As a subscriber to Bob Proctor's "Insight of the Day" daily motivational e-mail messages, I was quite impressed and motivated by Bob Proctor's story, I thought to share this awesome story here. Enjoy!
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 LifeSuccess Productions, a company that operates in over 100 different countries.
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 own business.
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 the road.
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 finish.
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.
As you step in the front door of the home I lived in on Maple Wood Lane in Glenview, Illinois, in 1973, there was a room immediately to your left I referred to as the den. Imagine a small room, approximately 12 feet by 12 feet. There are two very comfortable chairs on one wall, with a window in between. The opposite wall is a love seat. There are a couple of plants and pictures on the wall, a rug on the floor and that would be it.
As I go back in time, I see myself sitting in the first chair on the left hand side as you enter the room, with a pen and a pad. I'm beginning to write a description of the company I am going to build. I feel myself experiencing emotional discomfort. I have just left my position as Vice President of Sales with the Nightingale-Conant Corporation. I had been there for 5 years, and I am feeling a little insecure having left there. I know it is my old paradigm having flashes of control over me.
It's an odd thing. Intellectually I knew feeling insecure was silly. I had built a very successful company on my own prior to joining Nightingale-Conant; I could do it again. I had well over a decade of serious study of the human personality. I clearly understood why we do what we do and why we don't do many of the things we want to do. Regardless, that feeling of insecurity was there. I am sure you know what I am talking about. I had worked with Nightingale-Conant for 5 years, and I realized that working for someone else, receiving a paycheck from them over a 60-month period had created a relationship in my mind where the company and my security were connected. They were writing the check; they were looking after me so I was secure.
Intellectually I knew that was a false concept, but I wasn't dealing with my intellect, I was dealing with my emotions. I was dealing with my old paradigm. We're raised with the idea, get a good job, you'll be safe. It's such a false idea and yet it's one that a high percentage of the population believes in.
Fortunately, I understood what was causing this emotional discomfort. It was the paradigm, and I would not let the paradigm win. Intellectually I knew if I built one company I could build another and that's what I intended to do.
With pen and pad in hand I began to describe what I was going to do with my life from that point on. I had once heard Earl Nightingale say that we should find out what we love to do and then dedicate our life to it. When he said that I made a physical and mental note of it. I had an innate understanding that that was one of the beautiful truths we should all live by. And that idea was running around my mind as I sat preparing to mentally create my company.
I knew what I loved doing. I loved teaching people the Truth. I loved showing people how their paradigm is nothing but a multitude of habits that had been fixed in their subconscious mind by other people. It was robbing them of their dream. It was controlling their thinking. It was controlling their life. I love teaching people how to recognize and change that.
I made up my mind sitting in that little 12 x 12 room that day that I would dedicate the rest of my life to this work. With that decision made, quitting was not an option. My dream had to manifest. There was only one way to go.
Initially my new company consisted of just a few notes on a lined pad. But those few notes triggered a picture in my mind that was awesome. And I had enough experience under my belt to know that all you have to do is hold the picture and then follow your feelings. Your feelings will direct you on what your next step is. I think Thomas Carlisle put it very well when he said, "Go as far as you can see; when you get there you'll see how to go further."
The first step became obvious. If I was going to teach a seminar I would have to write one first. I had sufficient information but it had to be organized into a seminar format. Another thought came to my mind almost simultaneously -- go ahead and sell the seminar and then you'll have to write it. I had two people that wanted to work with me. One lived in Belleville, Ontario, about 150 miles East of Toronto. The other one was in Gary, Indiana. I was planning on moving back to Toronto from Chicago. So I decided we would do a seminar in 3 different cities each week: Belleville on Monday night, Toronto on Tuesday night and Gary, Indiana on Thursday night. It would be an 8-week seminar, 3 hours each week from 7-10pm.
I sold it, wrote it and taught it all at the same time during that 8 week period. I wrote the first seminar and the week I was teaching it I wrote the 2nd one and so on. It was a busy 8 weeks. I clearly remember the last week of the seminar series - the last seminar was on leadership. I worked all night and then lay down on the floor and went to sleep. The seminar was taken to the printer. When it was delivered to the hotel in Belleville on Monday night for me to teach, the ink was still wet on the paper. That was a crazy 8 weeks. Although the experience was worth millions, I sure would never want to do it again.
That's where it all started.
Then I sold the seminar to The Prudential of America Insurance Company. It was highly successful.
The seminar was showing people why they weren't doing the things they really wanted to do. It explained how their mind operated on two different levels. The Conscious Mind is our thinking mind. It's where we make our plans. And sometimes that is where the plans stay - they never see the light of day as the Subconscious Mind controls our behavior. If you are going to realize your plans and turn them into results, you must deposit those plans in the treasury of your Subconscious Mind. That requires changing the conditioning.
Right from the beginning we were very successful. The word of what we were doing was spreading. We were invited into various companies and into other countries.
Every cent that we earned was pumped back into the Company. I believed this was a safe bet because I was betting on me. I had eliminated all options. The company must grow; it must continue. I could not lose. I often wonder about people who want to be in business for themselves but don't want to spend any money to do it. A lot of people start a business and say "I'm going to give it a try." That never works. You must give it your all.
I was invited to Australia to do a seminar. I had to go to the Australian Embassy to get a Visa to enter the country. I got talking to the man that ran the Australian Embassy in Toronto, and I ended up selling him a license to operate our company in Australia.
Based on a write up in Success Magazine, I got a call from Malaysia from a man in Kuala Lumpur. I ended up conducting seminars for all the insurance companies in Malaysia and Singapore. Our company was selected over a number of other companies to conduct a complete program for all the personnel of Malaysia Airlines from the Captain to the baggage claim personnel, from the board of directors to the ticket counter representatives.
I was virtually living on an airplane. Fortunately, I don't mind flying, and I get a lot of work done when I'm in the air. However, I knew that if the company was going to continue to grow I could not be the only one that was teaching seminars.
It was then that we decided that we would set up a consulting/facilitation division where individuals who had a desire to do what I was doing could purchase a license to teach all of our material. That concept has been very successful and enabled LifeSuccess Productions to be represented in approximately 90 countries around the world.
Like any business, ours had its ups and downs, but I always refused to quit. After all, I had burned all my bridges.
I can't think of anything where I could get more satisfaction than that which I enjoy in this business. As I'm writing this, I am getting ready to fly to Zurich in a few hours, from there to Los Angeles, then to Phoenix, then onto Helsinki in Finland. That's this month. And that's only a part of what I'm doing. I believe this has to be the most exciting business there is. I've been in it since 1968. Every year I enjoy it more than the prior year.