My dear friend Michael Abedin, publisher, author, editor, and so much more, passed away last month. I wrote this article for the tribute issue of his magazine, Austin All Natural:
“Take Your Time in a Hurry”
As Fast as Wayne Newton, As Slow as Wyatt Earp
By Dr Joe Vitale
“Can I see the revolver?”
I’ve known Michael over ten years. We’ve shared everything from Cuban cigars to old Scotch, fast cars to great books, spirituality to marketing, Reiki to Bach Flower Remedies, to our lives personal ups and downs. He was the greatest storyteller I ever knew.
I had him MC my events, like Attract Money Now Live and the Advanced Ho’oponopono retreat. He was also the MC when I performed as a singer-songwriter on stage at The Townsend in Austin with my Band of Legends. He also published my feature articles for more than ten years, and put me on the cover of his magazine, Austin All Natural, more times than I can recall.
We got together often, and shared our struggles and triumphs, usually over a bottle of aged Scotch.
Once Michael visited my home and wanted to see the old Colt six shooter I own. It used to belong to actor and bodybuilder Steve Reeves. It was part of my collection of Reeves memorabilia. I had the revolver and the leather belt Reeves wore in spaghetti western movies like A Long Ride from Hell. Michael knew it and was eager to see it.
Michael put on the belt and put the gun in the holster. It fit his tiny waist. He looked ready to be in a Quentin Tarantino movie.
He walked around with attitude, the leather gun belt low on his hip, and looked like he was about to step into the O.K. Corral. With his long hair, boots, and jeans, he fit the part of old cowboy. Or an eccentric modern one.
Being Michael, he repeated advice from Wyatt Earp.
“Fast is fine but accuracy is final,” Michael said, paraphrasing the famous gun-slinging sheriff. “In a gun fight, you need to take your time in a hurry.”
“Take your time in a hurry.”
Michael and I loved the phrase.
It was a Zen-like reminder for every aspect of life: slow down but be aware.
Act but be present.
We both had a drink of Scotch to toast the old lawman and his wisdom.
“Have you ever fired it?” Michael asked, holding the Colt.
“Never,” I said. “It’s just part of my Steve Reeves collection. I never intend to actually use it.”
Michael stood and practiced his fast draw. While he convincingly looked the part, he wasn’t ready to be in a duel. He fumbled several times. The gun seemed to stick in the holster. Michael looked frustrated. He really wanted to get this right.
He tried a few more times, doing his best to consciously will himself to be calm. He wanted to “take his time in a hurry.” He used his three decades of martial arts experience to center himself.
But he still withdrew the revolver too slow or too fumbling.
In a real gunfight, he’d be smoked.
“Pretend you’re Wayne,” I suggested.
“Wayne who?” he asked, his hand on the pistol.
“Wayne Newton,” I replied.
Michael stopped, his mouth agape, his eyes searching mine for meaning.
“Wayne Newton?” he repeated, baffled.
“I mean Wyatt Earp.”
“How did you get Wayne Newton out of Wyatt Earp?” he asked.
I shrugged. I didn’t really know. I was just trying to get him to loosen up.
I pointed to the now half empty bottle of Scotch.
Michael shook his head, took a deep breath, calmed himself, and pulled the gun out of the holster. It was smooth.
“Be slow in a hurry.”
He did it again.
Once he had the maneuver down pat, he stopped. But he spent the rest of the evening wearing the gun belt. We sat at the kitchen table, finishing our bottle of Scotch, talking, sharing, all with the gun on his hip.
On one level, it was surreal.
On another, it was simply Michael being Michael.
I loved him.
I miss him.
I comfort myself thinking Wyatt Earp, Steve Reeves and a long line of other greats, are gathered around Michael and listening to his stories. Maybe even watching him practice his quick draw.
And him reminding them, “Take your time in a hurry.”
There may be a MIRACLE in the making. Please no premature elation but here are the facts: tests have shown the key markers of several of the worst of my convergent medical problems have normalized and additional tests have suggested a path forward and can restore my life to a functional level. Consequently, I have been removed from hospice and have begun a new treatment regimen along with a rehab regimen, the outcomes of both far from guaranteed. There will be more information within the next 2 to 3 weeks and I will have a lot more to say about all of this then.
Updates like this are directly from me and can be accessed by everybody at www.DanKennedyTribute.com or for those of you connected with Lillo-Kennedy from Pete Lillo. These are the only official sources.
So it is possible you have not seen the last of me yet, and it is important now, more than ever, to keep our tribe together. As always your prayers and good wishes are felt and appreciated. I’ll release more news when it exists.
I’m shaking as I type this to you because I am SO excited to share this news –
Just scroll down on that page and you’ll find my smiling face on a video sharing the story with you.
PS – Last weekend I offered this to a crowd in Toronto and they ATE IT UP. I figured you would like it too
I love you
Dr. Joe Vitale “Aude aliquid dignum” *
Creator of Miracles Coaching, Hypnotic Writing,
The Secret Mirror, The Awakening Course, etc.
Coming soon: “Zero Limits Mastery”
Member BBB 2003 – 2019
* 16th century Latin: “Dare something worthy”
My most recent global interview was raw, intimate, inspiring, practical, personal and surprising.
The host said –
“This was a magical episode — really, truly amazing. Please give Joe my tremendous thanks, was truly a pleasure to spend time with him and he is welcome back onto the show anytime. Easily in our top 10 best episodes ever.”
You can hear it at –
PS – Be sure to visit my new site with lots of goodies, many are freee:
Note: Dan is still with us. See my update https://www.mrfire.com/marketing/dan-kennedy-update/
As I write this, marketing legend Dan Kennedy is in hospice. He has days to live. He may in fact be gone by the time I post this.
I am shaken. Dan has influenced me more than any other living marketer.
I have read his books, listened to his talks, devoured his newsletters, bought his courses, and more.
He has always been supportive of me.
He loved my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.He plugged it numerous times on stage, in his newsletters, and more.
He had me write about how I turned my Rolls Royce Phantom into a highly paid mastermind on wheels. He published it on the front page of his newsletter.
He interviewed me once with Jay Conrad Levinson and Jay Abraham, a humbling and joyous experience to be included with such icons.
He asked me to write the foreword to his book, No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent. I was so honored, I wrote and rewrote it until it was a masterpiece. He loved it. I was proud.
Years ago I interviewed him for my Hypnotic Gold series. It was on wealth attraction. It was one of the highlights of my career. You can listen to it here https://hypnotic-marketing-delivery.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/interviews/Dan+Kennedy.mp4
We talked about writing a book together. We kicked around ideas about events, joint ventures, hanging out, and more.
While he taught me copywriting and direct response marketing, and always reminded me to keep my eye on the bottom line, I find writing about him as he lay dying the most difficult writing of my life.
I don’t know how to process this let alone write about it.
Dan, I am forever grateful to you.
Godspeed on your next journey.
PS – Read about Dan’s current state at https://dankennedytribute.com
Note: You can listen to my Hypnotic Gold interview with Dan Kennedy on wealth attraction here https://hypnotic-marketing-delivery.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/interviews/Dan+Kennedy.mp4