“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”
Last weekend at Armand Morin’s Big Seminar, several people told me they’d either been bumped off my email list or that I must not have done a mailing in months. Maybe you’ve been wondering the same thing. It’s the latter.
It’s been four months since I posted my Dad’s eulogy. While it was certainly rough losing my Dad, that isn’t the reason I’ve been silent all these months. Actually I’ve been working on something totally new and very exciting.
I’ll explain what it is in the very near future but today I want to talk about something far more important than how I spent my summer vacation. And that something is Y-O-U.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock or, like some of us, don’t regularly follow the news, you’re probably feeling pretty uneasy right now. Or worse. After all, we’re all headed for a recession right?
The stock market is in the toilet. And the media is loving every minute of it. They know that a crisis means more people tuning in so they’re delighted to fan the flames.
Obviously, our government can’t solve the problem although they swear they could if it weren’t for those evil folks on the other side of the aisle. Yeah, right. I feel reasonably comfortable relying on them to get a letter across town (if there’s no rush and it’s not too terribly important) but that’s about it. Well, that and trying to get their hands on as much of our hard-earned income as possible.
Other than that, they can’t fix a pothole without first forming a committee to study the situation for a year or two.
So the situation looks pretty bleak, doesn’t it? Pretty scary, too.
But is it really?
It depends on how you look at it.
When I look back over the timeline of my life and focus on the lowest valleys, I see they were usually followed by some of the highest peaks.
For example, in the early fall of 1980, I appeared to be on top of the world. I was just shy of 21 and sold vintage guitars to some of the biggest rock bands in the world. I lived in a beautiful loft apartment filled with the latest stereo and video gear and an assortment of expensive guitars. I drove a brand-new Corvette.
But I wasn’t quite living my dream, which was to be was on tour with one of those big-name rock bands as their tour manager.
In order to start on that path, I needed to cut my overhead to the bone and spend a year or two paying my dues as a roadie while working my way up the ladder. The problem was, I was afraid to make those sacrifices. I didn’t want to give up all my ‘stuff’. What if I failed? I’d be left with nothing.
Well, in addition to all my fancy toys, I had something far more expensive: a nasty cocaine habit. And by the time I turned 21 in November of that year, I was well on my way to losing everything.
I remember one day hearing a knock at my door and I used the peephole to see who it was because I was too high to deal with a visitor. Good thing I didn’t open it because it was a sheriff’s deputy serving me with an eviction notice. Fortunately, he couldn’t see me because it was dark and the power company had already shut my electricity off. Most of my stuff had been replaced by an inch-thick stack of pawn slips. I’d officially hit bottom.
My friend Tab Nesbitt helped me move my furniture and my few remaining possessions into a mini-storage. Eventually, I lost the stuff I’d stored, too, when I couldn’t afford to pay the bill.
My car was totaled when I was hit by another driver from behind at a stoplight. He was going 55 mph at the time. It turns out he was a diabetic with extremely low blood sugar. He hit me so hard it totaled the car in front of me. My head hit the windshield not once but twice. The car was barely recognizable and I remember gasoline being everywhere. I was lucky to be alive.
I had four witnesses that all happened to be attorneys. I had a concussion and my back was pretty messed up. But I didn’t make any kind of personal injury claim because I was afraid the doctors would discover my drug habit. I got a check for the car and promptly blew that on more drugs.
Now I was homeless and didn’t even have a car.
Pretty bleak, huh?
Well, when you hit bottom every opportunity is a step up.
I had nothing left to lose so when Tab, who was a drummer for a local band offered me a job as a roadie and, temporarily, a couch to sleep on, I was all over it.
I didn’t have to worry about drugs because I had no money. So I dove right in to my new gig. Within a few months, Tab’s band broke up but I was offered a better paying gig running sound for another local band. Within a year, I landed my dream gig as tour manager for British rocker, Steve Marriott & Humble Pie.
The lesson here is that until you become willing to do whatever it takes, you’ll never find success. But sometimes that willingness can be difficult to come by and it takes something drastic to spur us into action. Back then, it took a self-imposed disaster to turn my life around.
I had a similar experience after getting two DWI arrests within a six month period in the late 80’s. That led to me becoming willing to get and stay sober for the past 19 years and learning to live a different way of life. And it’s led to more miracles.
Disaster was there to lend a hand again in 2001.
After retiring from music in 1999, I’d temporarily taken a job with an airport limo service while also teaching a music business seminar on weekends and writing my first book. The temporary job turned long-term while I racked up over $50,000 in credit card debt. At the end of the summer of 2001, I was barely keeping my head above water.
The good news was that I was learning about marketing and absorbing every book and audio program I could get my hands on. One of those audio programs was Joe Vitale’s, “The Power of Outrageous Marketing”.
I absolutely loved Joe’s marketing lessons and began searching for more of his material. I noticed that Joe lived in Houston, just like me. I visited his website and we even exchanged a few emails.
When I heard Joe had a new book coming out called “Spiritual Marketing”, I eagerly ordered a copy.
When I started to read it, I was quickly disappointed. Rather than marketing tactics and strategies, Joe was suggesting I follow steps that involved ‘manifesting my dreams’ and asking “Angels” for the things I wanted in life.
“What the hell was he talking about? Where are all the PT Barnum stories and marketing lessons?”, I wondered. I tossed the book aside. This wasn’t for me.
A month or two later came a day that changed all of our lives: 9/11.
It was, literally, my last day in the limo business. Planes stopped flying so I had no customers and we had no idea how long they’d be grounded and if anyone would get on board when air traffic resumed. I couldn’t afford to wait it out so I turned my car in. Suddenly, I had no car, no job, no prospects and a mountain of debt.
Suddenly, I was willing to do whatever it took… even if it meant talking to angels.
I picked up Joe’s book and followed his suggested steps. Well, almost. Joe recommended getting very clear on what you desire. If it’s a car, then write down the details. The exact model. The color. The interior. Everything.
But I didn’t do that. I just asked for a car and a job. No specifics.
Within 48 hours, Kim Coates, a friend I hadn’t spoken to in years called and offered to lend me a car for as long as I needed it. It was a 13 year-old Honda with 175,000 miles on it. Not exactly a dream machine but I got exactly what I asked for, a car. A couple days later, my Mom gave me my late grandfather’s ten year-old Oldsmobile.
Two days later, a friend whose license had been suspended called and offered me $150 a day to drive him to and from work. Not very glamorous but exactly what I’d asked for, a job. It was a long drive in Houston traffic but it covered my living expenses and gave me plenty of time to write and work on my new website. I also got a call from a seller I’d met on eBay offering me $2,000 to write a sales letter. Now I had two jobs and two cars.
Hmm, maybe there was something to this whole law of attraction business.
I decided to go through Joe’s steps again. Only this time, I did exactly as he suggested. I got specific about what I wanted.
I named the exact car I wanted, even the color. I described the type of relationship I wanted and where I wanted to live. I listed what I wanted to do for a living and how much I wanted to make. All the details.
I found the perfect real estate agent and within a matter of weeks and in a bad, post-9/11 real estate market, I sold my house for about $50,000 more than I expected. I paid off all my debt.
I walked into a dealership and paid cash for a brand-new, silver, Toyota SUV. Before long, I got every single thing I’d put down on my list. And much, much more.
A few years later, when “Spiritual Marketing” was re-released by a major publisher under the title, “The Attractor Factor”, it included my story among many others.
Today, I live in a beautiful house right around the corner from the man that wrote the book I’d originally tossed aside. He’s now one of my closest friends and mentors. We’ve written two best-sellers together including “Meet & Grow Rich: How to Easily Create and Operate Your Own Mastermind Group for Health, Wealth, and More”. We’ve also shared the stage at a number of seminars and workshops.
A few weeks ago, Joe released a brand-new edition of The Attractor Factor. I began reading and experimenting with Joe’s 5-step method once again including some new twists he’s added to this new edition. And I’m seeing some interesting results.
Last Saturday at Armand Morin’s Big Seminar, podcasting expert Paul Colligan was talking to Kirt Christensen and me about why he’s switched from a PC to a Mac. He made a pretty convincing argument for why Kirt and I should switch, too. And I said, matter-of-factly, that I was going to win one from Armand during his prize giveaway that night.
Paul and Kirt weren’t the only ones. I told at least twenty people the same thing including Pat O’Bryan, Craig Perrine and everyone seated at my table that night for dinner. When Armand called out my winning number, I wasn’t the least bit surprised as I’d seen it happen in my mind all day long. Now I’m the proud owner of a new Macbook Pro laptop. [Btw, Thanks Armand and Mary Ann! Big Seminar Rocks!]
One of the other things I intended when working Joe’s steps was to generate some extra cash to pay the taxman on the 15th. I’ve been very busy working on a project and haven’t had time to put a promotion together to cover the bill.
A few days ago, I walked to our mailbox and discovered a check for $4,000. It was a small inheritance from the estate of a relative I barely knew that had passed away several years ago. Last August, I’d been invited to a family reunion. I didn’t really have time to attend but I felt compelled to go anyway. I’m pretty sure that there’s a connection between me following that hunch and the check’s arrival.
Now at this stage of my life, getting a laptop and a check for four grand, aren’t life-changing. But seeing evidence of what is possible when you’re willing to suspend disbelief and try something different IS. What I saw in my mind’s eye before winning the laptop wasn’t wishful thinking. I already knew I was going to win.
So what does all this mean? Does Joe’s book contain some kind of magic?
I honestly don’t know. Maybe no more than the kind practiced by stage magicians. But I believe it is something far more powerful. Either way, the results are the same. If what you want is the rabbit to come out of the hat, does it really matter how it got there?
What I can say with certainty is this: when I’m willing to put skepticism aside, take chances and do what’s suggested by people that have been down the path before me, amazing things happen.
Unfortunately, it’s often required times of desperation to spur me into taking action. But I’m learning to become willing without the painful down payment.
And if I can do it, so can you.
I recommend you order The Attractor Factor: 2nd Edition on Amazon.com right now. Don’t wait until you’ve dug yourself into a deep (or deeper) hole.
While you’re at it, another great book to read in times like these is Napoleon Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich”. At a time when America was experiencing The Great Depression, Hill, with the assistance of Andrew Carnegie, interviewed people that were succeeding wildly despite the bad times to find out their secrets. Hill’s message is just as valid today as it was 80 years ago.
Another suggestion would be to turn off the news. News networks make their money by feeding us a constant barrage of negativity along with totally useless celebrity gossip. You’ll find nothing there that will benefit you in any way.
If you live in the US, I can hear some of you disagreeing with me. You’ve got to keep up with the presidential race.
No you don’t.
Are you really undecided about how you’ll cast your vote at this point? My guess is you made up your mind a long time ago. So why waste time following the daily mudslinging? How is it serving you in any useful way?
How do you feel after tuning in? Happy and fulfilled or angry, bitter and frustrated?
If you think either one of these candidates are going to solve your problems, especially economically, I think you need a checkup from the neck up.
Until they start coming out with television that’s uplifting, stop tuning into what my friend, Daryl Snyder, refers to as the Constant Negative News network.
Read an uplifting story.
Take a walk. Meditate.
Sit down and actually have a conversation with your signiciant other or your kids.
Jump on a trampoline. Call an old friend. Focus on the solution rather than the problem.
Try something different.
Break out that ebook or Internet marketing course that’s gathering dust on the shelf and start feeding your mind with something useful. Start building your online business now so you can control your own financial destiny.
Finally, I want to remind you that you don’t have to go through these times alone. If you don’t already have one, form or join a Mastermind group. A mastermind will provide the support, resources and advice you need to prosper in any economic climate. If you’re not familiar with masterminds or how to start a group, read my book, co-authored with Joe Vitale, “Meet & Grow Rich”.
The water may be rough for a time but it’s up to you if you sink or swim. You can struggle to stay afloat, you can drown or you can view this as an opportunity to build muscle, grow stronger than ever and cross an ocean. You always have a choice.
Warning: Declaration of Social_Walker_Comment::start_lvl(&$output, $depth, $args) should be compatible with Walker_Comment::start_lvl(&$output, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /home/customer/www/ecommerceconfidential.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/social/lib/social/walker/comment.php on line 18
Warning: Declaration of Social_Walker_Comment::end_lvl(&$output, $depth, $args) should be compatible with Walker_Comment::end_lvl(&$output, $depth = 0, $args = Array) in /home/customer/www/ecommerceconfidential.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/social/lib/social/walker/comment.php on line 42
Absolutely love the way you write. It always touches my heart. Wish you would post more often. The world needs to hear it. 🙂
Welcome back – I’ve missed you.
You’re absolutely right that we always have a choice. I am very fond of Victor Frankl’s work, and his story of how he survived in the concentration camp and learned that between stimulus and response we get to choose how we react has been a guiding light to me.
Good post, worth reading.
Wishing you good choices!
[Thanks, Janelle! You’re right. Frankl’s, “Man’s Search For Meaning” is another great recommendation. And, hey, it’s good to be back. :)]
Great post Bill. Got me focused and re-reading Attractor Factor. Glad you are blogging again, although I know you are working on an amazing thing. This was the kick in the pants I needed.
[Thanks, Rachel! I started to talk about the new project but decided it deserved its own post. You probably caught the setup, though. 😉 ]
Man, you’ve just blown me away. I’ve been waiting months for you to post again, so I was glad when Joe mentioned on Twitter this morning that he had just finished reading your latest one. I scurried over to your blog at ecommerceconfidential.com and dove right in.
All I can say is – WOW. What a great post. Unbelievable. In just a few short paragraphs, you’ve somehow managed to surprise, shock, awaken, motivate and exhilarate me.
I’ve known you for a little over two years now. During that time, we’ve brainstormed a few concepts together and you helped me launch and promote my first e-book. We’ve also shared a deep interest in classic rock music and the musicians who made it come alive. BUT!!! I have NEVER heard you tell the whole story about your Houston experiences…until now. Holy moly. Somehow, with the information you shared, you just kicked things into a whole new gear for me. I think it’s because I had no idea that you’d been through SO much, even though you’d told me about bits and pieces of it. Somehow, the way you told it in this post helped to MAGNIFY the whole picture for me.
But the REAL insights for me had to do with the way you then benefited from Joe’s book on Spiritual Marketing. AND the fact that you’ve now revisited the new Attractor Factor edition and are already seeing some results from it.
I realize that I’m just like you – I read the Attractor Factor several years ago and assumed that I was following “most” of the instructions…except that I wasn’t following “all” of them as Joe recommends. Suffice to say, I’m heading back to it this morning.
Regarding your thoughts on the current economic state of affairs, I couldn’t agree more. It IS painful to see what’s happening now, but it’s not really much of a surprise, is it?
Here’s the truth – as spiritual beings living on a physical plane, we must avoid being sucked into the quagmire of “human” negativity and not allow ourselves to be exploited so offensively by the media. As a former journalist with a degree in broadcasting, I can assure you that I’m beyond appalled at what the so-called “media” has become. It’s a circus show, a manipulative rodeo designed to addict us to the tube, using human tragedy as so-called entertainment. There is NO reason to watch this garbage that they’re generating every single minute of every single day. And even if you think you’re “above it all” and tell yourself that you KNOW it’s garbage, the reality is that you CAN get addicted anyway.
Look at your situation in Houston – you probably didn’t start out to attract a cocaine addiction, and you probably KNEW better. But hey, you tried it and after awhile, it became commonplace and something that you craved. TV news (and most TV in general) is the exact same type of drug. Steer clear of it – stay positive – live the type of life that you want to create, rather than what others are trying to create for you.
Thanks again for your post, Bill. You really nailed it, brother. Let’s catch up in the next few days if you’re available.
[Hey Nelson, thanks for the comment. And now you know… the rest of the story. 🙂 You’re right on the money with the media and, of course, you’ve had a backstage view in the past. Let’s catch up soon. ]
Bill, as always, your candor amazes me and is illuminating and uplifting. Thank you. Lots of lessons in this post.
Hey Bill, it’s nice to see you back! Since your last post, my husband and I have embarked on a blogging adventure, and coincidentally, posted on self-reliance just this morning. You’re right, there is always a choice, and we’ve chosen to take action. Thanks for your honesty and it’s always a pleasure to see you in the mailbox.
[Betsy, congratulations to you and your husband on getting your blog adventure started. You probably don’t want to follow my example when it comes to frequency of posts. :)]
Welcome back, dude.
Let me know when you want to manifest a couple of good cigars and conversation.
[Will do, Pat. Trying to wrap up taxes in time to make the Austin Internet marketer shindig tomorrow night.– Bill ]
I had just been reading an email from a prospect for one of my Online Business Opportunties…he is down and out in credit card debt and owes friends and family money.He even asked me to send him $500 bucks via paypal which he would repay when the Biz Op worked for him. I told him not to join my program or any other until his situation changed..but I wanted to at least give him something rather than become another creditor.
So I will be sending him your post. It is the most valuable thing he could possibly receive at this point.
PS Enjoyed Your MasterMind Presentation at Pat’s UnSeminar in San Antonio
Excellent blog, Bill. It’s easy to put in the order, isn’t it, but sometimes hard to not try to control the results. I, too, have had to be woken up the hard way. Now I just want it to be easy and fun. So it is! And thanks to you and Pat, I now have 2 Heidi-created e-books under my belt.
[You’re right, Heidi. Or we want to control the “how” part of the equation. Congrats on getting your 2 e-books completed! — Bill]
Great stuff as always, Bill.
I’ve got the second edition of Attractor Factor right here on my desk… but haven’t cracked it open yet. Your post has inspired me to do so. It’s also a good excuse to go out on the deck and burn a stogie… 😉
Oh, and hey, I put up the story of my week in the woods on http://theheek.com. Tell me what you think…
Thanks for sharing your story, Bill. It’s amazing how many online marketers have a colorful background that made success seem very unlikely. It shows that you can start from anywhere and by changing the way you think create very different results. I know – for much of my adult life my biggest accomplishment was serving as a bad example. At the lowest point I finally became teachable.
You’re right on the money with your comments on the media and the candidates, too. People want a Knight on a white horse to rescue them, when the real rescuer can be found in the mirror.
Beautiful blog, Bill! And what a relief to hear from you again! I’m sitting here with tears running down my face — having just finished your story. What a precious soul you are. You’ve been to hell and back. (I have too, but in a different way. I think many of us have.) And your telling yours the way you did validates once again what someone great once said: “Speak the truth and the truth shall set you free!” (Or words to that affect.) By now, you must be feeling very free!
You are so very gifted as a writer, a speaker, a musician and performer! (Remember, I’m Nigel’s biggest fan, take good care of him! Humor him, write skits for him, let him teach with you and for you — and he will take very good $$ care of you, too!)
Glad to know you had not written me off because I have not completed your course! On the other hand, I have completed a homework assignment you gave me — one that you didn’t give anyone else! You told me to sell the houses, my “investments” which had turned sour, and get on with my life so that I could be creative again! You know how many I had! When you told me that, I made a mental note that I must — within the next 6 months — (even though a part of me didn’t believe it was possible). Gradually, a greater part of me came to believe that I would sell those houses! And I did — eliminating the “red ink” of 3 of them in 4 months! Finally, I sold the 4th one 2 months later — getting rid of all 4 within 6 months! Until that moment, I had believed I was going to have to go through foreclosure on all of them! And then you gave me that order — and I obeyed! See how powerful you are!
My thoughts and prayers are with you and Lisa and your Mom! One day, I’ll get to hug all of you! And by then, perhaps I will be creative in the way that I want to be — and must be!
Great article, Bill, thanks for sharing! I’m inspired to re-read “Attractor Factor” and “Think and Grow Rich”!
We’ve missed you Bill, but then again when you do show up I read every word and am always inspired. Hope to see you in Vegas at JVAlert.
I have told many people about your ebook mastermind course. You are an internet marketing guru that really over delivers.
Thanks for the wonderful sharing that you have done in your blog. It is very refreshing to see someone who does not worry about what others will think, but tells the true story. Very inspiring.
What a reminder of what is important in life!
I don’t usually leave comments because what I want to say has usually already been said. This weekend is my weekend(every four weeks) to visit my Dad to help him since my mother passed away in 2003. Since your post about your Dad my visit to my Dad has a new meaning.
Because of your current post I am now fired up to continue my quest to write an e-book. “Think and Grow Rich” will be my next book to read.
The Handy Woman
Great to see you up and about. I know we will break bread one day;-)
Hey wow great story and considering this is THE first and I mean first EVVVEERRRRRRAAAA blog I have read and NOW I am writting well I guess what I say is true…. if you dont do somthing different nothing spectacular can happen and I just have and I am lovin it!!!! Thanks Kimi for sending me the link!
So nice to read your blog today. I found your story inspiring! I too, don’t believe in the media hype of the financial crisis. I know that God is my source of abundance – not the media or a job, or even the government. In fact, I have worked Wall Street – and when I lived in NYC – I banked at Chase – and I even put “God is my source of abundance” on my checks. The bank employee was really nice and encouraging – cause initially, I thought the bank would think I was crazy!
I’m in the process of spending money on candle supplies and video shoot this weekend. If I really believed in all this fear, I would put the project on hold and wait for more “prosperous” times. Yet, I’m still going strong and believing in my creativity, myself, and my dream.
I thought about this today – that you were the one who encouraged me to do this. In our mastermind class last summer, you actually saw me doing this before I could even envison it – and now it’s becoming a reality. I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s my dream to be prosperous and make a living through my creativity and business skills. I know now that it will happen!!
You’re definitely a very powerful person and I’m so glad you’re in my life. You and Lisa will be the first recipients of the new DVD – which will be done by Thanksgiving!!
Great story. You are the “come back kid”.
I always enjoy reading your tales. Interesting that you took a 4 month hiatus from your blog. However, you hit the ground running with this post. Very inspirational.
Pizza On Earth,
Wow, what a post. When I met you last year I had no idea. Incredibly inspirational.
[Thanks, John! — BH]