Jim Straw’s Secret to Making Insane Amounts of Money

Let me tell you a true story …

Some years ago, a very dear friend of mine who was retired and living on Social Security came to see me. He had with him a mailorder “drop ship dealer” program he wanted to get involved with and wanted to use some of my mailing list.

The offer he wanted to mail was for a $20 “how to make money” book. The flyer was exceptionally well written and appeared to offer a good value for those who bought the book (I read it). So, I gave my friend 1,000 names and addresses of my customers for his mailing.

About a month later, my wife and I had dinner with my friend and his wife. Over dinner, I asked him how his mailing had done. His response was, “It only pulled 43 orders, so I decided to look for something that sells better.”

I thought nothing more about it until the next day. Sitting at my desk, eating my sandwich for lunch, my wife remarked that it was too bad our friend hadn’t made any money on his mailing. That started me thinking:

Forty three (43) orders on a 1,000 piece mailing … at $20 per order … produced a gross revenue of $860 (86¢ return on every envelope mailed). After sending 50% to the publisher of the book, my friend had a gross profit of $430 (43¢ return on every envelope mailed).

NOT big money … BUT …

Back then, First Class postage was only 10¢ ($100 to mail 1,000 pieces). A 1,000 name mailing list rented for $35. Envelopes were about $14 per thousand. Reply envelopes $8 per thousand. Printing was $16 per thousand. And, reply postage was 14¢ per reply envelope received.

In other words, my friend had spent about $180 (including the $35 list rental he didn’t have to pay me) on his 1,000 piece mailing (18¢ per envelope mailed), to produce a gross profit to him of $430. A net profit of $250 (25¢ for every envelope mailed).

If my friend had put the same $180 back into another 1,000 piece mailing, his profit for the 2,000 pieces would have been $680 … the next 1,000 piece mailing, for a total of 3,000 pieces, would have left $1,110 profit … on and on, building his profits.

The only “out of pocket” money my friend would have spent would have been the first $180. The cost of his future mailings would have been ONLY that same $180, which would have been returned to him again and again on each mailing … to use for more mailings.

After I ran the numbers, my mouth was watering. I called my friend and told him how profitable his mailing had been. But, since he was already involved in something else, he didn’t want to pursue the project. So … I asked him if it would be okay if I pursued it. He agreed.

Unfortunately, when I contacted the publisher, they had discontinued their drop ship program. It seems some of their dealers were collecting the $20 orders and not sending the orders and money to the publisher for fulfillment. To punish those few crooks, the publisher cut-off their own nose … punished all of their dealers for the actions of a few … and eventually went broke from a lack of sales.

Now, if you will re-read (and re-read again) the story about my friend’s involvement in mailorder, you will clearly see how most of us who made millions in mailorder did it and why most people who get involved in mailorder don’t.

While you are re-reading, take note that all of the costs and revenues are stated in “dollars” (or cents). And the costs and revenues are broken down to a “per envelope” dollar value. That’s because all of us who really made money in mailorder didn’t put any value in “percentages.” Our real costs and revenues were calculated in dollars and cents. Remember: 100% of nothing is still nothing.

One of the real secrets to making money in mailorder is to find something (anything) that produces a profit (even a very small profit). Then, keep mailing it … over and over … building a larger and larger customer list. (The same holds true in Internet marketing.)

Dreaming about accidentally hitting that One-Time (lucky) Big Success is part of the intrigue of mailorder … we all did it … but, those of us who really made money in mailorder (every day), didn’t let that dream overcome our on-going profits.

Believe it or don’t, TODAY the opportunities in mailorder are growing bigger and bigger every day because the competition is almost non-existent.

Move a Mountain!

J.F (Jim) Straw — the “500 Million Dollar Man” — will teach you how you can achieve any goal in his #1 best selling book. Get it now!

A Five Star Book for a Five Star Career

power-being-articulate-cover-actionThe Power of Being Articulate: Your Words Can Make You Wealthy and Happy
by Pete Geissler
Non Fiction – Business/Finance
164 Pages
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

The Power of Being Articulate – Your Words Can Make You Healthy And Happy by Pete Geissler is a very motivating and inspiring book on how to improve your communication skills. The author speaks about the importance of being articulate to succeed in the current times, and how good communication skills play an important role in one’s growth.

Personally, I found the book immensely motivating. At a time when communicating properly and using the right words have taken a back seat, this book comes as a refreshing change. It emphasizes how important it is to articulate properly. It is a pity that in a high tech world where slang and computer language predominates, the current generation is forgetting how to get their message across properly. The author stresses the importance of language skills, too. He reiterates the fact that to have a good job and be successful, we should put in an effort and improve how we articulate.

The book is based on evidence collected from various sources: anecdotal, empirical and statistical. This evidence also speaks about articulation and how an excellent speaker can be a success at their work place. According to the author, it can even overcome all your problems in relationships too. I would recommend this book to everyone because it is inspiring and it motivates you to improve yourself. It is a guide to success and happy living.

About the Author

Pete Geissler has written more than three million words as a professional writer. He has taught writing at Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Technology Council, and various consulting and manufacturing companies. He can be reached at www.PeteGeissler.com.

4 Stunning Insights from Tracey Jones (That Will Help You to Thrive)

Four years ago this week I made a decision that I knew was coming for the past 45 years. In the words of ole blue eyes, “I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and ev’ry highway”. But I was ready to travel the biggest unchartered course of all, and ready to no longer be doing things “My Way.” I came home to carry on what my father started.

Here are the top four things I’ve learned over the past four years that have not only kept me alive but actually enabled me to thrive.

  1. It takes time: I recently read a book review on Amazon where the reader stated, “My only disappointment with this book is that it does not offer any real secrets to becoming successful overnight.” That’s right, despite the fact that we live in a society addicted to YouTube videos and reality shows devoid of any reality, there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes doing things repeatedly for years, sometime decades, or even a lifetime, to gain any traction. If you’re not willing to dedicate your life to sharing your gifts, then you’ve got nothing worth sharing past your 15 minutes of fame. But if you know “why” you are doing what you’re doing, time doesn’t even enter into the equation and you’ll never ask the self-serving question, “how long will it take?”
  2. No one can grow your business but you: If I had a nickel for everyone who promised me they could grow my business I’d have at least $200. The fact is none of them can do this. How do I know? I’ve hired plenty of them to do it! In doing so, I helped them grow their businesses, but after a while I realized they were the only ones in the relationship getting paid. You really are the only one who can truly take yourself to the next level. Sure, you can game the system by timing sales to produce an artificial “bestseller” but that’s not true organic and sustainable growth. I can pay to gain millions of followers on twitter. So what?? Be honest. You do the work. And always remember, if you want it bad, that’s how you’re going to get it, and usually after you paid someone else dearly for it.
  3. Eliminate the waste: My father used to tell me, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Never were truer words spoken. This gem applies to everything in your life. Stay focused on what you do best and to hell with the rest. And the bottom line is that you must produce a bottom line, otherwise you will not remain viable. Waste can come in the form of people that suck your time, drain your resources, and don’t do what you are paying them to do. If they are not with you, they are against you, and it’s time to eliminate them.
  4. The more you give the more you get: My father told me that the more books he gave away the more money he made. I used to assume it was because he was a salesman of unprecedented skill and star quality. But the truth of his point is that freely sharing books and what he learned from them was his way of tithing. You don’t give to get; that’s trading. You give because that is the true meaning of life. And life rewards us when we comply with this gorgeous truth. I have a plaque in the office given to my father thanking him for donating $200,000 to a particular college. I remember wondering if there would ever be a time when we could do that again in a single year. Well guess what? After four years of numerous free speeches, countless giveaways, sponsorships of wonderful people and events, and the publishing of hundreds of thousands of books, we were able to give $189,500 this year alone. Close enough: I’ll take the cigar!

People ask me how I do it. The answer is simple: stay focused, work hard, use discretion, have a purpose, and try new things. If they work continue; if they don’t discontinue.

And that, my tremendous friends, is what I’ve learned in four years!

——–

The original article can be found on Tracey’s blog. You can also leave a comment there.

Tracey C. Jones

Tracey C. Jones
President

Follow Tracey on Twitter, Linked In, Facebook and her Blog.

Visit Tracey Jones on Twitter  Visit Tracey Jones on Linkedin  Tracey's Facebook  

Tracey C. Jones is the president of Tremendous Life Books. Her father, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, started Executive Books for the purpose of changing the world one book at a time. With an exceptional leadership background, Tracey became the company’s new president in 2009 in order to carry on her father’s legacy.

Tracey was born and raised in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. As a high school graduate anxious to see the world, she attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM, earning an associates degree and an appointment to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1988, she earned her degree and commission and entered the Air Force as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Her first assignment to Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina took her overseas, where she participated in the first Gulf War. Upon her return to the States, Tracey moved to Bitburg Air Base, Germany and then RAF Lakenheath, UK where she honed her operational skills and filled command roles of increasing responsibility.

After twelve years as a commissioned officer, Tracey left the Air Force in 2000 and moved to Austin, Texas working for a top manufacturing firm in the semiconductor industry. There, she continued to develop her skills, this time in the civilian workforce as a project manager. While there, she earned an MBA in Global Management. Tracey recently moved back to Pennsylvania from St. Louis where she most recently was the project manager in charge of a diverse base operations service contract for the government. She is excited to be back in her home state, close to her large family, and humbled to carry on Charlie’s legacy and love for books and for Christ. Tracey enjoys biking, golfing, traveling, spending time with her pets, and of course, reading!!!

Being Tremendous: the Life, Lessons, and Legacy of Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

We could all use a healthy dose of Tremendous this holiday season and Being Tremendous is just the medicine we’ve been looking for! We’ve scoured the archives and created a beautiful, full-color, hardcover book with free DVD that brings Charie Jones, one of the greatest speakers of the last 60 years, to life like never before.

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones rose from a broken home and the squalor of the Great Depression to become a bestselling author, a successful entrepreneur, and one of the top twenty speakers of the 20th century. His speeches and writings, filled with surprising insights and hilarious anecdotes, have changed the lives of thousands and influenced some of the greatest figures of our time.

In true Tremendous fashion, Being Tremendous gathers familiar material along with previously unpublished stories and photos, and a free DVD, to present a portrait of a man who touched countless lives. If you knew Charlie, this book will be a welcome remembrance. If this is your first encounter with him, you are in for a life-changing experience!

Open this book to any page and be immersed in the warmth, wisdom, and humor of Charlie Jones. He reaches out to you in these pages so that you, too, may lead a Tremendous life!

Filled with never-before-published material, Being Tremendous presents page after page of funny, inspiring, informative, and motivating stories accompanied by photos, memorabilia, and QR links to videos from throughout Charlie’s life and career. If you knew Charlie Jones, this book brings him roaring back to life. If you never met him, now is the time to find out what you’ve been missing!

Being Tremendous is a must-read and the perfect Christmas gift for family, friends, business associates, clergy, even yourself! Purchase 50 copies and receive a 50-percent discount, so order now and make it a Tremendous Christmas!

11 Important Facts I Learned That Will Get You Rich (J.F. (Jim) Straw)

Do you want to get rich? I mean, do you really want to get rich?

Here are 11 important facts that I learned in my many years in business that allowed me to make over $500 million.

  1. I learned very early in life that the ONLY way to make money was to “sell” something … either a product or a service … something people wanted or needed — or do something for them they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, do for themselves.
  2. I learned to “make do” with what I had until I could get what I needed to do a better job.
  3. I learned that I had to do anything necessary (but legal) to get to where I wanted to be, even if I didn’t like doing it. Especially if I didn’t like doing it! You must do ANYTHING you need to do before you can do what you want to do.
  4. I learned to never ask anyone to do anything for me that I wasn’t willing to do myself. Everyone who has ever worked with me has taught me about what they have done for me and how they did it. After a while, I could do it, too — but maybe not as well as they did.
  5. I learned to “pay” for what I wanted. If I couldn’t afford it, I saved-up to be able to afford it. (Sometimes if seemed like forever.)
  6. I learned that no matter how long it took to achieve my goal (whatever it was), it would have been just as long if I hadn’t persisted, but I would have accomplished nothing.
  7. I learned that NOTHING is as easy or as fast as it should be. It only gets easier and faster when you know how to really do it — and learning how to really do it is just a matter of doing it over and over and over until you finally find out how it works. Of course, if you give up after the first (second, third, or fourth) try, you’ll never do it.
  8. I learned most of what I know from my mistakes and failures. My successes never taught me anything. They were only based upon what I had learned from my mistakes and failures. (That’s why those who are afraid to make mistakes, or fail, never achieve the success they desire.)
  9. I learned that my most prized possessions were my customers. People who, directly or indirectly, paid for my lunch every day. (That’s why, unlike my contemporaries, I reply to my customers emails personally.)
  10. I learned that “money” is NOT an end unto itself — it is only a way of keeping score. (The saddest people in the world are those who are forever chasing the almighty dollar — and the vast majority of them have no real respect for money.)
  11. I learned to ASK for what I wanted or needed — and to graciously accept a “NO” as readily as a “YES.”

YES … you can get rich. But you’ll have to do it yourself. No one will do it for you!

I get tickled by people who want to start at the top of the ladder. For some unknown reason, they honestly believe they are better than I am, since I had to start on the bottom rung and climb up one rung at a time.

When I mention the above, I often hear “Yeah, I could do that, but it will take too much time. I need money now — and I don’t want to just make a little money, I want to get rich.”

Sorry, you’ll have to start where I started. Do what you need to do to make a little money. Then, do more and more of it to make more and more money. As you make more and more money, the greater the opportunities you will have to make even more money. Nothing succeeds like success … even small success.

The more things you don’t want to do, the fewer and fewer things you will do — until you are doing as most people do: NOTHING but dreaming!

I can teach you “how” to do it, but you won’t get it until you actually start doing it yourself.

[callout add_button=”yes” button_text=”Click Here to Move a Mountain!” button_url=”http://www.mustardseedsshovelsmountains.com” button_color=”#81d742″]

Move a Mountain!

J.F (Jim) Straw — the “500 Million Dollar Man” — will teach you how you can achieve any goal in his #1 best selling book. Get it now!

[/callout]

Putting in the Time (Gerry Visca, Canada’s Creative Coach®)

As I sit here in my creative studio, I gaze outside and marvel at the spectacular day in front of me. I can’t help but observe the growth of the ivy that continues to envelop my house. It has now managed to weave its way along the perimeter of my porch. Somehow it has achieved what it set out to do: artlessly grow! It puts in the time — daily, weekly and monthly. Its focus is centered on one key objective: continual growth. It maneuvers itself forward towards the light, slowly blanketing each bit of surface.

The audiences that I inspire often comment, “Gerry, it’s easy for you to create. It comes naturally to you. You’re a super achiever.”

My audiences only witness the final product: a new book; an article; a magazine; an audio recording or a new presentation.

What they don’t see is the perspiration and the daily discipline behind the curtains.

Have you ever driven past a new subdivision that appears to suddenly spring out from the ground? We underestimate the tremendous effort involved in its creation. So many of us are infatuated with the future as a destination for happiness and peace. We also overlook the beauty and the wonderment that is directly in front of us. We can’t speed up the future no matter how hard we try; similarly, we can’t force a plant to grow no matter how much we will it to.

What you can control is the daily, weekly, and monthly actions that you intend for yourself in the present.

What I know for certain is that we all have a life purpose — and when you fixate on “putting in the time” you will uncover your true potential and you’ll help others live “in-spirit” with their why — the true path to being inspired.

At the end of 2008, I declared to myself — and then to the world — that I was going to live a life of inspiration. My life goal became aligned with a purpose of inspiring one million people to action across 33 countries. In the past 3 years, I have put in time and taken incredible action through the delivery of a myriad of inspirational presentations, publications, articles, and events.

As I leaned into my life purpose with determination, passion, and enthusiasm, I discovered I was able to shift my perspective of time. Through this process, I have managed to achieve greater results in far less time. My process consists of daily visualization combined with stillness of mind. I focus on harnessing new levels of energy and I align action with tremendous belief. When you create with this new mindset, then anything is possible.

Plato argued that time is constant and life is the illusion. Einstein noted that our understanding of time is based on its relationship to our environment. He further noted that the faster you move the slower time moves. Reality is merely an illusion albeit a very persistent one. There is no difference between past, present, and future time.

As I continue to live a life in-spirit, deeper levels of awareness for what I can “shift” have opened up. I have become fascinated with two significant concepts: The ability to create in less time and the power to completely re-create oneself.

For example, what used to take me a year to create now only takes several weeks. How is this possible? If time is an illusion, then I have demonstrated that we are the only ones that determine just how long it will take to reach a goal. As I continued to step into my greatness, discomfort and challenge presented itself. The more discomfort, the more disciplined and focused I became. I recognized the power in the statement: energy flows where my attention goes. I allocated energy towards what I wanted. When fear presented itself, I focused on what I could control by visualizing the end result of all that I was creating and taking action through creation.

My Process of Creation:

Imagine it
Believe it
Take daily action
Receive it

Putting in the time for me means living a disciplined program that starts at 5:45 am with my hour of personal power. Thirty-five minutes of physical exercise followed by 25 minutes of stillness and meditation. I quickly recognized that I needed to harness new levels of energy, so I adopted a new diet that included healthy smoothies, juicing, an explosion of greens and supplements from Usana Health Sciences. I carve out the time with very specific coaching days so I can pour myself into select clients who are on a path of doing great things. I continue to allocate writing days with a goal of publishing 17 books and producing monthly articles, tips, and inspirational audio productions.

Over the past three years I have reached incredible milestones, however this year has been the most impactful for me to date. I truly believe that when you are living your life “on purpose,” you reach a state of flow. As I write these words and glance at my past books, I ask myself, “When did I produce all of this? Was it me or something more powerful working through me?”

Everything that I do whether it’s writing, recording, coaching, extracting, presenting or inspiring everything is aligned with my why: to creatively inspire people and ideas to action.

This year was by far one of the most challenging — and equally the most fulfilling — times filled with tremendous personal and professional growth. Audiences often feel that inspirational speakers and authors like us never endure discomfort, sadness or fear. Well, let me set the record straight, we are human just like you. This year I was presented with some of the most life-challenging situations. In spite of these challenges, I managed to write over 1,000 pages, publish two books, produce 100 articles and tips, record over 50 audio and video productions, launch a 24-page glossy magazine, launch 12 major events and creatively coach 25 amazing DEFYENEURS, my inspired breed of entrepreneurs.

This year, I have even experienced a deeper and richer love. I spend more quality time with my two amazing daughters and travelled to 12 incredible destinations with my life partner.

This is your time to uncover your why and achieve your goals by putting in the time. Here is how you begin:

1. Go to the art store today, purchase a canvass, and paint that beautiful art that has remained dormant in your mind.
2. Get some clay and sculpt that magnificent form that has always been there.
3. Write that manuscript, regardless of what you think of it.
4. Draft that article and send it to a magazine publication for consideration.
5. Download an audio recording program and produce your first cd-rom with those beautiful poems and songs that you have stored in the abyss of your soul.
6. Stop what are you doing this very moment and grab your loved one sitting next to you and embrace them with the most passionate kiss ever.
7. Spend time with an expert in the field and ask them thought provoking questions to kick start your dreams.
8. Begin to THINQ and live a daily powerful question like: What would make this the biggest and the best year and live it for thirty days.

Keep putting in the time. You are the architect of your life if you don’t design it, then someone else will.

20120906-175620.jpgGerry Visca, Canada’s Creative Coach®
International Speaker | Author | Consultant
RedchairTM Branding
www.gerryvisca.com
gerry@redchairbranding.com
905.528.6032

Tackling Questions with Confidence (Judie Fertig Panneton)

When I teach public speaking classes to California workers, I remind them how important it is to listen to an entire question before offering an answer. It’s human nature to guess where a question is headed as it is being asked, but it’s not in anyone’s best interest.

A perfect example of how jumping to conclusions can steer you in the wrong direction is demonstrated in a conversation between media mogul Oprah Winfrey and actor/writer Tina Fey during an Oprah Winfrey Show episode. Fey asked Winfrey, “If you could have dinner with any person, living or dead, in the history of the world,” Fey begins, “What would you order?”

Winfrey, taken by surprise, pauses, laughs, and answers, “I would probably you know, have Jesus over for fried chicken,” Oprah says. “That would be great.”

Unexpected questions provoke a few laughs in the right situations and enormous fear in others.

There are some tips, however, to make questions less scary and to help you feel in control:

  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK:  Whenever you’re preparing a speech, think of the questions that you expect to be asked. How about the ones that make you a little weak in the knees?  Write them down and add the answers so that you can practice to keep your messages as clear and concise as possible.
  • SET THE RULES FOR QUESTIONS FROM THE START:  Envision the question-and-answer period ahead of time. Do you want questions while you’re speaking or after?  Let people know from the start and whether there are time limits.  Ground rules like those help everyone stay on the same page.
  • TREAT QUESTIONS WITH RESPECT AND COURTESY:  This rule pertains to the questions you like and the ones that you’re not particularly fond of. You stay in control when don’t take questions personally. Don’t judge a question. Answer it.
  • REPEAT THE QUESTION:  By repeating the question, it assures you heard it correctly, offers an opportunity to stand corrected, is a courtesy to others so that they hear it right, and it buys you some extra time to craft an answer.
  • STORYTELLER QUESTIONS:  To prevent someone from telling a story before asking a question, when calling on someone, try talk show host Larry King’s method of asking, “Your question please?”

Also, never let the questioner hold the microphone because if you do, that person will have control.  (You don’t want to get into an amplified wrestling match.)

  • CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC: Acknowledge in your presentation that some people may disagree with some thoughts on the topic. Then, if there are hostile questions, remember that the hostility is about the topic, not about you.
  • TURN THE TABLES:  If your answer to a question is not satisfactory to the person in the audience who won’t let it go, turn the tables and ask, “Do you have some of your own thoughts on that question?”  Giving a person a chance to air his/her thoughts, might be enough to keep things calm and the session flowing.
  • INSINUATING QUESTIONS: When a questioner insinuates that, for example, your timetable for adopting a new policy is too lengthy, sidestep the questioner’s judgment and dive into the reasoning for the timetable’s schedule.
  • IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER:  Be honest.  Don’t guess.  No one’s perfect.  Offer to provide an answer if the person will contact you at the email address or phone number you provide.
  • UNASKED QUESTIONS:  If there’s a question that you think should have been asked but was not, offer it yourself without insulting your audience.  Instead of saying something like, “I’m surprised no one asked this question…,” say, “Here’s another question that may be helpful….”
  • TIME’S UP:  End a question-and-answer period on a positive note.  Avoid phrases like, “I guess there aren’t any more questions,” or “Since we’re out of time….”

Choose instead something like, “Thank you for your thoughtful questions and if you have more in the future, here’s how you can reach me…”

  • KEEP THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE: Answering questions is an opportunity for you to show what you know and to demonstrate your skills as a communicator.

Remember, public speaking and answering questions can be seen as either a burden or an opportunity. How are they be viewed by you?

——

Judie PannetonJudie Fertig Panneton is a published author and an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years experience in newspapers, magazines, television and radio. She is a first-generation American. Her father was born in Holland; her mother in Poland.

She has written two books based on a collection of stories. Her latest is PROUD AMERICANS: GROWING UP AS CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS.

Investing: Bet the Jockey Not the Horse (J.F. (Jim) Straw)

Lately I have been asked—in various ways—

“How do I go about picking winners in the Small Cap Companies, Initial Public Offerings, Start-ups and Private Held Companies for Investment?”
Well, since my personal win/lose ratio is about 80/20 (more winners than losers), you might expect me to go into some detail about reading the financial statements; looking at price-to-earnings ratios; using arcane calculus formulations; or observing mystical patterns in the trading activity of the stock.

But that ain’t how I learned to pick the winners.

In reality, I wasn’t much better than most people when it came to picking winners in the Small Cap, IPO and, Private Held arenas, until I learned… How To Win at the Horse Races!

Having grown up in Cow Country (Oklahoma & Kansas), one of the first photographs ever taken of me was astride a big old strawberry roan called Katie. As my Daddy used to say, “Horses are like some children. Just when you’ve got them started in the right direction, they up and start trying to think for themselves.”

Anyway, thinking about horses, I remember with pain and fondness my younger days “punching cattle” on the Stelbar, Lazy Bar-B, and other ranches. I also remember with affection some of the ardent, avid, and obsessed “horse players” I had known over the years.

Sharing the typical cowboy’s love/hate relationship with horses — “The only animal dumber than a horse is a cow, but the dumbest animal of all is the one on the back of the horse.” — I had never been a “horse player” myself. However, making money (even by betting the ponies) has always interested me and I have adapted many of the techniques and methods I have observed in some of the most obscure money-making endeavors to my own chosen fields of endeavor.

Until I attended my first Kentucky Colonels’ banquet, I had kinda chalked-off playing the horses as a lost cause. Although betting the ponies is a money-making endeavor, it had never yielded any techniques or methods I could adapt to my own endeavors.

All the horse players I had ever known could do was talk about horses. If I mentioned a racehorse by name, they could tell me who that horse was by (father; sire) and who it was out of (mother; dam). They would tell me the sire and dam of each of those horses, and so forth. Sometimes back 10 to 12 generations. They bet the horses based upon the win/lose record of the horse’s lineage.

There was simply no way I could adapt that methodology to any of my business endeavors. After all, if you look at the lineage of most successful business people, you wouldn’t find much to indicate that they had inherited a proclivity to succeed.

Then, at my very first Kentucky Colonels’ banquet, my wife (Delores) and I were seated at a table with Colonel Bill. He was a “professional” horse player. Colonel Bill had for over 30 years earned his living (and a sizable fortune) playing the horses. Nothing else. He didn’t work for anyone; didn’t own a business (as such); and didn’t gamble on dice or cards. He just bet the ponies.

To say I was soon intrigued with Colonel Bill would be an understatement.

Not once in our conversation across that banquet table did he ever tell me the sire or dam of any of the horses I mentioned. Nor did he ever comment on the physical attributes of the horses as did all the other horse players I had known. His conversation was more that of another entrepreneur making money in a rather unique industry.

With my adrenaline flowing — I always get a rush when I talk with successful people in any area of life — I, of course, asked Colonel Bill how he had made so much money betting the ponies while all the horse players I knew were hit and miss winners.

His answer was, “Son…” (By the way, mostly for my lady readers, when an older fella calls a younger fella “son,” the younger fella, if he is wise or wants to appear wise, listens intently because he is about to receive what the older fella considers to be the wisdom of his age or life experience.) ” … gamblers bet the ponies or play the horses. I don’t. Strong horses with good lineages can lose races. And weak horses with poor lineages can win races. So, I don’t bet on the horses.”

Then he hit me with his secret … “I Bet the Jockeys.”

Colonel Bill went on to explain that if “Shoes” (Willie Shoemaker, who won over 8,000 races in about 30 years) was riding in a race, the odds were that he would win the race — no matter what horse he was riding.

The colonel didn’t know much about the lineage of the horses running in the races — nor did he care. (He commented that they all run about the same speed anyway.) But, he knew everything there was to know about each of the jockeys: their wives; kids; family ties; religion; politics; everything. He kept informed about new, up-and-coming young jockeys who were proving their winning abilities. And, he structured his betting to take into consideration that, every once in a while, a new, untried jockey would defy the odds and beat the older, tried-and-proven jockey.

So, if you want to win at the horse races … Study the Jockeys, Not the Horses!

(Please note that it won’t work at the dog races because the dogs don’t have jockeys. They just run their hearts out trying to catch a mechanical rabbit. Maybe you can figure out how to bet on the rabbit. It always beats the dogs.)

After meeting and listening intently to Colonel Bill, I soon found myself adapting his “Bet the Jockey” methodology to … Investing in Successful Businesses

Not just anybody can crawl on the back of a horse and call themselves a jockey. But anybody — and I do mean anybody! — can open a store, create a business plan, or dream-up a business idea.

The person who operates (holds the reigns of) a business is the “jockey” in the business “horse race.” Therefore, when investing in a business, it is most important to study the win/lose record of the person who is (or will be) operating the business — the “business jockey.”

As I have said in the past, a business (any business) is nothing more than a box, whether it be a Post Office Box or a marble-columned edifice. The “real” business is in the hands and minds of the people who do the business of business. Of course, in order to keep with our current metaphor, the business is a horse.

By betting on “business jockeys” with the best win/lose records, you can always pick more winners than losers. Of course, you miss out on some of the good deals when a new, untried “business jockey” wins big. On the other hand, if you bet too heavily or too often on new jockeys, you’ll find yourself with more losers than winners.

That’s why when I get any new business plan or prospectus, the first section I turn to is the information about the backgrounds of the principals. If they haven’t done business successfully before (especially if they are past the age of 40), I need an awful lot more convincing before I’m ready to invest.

This adaptation of “betting the jockeys” has served me well over the years. That’s why my win/lose ratio is 80/20 instead of the other way around.

Now … Go Ye and Do Likewise!

J.F. (Jim) Straw, author of "Mustard Seeds, Shovels, & Mountains"J.F. (Jim) Straw began his long, successful career in business at the age of nine when he sold his first cans of Cloverleaf Salve and copies of GRIT newspaper. As a mail-order marketer with over 700,000 customers worldwide he has sold over five-hundred million dollars ($500,000,000) worth of products and services by mail — everything from beauty supplies to heavy equipment, burglar alarms to sleeping bags, fishing lures to women’s wigs, automobiles to wheelchairs, investment opportunities to seafood, consulting services to “how to” courses. His book Mustard Seeds, Shovels, & Mountains is published by Kallisti Publishing.

Having spent over 50 years in business successfully, J.F. (Jim) Straw now shares “Practical Instruction in the Arts & Sciences of Making Money” at the Business Lyceum — http://www.businesslyceum.com.

What Does It Really Take To Be An Entrepreneur? (J.F. (Jim) Straw)

Believe it or don’t, I just flunked another test for “entrepreneurial” traits!

From my test score, it appears I am probably better adapted to washing dishes than running a business. Then again, according to the governing laws of aerodynamics, bumble bees can’t fly either.

Let me tell you a true story about those tests. You’ve seen them. They usually have a headline like

Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Entrepreneur?

Back in 1977, an old millionaire friend of mine in his late 70s sent me a 20-question test with a personal note asking me to answer the questions and return them to him. He said he was conducting an experiment and wanted honest answers. No fudging allowed. So, I answered the questions and returned them to him.

A couple months later, the old millionaire sent me a letter detailing his experiment and reporting the results.

The “test” he had sent to me had been published in a big-name, prestigious business magazine, with a self-scoring answer-sheet at the end of the article. It was the “work” of a world-renowned psychologist.

After he had taken the “test” in the magazine, my old friend was disappointed to learn that he didn’t have what it took to be an entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, even though he had been a real entrepreneur all his life with millions of real dollars in the bank to prove it, his test results indicated that he should have been a 40-hour-per-week wage-slave and put all his money in safe and secure bank deposit accounts.

Having failed the test miserably, he decided to send a copy of the test to 35 real entrepreneurs he knew, just to see if he was some kind of psychological freak. Maybe he was just a bumble bee flying with the F-14 fighters.

All 35 of the real entrepreneurs—including me—who received the test from him were self-made millionaires. No inheritors or lottery winners. Their educational backgrounds ranged from elementary school dropouts to a few with doctorates ranging in age from their mid-20s to late-80s.

Guess what? According to the “test,” not one of us had what it took to be an entrepreneur. We all failed! The old millionaire sent the fully-documented results of his experiment to the world-renowned psychologist who had created the test. The learned psychologist responded, “The traits indicated in the test are necessary to becoming an entrepreneur, but they are not required to be an entrepreneur.”

In other words, if you pass the test, you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur, but you can’t be one.

So, why did I tell that story?

Well, I’ll tell ya. After taking and flunking a number of those tests, I got to wondering.

What Does It Really Take To Be An Entrepreneur?

Since I couldn’t find an answer in my own experience, I started asking each and every successful entrepreneur I met, “What motivated you to start and succeed in your own business?”

As you can imagine, the answers I received ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime, from mystical hocus-pocus to ultra-logical reasoning, from irrational psycho-babble to text-book business plans.

Then, a few years ago, a young millionaire in his early 30s solved the riddle for me. He looked me straight in the eyes and said …

“I don’t really know. One day, I decided to do it and just did it!”

So, all it takes to be an entrepreneur is a decision to be one. Once the decision is made, you will do it!

The decision is yours and yours alone!

J.F. (Jim) Straw, author of "Mustard Seeds, Shovels, & Mountains"J.F. (Jim) Straw began his long, successful career in business at the age of nine when he sold his first cans of Cloverleaf Salve and copies of GRIT newspaper. As a mail-order marketer with over 700,000 customers worldwide he has sold over four-hundred million dollars ($400,000,000) worth of products and services by mail — everything from beauty supplies to heavy equipment, burglar alarms to sleeping bags, fishing lures to women’s wigs, automobiles to wheelchairs, investment opportunities to seafood, consulting services to “how to” courses. His book Mustard Seeds, Shovels, & Mountains is published by Kallisti Publishing.

Having spent over 50 years in business successfully, J.F. (Jim) Straw now shares “Practical Instruction in the Arts & Sciences of Making Money” at the Business Lyceum — http://www.businesslyceum.com.

Successful Achievement Requires Right Thinking (Jawara D. King)

Imagination unlocks the door to abundant life. The power of imagination is a key to achieving success. Using your creative imagination will help you discover solutions to your personal problems. Your subconscious mind doesn’t distinguish between what’s a real experience or imagined. Your subconscious mind reacts to what you imagine and to the information you program into your conscious mind.

Program your subconscious effectively by seeing yourself as you want to be. Believing that something is possible programs your subconscious mind to bring your vision into reality. Using your conscious mind to visualize all the good things you want programs your desires into your subconscious mind. Believing that you already have your desires causes your subconscious mind to go to work for you to devise the methods that will make them come true.

Use mental pictures to program your subconscious mind. Create extremely detailed pictures in your mind’s eye to recreate anything in your life that needs to be re-established. If you believe that whatever you’re visualizing is possible, your subconscious mind will automatically react to give you whatever you’ve programmed into it, either real or imagined.

Our physical circumstances are influenced by our thoughts. To receive, you must first believe that whatever you’re working towards is possible. Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given unto you …seek and ye shall find …if thou canst believe, all things are possible …as though hast believed, so be it done unto you.”

The first step is to know exactly what you want to accomplish and be specific about the objective you want to attain. Once you’ve established a creative climate for your subconscious mind, it will give you fresh thoughts, new ideas, and action to take.

Your subconscious mind goes into action after you give it an objective to achieve, a goal to reach. Imagination and initiative together have creative powers, which is why action is always required. The subconscious mind stops working for one who fails to take inspired action. Follow up and develop inspiration given by your subconscious mind. Daydreamers accomplish nothing because they lack the power of commencing (imagination plus initiative). Achieving success is 2% imagination and 98% initiative. See in your imagination the desired end result, then apply massive action to manifest your goals.

Negative ideas allowed to dwell in your conscious mind keep your subconscious mind from properly working for you. Negative results come from negative thinking. Positive results are produced from positively programming your subconscious mind. Output equals input, therefore bad thoughts and actions can’t produce good results. Mind law says that good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results. In life, you get back exactly what you’ve programmed into your subconscious mind. Failure comes from programming your subconscious mind with the wrong kinds of thoughts. Success comes from programming your subconscious mind with the proper input or material.

A person literally becomes what he thinks about, so control your life by controlling your thoughts. Negative thoughts accepted in your conscious mind will cause a bombardment of problems. The less you think of a problem, the more it will fade away. Instead of thinking about what you fear, concentrate entirely on what you want. You become what you think about, so control your thoughts to only think about what you want. Keep the fear of failure out of your mind and concentrate on the solution instead of the problem. Your success requires effort in addition to right thinking.

Success is 2% inspiration and 98% work, so act now!

Jawara D. King

Jawara D. King

About this Article’s Author: Jawara King is a full-time author, philosopher, researcher, and writer, working in the metaphysical and spiritual fields. As a contemporary spiritual teacher, he conveys the timeless profound messages of the ancient spiritual masters of all traditions. His works blend physics, spiritual philosophy, Eastern wisdom, and mystical Christianity with life-changing results. Jawara’s foundational teachings bring together insights from a range of spiritual paths to form a spiritually global coherent practice; guiding thousands of people to transform their lives through one of the greatest teachings in the world today. He has written five self-improvement books outlining the philosophical and spiritual framework necessary to bring forth a spiritual awakening in the real world.