This October marks 50 years that I have been studying information that
has taken me from pumping gas in a service center to the Chairman of
Life Success Productions, a company that operates in over 100 different
In a recent company planning session it was decided that I would write three or four of the Friday stories to celebrate my 50 years of personal growth and to share with you some of the thinking and actions we were involved in to build this company. Hopefully you will benefit from our experiences.
In the fall of 1961, I was sitting in a fire hall in East York, Ontario.
That's a suburb of Toronto in Canada. Prior to becoming a member of the
Fire Department I was pumping gas in a service station for a dollar an
hour six days a week. It was mostly hard, dirty work. One week of the
month I had to work Sunday, that meant 7 days a week. In other words, I got 3 days a month off. I was working 48 hours a week for $48.
When I became a member of the fire department my income immediately went to $100 a week, and I only had to work 7 days and 7 nights a month. Half the month I was not working at all. So I did what a lot of the other fellows in the department did . I played a lot of golf and did a lot of nothing.
Then I was introduced to Napoleon Hill's classic, Think and Grow Rich,
and although I didn't know it at the time, my life was about to go
through an enormous transformation. I was 26 years old and up to that point, I had never in my entire life set a goal, a definite target to work toward. In looking back I don't suppose that any of the people I worked with were goal oriented either. We were all a product of our environment. The way I look at it now, we were doing as little as possible, just trying to get by. As Earl Nightingale put it . we were tiptoeing through life hoping we'd make it safely to death.
It was 1961 and I set a goal of having $25,000 in my possession by New Years day 1970. I gave myself a decade to do it. I did what the book
said. I wrote the goal on a card and carried it in my pocket and that
little card did what it was supposed to do. Every time I touched it, it
caused me to think about having $25,000. I didn't even know anyone with $25,000 and furthermore I did not believe it would happen, but, I did start to think of earning money, and I later realized that was a key
factor in my transformation.
One day I heard someone say there was good money cleaning floors. I
thought, I'm not proud. I'll clean floors. I have lots of free time. I
had an opportunity to buy a used floor machine with some buckets and mops for $980. That was an absolute fortune to me. It represented 2 months income. I was already in debt with little hope of getting out of debt. Nevertheless I found the money to buy that machine and started to work. The big change here was that I was working for myself. I had my
All kinds of good things started to happen. I came across contracts to
clean offices. A year later I was earning $175,000 a year, and I was
still on the fire department. I was afraid to quit. No one had quit that
department since 1934 and they never fired anyone.
In less than 5 years I was cleaning offices in 7 different cities and 3
different countries - Canada, the United States and England. My life was changing so fast, and I had no understanding of what was really
happening. I have since found out that when tremendous change is taking place in a person's life, they rarely understand the mental process that is taking place. Nor do they understand how or why they are dealing with the tremendous resistance that they are encountering at every turn of
I did reach a point where I had to quit working at the fire department,
and it was an extremely difficult thing to do for two reasons.
ONE. I had been programmed to think of security. I honestly believed
there was security in that job. Most government employees believe they
have security in their job. As I look back I see how false that security
was. I have learned that security is an inside thing. If you haven't got
it there, you haven't got it. Real security comes from understanding who you are, understanding your true potential.
TWO. The tremendous resistance from friends and family and other people in the fire department, it seemed everyone was attempting to talk me out of quitting. In that particular circle of society I was a part of, you didn't quit a job like this. However in the face of all that resistance, I left. When the people who knew me found out I was leaving to clean offices, they really thought I was crazy.
Here I am winning in a very big way, with absolutely no understanding of
WHY I was winning. Oh I could have said it was because I was working
hard, reading the books, listening to Earl Nightingale's recordings. But
I knew others that were doing that and they weren't winning.
Certain truths started to surface in my mind. I was raised to believe
that if you're going to earn a lot of money you have to be really smart.
I was earning a lot of money and I knew I wasn't very smart. If a
person's going to be successful in business I had been raised to believe
they'd have to have a good formal education. I was enjoying a
respectable amount of success in business and I had no formal education.
This caused me to start questioning my beliefs, all of them. Where did
these beliefs come from? Why did I believe what I believed? I started to
realize how my belief system was controlling my life. I was winning in a
number of areas because I was going against a number of beliefs, and in doing so I was literally developing a new belief system.
It was at this point that I developed an enormous desire to find out why
I was winning. And I couldn't find anybody that could tell me. In fact
most of the people I talked to were every bit as surprised as I was that
I was winning. Although I didn't know it at the time, wanting the answer to that question sent me on a journey that I don't believe I'll ever
I have since come to the conclusion that most people that are highly
successful in anything are not able to tell you why. Think about it, if
a person is a high producer in a company and the company knew why they were high producers they'd package it and give it to everyone.
The truth is that most successful people really don't understand why
they're successful. If you ask them they'll say because I do this or I
do that, but you'll find other people that do the same things and
they're not successful. They'll read the same books and go to the same
seminars and nothing happens. These successful people would be
classified as unconscious competents.
I wasn't satisfied with winning. I had to know why. Searching for that
answer has taken me to very interesting places. It's helped me to
develop meaningful relationships with truly interesting and brilliant
people. It took me 9 years to put the puzzle together, and I never found
all the answers in one place. It was like the pieces of the puzzle were
a part of a scavenger hunt. I had to find them and then I had to put
them together. And although today I'd quickly admit I don't have all the
answers, I have a lot of them, and I am so grateful to all the wonderful
individuals that have helped me figure this out. LifeSuccess programs
teach this information.
Earl Nightingale and Lloyd Conant, the founders of the Nightingale-Conant Corporation played a very important role in my life.
I was listening to Earl's recording of a condensed narration of Think
and Grow Rich and also his Strangest Secret recording. I would listen to
them every day. This led me to set up a meeting with Earl Nightingale. I
was fortunate enough to get an hour of his time. I flew to Chicago for
that meeting. It was a meeting that changed my life. I decided when I
left there that I was going to sell my business and go back and work
with them. I saw that company as a reservoir of some of the most
important information in the world, information that was not being
taught in school anywhere.
I was to find out that the only way I could work with them was to invest
in a distributorship with the Nightingale-Conant Corporation to sell and teach their material, which is what I did. It was while I worked there that I met some of the greatest educators in the world, and I was able to put my puzzle together. I purchased the distributorship and started
my own business. I became very successful, and I was ultimately invited into the office in Chicago to work there.
I stayed there for five years. The company was big enough that it had
different departments but it was small enough that if you wanted
something done you had to go into that department and help them do it. I loved that because I was learning. You see this industry that I'm a part of is a relatively new industry. Self help and personal development as we know it is only 50 to 60 years old. Compare that to the real estate or the insurance or the banking industry and this industry would seem like a baby. I was a part of it, and I loved it. I loved watching the change that took place in a person's face, in their eyes, when they started to realize that they could truly live their dreams.
In 1973 I set out on my own. I sat in a little den on Maplewood Lane in
Glenview, Illinois, and I built a vision of having a company that
operated all over the world. LifeSuccess Productions is the
manifestation of that image. We coach people from virtually every
continent in a 13-month coaching program, teaching them how to set and achieve goals that they previously would only have classified as a dream. We built a consultant company that operates in over 90 countries today. We train entrepreneurs to teach our material to individuals and corporations.
Next Friday I will pick up where I am leaving off here and tell you how
LifeSuccess Productions has become a leader in this industry. I will
share with you some of the ideas that inspired us to keep going in the
face of enormous obstacles. How LifeSuccess Productions has been built I believe is an interesting story. It contains a number of lessons that
most everyone can benefit from.
Edited by: Lawyer Asad