Tag Archives: inspiration

Benjamin Franklin’s Rules For Failure – Your Hidden Roadmap To Success

By Mark Bowser

I can imagine that the title of this article wasn’t what you were expecting when you turned to this page. You might be wondering why anyone would come up with their own rules for failure?   Particularly, if that person was Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was one of the most successful individuals in American history.  After all, his many achievements included being the inventor of the  lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, and bifocals. He was the nation’s first Postmaster General, the author of Poor Richard’s Almanack, and a member of the Committee of Five along with Thomas Jefferson which drafted the Declaration of Independence. Franklin was a wise ole soul who didn’t do too many things without intention.  So, what would be the value of knowing how to fail?

The late Jim Rohn who was known as America’s Foremost Business Philosopher used to say that losers should give seminars. Why? Where else could one safeguard their life for success. Think about it. If a loser taught us everything they knew about living a life of failure, all we would have to do is stay away from what they did and do something different.

Ben Franklin’s strategy for success by avoiding the rules of failure is actually pretty astute. In fact, in his autobiography, Franklin admitted that he learned this the hard way by following the rules of failure at one point in his life.

So, let’s explore what this wise old gent discovered about being a loser so that we can lead ourselves and our organizations to success. On November 15, 1750, Benjamin Franklin wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette his Rules for Making Oneself a Disagreeable Companion. Franklin knew what failures thought.  Failures arrogantly  believe that “Your Business is to shine; therefore you must by means prevent the shining of others…” In order to accomplish this dubious distinction, here are Franklin’s rules.

1. “If possible engross the whole Discourse; and when other Matter fails, talk much of your-self, your Education, your Knowledge, your Circumstances, your Successes in Business, your Victories in Disputes, your own wise Sayings and Observations on particular Occasions….”

I think we all have known a person like the one Franklin describes. The self-centered soul who arrogantly drops names as they pursue their know it all life.  How do you like spending time with such a person?  You wished you could be with them everyday, right? Not likely. Usually, we try to avoid those people like snow on a summer day.

Now, the big question is when did we behave like the person Franklin described? Notice the word “when.” If we are honest with ourselves, I believe most of us have been that person multiple times in our lives.  It is time for us to walk a different path. Next time you are in a conversation, ask questions instead of talking. Listen instead of debating. And, serve instead of taking. Some one hundred and fifty years later, Dale Carnegie gave very similar advice in his classic bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People. Hmmm, we would be wise to take this to heart.

2. “If when you are out of Breath, one of the Company should seize the Opportunity of saying something; watch his Words, and, if possible, find somewhat either in his Sentiment or Expression, immediately to contradict and raise a Dispute upon. Rather than fail, criticize even his Grammar.” 

Years ago, I had to work on occasion with a very disagreeable business associate. This fellow worked hard to find areas in which to criticize me.  In fact, one time he even did criticize my grammar. How did it make me feel? It ticked me off…but I remind you (as well as myself) the reason why people are disagreeable souls. It is usually because they feel bad about themselves. They feel inferior, lacking, and not worthwhile. They, themselves have a poor self-image. So, the next time you come across one of these disagreeable individuals, instead of defending yourself, feel pity for them instead.  Understand they themselves are hurting and forgive them for their rude behavior. And…commit yourself to never, ever behaving likewise.

3. “If another should be saying an indisputably good Thing; either give no Attention to it; or interrupt him; or draw away the Attention of others; or, if you can guess what he would be at, be quick and say it before him; or, if he gets it said, and you perceive the Company pleas’d with it, own Locke, Bayle, or some other eminent Writer; thus you deprive him of the Reputation he might have gain’d by it, and gain some yourself, as you hereby show your great Reading and Memory.”

In a nutshell, don’t be an arrogant, egotistical pain in the butt who nobody ever wants to be around.

4. “When modest Men have been thus treated by you a few times, they will chuse ever after to be silent in your Company; then you may shine on without Fear of a Rival; rallying them at the same time for their Dullness, which will be to you a new Fund of Wit.”

In delusion, the disagreeable individual takes their comrades’ silence as victory, when in reality, it is the ultimate in defeat when it comes to human interactions.

So, we can choose success by doing the opposite of Franklin’s rules. The wise old gent leaves us with a final warning, “Thus you will be sure to please yourself. The polite Man aims at pleasing others, but you shall go beyond him even in that. A Man can be present only in one Company, but may at the same time be absent in twenty. He can please only where he is, you where-ever you are not.” Hmmm, let us both chew on those words for awhile.

Go For Your Dreams!

INSPIRATION #64: You will never reach greatness until you are willing to step out of the house.

Many of us have great dreams of accomplishing tremendous tasks but we never act on those dreams. We’re afraid we might fail so we’d rather do nothing. I would rather strive for the mountain top and fail then to succeed at being comfortable and never leave my house. Step out of your comfortable surroundings and TAKE ACTION FOR YOUR DREAMS!

*Excerpted from “Jesus, Take the Wheel” by Mark Bowser. Get Your Copy Now

at http://amzn.to/TPpuOw

Why Positive Thinking…

By Mark Bowser

Now, it appears that being optimistic is under attack by the so called “realistic” news media. They say it is a philosophical idea of where you believe it, see it, and somehow what you want magically happens. These news people are either ignorant, corrupt, or flat out not very bright.

Positive thinking is an attitude, not a philosophy. Positive Thinkers are not delusional. Positive Thinkers have it right…and we need more of them. Positive Thinkers look for the best and when you look for the opportunities, you will find them. Then, you see that opportunity you choose as if it is achieved (This is called positive imaging and it is used all the time, particularly by athletes. It motivates and pushes you toward that successful end.) Then, you take action…massive action…on that opportunity.

Without Positive Thinking, would there be an American flag on the moon, a victory in WWI and WWII against tyranny, a Wal-Mart or an Amazon, a state championship by Milan High School (see the story of “Hickory” in the movie “Hoosiers” which is based on the true story of Bobby Plump leading Milan to victory)?… I dare say none of these things would have happened if not for positive thinking.

Positive Thinking is about faith in God, a belief in yourself, and taking action toward your goals. When did this become controversial? I suggest all the naysayers pick up a classic book titled “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. It just might change your life!

I am humbly proud to count myself amongst the millions of Positive Thinking champions!

Why Do Some Leaders Fail?

By Mark Bowser

Why do leaders fail? This is a tricky question. One with multiple depths of answers. However, I believe there are two shining pillars that are always missing from leaders who fail. Sometimes, these failing leaders are missing both of these pillars and at other times they are missing just one of them. But, if either is missing, failure is inevitable.

What are these missing pillars? They are Character and Vision. Let’s take a few minutes to explore these pillars a bit deeper.  Hitler was a man of great vision. A man who succeeded a great deal. But, Hitler was a lousy leader. Why? Because of a lack of moral character. Yes, he thought he had character. Yes, many others around him thought he had character too. But, to the masses of the world and to history, he lacked the basic moral character of honesty, uprightness, and love for fellow human beings. Because of this, he eventually failed and caused misery to millions of people.  We could get into the theological reasons for this failure, but that is one for another discussion. All leaders who lack character at their core will fail. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. To know this is true, all we have to do is look back at the last fifty years of contemporary history and look at all the people who have fallen from the heights of success to the depths of despair. Just to mention a few, we have evangelist Jim Baker, politician Gary Hart, and companies such as Enron. Unfortunately, the list could go on and on and on.

The second pillar that is missing from leaders who fail is vision. Vision is vital. Vision is critical. King Solomon in the book of Proverbs said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” And perish indeed they will. Where there is no vision or direction, people wander around in chaos with no purpose. The human experience needs direction and purpose. We not only need purpose, we crave it. Vision provides not only the direction but the purpose of the destination before the journey ever begins.

Successful leaders continually develop these two pillars. They are mindful of their character and where they are going. Would there be an America without a Washington? Would there be two countries if not for Lincoln? Would England have survived World War Two without Churchill, and would there be a Walt Disney World without a Walt? Will your organization thrive without you? A “you” who is focused on incredible character and a vision worthy of the moon. Some thoughts for us all to ponder.  Thanks for reading today. God bless!

*Mark Bowser is a leadership and sales expert and for the last 27 years has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, and even Australia presenting business seminars. He is the author of several books including “Nehemiah on Leadership,” “Sales Success” with Zig Ziglar, “Some Gave It All” with Danny Lane (endorsed by Chuck Norris), and “The 3 Pillars of Success.” Mark Bowser can be reached at his website www.MarkBowser.com or email mark@MarkBowser.com. Schedule Mark for your next conference or training event. Online Seminars available too.

“Let MeTell You A Story”

“Let Me Tell You a Story” the podcast

Podcast coming soon…Stay Tuned! Everyone loves stories, particularly inspiring ones. Join author and professional speaker Mark Bowser as he guides you on incredible journeys in search of success. You will cross the Delaware in a snow storm with General George Washington, soar to the moon landing with Neil Armstrong, and hang precariously from a skyscraper with a steel worker named Nick. With each episode, you will be motivated with a story packed with principles that shine the light on your own success journey.

Mark Bowser is an author of several books and a Professional Speaker. To check his speaking availability or to contact him then go to http://www.MarkBowser.com

The Sun Is Coming Up!

Every sunrise is filled with the possibilities of a new sales day.

Just as the sun comes up every morning to sing forth a brand new day, every sunrise is an opportunity to start life fresh and new in your sales career.  The mistakes of yesterday are gone.  Maybe you blew it with that big client.  Maybe you lost a great opportunity. Forgive yourself and start anew.  We never know what exciting adventures are in store for us with each sunrise. 

There are two poems I would like to share with you which talk about starting life anew.  Whitman wrote the first poem, and an unknown author wrote the second. “Finish each day and be done with it; you have done what you could.  No doubt some blunders and absurdities crept in; forget them as quickly as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely.”

“I’ve shut the door on yesterday its sorrow and mistakes; and now I throw the key away to seek another room and furnish it with hope and smiles and every springtime bloom.  I’ve shut the door on yesterday and thrown the key away.  Tomorrow holds no fears for me, since I have found today.”

Grab hold of the possibilities of this new sales day and Carpe Diem … “Seize the Day!”

*Excerpted from the inspiring little sales book “Sell Your Way To Success” by Mark Bowser. Get your copy now on Amazon (www.Amazon.com/author/markbowser)

Doing the Impossible with Walt Disney

By Mark Bowser

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” —- Walt Disney

Impossible. Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it as “That cannot be… Impracticable; not feasible; that cannot be done.” But Walt Disney made it a habit of doing what others labeled impossible.

Hmmm, he made it a habit. Let’s think about that for a minute. Webster’s defines habit as “A disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition. Hence we speak of good habits and bad habits.”

Disney made it a point of repetition to tackle what others said was impossible. He believed in possibilities and he constantly took action on that belief. Because of that action and belief, today we have Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the list goes on and on.

So, how do we, like Disney, accomplish the impossible? I believe there are four pivotal steps in accomplishing the impossible. Let’s explore them together.

One, DREAM. Without a dream, possibilities wither on the vine. What do you have in your heart? If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? It was T.E. Lawrence who said, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” Let us all become a little more dangerous. Let us become men and women of enthusiasm, passion, and of conviction for a dream.

Two, have a GAME PLAN OF ACTION. Having a big dream isn’t enough. We must put those dreams into action. Break your dream down into bite size chunks and get to work on them. Paul J. Meyer said, “Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.”

Three, WHO CAN HELP YOU? No one can reach the top of success mountain all by themself? Disney had his brother Roy. He also had a team of dedicated believers. And even when Disney had thinkers of impossibles in his inner circle, he sought help elsewhere. Who can help you? Who has the financial possibilities? Who has the asset possibilities? Who believes in you and your dream?

Four, FAITH. To succeed at your dream, you have to have unshakable belief. Times will get tough. The road will become hazardous during your journey. What is going to keep you going? You must have faith and hope to keep going. A faith in God, in yourself, and in the importance of your dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

When you have those four steps in place, you can’t lose. Your dream is alive! After all, dreams do come true. We have a Walt Disney World to prove it. Disney was right. It is fun doing the impossible.

*Mark Bowser is one of the top Professional Business Speakers in the United States. He is the author of several books including “Nehemiah on Leadership,” “Sales Success” with Zig Ziglar, “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “The 3 Pillars of Success for Funeral Directors,” “Some Gave It All” with Danny Lane (endorsed by Chuck Norris), etc…

*To schedule Mark Bowser for your next conference or training event, please email info@MarkBowser.com or visit http://www.MarkBowser.com

SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES

By Mark Bowser

What is it about the Super Successful? It is almost as if they attract success to them like a magnet to medal. What is it about them? No matter how successful you and I may already be — we can be more. So, how can we boost our results and join the Super Successful? How can you take your life to the next level and achieve more influence and more income then you thought humanly possible? Difficult you say? Some are even thinking impossible as they read those words. Think again. 

We know every thing there is to know about the Super Successful. They have been studied for decades. I have studied them myself for many years. And, I have stood on the shoulders of the giants who came before me who studied them too. 

We know how the Super Successful think. We know what they believe. We know their habits. We know the actions they have taken. We know what has worked for them and what has failed…and we have learned why…and so can you. 

Write this down. I want you to make yourself a note and carry it around with you for a week. This is what this whole concept boils down to. Are you ready? Here it is! Success Leaves Clues! Success Leaves Clues! If we do the things that the Super Successful have done then we are going to get similar if not identical results. If we learn to think the way they think and adopt their positive habits as our own then success is inevitable. 

So, if you don’t like where you are right now or the results you have been getting — then realize you aren’t stuck…unless you choose to be stuck. You can change. You can become better. You can reach your dreams. But, you have to change course. If your ship is in unfriendly territory then you need to steer the rudder towards favorable seas.  It is all about your beliefs. And, your beliefs lead to your thoughts. And, your thoughts lead to your actions. Before you know it, you will have adopted a success philosophy that has become a habit. 

One of the elements of being Super Successful is asking better questions. Lousy questions lead to lousy answers. The Super Successful ask better and better questions and that leads to the answers they need to win.  

One of my colleagues, Brian Tracy, used to tell a fascinating story about Albert Einstein. In 1942, Einstein was teaching a physics class at Oxford University. He had just given a final exam to the seniors in the physics program. He and his teaching assistant were walking across campus and Einstein could tell that something was bothering his assistant. Finally, the assistant burst out his quandary. “Dr. Einstein, I am confused. The exam that you just administered to the senior class — isn’t that the same exam you gave them a year ago?”

“Yes, it was the same exam,” said Dr. Einstein.  

“Then, how do you give the same exam to the same students two years in a row?”

“Oh, that is simple,” said Einstein. “The answers have changed.”

What did Einstein mean that the answers had changed? We may not understand every nugget he was referring to — Einstein had a tendency to think on a different plane then most of us. But, his statement is applicable to us today. What concerns did you have a year ago? It isn’t the same concerns you have today, is it? The answers have changed. What goals did you have a year ago? Most of those goals are different today. The answers have changed. Where was the American economy a few years ago? It isn’t in the same place today. The answers have changed.  

In order for us to get better answers, we have to ask better questions. My son is a sophomore in high school. It must have been when he was in fourth or fifth grade when I experienced the ‘New Math’ for the first time. If you haven’t experienced it as of yet — just let me say it is an eye opener. 

One night, I was helping Andrew with his homework in long division. Let me tell you, I can do long division. We’re not talking about rocket science. We’re talking about elementary school long division. As we were working, I corrected Andrew on his process. He stopped me and said, “Dad, my teacher doesn’t want me to do that way.”

“What do you mean your teacher doesn’t want you to do it that way? That is how you do long division. How does she want you to do it?”

Well, Andrew proceeded to show me how they were taught to calculate a long division problem. Remember how we were all taught. Let’s say we needed to divide 5,227 by 15. We would write down the 15, draw the line up and over and put 5,227 under the line. 

Then, we would ask ourselves, “Hmm, how many times does 15 go into the first two digits?” In this case it is how many times does 15 go into 52. Oh, they don’t do it that way in the ‘New Math.’ They calculate — I mean guess — how many times 15 goes into the entire number of 5,227. It is supposed to develop their in depth thinking or some other mumbo jumbo.  

I was getting so frustrated that I actually said to Andrew, “What! That makes no sense. Your teacher and I could both have the same one hundred problems, we would get the same answer, but I would beat her speed wise every time!”

My wife gasped, “You can’t say that to him.” Of course she was right, but my exasperation had gotten a hold of my tongue. 

So, what is my point here? If we want to go to the next level of success, we just can’t change the process and randomly call it new and improved. If we want better answers, then we need to ask better questions. Never ask lousy negative questions such as “I wonder if it is possible for us to do xyz?” Always ask possibility questions such as “How can we accomplish xyz by June 1st?” The most powerful question you can ask is “How?” How — opens the doors. How — overcomes obstacles. How — reveals the success to come. 

What answers do you need this year? What challenges are you dealing with? Where do you want to be in a few months? To get the answers to questions like these and more — you need to look at things with fresh eyes. You do that by looking for the clues. Success Leaves Clues!  

*To view a video on this topic from one of Mark Bowser’s live seminars then go to https://youtu.be/NXRBFB8cLvM

*Mark Bowser is the author of several books including “Sales Success” with Zig Ziglar, “Sell Your Way to Success,” “Unlocking the Champion Within,” “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” and “Some Gave It All” with Danny Lane (endorsed by Chuck Norris).

Mark Bowser has presented training seminars for some of the world’s top organizations including Dell, Southwest Airlines, FedEx Logistics, Ford Motor Company, United States Marine Corp., Purdue University, Kings Daughters Medical Center, Princeton University, Sony Music, and many more. To schedule Mark to speak at your next conference or training event then email info@MarkBowser.com or visit http://www.MarkBowser.com

Success Leaves Clues

Words to Live By

“Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep it flourishing and growing.”

Jim Rohn

Success Leaves Clues

Doing the Impossible Like Walt Disney

By Mark Bowser

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Walt Disney

Impossible. Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines it as “That cannot be… Impracticable; not feasible; that cannot be done.” But Walt Disney made it a habit of doing what others labeled impossible.

Hmmm, he made it a habit. Let’s think about that for a minute. Webster’s defines habit as “A disposition or condition of the mind or body acquired by custom or a frequent repetition of the same act. Habit is that which is held or retained, the effect of custom or frequent repetition. Hence we speak of good habits and bad habits.”

Disney made it a point of repetition to tackle what others said was impossible. He believed in possibilities and he constantly took action on that belief. Because of that action and belief, today we have Snow White and The Seven Dwarves, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the list goes on and on.

So, how do we, like Disney, accomplish the impossible? I believe there are four pivotal steps in accomplishing the impossible. Let’s explore them together.

One, DREAM. Without a dream, possibilities wither on the vine. What do you have in your heart? If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? It was T.E. Lawrence who said, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” Let us all become a little more dangerous. Let us become men and women of enthusiasm, passion, and of conviction for a dream.

Two, have a GAME PLAN OF ACTION. Having a big dream isn’t enough. We must put those dreams into action. Break your dream down into bite size chunks and get to work on them. Paul J. Meyer said, “Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.”

Three, WHO CAN HELP YOU? No one can reach the top of success mountain all by themself? Disney had his brother Roy. He also had a team of dedicated believers. And even when Disney had thinkers of impossibles in his inner circle, he sought help elsewhere. Who can help you? Who has the financial possibilities? Who has the asset possibilities? Who believes in you and your dream?

Four, FAITH. To succeed at your dream, you have to have unshakable belief. Times will get tough. The road will become hazardous during your journey. What is going to keep you going? You must have faith and hope to keep going. A faith in God, in yourself, and in the importance of your dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

When you have those four steps in place, you can’t lose. Your dream is alive! After all, dreams do come true. We have a Walt Disney World to prove it. Disney was right. It is fun doing the impossible.

*Mark Bowser is one of the top Sales Trainers and Professional Speakers in the United States. He is the author of several books including “Sales Success” with Zig Ziglar, “Sell Your Way To Success,” “Jesus, Take the Wheel” and “Some Gave It All” with Danny Lane (endorsed by Chuck Norris)

*To Book Mark Bowser to speak at your next conference or training event then email info@MarkBowser.com or visit www.MarkBowser.com.