A few days ago I got the inner nudge to contact self-publishing legend Dan Poynter.
I didn’t do it, and now I know why.
Dan was no longer there to reply.
Dan helped me almost thirty years ago, with advice about publishing, and later by sending me clients for my copywriting services, getting me hired as a speaker at publishing conventions, introducing me at giant events like the National Speakers Association where I was the keynote speaker, and more.
Over the decades, we became friends.
He was the first person to ever stay as a guest in my home when I lived in Houston, was the primary resource I turned to for advice about publishing in any form, and was a friend I could talk to about books or cats.
He believed in e-books before I did.
He believed anyone could become an author, and showed them how.
He believed everyone needed encouragement, and offered it to all, including me.
He believed in stunts to get attention, and loved being involved.
When I helped generate the idea for a national publicity event involving President George H. W. Bush, to help promote parachuting, Dan was right there to help.
The former senior President wanted a special parachute.
Dan, being an expert on the subject because of the self-published best-selling book he had written on it, found the chute.
And the news went global.
Since 1969, Dan wrote more than 130 books, many reports, and more than 800 magazine articles, most of them on book publishing.
But he also wrote about – and because of his books became the authority on – other subjects.
When I was asked to be an expert witness in a court, it was Dan who advised me what to do and what to charge.
How did he know?
He had written about it.
Most of the advice I gave people when I was a publishing consultant, and when I was teaching writing and publishing classes, came from experts like Dan.
His books taught me, and I shared what I learned.
When I was broke and unknown and struggling, it was gurus like Dan who gave me a leg up, offered advice, and encouraged me, even when they made no money or had any idea the advice would stick.
Dan Poynter was like that.
We didn’t stay in regular contact over the last few years, so I didn’t know he developed leukemia.
And I didn’t know that he died on November 3, 2015.
That was the day he came to my mind – as if he was saying goodbye.
He was 77.
Dan was the self-publishing guru who helped countless newbie authors – including me.
Thank you, Dan Poynter.
I will miss you.
PS – Dan’s books are relevant to any author. Look him up on Amazon or at http://www.parapublishing.com/sites/para/
Maybe you’ve seen this, too —
Lots of people claim to be Law of Attraction experts — and yet continue to struggle.
Lots of people claim to be marketing experts — and yet can’t market their own goods.
Lots of people claim to be life coaches — and yet can’t influence their own children.
My favorite story is of the person who wrote a book on marketing – and then asked how to market it.
Or of the wealth coach who said he couldn’t meet potential clients for lunch — because he was broke.
I don’t know if these people are aware of their own hypocrisy, but this sort of self-deception is rampant.
Sadly, they also prey on the public.
They probably do it unconsciously and unintentionally, but they still do it.
You deserve better.
If you want to learn from a person who mastered marketing, money *and* the Law of Attraction, and went from homeless to living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, and has proven his coaching skills and methods over *decades* with countless numbers of people from all over the world, and in numerous best selling books, audios, movies, and more, then get over to —
PS — And IF you are ready for personal training, with me, over an entire year, then go discover The Gullwing Mastermind http://blog.mrfire.com/whats-your-gullwing/
A dear friend asked me to create a list of recommended current books to read. I loved doing it. He looked at that list and said he hadn’t read any of them, and had only heard of one of them. With that in mind, I thought you might like to see the list. Here you go…
The Walk by Philippe Petit. Riveting. Unique. Made me hyperventilate.
I, Mammal by Loretta Breuning. Enlightening. Read all of her books.
The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth. Fun, funny, flippant. It will spin your writing into a spell generator. (“Spell” as in “I’ll put a spell on you!”)
The Book of est by Luke Rhinehart. Hypnotic. Loved it so much I published it. 🙂
Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder by Samuel Wilson Fussell. Wise, well written and deeply revealing.
Making the American Body by Jonathan Black. Entertaining.
Mark Twain: Man in White by Michael Shelden. Love Twain.
The Shack by William Young. Novel.
Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang. Hilarious and empowering.
The Power of Neuroplasticity by Shad Helmstetter. Simple yet beautiful.
Lincoln: Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan. Love Lincoln.
Thomas Jefferson: Art of Power by Jon Meacham. Fascinating.
Bill Veeck by Paul Dickson. The Barnum of baseball.
Chronicles by Bob Dylan. Reads like a folk song with Dylan style.
The Most Contented Man by Joseph J. Vitale. My Dad. 🙂
Stuntman! By Hal Needham. Lively read.
The Einstein of Money by Joe Carlen. Insightful.
Not Impossible by Mick Ebeling. Inspiring.
The Power of Impossible Thinking by Yoram and Cook. Life changing.
The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein by Ed Spielman. Astonishing.
And any book by Joe Vitale... 🙂
PS – I love books. Feel free to leave a comment telling me about your own favorites.
The passing this week of self-help author Wayne Dyer has shaken and saddened the world.
He influenced millions, inspiring them, educating them, being a light for the road ahead.
He wrote forty books, recorded numerous programs, and spoke to millions.
He changed my life, too, way back in the early 1980s.
I borrowed his books and cassettes from the public library. I watched him on television.
He was brilliant in articulating principles I had not heard before.
He was one of the first great living teachers in my life.
I still remember him talking about the difference in scolding a child, and scolding a child’s behavior.
They were two different things.
The child was never wrong, but their behavior might be.
The first audio program I ever heard of his was How to Be A No-Limit Person from Nightingale-Conant.
That was probably around 1980. I was still struggling but deeply searching, too.
Wayne’s program helped me rethink my own life, including my beliefs and behaviors.
He helped awaken me to inner powers and renewed optimism.
He helped get me through the dark night of my soul.
I also learned book marketing from Wayne.
I remember the story of him quitting his job in 1976, loading a station wagon with his first book (Your Erroneous Zones) and traveling the country for an entire year, going on every radio or TV show that would have him as a guest.
It was old school door-to-door marketing.
He was relentless and persistent in sharing his message to the world.
When he returned home, his neighbors said, “Hey, while you were on vacation, your book became a bestseller.”
Obviously, he made it one.
I never met Wayne in any formal way but we spoke at the same event for Hay House in Austin a couple of years ago, and I saw him once years beforehand.
“The next time you are contemplating a decision in which you are debating whether or not to take charge of yourself, to make your own choice, ask yourself an important question, ‘How long am I going to be dead?’ With that eternal perspective, you can now make your own choice and leave the worrying, the fears, the question of whether you can afford it and the guilt to those who are going to be alive forever.” – Wayne Dyer
We were walking along the beach in Maui, going in different directions, and I said hi to him.
He paused long enough to acknowledge me, but I kept walking.
He was with a friend and I was focused on my walk.
I’m certain he would have stopped and chatted, as I sensed his humbleness, serenity and friendliness.
But the moment passed.
And now Wayne Dyer, age 75, has passed.
I regret that I didn’t stop my stroll long enough to share a few words, and to thank him in person for influencing me, too.
The world will miss Wayne Dyer, but they will never forget him.
His contributions will live forever.
As will our love for him.
Thank you, Wayne.
You did well.
PS – A news report of the passing of Wayne Dyer is here: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/self-help-pioneer-dr-wayne-dyer-dies-75-n418556
I read Michael Singer’s bestselling book, The Surrender Experiment, in one day.
His true story of simply meditating every day and doing whatever was in front of him to do led to everything from him being a land owner, leader of a spiritual community, author of a bestselling book, a multimillionaire with hundreds of employees, and more.
All he says he did each day was “surrender” to the “flow” of life.
While I loved the book, it raised a lot of questions.
For example, Singer seems oblivious to his own belief system.
Early in the book, when he is offered money to teach, he resists and refuses.
That hardly sounds like surrender.
It sounds more like he had beliefs about money.
Otherwise, why wouldn’t he surrender to the offering?
Later, when his software service becomes so marketable that it brings millions of dollars in his direction, he redirects it away from himself, buying more and more land and donating it to his growing spiritual community, which is where he happens to live.
There is nothing wrong with any of this, of course.
But being aware of this behavior is crucial to spiritual awakening.
Too many people still think “money bad” when in fact money is neutral.
It’s your beliefs about it that make it good, bad, or indifferent.
Also, Singer says he has “no intentions” and no “personal preferences” – yet he intends to meditate every day and intends to surrender to the flow, and prefers to meditate in the morning and at night.
And when he can’t decide something, the most powerful personality in the room gets him to “surrender” to his desire, such as take a job, or take pay.
Clearly, the author is intending and preferring.
But let’s go even deeper.
Singer’s surrender to the flow of life lands him with an FBI raid, a lawsuit of the magnitude more attorneys then you have ever thought possible are brought in to handle the case, and the journey through the courts lasts years.
While it all worked out in the end – which is part of Singer’s point – why did it happen in the first place?
Throughout his book he suggests that the “the flow” of life is an underlying spiritual force that has intelligence and that is taking care of us, leading us to the experiences we need for our next growth spurt and consciousness expansion.
While I don’t argue with the flow – I do my best to honor it each day myself – you have to stop and reflect on what is the flow – your unconscious mind or the sum total of all life’s previous decisions or some wise Divinity?
Carl Jung said it best with the quote I used in my book, The Attractor Factor —
Millions of people, including Singer, swear by meditation as the way to see beyond the chatter of the mind and find the flow.
But many new books, such as The Buddha Pill, offer compelling evidence that meditation can actually be dark.
Personally I feel it depends on the user.
If you are already of sound mind and body, meditation may help you relax even more and give you the ability to see behind the curtain, to the “whiteboard” or Witness of life.
But if you are new to meditation and personal development, and have any emotional issues or past traumas, meditation may mask your wounds, hide your emotions, and allow your unconscious to trick you.
For example, we saw the movie Love Sick the other night.
It was about a man who falls in love and then sabotages his love.
To everyone else, he is insane.
Why would he sabotage his own love life?
To himself, he is sane.
His behavior and what he sees is all very real, and very accurate, to him.
It isn’t until someone shows him an MRI scan of his own brain in love, and explains his self destructive behavior, that he wakes up and begins to reshape his brain to create new behavior.
But his “flow” led him to paranoia.
His “natural” tendency was to fall in love and then find a reason to break off the relationship.
That was his flow.
And it wasn’t healthy, or getting him what he really wanted.
Again, I firmly believe that the unconscious/subconscious is running the ship of our lives, and often into rocks.
We have to awaken to our own programming to get a handle on just what is urging us to act.
After all, I’ve spent decades teaching about “counter-intentions” — those unconscious beliefs that cause you not to attract your conscious intentions.
Books such as The Key and audios such as The Missing Secret are designed to help you awaken to what is and is not the flow in your life.
Here’s another example that you’ll probably relate to:
When you go on a diet, your natural “flow” is to keep eating, not stop.
The current of your life is already moving in the direction of over eating.
That is your present “flow.”
It will feel like you are battling the flow in order to hold your hands down when facing yummy foods.
So, do you really want to follow the flow when you are dieting?
Here’s another example:
When I was drafting the post about my new Gullwing Mastermind, I accidentally hit a key that deleted the entire post.
I was shocked.
I had no idea what I did, or how, or why.
In my panic, I closed all my open windows and rebooted my computer.
When I opened the post, the file had returned.
But then things got even stranger.
When I reached to hit the button to save my post, I accidentally published it.
I couldn’t believe it.
I wasn’t ready to publish the article yet.
But I took a deep breath, decided “something” wanted me to go ahead and post that article, and I accepted it.
But was it my unconscious or the flow that made me do it?
To paraphrase Jung, until you awaken, you will say Fate (or The Flow) is creating your life, when in reality it’s your own unconscious mind.
And let’s not forget that you can re-direct the flow with a decision.
If you haven’t been working out, your flow is to stay on the couch.
But after you set an intention and make a decision to exercise, your new flow will have you moving again.
At first it may feel unnatural, because you are going against the “flow” of a habit you had, but as you persist, your new flow will become natural.
Said another way, the neuro-pathways in your brain were already paved and running to keep you on the sofa; when you decided to exercise, you began to build new neuro-pathways, thereby creating a new behavior, a new habit, and a new flow.
So yes, there is a flow in your life already moving, but you can redirect it with a decision.
You just have to be awake enough to do it.
And now, before you go, let’s look at this whole issue even closer...
There is a deeper level of flow, the “witness” behind it all, and identifying more with It than the thoughts and feelings overlaying it, may be a wiser approach to surrender.
Our job is to discern the difference.
For example, what drove me to write this commentary?
On one level it could be my unconscious beliefs about being “right” and how I feel it is necessary to prove how smart I am by pointing out what Singer missed.
On another level, it could be due to the deeper flow nudging me to write this because it needs written, no matter what explanation or rationale, in order to contribute to the awakening of the planet.
Or maybe I jut decided it was a great opportunity to speak my mind.
Which is correct?
I honestly don’t know.
The Witness non-judgmentally observes all.
But I, like Singer, am simply doing what I sense is the next appropriate thing for me to do in this moment.
Again, I loved Singer’s book and urge you to read it. It is a hypnotic read, fast moving, and entertaining. He is on to something with surrender, but just be alert to what you are surrendering to.
After all, the Witness just witnesses; it doesn’t tell you what to do.
It will witness you cry or laugh or do or not do.
You, as a thinking, feeling being, still get to decide.
Bottom line: surrender to the flow that is the most loving and empowering, while paying attention to how you created/attracted the flow in the first place through your own previous decisions, and know that any decision you make now contributes to or even redirects the flow.
I’ll say that again –
Just something to think about.
PS – I am currently reading Singer’s earlier book, titled The Untethered Soul. It is also excellent.