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.

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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!

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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.

Guest Article: “How Can You Get Rich?”

Everybody wants to know How can I get rich?

Well, here’s how  I did it.

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.

I learned to “make do” with what I had until I could get what I needed to do a better job.

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 can do anything you need to do, until you can do what you want to do.

Start by doing what is  necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
Saint Francis of Assisi

I learned to never ask anyone to do anything for me that I wasn’t willing to do myself. And 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.

Anyone can be a genius if they pick just one specific subject and study it diligently just 15 minutes each day.
— Albert Einstein

I learned to pay for what I wanted. If I couldn’t afford it, I saved to be able to afford it. (Sometimes it seemed like forever.)

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.

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.

The secret to success is the constancy of purpose.
Benjamin Disraeli

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.)

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
Bill  Gates

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.

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.

If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it.
John D. Rockefeller

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.

Jim StrawJ.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 Physio-Psychic Power – The Ultimate Success System is to be published by Kallisti Publishing.

You can become a millionaire in one year or less using the tried and proven methods Jim can teach you. Visit http://www.businesslyceum.com/BeAMillionaire.html.

Getting and Keeping the “Wealth Consciousness”

The “wealth consciousness” (or the “money consciousness,” the two will be used interchangeably in this article) is more than merely thinking that you are wealthy or that you have a “right” to be wealthy. It is a way of looking at the world and seeing opportunities, possibilities, and avenues for wealth creation.

Have you ever heard someone described as having a “mind for business”? Or that someone has the “Midas touch“?

To what are they referring?

They’re referring to that person’s ability (talent, skill) to see a way to make an activity or product or service profitable. Let’s use Bill Gates as an example.

The “secret” to Mr. Gates’ wealth is that he saw profit and a business opportunity where NO ONE ELSE saw one. At the time, the entire computer industry was focused on the hardware as the way to make money. When Gates pitched IBM on licensing his software (something which at the time was quite revolutionary) and he stipulated that he could license to other companies, IBM approved, their thinking being that you make money with the hardware and not with the few cents in the licensing fee for the software.

That is the deal that began Mr. Gates’ rise. It made him millions.

THAT is the money consciousness. Looking at a “deal” and making it a better deal.

Get it?

The same with Steve Jobs and Apple: They got many of their ideas from the Xerox PARC facility because Xerox did not see how those technologies could make them money. One (Apple) had the “money consciousness”; the other (Xerox) did not. (Although it must be said that they had and continue to have it it many other areas.)

So, it’s not a matter of gratitude nor of “putting the Law of Attraction into operation,” it’s a matter of looking at the things around you and seeing the economic possibilities with them. Develop a solution to a problem you (and perhaps others) have. See the world with new eyes and ask yourself the question “How can I make it better?” Look at the world around you like you’ve never before seen it and perceive the value in it.

Finally, take what you’ve found and make money.

You will have found the “money consciousness.”

Learn everything about the money consciousness with Charles F. Haanel’s Complete Master Key Course.

Law of Attraction? Coincidence? Or Something Else?

As you may know, I recently began a Master Key Coaching Program with my head coach, James Spooner. Things have been going very well–people are experiencing great results and good things are happening in their lives.

One person in particular, who we will call Mike (not his real name), had a very interesting experience.

Mike is a young fellow in his mid-twenties. He does somewhat OK in life, but he wasn’t hitting any high notes. He’s a fitness trainer, but what he really wants to do is get into TV production.

James had been speaking to him for a couple of weeks when that last part came into the open.

You see, with Master Key Coaching, a big part of it is getting into what you really want. Sure, we all want more money, more stuff, more this and more that; but one of the keys of success is to whittle that list down to what a person really wants to do.

As the old saying goes, do what you love and the money will follow.

I’ve found that to be true many times.

So James is talking with this fellow and since the Master Key Coaching Program is unlimited coaching, they are speaking twice, sometimes three times, per week.

It is during one of these sessions that Mike reveals to James that he really sees himself in TV production. The problem is that he doesn’t know where to start. He has no experience with production, nor does he have any training. He told James that he frankly didn’t even know if he would like it. But he wanted to give it a shot. If for any other reason, he just wanted to see what it was like and if he could make a living from it.

James took this information and it sat with him for a few hours. Then he thought about a friend he has who lives in the same area Mike does.

Can you guess what James’ friend does?

Exactly! He’s a guy who makes TV commercials for businesses in the area. He’s a guy in the TV production business.

James calls his friend and tells him about Mike. He tells it like it is: that Mike has no experience, no training, but that he wants to get a feel for it.

“Send him over. I’ll give him a shot,” replies James’ friend.

Actually, James gave to Mike his friend’s phone number so that he could contact him. They set up a meeting and the guy is on his way.

To somewhere, at least.

I’d like to write that Mike is now the head of a major television studio, but it is far too early for that. It’s enough for now that Mike has his foot in the door. Where he takes the opportunity is up to him.

My question to you is this:

What do you think was at work here?

Would you say it was the Law of Attraction? Coincidence? Or something else?

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment. In a few days I will let you know what I think was at work. For now, though, let’s hear your thoughts!

Remember, it’s by talking and sharing that we learn, grow, and, hopefully, succeed.

The Power of Concentration

Focusing our thoughts to one specific purpose or aim is paramount to achieving anything of lasting value. More often than not, many of us “scatter” our thoughts, never concentrating on one goal and following it through. When we learn to keep our thoughts focused on one aim, then – and only then – will we see results.

Need proof of this? Listen to or read about what people say when they describe the people who “made it.” Every time those people are described by friends or associates, the words, “focused”, “driven”, and “single-minded” are used. In The Master Key Workbook, I quoted Larry Ellison, the billionaire CEO of Oracle, speaking about Bill Gates.

“Bill Gates wants people to think he’s Edison, when he’s really Rockefeller. Referring to Gates as the smartest man in America isn’t right … wealth isn’t the same thing as intelligence. One thing everyone will say about Mr. Gates, though, is the fact that he is driven and has a laser-like focus when he sets to do something.”

Being successful does not require lots of intelligence. If one focuses what one has to a certain definite aim, then one can accomplish anything! As it is said in the Bible: “Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.”

Here is how Haanel described the power of concentration in Week Twelve of The Master Key System:

Week Twelve is enclosed herewith. In the fourth paragraph you will find the following statement: “You must first have the knowledge of your power; second, the courage to dare; third, the faith to do.”

If you concentrate upon the thoughts given, if you give them your entire attention, you will find a world of meaning in each sentence and will attract to yourself other thoughts in harmony with them, and you will soon grasp the full significance of the vital knowledge upon which you are concentrating.

Knowledge does not apply itself; we as individuals must make the application, and the application consists in fertilizing the thought with a living purpose.

The time and thought which most persons waste in aimless effort would accomplish wonders if properly directed with some special object in view. In order to do this, it is necessary to center your mental force upon a specific thought and hold it there to the exclusion of all other thoughts. If you have ever looked through the focusing screen of a camera, you found that when the object was not in focus, the impression was indistinct and possibly blurred; but when the proper focus was obtained the picture was clear and distinct. This illustrates the power of concentration. Unless you can concentrate upon the object which you have in view, you will have but a hazy, indifferent, vague, indistinct, and blurred outline of your ideal and the results will be in accordance with your mental picture.

An example of concentration or focus is to think of sunlight. As the sun pours its light onto the Earth, it gets scattered by the atmosphere. We can gather that light with a lens, though, and focus it into a ray that will readily and easily start a fire.

In The Master Key Workbook, I devised a little exercise to help you exercise the power of concentration. It’s fun and a little rewarding.

This week, you are going to have some fun – and make some money! You are going to put into action what you have been learning. By the end of this exercise, you may be a few dollars wealthier than when you started. Sound good? Good.

Visualize a quarter in your mind. Imagine it vividly and in detail. Keep it ingrained in your mind. Take as long as you want to visualize that quarter, perhaps a few minutes or so.

Next, vividly visualize that you are going to find that quarter on the street. 

Imagine the scene of you taking a walk and finding a quarter somewhere, perhaps when you are walking the dog or maybe strolling through the mall.

Look for the quarter when you are walking. Every time you are taking a walk, visualize the quarter.

How long did it take you to find the quarter?

You can use this exercise for just about anything! How about finding a parking space in a crowded mall parking lot? Or traversing heavy crosstown traffic? When I use this technique to find a parking space or to get through traffic, I visualize a warm knife sliding easily through butter and I say to myself “I will move through this traffic like a hot knife through butter.” I then mentally (and sometimes physically) repeat the word butter, almost performing a mantra.

It usually works! I do have great “luck” with finding parking spaces. And getting through traffic easily happens with a decent regularity. (Another time I will explain to you how I think this actually works. Believe or not, I do not think that it is the “Law of Attraction” per se.)

So, give these exercises a shot. A true, honest shot. Concentrate. Visualize.

Get for yourself the best of everything.