true values, to the things the things we truly want against what we work for to achieve.

The real life stories in this book is such an inspiring reflection to make us question the way we are living – are we working towards achieving our goals through the things we are passionate about? Or are we merely existing to please the society that sets the standards on how we are supposed to be – having checklists of accomplishments for success. If you feel are doubtful about the way you’re living your life, feeling stuck, wondering if there is more, GRAB THIS BOOK!

I heard about Philip McKernan first on one of the Mastermind Podcast episodes. To listen to that, soundcloud.com has the episode 28 in which he was featured.

Below are the key notes which are helpful in finding your authentic self.

Many (if not most) people keep their truth inside for fear of looking stupid or because they believe they have nothing to add. How many people have a hidden desire to write, sing, paint, get involved in politics, or start a business? How many of them don’t get involved because they don’t believe they’re good enough? I believe the majority of people feel this way. They won’t speak up or act up as long as they place a low value upon themselves. 136

Our Biggest Fear: The Truth 140

Finding one’s voice is a process that takes time. Life can beat us down. Many of us endure years of being told we shouldn’t believe in ourselves. 141

Fear of speaking in front of others is not our greatest common fear. Our greatest common fear is that we don’t believe that what we have to say matters. In this way, the fear of public speaking stems from a fear of not being loved. Let me repeat: when we say we’re scared of public speaking, what we’re really saying is that we are scared of making a mistake, of being judged. Deep down, we’re afraid of not being loved. 143

I admit there’ve been times I’ve done exactly that. But it wasn’t until I started speaking vulnerably that I felt fulfillment from speaking. 150

In spite of the fact that we fear we won’t be loved, speaking our truth is one of the most important things we can do to put ourselves on the path towards authentic love. 152

The voice I speak of, is our intuition. 157

Who Am I Really Am I really the person I see in the mirror whose face is wrinkled and worn? Or is there something I don’t see in this one-dimensional window? Am I really the work I do or the house I live in? Or is there something I have not yet met within myself? Am I really the husband I am told I am? Or the voice I hear echo back at me when I speak to others? Am I really the person others see when they look at me? Or are they seeing a person through a set of eyes they themselves do not know? What if there is someone within me that I have yet to meet who is better looking than I am, smarter than I believe I am, and more famous than I could ever be? Would you like to meet him? 158

“Success in manufactured in the mind while happiness is cultivated in the soul.” ~ Philip McKernan 170

Individuals were ignoring their own truths. Individuals had lost our own voices. In sum, we got greedy. We forgot what was important. We chose gadgets over happiness, fancy over fulfillment. 245

Looking back, I was one of the lucky ones. I managed to escape the worst of the financial carnage. What I didn’t escape was the loss of my peace of mind. In the pursuit of money and growth for growth’s sake, I did what most of my countrywomen and men did; I ignored passion and happiness in my own life and pursued wealth with the naive assumption that happiness followed achievement. (And take note of that sentence because the implication is that achievement is prerequisite of happiness is common—and dead wrong.) 264

Using Intuition To Find My Way Out 274

I can help others out of the cycle of being rich on paper but poor on life. 290

To be clear, I’m not against financial wealth. What I’m against is sacrificing peace of mind for wealth. If wealth is to be sought, it must be sought as a healthy byproduct of a life well-lived. Too many people pay nothing more than lip service to well-being in favour of wealth building. Instead of seeking happiness now, they believe in happiness when. 291

poor health is the price of eating unhealthy food, and poor relationships are the price of failing to love and cherish our spouses (and ourselves). Seeking riches at the expense of well-being exacts an immense cost to the spirit of every individual who tries it. You simply can’t put well-being on the back-burner and expect to be well. 295

However, their deepest and most heartfelt goals almost always include some combination of the following: Family (spending more time with kids or parents) Spirituality (feeling a greater connection) Contribution (giving back time or money) 304

That’s why my work focuses on relationships. More precisely, I help my clients focus on their relationships to the key elements of their lives. This strategy is based on the knowledge that every person’s personal path to well-being is through improved relationships, whether it be a relationship with one’s self, with others or with the work we do. 309

Unfortunately, I often hear about these core desires expressed along with a belief that they are connected to massive wealth. That’s because people think they need millions of dollars to achieve what they “really” want. 312

The head is where we think we want something. The heart is where we know we need something. 316

A very good number of my clients will explain to me how their job or business is their passion. It’s this experience that’s led me to believe passion is a misunderstood concept. 319

Note: Interesting I know my main profit center is not my passion and thus spend time ding thingsi want to be doing. Edit

I say this because the same people who tell me that their job or business is their passion will, in the next breath, tell me they’re going to quit their job or business the moment they make enough money so that they can do something else. 321

What many people don’t acknowledge is the disconnect. 323

To be clear, a passion is something you’d do for free if you had to, it’s something you’d like to do for the rest of your life, no matter what. Indeed, a passion might cost you money rather than make you money. But why do so many people want to quit their job or business if it’s their passion? The answer is simple: they’re not passionate about their job or business after all. In fact, most people don’t know what they’re passionate about. They can identify the things they really want (family time, contribution, experiences, spirituality), but not their passion. This leads people to try to turn their work into their passion. 324

I start to see a shift in my clients when they bring those things that they love to the forefront of their thoughts and actions. This is the process of becoming rich on life instead of just rich on paper. 330

Anyone who looks within will find that their heart longs for simplicity, passion, love and meaning. 340

They regret not practicing their art, spending time with their family or helping others more. 343

this book gets you to stop and ask better questions, then you will be better off than the many millions of people around the world who continue to think money might buy them freedom. 346

Anti-Social Media 347

The deeper truth of their lives is not found in what people say, it’s in what they don’t say. It’s those silent spaces I’m interested in. 352

The ugly truth of social media is that it magnifies the opportunities to compare ourselves against others, typically in a negative light. But comparing ourselves to others is not a phenomenon that started with social media. 355

hope you are half as happy as you pretend you are on Facebook every day.” 360

Each person at that workshop had a deeply-held belief that once their goal was realized, they’d be happy. Think about that for a moment: people believe they couldn’t be happy until a goal was realized. That concept foreshadows the harm in this way of thinking. If everything good lies in the future, what are we to do with the present? 390

This book is not about giving up on dreams and aspirations. It is all about taking responsibility to identify the real meaning behind the things we say we want. 394

I stood by and watched millions of my countrymen and countrywomen become rich on paper while ignoring the things that could make them truly happy. 404

I’m not suggesting they’ve “arrived.” It’s not possible to be “done” working on ourselves. We can only seek to improve from one day to the next. What really matters is that they had the courage to change, the courage to grow. 409

What did he do? He faced the truth. 419

I share this example of Padraig to illustrate how many people get stuck on this first level of self-growth by refusing to see the truth of their current situation. 424

Finding Your Voice Finding your own voice, never mind your own path, is hard work in a world shouting at you from all directions to perform and conform. The world wants you and me to step into line with the rest of society. 428

lives!) In our society, the line between who we are and what we do has been blurred, if not erased. Many people, if not most, define themselves by what they do professionally. What they do becomes who they are. 432

I believe that in the developed world the 80/20 rule can be applied to the three elements of people’s lives: Work, Self, and Others. 443

The real issue is fear. We are afraid of judgment. Indeed, we crave acceptance to an unhealthy point. We know there’s a spark deep inside—something the world hasn’t yet seen, but the fear of not fitting in is so strong we’d rather put up with the status quo than run the risk of being happy. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself where you’ve been settling. Are you doing the work you’d dreamed of as a child? Do your primary relationships resemble the relationships you want? Are you as healthy as you imagined? Are you as vital? Do you find satisfaction and joy in your friendships and family relationships? 467

I have chosen stories that demonstrate how this kind of change is the organic outcome of a natural process that begins when individuals commit to leading a more authentic life. 490

You want to be the person who listens to the whisper of your soul—and takes action on the transformative wisdom of its message. 508

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~ Oscar Wilde 511


Doing Versus Being Happy 519

I don’t believe any human deserves to be happy, but most people think it’s a god-given right. This sense of entitlement dilutes the authentic drive for happiness. I find it fascinating that people who spend eight hours a day doing work they do not believe in, wonder why they don’t feel complete. Often I see people putting their mortgage ahead of meaning, and justifying it to themselves like only humans can do best. 520

I believe our work must be an extension of what we believe, not of who we think we are. 525

Taking Business to the Next Level “Many people spend more time, money, and energy trying to grow their net worth than they do on their self-worth.” ~ Philip McKernan UNAUTHENTIC EXTERNAL GOALS 534

The ugly truth is that many people chase goals that are not theirs. And what’s the point of chasing someone elses or society’s goals? 541

This guided conversation helped Emma understand she already had something greater than what next level offered. Her quest for more money now threatened her happiness, fulfillment, meaning, and peace of mind. 595

First, do not trade in a lifestyle you love for a lifestyle that you would love a lot less. Emma already had a dream lifestyle. She 605

“As humans we’re masters of two things; complicating our lives and justifying why we did it.” ~ Philip McKernan 615

when the owner does more of what they love. When you grow your business by out-sourcing the parts you love, you risk finding yourself tied to work you dislike, perhaps even detest. 622

What I really want you to think about is the immense power in asking the simple question, “Why?” 626

CHAPTER 2: Giving up Your Baby “The past has created the present and the present is creating the future.” ~ Philip McKernan 636

Sir Walter Scott, “Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive—ourselves.” 646

That tendency to put others on a pedestal compromises our ability to be real. And that reduces our ability to be vulnerable, even though it’s essential to being authentic. I don’t know if that fear of vulnerability has an evolutionary explanation in the basic fight/flight response of human beings, but I do know the fear is real. In the personal growth arena, it’s the people who break through that barrier, the people who make the biggest changes in their lives allow themselves to be vulnerable. 652

when you believe another person or business can make you better by partnering or joining in with them, you risk undervaluing yourself. 687

Whenever you put someone else on a pedestal, regardless of how much height you give that podium, the end structure is lop-sided. It’s bizarre when you think about it. Why would you not be as good as someone else? It’s bizarre, but so widespread. 688

Note: Do you look at mentors and teachers as someone you can be like? Edit

Do you ever regard other people and assume you could never do what they do? 692

Note: Not really only if I think about playing some pro sport where I’m not as big as they are. And I could probably bulk up much more than I realize if I put the effort they did toward it. Edit

While I didn’t understand it at first, that act assumed I needed those people to succeed or further my career. 696

I was leading the group through a simple exercise where I asked the group to consider who in their life they had on a pedestal. 703

Real Passion for Business “When it comes to the work you do please don’t confuse excitement for passion. It could cost you your health, relationships, and your peace of mind.” ~ Philip McKernan 706

This tendency to confuse excitement with passion is common within the entrepreneurial community. 710

What you need to understand is that when it comes to work, many pretend, but few actually live their passion. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see someone who is truly passionate about his or her work. I find it often shows up with entrepreneurs who enjoy the core activity of their business. 737

“Excitement is a freeing break from the norm that’s described with words to try and capture its essence. Passion is a part of your soul, which ignites a fire in your belly, resulting in a spark in your eyes.” ~ Philip McKernan 740

Rather than admit my disability, I put on masks to disguise the problem—and my fear. Because I believed I was unteachable, I allowed them to think the same. 763

For Tara, as with others in my seminars and workshops, it all comes down to self-belief. If we hold negative false beliefs about our self-worth, we can’t help but self-sabotage our efforts to develop our true potential. 780

CHAPTER 3: Blind to His Talents 782

Over the years I’ve been a huge advocate for people to tell the world about their dreams or aspirations. It’s like letting a cat out of the bag and once the secret is released, there’s no chance of stuffing it back into the bag. 828

“Thinking big doesn’t help, you have to believe big.” ~ Philip McKernan 835

Putting the Passion to Sleep It never ceases to amaze me how millions of people can harbour powerful dreams and never look for ways to bring those dreams to fruition because they simply do not believe in themselves. It saddens me to see people believe in their god without question and yet walk the earth never believing in themselves. 849

I call it taking space. To put it into effect, you need to step away from all the tasks and busyness of life and spend time alone. Taking space is about your relationship with yourself, but it affects all areas of your life. Work and the passion (or lack of passion) you have for it is closely tied to your relationship with yourself, so improving your relationship with yourself will lead you to a better understanding and clarity around your work. 887

The only thing that’s for sure is that the only way to find out if we can make a living from our passion is to actually do it, do it consistently, and look for ways to integrate earning an income from our work. 963

CHAPTER 4: Authenticity Sells the Deal “Fear is the assassin of dreams.” ~ Philip McKernan 967

Whenever we bring a partner into our business, there’s a strong possibility we’ll have the following realizations: We find out the partner is not as great as we thought We find out we can do more than we thought 1029

Scared Of The Truth Inside each person resides a core that remains unchanged by the opinions and beliefs of others. Experience has shown me that we all know what’s inside. However, we’re often too scared to face that truth and be fully authentic with it. But, we must tap into this core to find our power in the world. The more logical, mind-driven of us may think this is airy-fairy, but I promise you, we each have an internal guidance system. 1042

Living In Your Head In my short e-book, Dead Man Walking, I discussed the difference between mindset and soulset. My experience has proven that our intellect is a powerful ability, but it can also be a crutch. 1053

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein 1058

Reconnecting to intuition is one of the most powerful things we can do to promote positive change in our lives. 1065

We start neglecting it the moment someone tells us we’re wrong as a child. 1071

Strong Emotional Blocks To Intuition Some of the emotions we experience act as powerful detractors of our intuition. For example, fear drives people into their heads and away from what they know is right in their soul. 1075

But honouring our own truth, following our intuition, and doing exactly what’s right for our personal journey isn’t clever. It’s courageous. Doing what we know is right in our core takes enormous courage. It means overcoming our fear and anger. It means deeply trusting ourselves. 1085

“I totally regret listening to my gut – Said no one ever.” ~ Oliver Manalese 1116

CHAPTER 5: From Money Magnate to Children’s Champion “If you’re facing the right direction, all you need to do is walk.” ~ Philip McKernan 1118

Following my own approach to authenticity, intuition and soulset, I asked Trina to question every aspect of her life, including the brand she was developing. This process took several months. In the early days, Trina was fully on board with her new brand and thought she was on the best business path for her. Over time, a different picture began to develop. 1142

quite right, its often easier to stay on the current course that you think logically is clear, as opposed to changing course based on a feeling that often has no clear logical direction. This is were the trust you have in yourself comes in. 1165

As humans we talk a lot about trusting others, while I believe the most important person to learn to trust, is you. 1167

The change in the confidence of these young people was a bigger reward than she could imagine. 1186

What do I really want? That’s one of the most powerful questions we can possibly ask ourselves. It’s also one few consultants ever ask since their main focus is to take what you bring them, and then multiply it by two, three, five, or ten. That’s fine, but at what cost? What is the trade off? What is the social invoice? 1202

I have a different perspective on goals. I believe a goal is usually just an attachment made official. When we set a goal, it’s as though we’re officially saying to the world, “Here’s my attachment, and I intend to do whatever it takes to achieve the object of my attachment.” 1217

To those who say they cannot make a living doing something they love, I have a one-word response: bullshit. “Once you become blinded by attachments you become deaf to your heart.” ~ Philip McKernan 1242

It’s simple. Love yourself and do what makes you happy, and you’ll be more likely to find someone attracted to that energy. 1269

In fact, once you accept how devastating attachments can be to living authentically and to having authentic business success, you’ll see how quickly decisions can be made—and business fulfillment achieved. I see it with my clients all the time. This is where you’ll see how releasing attachments opens our minds to see the truth of our existence. 1273

SELF Your Relationship To Who You Are “Success is manufactured in the mind, while happiness is cultivated in the soul.” ~ Philip McKernan The Original Relationship 1288

For the purpose of in-person mentoring, I often use the lenses of Work, Self, and Others to stimulate thought and deepen awareness. My belief is that it’s these three areas of life where we spend the bulk of our time (and effort). It’s also the areas where change can make the biggest impact. 1294

“It’s generally the things we don’t do that haunt us forever.” ~ Philip McKernan 1305

I agree that you can’t change other people. But if you set out to change yourself, and then invite others to come along, changing others is inevitable. People follow examples. 1329

The problem is that most people travel to get away from themselves, their lives and their work. Laura and other self-aware people travel to be with themselves. 1342

I believe that Ireland’s experience mirrors what happens when individuals make compromises about how they choose to self-identify. Never before has humanity more needed a place to call home, something to believe in, and something to feel part of. As many of the heroes and institutions we’ve historically held in high regard falter, people feel more isolated and insecure than ever. 1398

Adding children to the mix often presents another life-altering shift in self-identification. While children are a beautiful gift, and we learn so much from them, there’s no doubt that many parents (and mothers in particular) radically alter their self-identification once children enter the picture. This happens because your life is suddenly focused more on what you do as opposed to who you are. I’ve seen this in clients enough times to know this is a common issue. 1407

Facing problems that appear unrelated to a focus issue is often the best way to shine a light on the challenges we’ve already identified. Life can be complicated. That’s why a series of small revelations can create the lasting and sustainable change that tackling a major challenge cannot. 1448

The bottom line is that real change depends on intense, and sometimes painful, self-reflection

Great Gary Vaynerchuck books I recommend

These are some great books I have read over the months. This one in particular by Gray Varnerchuk called #ASKGARYVEE I’ve and it is good with him answering a great many questions. His last book #JabJabJabRightHook was also really good it made me decide to get this most recent one. And after hearing Gary Vee on The James Altucher Show podcast I think I’m going to buy Crush it as well, only $3.99 on kindle or kindle app or $12.92 paperback.

Happy readying, everyone!

Book Review of Sam Walton’s Made in America

This is a riveting story  full of inspirational and sometimes funny anecdotes about what they call the “rules of the road” of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream. Click here to buy it on Amazon $5.97 paperback or $7.99 kindle

If I had to single out one element in my life that has made a difference for me, it would be a passion to compete.

It’s a story about believing in your idea even when maybe some other folks don’t, and about sticking to your guns. But I think more than anything it proves there’s absolutely no limit to what plain, ordinary working people can accomplish if they’re given the opportunity and the encouragement and the incentive to do their best.
I learned from a very early age that it was important for us kids to help provide for the home, to be contributors rather than just takers. In the process, of course, we learned how much hard work it took to get your hands on a dollar, and that when you did it was worth something. One thing my mother and dad shared completely was their approach to money: they just didn’t spend it.

Then I got to know Helen’s family, and listening to her father, L. S. Robson, was an education in itself. He influenced me a great deal. He was a great salesman, one of the most persuasive individuals I have ever met. And I am sure his success as a trader and a businessman, his knowledge of finance and the law, and his philosophy had a big effect on me. My competitive nature was such that I saw his success and admired it. I didn’t envy it. I admired it. I said to myself: maybe I will be as successful as he is someday.

Note: Another mentor for him

The principle behind this is simple: the best way to reduce paying estate taxes is to give your assets away before they appreciate. Note: Reminds me that Mark Shepard had his kids own part of his farm before it was anything other than a field.

It wasn’t lavish or exorbitant, and that was part of the plan—to keep the family together as well as maintain a sense of balance in our standards. HELEN WALTON: “It was great moneywise, but there was another aspect to it: the relationship that was established among the children and with the family. It developed their sense of responsibility toward one another. You just can’t beat that. Read more at location 197

Here’s the thing: money never has meant that much to me, not even in the sense of keeping score. If we had enough groceries, and a nice place to live, plenty of room to keep and feed my bird dogs, a place to hunt, a place to play tennis, and the means to get the lads good educations—that’s rich. Read more at location 212

We all love to fly, and we have nice airplanes, but I’ve owned about eighteen airplanes over the years, and I never bought one of them new. Read more at location 215

Note: So far I can say I’ve never bought a new car, yet I’ve bought more cars than I needed so still not so wise.

But sometimes I’m asked why today, when Wal-Mart has been so successful, when we’re a $50 billion-plus company, should we stay so cheap? That’s simple: because we believe in the value of the dollar. We exist to provide value to our customers, which means that in addition to quality and service, we have to save them money.

Mother must have been a pretty special motivator, because I took her seriously when she told me I should always try to be the best I could at whatever I took on. So, I have always pursued everything I was interested in with a true passion—some would say obsession—to win. I’ve always held the bar pretty high for myself: I’ve set extremely high personal goals.

Looking back on such boyhood episodes helps me to realize now that I’ve always had a strong bias toward action—a trait that has been a big part of the Wal-Mart story.

I worry that it seems like I’m bragging or trying to make myself out to be some big hero. It particularly bothers me because I learned a long time ago that exercising your ego in public is definitely not the way to build an effective organization. One person seeking glory doesn’t accomplish much; at Wal-Mart, everything we’ve done has been the result of people pulling together to meet one common goal—teamwork—something I also picked up at an early age.

Note: Reminds me of Ken Lay of Enron fame how he exercised his ego and put himself first. This I learned from the book “Give and Take” talking about givers and takers and Ken was a taker.

I guess I was just totally competitive as an athlete, and my main talent was probably the same as my best talent as a retailer—I was a good motivator.

It taught me to expect to win, to go into tough challenges always planning to come out victorious.

It never occurred to me that I might lose; to me, it was almost as if I had a right to win. Thinking like that often seems to turn into sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I learned early on that one of the secrets to campus leadership was the simplest thing of all: speak to people coming down the sidewalk before they speak to you.

“Sam is one of those rare people who knows every janitor by name, passes plates in church, loves to join organizations.

EZRA ENTREKIN, FORMER CIRCULATION MANAGER OF THE COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN: “We hired Sam to deliver newspapers, and he really became our chief salesman. When school started, we had a drive to get the kids in the fraternities and sororities to subscribe. And Sam was the boy we had do that because he could sell more than anybody else. He was good. He was really good. And dedicated. And he did a lot of other things besides deliver newspapers. In fact, he was a little bit scatterbrained at times. He’d have so many things going, he’d almost forget one. But, boy, when he focused on something that was it. Read more at location 336

He had been a barber in Odessa, Missouri, before he and his brothers started a variety store chain which had grown to around sixty stores by that time. I would talk with him about merchandising, how to do it, and how well it was working out for him. He took an interest in me, and later even offered me a job. Read more at location 346

Note: Kind of a mentor

I had a high school girlfriend whose father was a very successful salesman for General American Life Insurance Company, and I had talked to him about his business. Read more at location 349

Note: Another mentor or real life teacher

The deal was pretty straightforward—report to the JC Penney store in Des Moines, Iowa, three days after graduation, June 3, 1940, and begin work as a management trainee. Salary: $75 a month. That’s the day I went into retail, and—except for a little time out as an Army officer—that’s where I’ve stayed for the last fifty-two years. Maybe I was born to be a merchant, maybe it was fate. I don’t know about that kind of stuff. But I know this for sure: I loved retail from the very beginning, and I still love it today. Not that it went all that smooth right off the bat. Like I said, I could sell. And I loved that part. Unfortunately, I never learned handwriting all that well. Read more at location 357

Then, of course, the icing on the cake was when James Cash Penney himself visited the store one day. He didn’t get around to his stores as often as I would later on, but he did get around. I still remember him showing me how to tie and package merchandise, how to wrap it with very little twine and very little paper but still make it look nice. Read more at location 376

I worked for Penney’s about eighteen months, and they really were the Cadillac of the industry as far as I was concerned. But even back then I was checking out the competition. The intersection where I worked in Des Moines had three stores, so at lunch I would always go wander around the Sears and the Yonkers stores to see what they were up to. Read more at location 378

1945, I not only knew I wanted to go into retailing, I also knew I wanted to go into business for myself. My only experience was the Penney job, but I had a lot of confidence that I could be successful on my own. Our last Army posting was in Salt Lake City, and I went to the library there and checked out every book on retailing. I also spent a lot of my off-duty time studying ZCMI, the Mormon Church’s department store out there, just figuring that when I got back to civilian life I would somehow go into the department store business. The only question left was where we were going to set up housekeeping. Read more at location 404

Note: He loved it enough to read all the books about it

My naïveté about contracts and such would later come back to haunt me in a big way. Read more at location 434

But at the time I was sure Newport and the Ben Franklin had great potential, and I’ve always believed in goals, so I set myself one: I wanted my little Newport store to be the best, most profitable variety store in Arkansas within five years. I felt I had the talent to do it, that it could be done, and why not go for it? Set that as a goal and see if you can’t achieve it. If it doesn’t work, you’ve had fun trying. Read more at location 435

For all my confidence, I hadn’t had a day’s experience in running a variety store, so Butler Brothers sent me for two weeks’ training to the Ben Franklin in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

It was a real blessing for me to be so green and ignorant, because it was from that experience that I learned a lesson which has stuck with me all through the years: you can learn from everybody. I didn’t just learn from reading every retail publication I could get my hands on, I probably learned the most from studying what John Dunham was doing across the street.

Note: Today we can check out our competitions website

HELEN WALTON: “It turned out there was a lot to learn about running a store. And, of course, what really drove Sam was that competition across the street—John Dunham over at the Sterling Store. Sam was always over there checking on John. Always. Looking at his prices, looking at his displays, looking at what was going on. He was always looking for a way to do a better job. I don’t remember the details, but I remember some kind of panty price war they got into. Later on, long after we had left Newport, and John had retired, we would see him and he would laugh about Sam always being in his store. But I’m sure it aggravated him quite a bit early on. John had never had good competition before Sam.

I learned a tremendous amount from running a store in the Ben Franklin franchise program. They had an excellent operating program for their independent stores, sort of a canned course in how to run a store. It was an education in itself. They had their own accounting system, with manuals telling you what to do, when and how. They had merchandise statements, they had accounts-payable sheets, they had profit-and-loss sheets, they had little ledger books called Beat Yesterday books, in which you could compare this year’s sales with last year’s on a day-by-day basis. They had all the tools that an independent merchant needed to run a controlled operation. I had no previous experience in accounting—and I wasn’t all that great at accounting in college—so I just did it according to their book. In fact, I used their accounting system long after I’d started breaking their rules on everything else. I even used it for the first five or six Wal-Marts.

Note: What can or do people use today? Quickbooks? How can it be improved? Is it as thorough

At the very beginning, I went along and ran my store by their book because I really didn’t know any better. But it didn’t take me long to start experimenting—that’s just the way I am and always have been. Read more at location 467

Note: Learn to expire meant in your business! Every day every week every month

It was new and different—another experiment—and we really turned a profit on it. I paid off that $1,800 note in two or three years, and I felt great about it. I really didn’t want to be remembered as the guy who lost his shirt on some crazy ice cream machine.

As good as business was, I never could leave well enough alone, and, in fact, I think my constant fiddling and meddling with the status quo may have been one of my biggest contributions to the later success of Wal-Mart.

But this store was ahead of its time too, self-service all the way, unlike the competition. This was the beginning of our way of operating for a long while to come. We were innovating, experimenting, and expanding. Somehow over the years, folks have gotten the impression that Wal-Mart was something I dreamed up out of the blue as a middle-aged man, and that it was just this great idea that turned into an overnight success. It’s true that I was forty-four when we opened our first Wal-Mart in 1962, but the store was totally an outgrowth of everything we’d been doing since Newport—another case of me being unable to leave well enough alone, another experiment. And like most other overnight successes, it was about twenty years in the making. Read more at location 638

Note: More experiments and a 20 year overnight success

Of course I needed somebody to run my new store, and I didn’t have much money, so I did something I would do for the rest of my run in the retail business without any shame or embarrassment whatsoever: nose around other people’s stores searching for good talent. That’s when I made my first real hire, the first manager, Willard Walker.

But he said I would get a percentage of the profits, and that appealed to me. When I went to quit TG&Y, the vice president said, ‘Remember, Willard, a percentage of nothing is still nothing.’ But I went ahead and took the job. Sam was down there every day from the time we started until the time we left. He rolled up his sleeves and worked every day until we built that store from scratch.

shelf brackets to hold the merchandise. Then I went somewhere to look at what Sterling Stores was doing—most everything I’ve done I’ve copied from somebody else.

I started raising money for the pavement, but it got real complicated, and in the end I decided I had better take my whipping, so I backed out of the whole deal and went back to concentrating on the retail business. I probably lost $25,000, and that was at a time when Helen and I were counting every dollar. It was probably the biggest mistake of my business career. I did learn a heck of a lot about the real estate business from the experience, and maybe it paid off somewhere down the line—though I would rather have learned it some cheaper way.

DAVID GLASS: “Two things about Sam Walton distinguish him from almost everyone else I know. First, he gets up every day bound and determined to improve something. Second, he is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. And once he sees he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction.

Whatever money we made in one store, we’d put it in another new one, and just keep on going. Read more at location 740

Note: Re-investing the money into their own stores not the stock market or somebody else’s idea only what they controlled probably with a new best

Also, from Willard Walker on, we would offer to bring the managers we hired in as limited partners. If you had, say, a $50,000 investment in a store, and the manager put in $1,000, he’d own 2 percent.

Note: Letting managers buy into the store is a way to keep them involved and caring about the profits

By now, you know me. I began looking around hard for whatever new idea would break us over into something with a little better payoff for all our efforts. Read more at location 752

Note: To expand kept looking for opportunities by looking at what others were doing

And he took everything I said down on this yellow legal pad.

Note: Sam took lots of notes not just trusting his memory

CHARLIE CATE: “Sam had us send our sales report in every week, and along with it we had to send in a Best Selling Item. I mean we had to. What he was doing was teaching us to look for what’s selling all the time. You had to look because you had to send in this report every week, and if you reported that nothing was selling well, Mr. Walton would not be happy. He would think you weren’t studying your merchandise, and in that case he’d come study it for you. He’s been that way ever since I first met him in 1954.

Note: He wanted people to be aware of what was selling best which meant they had the truck when I was selling and take notice and then figure out why it would be the key

One I don’t even have on my list is “work hard.” If you don’t know that already, or you’re not willing to do it, you probably won’t be going far enough to need my list anyway. And another I didn’t include on the list is the idea of building a team. If you want to build an enterprise of any size at all, it almost goes without saying that you absolutely must create a team of people who work together and give real meaning to that overused word “teamwork.” To me, that’s more the goal of the whole thing, rather than some way to get there.

these rules are not in any way intended to be the Ten Commandments of Business. They are some rules that worked for me. But I always prided myself on breaking everybody else’s rules, and I always favored the mavericks who challenged my rules.

So pay special attention to Rule 10, and if you interpret it in the right spirit—as it applies to you—it could mean simply: Break All the Rules.

RULE 1: COMMIT to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else. I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work.

RULE 2: SHARE your profits with all your associates, and treat them as partners.

Encourage your associates to hold a stake in the company. Offer discounted stock, and grant them stock for their retirement. It’s the single best thing we ever did.

RULE 3: MOTIVATE your partners. Money and ownership alone aren’t enough. Constantly, day by day, think of new and more interesting ways to motivate and challenge your partners. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score. Make bets with outrageous payoffs.

RULE 4: COMMUNICATE everything you possibly can to your partners. The more they know, the more they’ll understand. The more they understand, the more they’ll care. Once they care, there’s no stopping them.

RULE 5: APPRECIATE everything your associates do for the business. A paycheck and a stock option will buy one kind of loyalty. But all of us like to be told how much somebody appreciates what we do for them. We like to hear it often, and especially when we have done something we’re really proud of.

RULE 6: CELEBRATE your successes. Find some humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasm—always.

RULE 7: LISTEN to everyone in your company. And figure out ways to get them talking. The folks on the front lines—the ones who actually talk to the customer—are the only ones who really know what’s going on out there.

RULE 8: EXCEED your customers’ expectations. If you do, they’ll come back over and over. Give them what they want—and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them.

The two most important words I ever wrote were on that first Wal-Mart sign: “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” They’re still up there, and they have made all the difference.

RULE 9: CONTROL your expenses better than your competition. This is where you can always find the competitive advantage. For twenty-five years running—long before Wal-Mart was known as the nation’s largest retailer—we ranked number one in our industry for the lowest ratio of expenses to sales.

RULE 10: SWIM upstream. Go the other way. Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.

Here’s how I look at it: my life has been a tradeoff. If I wanted to reach the goals I set for myself, I had to get at it and stay at it every day. I had to think about it all the time. And I guess what David Glass said about me is true: I had to get up every day with my mind set on improving something.

Having now thought about this a lot, I can honestly say that if I had the choices to make all over again, I would make just about the same ones. Preachers are put here to minister to our souls; doctors to heal our diseases; teachers to open up our minds; and so on. Everybody has their role to play. The thing is, I am absolutely convinced that the only way we can improve one another’s quality of life, which is something very real to those of us who grew up in the Depression, is through what we call free enterprise—practiced correctly and morally.

A lot of people think it’s crazy of me to fly coach whenever I go on a commercial flight, and maybe I do overdo it a little bit. But I feel like it’s up to me as a leader to set an example. It’s not fair for me to ride one way and ask everybody else to ride another way. The minute you do that, you start building resentment and your whole team idea begins to strain at the seams.

As I’ve said, our country desperately needs a revolution in education, and I hope Wal-Mart can contribute at some level, if for no other reason than selfish ones.

You may have trouble believing it, but every time we’ve tested the old saying, it has paid off for us in spades: the more you give, the more you get.

Finally, a lot of folks ask me two related questions all the time. The first one is could a Wal-Mart-type story still occur in this day and age? My answer is of course it could happen again. Somewhere out there right now there’s someone—probably hundreds of thousands of someones—with good enough ideas to go all the way. It will be done again, over and over, providing that someone wants it badly enough to do what it takes to get there. It’s all a matter of attitude and the capacity to constantly study and question the management of the business.

The second question is if I were a young man or woman starting out today with the same sorts of talents and energies and aspirations that I had fifty years ago, what would I do? The answer to that is a little harder to figure out. I don’t know exactly what I would do today, but I feel pretty sure I would be selling something, and I expect it would be at the retail level, where I could relate directly to customers off the street. I think I’d study the retail field today and go into the business that offered the most promise for the least amount of money.

A great new book to read and apply ‘The Success Principles’

A week or so ago I ordered Jack Canfield’s 10th anniversary edition of ‘The Success Principals’. I heard an interview with him on ‘SolopreneurHour.com’ and I was sold. The episode is found here Jack Canfield. Jack is the coauthor of the ‘Chicken Soup’ series of books and has been very successful. If you order the 10th anniversary version you get some bonus content including a video and audio of Jack answering questions. Also the first two chapters of the book as a download. See Let me know if you get it, have it and how the principles are working for you.

In this podcast I share my excitement over Jack’s new book and my thoughts on hanging out with people you want to be like, they are people you can learn from.