Imagine a "success coach" that was actually…successful

Flashcards of the Psyche

I haven’t been posting much for a long time. Truth be told I’ve been through a period of successive business losses and life challenges which had me fundamentally questioning whether I had any credibility toward writing a blog like this. Maybe I’m not only an “anti”-guru, maybe I’m a non-guru, the un-guru. I wondered if maybe I was just some schmuck who had gotten a little lucky, caught a jetstream to some outward success, which had since tapered out and left me an empty shell of my former (largely illusory) self: some windbag loser who should just STFU.

As anybody who’s followed this blog knows, I have contempt for professional gurus who don’t have a track record at actually doing anything, other than pontificating about success (most of them Law of Attraction “experts”). For awhile there, I felt like I was actually successful at doing stuff (hence the tagline for the blog).

Then a few years ago (wow, has it been that long?) things kind of went off the rails for me. A string of business failures outside of my core business, and coincidentally (as anybody who has ever hit a slump knows, seemingly inevitably) even my core business started sputtering. We lost money 3 years in a row. We’d never even had back-to-back losing years, let alone 3 of them.
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Nevermind cold pets, help a human

The other night, during that ungodly deep-freeze that had even us Canadians howling “FSCK! It’s Cold!”, we were on our way to see Aladdin down at Mirvish Theatre. Stopped at a traffic light a beggar approached the car, and stood there for what seemed an eternity as I patted my pants pockets and realized I had no toonies or loonies on me to hand over. I shrugged “sorry” through the window as the lights changed and drove on, only then realizing that we were in my wife’s car and she keeps a pile of them in her drivers side cup holder.

I dropped my wife and daughter at the entrance and ended up parking about 4 blocks away. On the way from the parking lot to the theatre I almost broke down and wept, it was so goddamn cold! I thought back to the homeless beggar and berated myself, never mind giving the guy a handful of toonies and loonies, on a night like this I should have reached into my jacket pocket and given the guy $50 or so that he could just get the hell off the street and warm up somewhere.

During the week long cold snap I saw a lot of people on Facebook sharing “memes” depicting cold house pets and urging everybody to “get your pets inside! it’s cold out!” I found myself sardonically noting that there was a visible absence of memes depicting desperately freezing people, out on the street, with nowhere to go.
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Ignoring this Brian Tracy Rule Cost me over $400,000

There are two kinds of “success coaches”, those that are speaking from real world business experience and those whose real world experience consists solely of being…”a success coach”. Charlatans like Joe Vitale or the wannabe Steve Pavlina are typical of the latter.

Brian Tracy is the exemplar of the former. I love Brian Tracy, his core message is pretty much the same throughout most of his work, but it’s a good one. Sometimes I need to hear something about a dozen times before it finally sinks in (just ask my wife).

His Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires is a fantastic entry-level seminar which I make a point of re-listening too every few months or so.

I was recently recounting the story of a particularly disastrous CXO level hire at one of my companies to a longtime mentor and I mentioned Brian Tracy’s maxim on hiring and firing:
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