Inauthentic Authenticity… The Rise of False Transparency and Contrived Vulnerability

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“The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you’ve got it made.” ~ Jean Giraudoux, French diplomat, dramatist, & novelist

[Originally written in 2014]

Have you noticed a rash of sincerity has broken out?

Stoked by social media, authenticity, transparency and vulnerability are all the rage. This happy trio is trotted out by companies and proclaimed by self-appointed luminaries as new marketing mantras.

Here’s my question:

If you are being authentic, transparent and vulnerable now, what were you being before?

The “new” authenticity reminds me that when someone says, “Trust me I’m honest” I’m about to have my wallet lifted.

The trend of authenticity, transparency and vulnerability has led to widespread public self-flagellation as a means to be, well, authentic, transparent and vulnerable. It didn’t take long for us to be infected with an epidemic of inauthentic authenticity, false transparency and contrived vulnerability.

“These days there’s all too much coverage of pesudo-events about extraordinarily inauthentic people doing inauthentic things.” ~ David Halberstam

I’m no longer shocked how people swoon and get misty eyed when someone shares a dramatic story of personal loss. I heard a well-known expert choke up right on queue. He barely could speak as he revealed his worst business failure.

I got choked up myself.
I almost puked my granola and blueberries.

Inauthentic authenticity, false transparency and contrived vulnerability represent a disturbing trend; people who say or do anything to get you to pull out your credit card.

Recently a “list marketer” held a contest to tell him the ONE supreme purpose above all to build an email list.

The winner:

“To have your own personal ATM machine!”

Gives you the warm and fuzzies doesn’t it?

Jean Giraudoux was a prophet. His words describe a generation of false profits 60 years after he died.

We’re hip to the hypesters and hucksters who peddle inauthentic authenticity, false transparency and contrived vulnerability. It stinks like 30-day old fish – we can smell it from a mile away.

Like honesty and trust, real authenticity, transparency and vulnerability need no introduction. They ooze with sincerity.

You simply be them.

They are welcome guests. They appear before you say a word. They are affirmed by what you say, how you say it, and what you look like as you say it.

Use your “Success BS™” detector. Don’t be fooled or seduced by inauthentic authenticity, false transparency or contrived vulnerability.

Look behind the curtain. See who’s pulling the strings.

You never have to remember your story when you are truly authentic, transparent and vulnerable.

You’ll stand out like a prophet among false profits.

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Birthday Quotes

To celebrate my 61st turn around the sun here are 61 of my favorite personal quotes. I invite you to play it forward and share the love.

“Show up. Be there.”

“Your upside is not outside. You’re upside is inside.”

“I love and serve people and they reward me with their money.”

“You can’t fill a hole in your soul with more goal.”

“Do your soul setting and role setting, then do your goal setting.”

“When given the choice between obeying your rules, policies and procedures or loving and serving the customer (yourself), love and serve the customer (yourself).”

“I cannot take my goals with me but I will leave a piece of my soul with everyone I meet.”

“There is no such thing as failure. I succeed or I learn.”

“If you want to change their response, change your stimulus!”

“The most valuable real estate in the world is the six inches between your ears. How will you build, develop and increase the value of your real estate?”

“You’ll never be content with what you have if you’re not happy with who you are.”

“Beware the curse of knowledge. If you need to know everything before you do something, you’ll never do anything.”

“Abundance creates abundance. Make the pie bigger for everyone.”

“Ask for help like your life depends upon it. It does.”

“Big doors swing on little hinges. Small distinctions create huge possibilities.”

“Don’t fall in love with products and services. Fall in love with serving people.”

“Don’t look at what’s not done. Look at what’s got done.”

“Everyone counts. There are no little people.”

“Beware the ‘evil of two lessers.’ Don’t box yourself into an either/or choice.”

“Don’t shrink a person to fit the job. Expand the job to fit the person.”

“Express yourself. You have nothing to prove.”

“Financial independence is a statement of account. Financial freedom is a state of being.”

“Get in the game. Life is not a spectator sport.”

“Guarantee is a fantasy. Accept risk, it’s part of the game.”

“Happiness is not a place you go to. Happiness is a place you come from.”

“Don’t compromise. Maximize. Seek highest and best for all.”

“Be a source of positive energy. Honor and fuel the life force of others.”

“Hope is a good thing to have. ‘I hope’ is not a good thing to say.”

“It’s not just business. It’s personal.”

“Lead from the front. Travel your path and light the way for others.”

“The Soul-Role-Goal™ of life is to live spiritually in a material world.”

“Trust your inner guru. Make choices from the inside out.”

“Be like Michelangelo. Chip away the marble and find your ‘David’ inside.”

“Money doesn’t change you. It reveals you.”

“Net worth is not self worth. You are so much more than what you own.”

“Beware the future reward trap. Don’t trade the present for the hope of future payoff. Get paid NOW!”

“Play for the love of the game. You’ll never work a day in your life.“

“Will you give up what you believe for the sake of your life?”

“Relationship capital is true wealth. Love is more valuable than money.”

“Some of the best deals I ever did were the best deals I NEVER did!”

“Strengthen your strengths. Do what you do well, better.”

“Self esteem is empathy turned inward.”

“I only work with people I can hug.”

“Everything doesn’t happen for a reason. We find a reason for everything that happens.”

“Nothing is as good as it feels or as bad as it seems.”

“Imperfect action beats perfect inaction.”

“Take what you need when you need it. Give what you can when you got it.”

“ROE is more valuable than ROI. Return on Energy is the most important metric of life.”

“Will you allow yourself to have it as good as you deserve it?”

“Information is abundant. Knowledge is scarce. Wisdom is priceless.”

“If there were ever a time for NEW, it’s NOW!”

“Is your ‘Money Talk’ talking commodity, time, value or experience?”

“NEW Math = addition by subtraction. I add by subtracting what I don’t want.”

“Strength of relationship beats size of audience.”

“My game is ROI x 2… fast return OF investment, and a forever return ON investment.”

“Eventually never comes. Change ‘eventually’ to ‘now’ and watch your life transform.”

“It’s harder to take someone from STOP to GO than from Go to Go Faster.”

“When I ask who or what is the greatest threat to my business, money or life, I look in the mirror and realize it’s the person staring back at me.”

“Stop trying to convert the heathens. Find true believers.”

“It’s time to value humanity above vanity and insanity.”

“You will get there. You’re just not yet there!”

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For Azeem Every Day is Thanksgiving Day

gratitude

In 2007 a taxi driver named Azeem changed my life.

He expressed what we too often take for granted.
His words impact me today as they resounded then.

I know where Azeem is today.
It’s the same place he is every day because…

For Azeem, every day is Thanksgiving Day.

Let me know if his words resonate with you as they did me.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mitch
gratitude

Originally posted November 22, 2007.

When the taxi came this past Monday, I had no clue my 30-minute ride to the airport would impact me forever. I enjoy talking to taxi drivers, but I had no idea this guy was going to bring me to tears.

Azeem is from Afghanistan. He came to America 11 years ago. I asked him why he came here, he said because America is the greatest country in the world. If you want freedom, you come to America.

“Here, you can live anywhere, you can attend college, you can educate yourself, you can learn anything you want to learn. You can better yourself. You can take the right road any and everything is here for you. Or, you can take the wrong road. It’s up to you. You have choice. In my country, we have very little choice. I love America. It’s the greatest country in the world.”

He said his country has been violent for decades. There is no peace there, always somebody fighting somebody.

“You fear for your safety, you fear for your children, you fear every day. America is a peaceful country. You can go anywhere and you don’t fear for your safety.”

When I asked him about America being in Afghanistan, he said, “The people of Afghanistan want democracy. We don’t want Khalizaid, because he is America’s man, and we don’t want the Taliban. We want a democratic leader.”

I asked if he and his family will stay in America.

“As long as I can make a living and support my family. If the economy stays good, we will live here forever. We love it here. This is our country now. My children are 17, 15, 13 and 11. They love it here. They would not want to live anywhere else.”

I asked him if he works overtime to support a family of six.

“Oh, no, never. I work my day and I go home. In my culture, family is most important. We stay close. We live close. My whole family lives on the same block. I spend all my extra time with my wife and children.. We eat dinner together almost every night. We speak to each other and share our day. I listen to my children, they can tell me anything. It’s most important to be with children, even as they get older. They need our time and attention.”

His voice trailed off, and Azeem turned to look at me in the mirror. Our eyes met, red and misty, tears streaming down our faces. We smiled, then turned to give each other a quiet moment.

In that mirror I saw a man puffed up proud to be a father, who loved and valued his wife and children more than his job, his money or his material wealth.

I saw a man so grateful and thankful to America for opening up her arms to take him and his family in, and give them the choice to make a new life. I saw a man who understands what’s valuable, what’s important and what matters most.

I saw me.

Azeem and I are brothers.

We love our family and we love our children.

We are proud of who we are and thankful for the life we have.
We want peace for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

As I give thanks today for the incredible people in my life and the bountiful blessings I have, I thank Azeem for reminding me to make every day, Thanksgiving Day.

Bless you and you family, Azeem.
Bless YOU and YOUR family.

Thank you for being in my life.
Happy Thanksgiving with love and gratitude,

Mitch

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Maximum IMPACT Philadelphia

impact-opening-philly

Flying high and diving deep after 5 days with my dear friend Ken McArthur at his IMPACT event. Always a great time meeting NEW friends and getting face time with “old” ones.

Lots of powerful speakers and amazing attendees from whom I learn as much or more. As Ken says, “You make a difference whether you want to or not!”

Everyone who touched me made a difference.

Thank you Tom Beal for recording my Sunday morning session, “The Power of Distinction.”

I’m pleased to share it in the spirit of loving and serving YOU!

LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD HERE

Please let me know which distinctions impacted you most.

Feel free to share this love “Play it Forward!”

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5 Years In California…Lessons Learned LIVE

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Today I am five years living in California. On this day each of the past four years I posted my “lessons learned” since moving here. This year, I’m changing the game.

Rather than writing about it, I decided to celebrate “Five Years in California” by hosting a…

LIVE webcast today, June 17, 2015.

You can watch the entire webcast here… it starts about 3 minutes into the video.

Lessons Learned in Business, Money and Life

No PowerPoint!
No Props!
No Pabulum!

Just nuggets of business, money and life wisdom.

This might be the most valuable conversation you have today, this week, maybe even this year.

Feel free to “play it forward” and share the love with your friends.

Below I’ve posted the first four years of lessons learned, 114 in all. A few are repeated because they bear repeating. These will be compiled into a book.

You can download the pdf here.

I trust you’ll find something here that could be as powerful a lesson for you as it has been for me.

Watch the live webcast here.

Enjoy and feel free to comment below.

Mitch
June 17, 2015

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4 Years in Cali… All 114 Lessons Learned

On June 17, 2010 I heeded the call to “go west young man.” In 45 days I got rid of everything I owned and I flew from New Jersey to San Diego with four suitcases in hand.

On June 17, 2011 I wrote a blog post, “One Year in Cali: 365 Days of Distinctions and Discoveries!” I followed suit in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

I’ve been told to turn these into a book. So I put them all together into one document to see how it would look. There are 114 in all including a few repeats to eliminate.

I’m sharing this first draft with you. I invite your ideas, feedback and suggestions.

Here’s to lessons learned.

Mitch
June 17, 2015

1 Year in Cali – 36 Lessons Learned
June 17, 2011

1. Don’t confuse the spotlight with the sunlight.
This is the most profound distinction of the year for me. My business partner and dear friend Sandy helped me see I was burying my gifts under a rock because I confused being in the spotlight with bringing the sunlight. She said the gifts light the path and the sunlight brightens the world. If you are an introvert like me and dislike the spotlight, this distinction will change your life. Let me know if this rocks your world like it rocked mine.

2. You can’t pay bills with vapor money.
Another Sandy-ism. If it’s coming but it isn’t here yet, it’s vapor money. Don’t be seduced by vapor net worth. Pie in the sky is usually just pie in the sky. If you don’t have real money you don’t have money at all.

3. It takes courage to trust your intuition.
The mind is a powerful master if not directed to serve. It diverts me away from my intuitive knowing. I trusted my intuition on many occasions this past year. Most of the time good emerged. I trusted my intuition above my analysis. I trusted myself!

4. Friends and family matter most.
I could acquire all the riches, fame, and fortune yet if I don’t have people who love me and care about me, I will never truly be wealthy. My net worth increased because my relationship worth appreciated. I have amazing family and friends I love.

5. Bless every dollar.
When my business was dead and my back was against the wall, an unannounced gift showed up in my PayPal account. I blessed that $247. Money started to come and it continues to flow ever since. Bless whatever money shows up no matter how little. Every dollar matters and has the energy to trigger a windfall.

6. Get in the river and go with the tide.
This has been one of the most difficult yet liberating and life changing shifts of my year. I repeatedly jumped into the river without knowing where it was going (like putting my business on hold for 3 weeks to help a friend). I let the tide take me. I gave up control. It’s been quite a ride.

7. I stopped clinging to the rocks.
Clinging is resistance. Resistance creates tension. Tension forces me to make decisions under stress and duress. Resistance is futile. I decided to let go and let the river take me. This is the adventure of life. Hard to do. The trip is worth it.

8. Don’t mess with Mother Nature.
The Law of the Farm is the iron law of nature. I cannot shortcut a crop. My harvest shows up because I nurtured my fields through real world summers and winters. My bounty reflects my care. I care a lot.

9. I only want to work with people I can hug.
Enough said.

10. Who can I love and serve for money today?
I keep these words above my desk. I love and serve, and people reward me with their money. It’s a complete loop. I will never be poor if I love and serve.

11. How much is my emotional capital worth?
A fortune. Emotional capital may be more valuable assets than money and investments. I’ve learned how to convert emotional capital into shelter, food, money and other tangible things I need to live. Take stock of your emotional capital. It’s worth more than you think.

12. I will silence my biggest and harshest critic – me.
When I stop the self-criticism, I open to self-appreciation, worthiness and good fortune. I’m doing that more now.

13. Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.
I find a reason for everything that happens.

14. No house, no car, no boat, no problem.
I was “homeless” for nine months but I never was without a home because I have great friends and family who love me. Relationship capital is the greatest wealth. I’m rich beyond measure. I took a picture of all my possessions; they all fit up against half of one wall in one room. I learned how to live simply and simply, live.

15. Life is the most captivating movie of all.
You can’t make this stuff up. Fact is stranger than fiction.

16. Even an urban dude can learn to garden and compost.
I learned how delicious fresh hen eggs taste, and how to compost my leftovers to create more fertile ground for the next planting. This is very Zen and a great metaphor for fertile living off the land.

17. Ask for help as if my life depends upon it.
It does. It’s been valuable learning for me that asking for help is a gift I give to those I ask. I get what I want, and you get to give it to me. We both win. Asking is a big breakthrough for me. I’ve usually been the “askee” not the asker. I’m digging asking.

18. It takes more courage to be myself and live life on my terms than any other act.
It takes courage to go into a burning building. It takes even more courage to go into the burning building inside myself. I got singed but I came out a better man.

19. Slow down and look around.
Rushing is pathological. I can’t enjoy the train ride if I don’t stop and look at what’s whizzing by me. Cali dudes know how to slow down…a new perspective for a Jersey guy who is used to things speeding up!

20. I wanna give all my secrets away.
I am inspired by this song to give all my wisdom and secrets away. If I die tomorrow, would I want to leave with my music still inside me?

21. What happens, happens.
Everything is just an event or experience. What I think about what happens is irrelevant to what happens. It’s a story I tell myself to attach meaning to what happens. How I respond is what matters.

22. It’s not personal.
Wait a second. I say in The NEW Game of Business, “It’s not JUST business; it’s personal.” Now I’m saying it’s not personal. Whassup? What’s up is the little hinge that opens the big door of happiness. Business is now personal. That’s different than taking things personally. One of my biggest challenges is not to take what people say personally. I am still working to transcend this. If good diagnosis is half the cure, awareness is half the key to transformation. I’m doing better, thank you!

23. I’m learning a new language: Venusian.
You’ve perhaps heard that Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus? Sandy is teaching me the most difficult foreign language for a Martian to learn. I intend to become fluent in Venusian in this lifetime!

24. Perspective – use it or lose it.
Nothing is as good as it feels or as bad as it seems. It’s easy to say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff” it’s not so easy to not sweat the small stuff. I get better perspective when I don’t take things personally. It’s not always about me. I’m better at keeping my perspective. I keep in mind there’s a higher ground with a better view.

25. Adaptability – the one predictor of living long.
There is NO proven characteristic that predicts longevity. The one that comes closest is adaptability. If I don’t flex and bend with the winds of life, I will break when a strong gust blows my way. Resilience and bounce back ability are essential. It’s not a matter of if the wind blows. It’s only a matter of when and how strongly. Be adaptable. Be flexible. Be like a tree.

26. Righteousness kills.
Being right strokes my ego. Being happy feeds my soul. Righteousness is fear talking. Happiness is the language of love. I’m choosing happiness over righteousness.

27. Imperfect action beats perfect inaction.
I first created this mantra for myself 15 years ago to combat my pathological perfectionism. I still chant this mantra every day. I tell myself to “take imperfect action” then measure and modify because… imperfect action beats perfect inaction.

28. Eliminating clutter is the best weight loss program I’ve ever done.
I can’t prove this, but I suggest you try it yourself. I lost 20 pounds and 2 inches off my waist in 45 days when I sold and gave away everything I owned last year. One year later, I am 15 pounds lighter and my waist is two inches thinner. The only “weight loss” program I did was eliminating clutter and getting rid of all my possessions. While I don’t recommend selling everything, I heartily endorse the “clutter free weight loss” program. Let me know how it goes.

29. It’s a confidence boost knowing I can earn money without relying on someone else to pay me a salary.
When I was down to my last dollar, I found a way to exchange my products and services for money. If you lost your job or your business tanked, how would you start again? If you don’t have a business or source of income other than your salary, I encourage you to start something NOW! It’s likely a matter of “when” not if something changes. Don’t wait for the change to shock you. Innovate and find your next thing now.

30. Take what you need when you need it. Give what you can when you got it.
I found out we all need help, and we all need to help. Offer it when you can, accept it when you must.

31. Play someone else’s game.
In May I put my business on hold to help my friend Larry Benet launch his Speakers and Authors Networking Group conference. Immersing myself in his business completely changed my business. I took one full month to build my network and expand my circle of influence. I am now one phone call away from reaching anyone on the planet to get whatever I want or need. Step away from your game long enough to disengage. Join someone else’s team for a while. When you get back to yours, you’ll play a whole new game.

32. Life can change in 21 days. Twice!
My life transformed from May 1 – May 21 when I put my business on hold to work with Larry. Everything changed again from May 23 – June 13, when a small financial blessing triggered a windfall of money. Yes, life can change in 21 days. Twice. And with very little time in between.

33. Listen!
I listened to my intuition. I didn’t let my mind override my heart. I trusted the message only my inner knowing could hear. I listened to what other people said and what they encouraged me to do. I listened with a beginner’s mind. Not easy but really worth it. Trying listening with your ears, eyes, heart and soul. Your life will change right before your very ears.

34. I stopped defending and protecting my beliefs, principles and point of view.
The world of possibility has opened up to me. Even if I’m convinced my belief, principle or point of view is “right” I ask, “Is it BEST?” My view is still limited. Someone else might have a better idea. Seeing other views expands the range of possibilities and adds dimension. What are you defending and protecting that if you stopped, would unlock something that might be better for you?

35. Beware of systemic abuse, especially self-abuse.
I discovered that when not restrained, my ego wants to put my idea of the way things ought to be above everything, even the feelings of others. This is “systemic abuse” – I let my mind rule and put my thinking above someone’s feelings and well-being. This happens every day in some way. I will devote an entire chapter of my book to systemic abuse in business and life because it’s that prevalent and that destructive. Worse still is systemic self-abuse: the continual criticism and tearing down of me by me. I’ve been told I can be heard scolding myself in the shower. That’s UGLY!

I’m all in this game to eliminate systemic abuse. Nothing matters more than loving and serving people. Not money, fame, success, rules or your idea of the way things ought to be. When given the choice to obey the rules (even your own) or to love and serve, LOVE and SERVE! Put your soul and role above your goal. Do your soul setting and role setting before you do your goal setting. Let me know how it works.

36. Life keeps going then one day it stops. Enjoy today.
My nephew passed away in December 2010 too young at 46 with too much life left to go. He left behind a beautiful wife, 3 gorgeous kids under 8 years old and my broken-hearted brother and sister-in-law who live with the unbearable pain of losing a child.

Once again I was jolted into remembering to be kind, relish every day, and be present in every moment.

My game is to fill my day with love, serve and deliver. If I love, serve and deliver, I will have a great life. More than likely, the money will come. If it doesn’t, I still have a great life.

My learning continues.
Like life, it’s a work in progress.

Thanks for sharing my journey.

Please share yours with me.

You’re a player.
You CAN change YOUR game.

I’ll meet you on the field.

Mitch
June 17, 2011

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2 years in Cali… 21 More Lessons Learned
June 17, 2012

I’m amazed at the power of synergy, synchronicity and serendipity.

Today is Father’s Day.

It also marks two years I’m living in California.

Last June 17, Adam flew here for Father’s Day.

This year, he’s living “la Vida Loca” on a farm in Oahu, Hawaii.

This year, I share 21 “more” life changing lessons:

1. Don’t look at what’s NOT done… look at what’s GOT done. This mantra changes everything. My partner Sandy says our “Got Done List” changed her life. Instead of starting your day with a “To Do” list begin with your “Got Done” list. Looking at what’s “got” done not what’s “not” done will transform you forever.

2. What’s the “soul, role, goal” of life? Living spiritually in a material world™ (title of upcoming book). Soul is the NEW goal. If you sell your soul or relinquish your role to get a goal, you’re trading higher value for a lower value. It leads to soul, role or goal frustration. Do your soul setting and role setting before your goal setting. Say “So Long Soul Frustration… Hello Flow!”

Listen to and please share our Podcast series, “How to Eliminate Soul, Role and Goal Frustration” here:

http://mitchaxelrod.com/new-business/podcast-replay-so-long-soul-frustration

3. Here’s the most powerful and irresistible business value proposition you can deliver. I live by the mantra, “big doors swing on little hinges.” Here’s a little hinge that’s about to change the game of business forever.

Imagine if your value proposition could promise your customers a way to get your product or service FREE every year? How would that transform your business, sales and profits? Who could compete with you?

4. Everyone is addicted to something. Worry, guilt, fear, blame, doubt, power (or powerlessness), control, dependence, success, security, certainty, anger, pain, hurt, failure, conflict, resistance, anxiety, suffering, problems? Pick your poison. Own it. Accept it. Don’t resist it. Now, re-frame and replace it. Get addicted to love, acceptance and abundance. If we want to leave our kids a loving, peaceful and abundant world, we have to model it to them. Let that be our legacy.

5. It’s time to change the high price of advice game. Seems the price of good advice keeps going up. Many of my friends and colleagues are charging tens of thousands of dollars for masterminds and private study groups. I choose instead to serve more people at a more affordable price. My soul, role, goal of life is to help as many people as I can in the time I have left who want to change their game.

6. ROE is more valuable than ROI. Return on Energy is the most important metric of life. You never get back an investment in energy. You want maximum value from this non-renewable resource. Money can return many times, again and again. With money you want 2x ROI: quick Return “OF” investment, and forever Return “ON” Investment. Try this investment strategy. Let me know how it pays off.

7. Time to let go of my C.R.A.P. I spent the past 3 days with my friend John Assaraf and his amazing team of brainiacs at his Money2 retreat. Six months ago I had lunch with John and met his partner and 2011 Oprah Top 10 book author Mark Waldman. This weekend Mark showed us how to get rid of our C.R.A.P. – conflict, resistance, anxiety and problems. Ask yourself, “Why am I holding on to this crap?” What’s my payoff? What’s it costing me?” It’s time to let go of your C.R.A.P. Yes, just like that, let it go. Let’s do it together.

8. I’m allowing myself to have it as good as I deserve it. Lack of self-worth is an illusion; C.R.A.P. my mind creates to keep me in bondage and under its control. My “lizard” brain wants me fearful and on alert 24/7. It constantly sends me the message I’m not worthy and deserving. It wants me to be careful and play it safe. Tell Mr. Lizard to shut up. Allow yourself to have it as good as you deserve it.

9. Share your gifts with everyone who is ready to receive them. My #1 lesson from 2011 was my partner Sandy’s sage insight, “You have spotlight confused with sunlight.” I don’t seek the spotlight. I do like the sunlight. It’s time to step out of the cave and into the light. There’s plenty to share and even more to go around. I invite you to join me in the sunlight.

10. I still be clutter free. Other than books I buy and materials I get from seminars and workshops, I have not added clutter back into my life. No clutter gives me more space for creative energy. Give it a try. Tell me how it works.

11. I’m curious, enjoy learning and continue personal discovery. I love to learn. I get to attend life changing seminars and workshops. I meet wonderful people and make incredible friends. I’m curious, enjoy learning and continually deepen my personal discovery. Life is a learning game. Jump in with both feet.

12. Information, knowledge, wisdom are not created equal. Information is abundant. Knowledge is scarce. Wisdom is priceless. Don’t pay for information. Buy knowledge. Better yet, invest in wisdom. It’s the highest yielding asset.

13. Synergy, synchronicity and serendipity can be more powerful than effort. Stuff out of my control is more life changing than stuff I “control.” More and more I’m allowing things to happen rather than making them happen. I’m valuing surrender more than effort. Synergy, synchronicity and serendipity are effortless. Jump into this river and let the tide take you.

14. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication (DaVinci). The world is becoming as complex as a 16-side Rubik’s Cube. We have less and less bandwidth to handle every day problems let alone discover the riddles of life. Alone we have limited capacity. Together, we can resolve anything. The power of team has never been more important. Who’s on yours?

15. Here are 3 simple rules for peaceful living. 1- Love everything and everyone especially you (fear nothing). 2 – Accept everything and everyone especial you (resist nothing). 3 – When fear and resistance take hold, go back to rule #1 and rule #2. Ask… “What if I love everyone? What if I accept everything?

16. People matter most. Everything else is fleeing and transitory. Achievement is exciting. Applause feels good. Money is important. Recognition is nice. Success is sweet. These things come and go. Love lasts. People matter. Life is a human game. Don’t put anything above anyone. In the end, those who love you will remember who you are and what you did, not how much you had.

17. Systemic abuse is public enemy #1. We are fast losing the game of personal freedom of mind, body and soul. We need a come from behind victory to assure that autonomy and liberty win out over authority and oppression. We cannot permit the fearful few to control the loving many. Our most important legacy to our children is to put humanity above vanity and insanity. Nothing matters more than loving and serving people. We must elevate obeying our conscience above obeying authority. When given the choice to obey the rules (even your own) or to love and serve, LOVE and SERVE!

18. If there were ever a time for NEW, it’s NOW! “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” We can always count on Uncle Albert Einstein for sound fatherly advice. We can preserve Old World values and embrace NEW Game thinking. You can play the old game or you can lead the rise of enlightened free enterprise. You can’t do both. Choose wisely.

19. “May we be kind to others.” Simple yet profound wisdom from the Dalai Lama. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your loved ones. Be kind to your mom. Be kind to your dad. Wherever dad is today, bless him. He gave you the greatest gift of all: Life! Alan Cohen writes, “Keep memories of insult on a short leash, and memories of blessing on a long one.” Today is a day for blessings. Dad, I love you and I miss you.

20. My greatest success is and always will be as Adam’s dad. My ultimate success is being the best father I can be. Raising Adam as a stay at home dad was the natural path for me. It was the greatest gift I gave myself. Everything else I accomplish is icing on that cake. I get goose bumps all over whenever I think about how close we are. Although an ocean separates Adam and me today, we are bonded in eternity as father and son. I love you Ad. I’m a happy pappy! :>)

21. Life keeps going then one day it stops (#33 from year 1; it bears repeating). Enjoy today. My nephew Robert passed away in December 2010 too young at 46 with too much life left to go. He left behind a beautiful wife, 3 gorgeous kids under 8 years old and my broken-hearted brother and sister-in-law who live with the unbearable pain of losing a child. Once again I was jolted into remembering to be kind, relish every day, and be present in every moment.

My game is to fill my day with love, serve and deliver. If I love, serve and deliver, I will have a great life. More than likely, the money will come.

If it doesn’t, I still have a great life.

Whether he’s with you in body or in spirit, love and bless your dad today.

If he’s like me, he’ll be a happy pappy.

Life is beautiful.
Enjoy every breath.
Savor every moment.

Make today a WONDERFUL day!

Mitch
June 17, 2012

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3 years in Cali… 13 Lessons Learned
June 17, 2013

1. Get in the river, go with the tide and stop clinging to the rocks.

This has been one of the most challenging and liberating rides of my life. I jumped into a new river without knowing where it was going. I let the tide take me.

Clinging is resistance. Resistance creates tension. Tension forces me to make decisions under stress and duress. Resistance is futile. I decided to let go and let the river take me. This is the adventure of life. I surrendered and gave up control. It’s hard to do. The trip is worth it.

2. Mitch’s 2 NEW Rules:

Rule #1- Meet my needs first.
Rule #2: See Rule #1.

If you’re like me, you seek first to meet the needs of others, then to meet your own. This is not an equation for healthy and happy living. Giving too much and receiving too little creates imbalance in the yin and the yang of life.

It’s not noble to meet the needs of others and allow your needs to be unmet. You are as valuable as every other human being. The world is better when your needs are met. When you meet your needs first, you are better able to meet the needs of others. You are energized to fuel the life force of others, without depleting your own.

Highest and best happens when all parties get what they want. That includes you.

Start today. Meet your needs first. Let me know how it feels.

3. Be open, flowing, adaptable and flexible… be like a tree.

Ancient proverb: “That which is rigid and closed withers and dies. That which is open and flowing grows and thrives.”

Are you open and flowing? Adaptability and flexibility are essential for longevity and success. If I don’t flex and bend with the winds of life, I will break when a strong gust blows my way.

I want resilience and bounce back ability. It’s not a matter of IF the wind blows. It’s only a matter of WHEN and how strongly.

Be open and flowing. Be adaptable and flexible. Be like a tree.

4. Share your gifts with everyone who is ready to receive them.

My business partner and friend Sandy helped me see I was burying my gifts under a rock. I confused being in the spotlight with bringing the sunlight. My gifts light the path and the sunlight brightens the world.

I continue to practice. I’ve been stepping out of the cave and into the light. There’s plenty of light to go around for everyone. I invite you to join me in the sunlight. Seeking sunlight keeps rocking my world. Let me know if it rocks yours.

5. Don’t look at what’s NOT done… look at what’s GOT done.

This mantra changes everything. Your “Got Done List” will transform your life. Instead of starting your day with a “To Do” list that grows longer every day, begin it with your “Got Done” list.

You can’t build on what’s not done. You can build on what’s got done. Looking at what’s “got” done not what’s “not” done will transform you forever.

What got done today?

6. Beware the curse of knowledge.

I’ve been having a lot of conversations about the curse of knowledge. When I meet someone stuck, we can often source it to the curse of knowledge, either too much or too little.

I am often too smart for my own good, with too much knowledge that gets in the way of progress. Other times I believe I know too little, and need to acquire more knowledge BEFORE I can be credible or help someone.

The curse of knowledge can stop me dead in me tracks. Sound like someone you know? Do you have the curse of “too much” or “too little” knowledge?

Both are illusions. Truth is you can find and buy knowledge.

Realize people want to be loved and served. You don’t need special knowledge to love and serve others. How do you not let the curse of knowledge stop you? Practice my friend Tony Alessandra’s “Platinum Rule”:

“Do unto others as they would have you do unto them,” and the curse of knowledge will never stop you again.

7. Expand the pie by asking, “Who can I love and serve today?

I keep these words above my desk. I love and serve, and people reward me with their money. It’s a complete loop. I will always be rich, and never be poor, if I love and serve.

The NEW Game is an abundance game. You win by expanding the pie, not by taking someone else’s piece. Creating more pie for yourself and others is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. It’s called Rainmaking.

Are you a rainmaker or a rain taker? Do you create or consume more pie? How can you create more pie, more value and mo’ money? Start by asking yourself,

“Who can I love and serve today?”

8. “May we be kind to others” because people matter most.

I am practicing this profound wisdom from the Dalai Lama. People matter most. Everything else is fleeting and transitory. I can acquire riches, fame, and fortune. Yet if I don’t have people who love me and care about me, I am not truly wealthy.

Achievement is exciting. Applause feels good. Money is important. Recognition is nice. Success is sweet. These things come and go. Love lasts. People matter. Life is a human game.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your loved ones. Alan Cohen writes, “Keep memories of insult on a short leash, and memories of blessing on a long one.” Every day is a day for blessings.

In a world filled with fear, anger and violence, you can “be the change you want to see in the world” by being loving, kind and peaceful.

Don’t put any thing above any one. In the end, those who love you will remember who you are and what you did, not how much you had.

Here is a simple formula for peaceful living:

1 – Love everything and everyone especially you (fear nothing).
2 – Accept everything and everyone especially you (resist nothing).
3 – When fear and resistance take hold, go back to #1 and #2.

Ask… “What if I love everyone? What if I accept everything?

9. Everyone is on a path… some stay, some go, you never know.

People come and go. Sometimes they stay. Everyone is on a path. I am on my path and you are on yours, and we may cross paths for a moment or a lifetime. I’m learning to love and let go, not get attached to people or outcomes. Not so easy.

I’m practicing Don Miguel Ruiz’ “4 Agreements” with a focus on these two:

Take nothing personally.
Make no assumptions.

Allow others to be who they are, do what they do and go where they go.

10. Stop pushing and pitching, start vibrating and trusting.

I call this “tuning fork” living. You strike your turning fork, and those who resonate to your pitch are attracted to you. Those who don’t resonate aren’t attracted. For greater harmonic convergence, strike your “tuning fork” in business, money and life. See who shows up.

It takes courage to trust my intuition and strike my own chord. The mind is a powerful master if not directed to serve. It diverts me away from my intuitive knowing and perfect pitch. I trust my intuition above my analysis. Most of the time good emerges.

Trust yourself! Strike your tuning fork, and vibrate to your own pitch.

11. Life is a dance between self-reliance and interdependence.

My dad told me when I was a lad, “If you want to get something done…!”

I bet you know the last three words of Dad’s phrase are… “Do it yourself!”

So I become independent, very self-reliant. Then the game changed.

The NEW Game is interdependent. Your team is as important as your talent. Surround yourself with the best players you can find. Know what you want and need, and start asking for help.

I learned to ask for help. Asking for help is a gift I give to those I ask. I get what I want, and you get to give it to me. We both win. We all need help, and we all need to help. Offer it when you can, accept it when you must. Take what you need when you need it. Give what you can when you got it.

Asking is a big breakthrough for me. I’ve usually been the one asked, not the one asking. I’m digging asking.

12. Wisdom is a supply and demand game. Is your “Money Talk” talking commodity, time or value?

The commodity game is price driven game. Advice is often a time game. Wisdom is a value game. Being comfortable talking money is a big challenge I had to overcome. I got good at helping people see the value of my treatment, not look at the time it takes to write the prescription. Wisdom is a value game based on results, not cost or time.

There is little training in having the money talk. We did two hours of coaching on how to have the money talk, how to ask for it and receive it. It’s among the most valuable practical training we’ve ever done. We show you how to never again fear the money talk, and know how to start getting paid what you’re really worth.

Here’s where you can get instant access to a billion dollar library of coaching sessions including “The Money Talk” and more:

http://thenewgameofselling.com/players

13. Life keeps going, then one day it stops (#33 from year 1; #21 from year 2, it’s a lesson that bears repeating every year).

Enjoy today. My nephew Robert passed away in December 2010 too young at 46 with too much life left to go. He left behind a beautiful wife, 3 gorgeous kids under 8 years old and my broken-hearted brother and sister-in-law who live with the unbearable pain of losing a child.

On June 8, 2013 my brother-in-law lost his son. Once again we are jolted into remembering to be kind, relish every day, and be present in every moment.

My game is to fill my day with love, serve and deliver. If I love, serve and deliver, I will have a great life.

More than likely, the money will come.

If it doesn’t, I still have a great life.

Life is beautiful.
Enjoy every breath.
Savor every moment.

Make today a WONDERFUL day!

Mitch
June 17, 2013

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4 Years in Cali… 44 Lessons Learned

1. You have special thinking. People say to me over and over again, “I love the way you think. I want to get inside your brain and root around.” What’s my special thinking? It’s one of the few things that makes me completely unique, distinct and one of a kind. It’s true for you too. Discover your special thinking. Then bring your special gift to benefit others.

2. I speak into your listening. I don’t expect you to listen to my speaking. This distinction changes the context of every conversation and ultimately, every relationship. I can hear you listening. When I listen to your listening, I can speak into it. When I’m speaking my speaking, I can’t know for sure if you’re listening or hearing. Practice it. You’ll be amazed at the strength and power of speaking into other people’s listening.

3. Are you a mountain climber or river person? A mountain climber must control, navigate and direct his course up the mountain. The river person jumps in the river and goes where it takes her. The river doesn’t go where you want it to go. It takes you where it wants to take you. I’m a river person. What are you?

4. Adaptability is THE most important life skill of all. How well I adjust, revise, correct, and shift when I get knocked off course determines if I can play another day. I seek outside navigation when my internal guidance system is off. How can you be more adaptable?

5. Control is an illusion. When I surrender the force is with me. Goal doesn’t put me in control. It traps me. I can’t enjoy the scenery if all I look at is the map. I don’t appreciate the ride when all I care about is arriving at the destination. Let go to let in.

6. Your IP – intellectual property – is a gift to the world and your most under valued asset. Is it time to liberate your knowledge, wisdom and experience to benefit others? Stop obsessing over “information products” and start thinking “intellectual property.”

Here are some great resources to help you make that transformation quicker and easier:

www.thenewgameofip.com

7. In business, are you a retailer or wholesaler? I spent the first 10 years of my financial planning business advising and serving individuals, families, and small closely held businesses – a retail market. I spent the next 10 years consulting, training, and advising big companies and Fortune 500 corporations – a “wholesale” market. I love working with individuals. My highest and best game is to work with companies with thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people. Are you in the retail or wholesale game?

8. Life is not linear; it’s quantum! I explained to a client just today how, after losing a million dollars in 1988, I took just two steps to go from zero to $100,000 of income in 1989.

9. Life is not about systems; it’s about people. I don’t look for the next great system to plug in and vacuum up all the money. I’m looking for people who want to take the ride of a lifetime. Steve Jobs asked John Skully, “Do you want to sell sugar water the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” So I ask myself,

“Do you want to sell the next whiz bang system (sugar water), or do you want to transform lives (change the world)?

10. I leave conferences I attend with $5,000-$25,000, even when I’m not speaking. So many people ask me how I do that we’re making it the subject of an upcoming training. Keep an eye out.

11. Less is more. The less I say, the more they talk. The less I teach, the more they do. The more I teach the less they do. Pick ONE THING for them to do, not 10 things you want to teach.

12. You, we, then me! I focus first on you, we, and then me. Try it out. You’ll be amazed at how “you, we, then me” transforms every relationship.

13. Playing a bigger game doesn’t make me a bigger player! It’s not the size of the game I’m playing. It’s the size of the player in the game.

14. Mitch’s NEW Math: addition by subtraction, multiplication by division. In the old game, more is more. In The NEW Game™ less is often more. I add by subtracting what I don’t want. I multiply by dividing the rights to my intellectual property and letting more people use it. How can you add by subtracting, and multiply by dividing?

15. Deconstruct form: move forward by going backward. This year we introduced The NEW Game of IP™ – Intellectual Property. This is a powerful game that changes the playing field. The key to winning is to move forward by going back from form to essence. We live in a tangible world of form. Deconstructing form and returning to the essence that created it is the secret capitalize, monetize and actualize the most valuable six inches of real estate between your ears.

16. Strength of relationship beats size of audience. The first question I’m often asked when someone pitches me to “Joint Venture” is… “How big is your list?” I turn down everyone who asks me that question. If your only interest is the size of my list, you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. I’ve worked hard for 35 years and 75,000 hours to build my relationships. I’ll be damned if I let some one trick pony cannibalize my relationships for a quick payday.

17. Ownership is onerous. Use is freedom. You don’t have to own something to enjoy using it. We “own” nothing. Everything is borrowed and temporary. We surrender it all upon our departure. I don’t get caught up in owning things. I especially don’t invest time in trying to control people. Even my body I will return to the earth and stars. Think use, not ownership. It might lighten your load.

18. Starting matters. I rarely end up where I thought I’d be. I am once again “homeless” as I was the first day I arrived in San Diego. My landlord decided to sell the house I was living in. As I write this, all my personal belongings and business boxes are in a U-Haul cargo van. I am staying with my friend for the week as I decide on where I will live next. I notice how many people are shocked at my uncertainty. I’m in the river. It took a turn. I can fight the tide. I choose to go for the ride.

19. Beware the curse of knowledge. This devil is wreaking havoc. Too little knowledge, and we never start, believing we don’t yet have enough. How does a “newbie” get started in anything if knowledge is the requirement? Too much knowledge, we never shut up. We spew it everywhere and on everyone we meet. How do we avoid the curse of knowledge? Love and serve. You don’t need knowledge to love and serve. There are plenty of knowledge junkies who can answer any question you have. There are few people dedicated, committed, and willing to love and serve. Beware the curse of knowledge. Is it holding you back?

20. ROI x 2! My game is fast return OF your investment, and a forever return ON your investment. The faster you get return OF investment back, the sooner you’ll reinvest with me. The longer you get return ON investment, the longer you’ll stay in the game with me. How do you generate ROI x 2 for your investors?

21. For hire: full time brain, part-time money! I ask my clients how valuable it would be to have me on their team? Then I propose they hire my brain full time for part time money. No benefits, no overhead, no perks, no health insurance, no sick or vacation days. My brain works 24/7 on your behalf. Who’s game?

22. Birth, rebirth! I’ll never know how it feels to give birth. I do know how it feels to go through rebirth. It may not be as physically exhausting. It can be as mentally, emotionally, and spiritually transforming. Every day can be a rebirth. We only have to choose it.

23. Key to win in The NEW Game of Business™ is the strength of deal, not “closing” techniques.

24. Trust your inner guru. True North is not an outside destination. It’s an inside game. I listen to my gurus, advisors, wise friends and confidants. Then I go inside to find my True North. I trust my inner guru. I keep chipping away the marble to find my David inside.

25. Don’t trade the present in hope of future value.

26. Take imperfect action because imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time. It’s less important how I do it. It’s more important THAT I do it.

27. I’m better at not being upset, angry, or outraged. Instead, I’m accepting everything and everyone. Everyone has a load to carry. I can’t know yours. You can’t know mine. I choose to be kind and compassionate, not upset, angry, and outraged. Staying upset, angry or outraged made me a victim. Now I’m a victor over my upset, anger and outrage.

28. I’m out of the success trap. I no longer feel a driving need to do more, be more, or have more to validate my worthiness. I’m content, not complacent. I’m challenged, not comfortable. I’m committed, not just interested. I gave up my life to be the person I am today. Was it worth it?

29. “Belief is not merely an idea the mind possesses. It’s an idea that possesses the mind.” A great lesson I continue to learn from Robert Oxton Bolt. I find when a belief takes over me I am no longer possessing it. It possesses me. Beliefs are meant to be servants, not masters. What belief possesses your mind?

30. Clarity is a gift we can give to others. If my clarity is diminished, impeded or I’m operating in the blind, I cannot access my inner guru. I need corrective lenses. If you could gain more clarity on your own, you would. When I’m stepping in the same potholes over and over, I know I’m not seeing something. I seek clarity from others. I bless the gift of inner vision when I have it, and share it generously with the clarity impaired.

31. Eventually never comes. When I ask someone “when” and I hear “eventually” I know they are in postponement mode. There is no eventually. NOW is the only time that exists. If you think things will work out eventually, you are living a deferred life. It’s a small hinge that opens a big door. Change “eventually” to “now” and watch the world transform right before your eyes. Mine has.

32. It’s harder to take someone from STOP to GO than from Go to Go Faster. If you are frustrated playing the “stop to go” game, consider changing your game. Find people who are going and help them go faster.

33. I ask, “Who or what is the greatest threat to your career, business, or company? Then I look in the mirror, and realize it’s the person staring back at me.

34. Better to have one goal I act on, then 100 goals on paper. Success is not about how many. It’s about how good.

35. Cut your losses. Don’t compound them. Redirect your time, attention, energy and money into something productive. Dump non-performing personal and business assets. If they haven’t produced yet, chances are good they won’t. Staying with “losers” is the fastest way to compound your losses. That includes coaches and players. Change your asset mix.

36. Create better buyers, and you’ll be the trusted seller. When I educate, train, and support people to be better buyers, they value my value. I get more business when I help them elevate their buying game.

37. There’s “go” but no “flow” in goal. Flow comes from the soul. Goal exists in the external future. Soul operates in the internal now. Goal is a concept, an illusion. Soul is essence, a reality. I spend more time soul setting than goal setting. Try it out. It might work for you.

38. “Don’t let the bastards get you down. Don’t let them get you down.” One of my favorite songs from the Toasters, it reminds me not to let the haters spoil my day.

39. Introducing “Mitch 6.0: A Mighty Big 2nd Wind.” On December 2 I turn 60. Creativity has no age boundaries. I am only limited by the belief that possesses my mind. My belief is that I am in the most creative, expansive, integrated time of my life. I have so more to learn, teach, give, share, and play forward. I’m ready for a mighty big 2nd wind.

40. I’ve got it out of my head that it’s OK to settle for just enough and taking what comes instead of asking (more than once) for what I want. You can be sure you’ll be hearing from me again soon.

41. Everything happens for the best, and I make the best of everything. I can’t think of a more important lesson to learn. If adaptability is the alpha, making the best of everything is the omega. When I accept, adapt to and make the best of what is, especially when I don’t want what is to be, I am happy, joyful, and stress free. It’s a simple lesson. Sometimes the simplest lessons take the longest to learn.

42. Cash is one kind of currency. Non-cash assets like relationship capital, contacts, credit, coaching, clarity and many others can be worth as much or more than cash. If someone doesn’t have the money to pay you full price in cash, look at the non-cash assets available to compensate you.

43. I love and serve, and people reward me with their money. This philosophy put me through college 40 years ago, and it still puts food on the table today. I will never want for business or money if I love and serve people.

44. Life goes on, then one day it stops. Every year I end with this same lesson. My nephew Robert passed away suddenly in December 2010 while playing with his son, too young at 46 with too much life left to go. He left behind a beautiful wife, 3 gorgeous kids under 8 years old and my broken-hearted brother and sister-in-law who live with the unbearable pain of losing a child. Once again I was jolted into remembering to be kind, relish every day, and be present in every moment.

My game is to fill my day with love, serve and deliver. If I love, serve and deliver, I will have a great life. More than likely, the money will come. If it doesn’t, I still have a great life.

Life is beautiful.
Enjoy each breath.
Savor every moment.

Today is a treasure, a gift to be opened.

Make today a WONDERFUL day!

Mitch Axelrod
June 17, 2014

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Drum Major Instinct – Dr. Martin Luther King

MLK-EbenezerChurch

It’s mind boggling to think 47 years have passed.

MLK-EbenezerChurchI was a happy, optimistic, idealistic freshman starting high school the year Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. His beautiful words inspired me to write. His pulse pounding tone, heart racing pace, and poetic prose inspired me to speak. Although I never met him, he helped shape the person I am.

To celebrate his birthday, I reprint this excerpt from a speech he delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on February 4, 1968. His words ring as true today as when he preached them 47 years ago.

The Drum Major Instinct

We are drifting because nations are caught up with the drum major instinct. “I must be first.” “I must be supreme.” “Our nation must rule the world.” And I am sad to say that the nation in which we live is the supreme culprit. And I’m going to continue to say it to America, because I love this country too much to see the drift that it has taken.

God didn’t call America to do what she’s doing in the world now. God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it. And we won’t stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation.

But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, “Don’t play with me.” He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, “Don’t play with me, Israel. Don’t play with me, Babylon. Be still and know that I’m God. And if you don’t stop your reckless course, I’ll rise up and break the backbone of your power.” And that can happen to America.

Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening. And we have perverted the drum major instinct.

When James and John asked what they could do to sit on his right and on his left, Jesus said, “Oh, I see, you want to be first. You want to be great. You want to be important. You want to be significant. Well, you ought to be. If you’re going to be my disciple, you must be.”

But he reordered priorities. And he said, “Yes, don’t give up this instinct. It’s a good instinct if you use it right. It’s a good instinct if you don’t distort it and pervert it. Don’t give it up. Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be first in love. I want you to be first in moral excellence. I want you to be first in generosity. That is what I want you to do.”

He transformed the situation by giving a new definition of greatness. And you know how he said it? He said, “Now brethren, I can’t give you greatness. And really, I can’t make you first. You must earn it. True greatness comes not by favoritism, but by fitness. And the right hand and the left are not mine to give, they belong to those who are prepared.”

He gave us a new norm of greatness.

If you want to be important, wonderful.
If you want to be recognized, wonderful.
If you want to be great, wonderful.

But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness. The thing I like about it is by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, because everybody can serve.

You don’t have to have a college degree to serve.
You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve.
You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve.
You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve.
You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.
You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.

And you can be that servant.

This morning, you can be on his right hand and his left hand if you serve.
It’s the only way in.

Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator, that something we call death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don’t think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask myself,

“What is it that I would want said?”

If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. And every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school.

I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to give his life serving others.

I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody.

I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war question.

I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.

I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe those who were naked.

I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.

I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness.

And all of the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that’s all I want to say.

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Happy Birthday, Dr. King!
May we see your dream realized in my lifetime.

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NEW Year, NEW Game

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I commit to:

1 – Eliminate these “11 Killers of Human Potential” (and humans): righteousness, certainty, arrogance, bitterness, judgment, denial, attachment, envy, comparison, ego, and fear.

2 – Stop committing the “7 Deadly Sins of Self-Abuse” – instead of what I should, ought, must, need, supposta, hafta, and gotta do, I choose my life.

3 – Be unconditionally loving, kind, supportive, compassionate, conscious, cooperative, collaborative, and creative.

4 – Love, serve, and obey my conscience. I express my truth.

5 – Do my soul setting and role setting then do my goal setting.

I resolve to have a soulful, role full, and goal filled year.

How about you?

Happy NEW Year.

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For Azeem Every Day is Thanksgiving Day

In 2007 a cab driver named Azeem changed my life.

He expressed what we too often take for granted.

His words impact me today as they resounded then.

I know where Azeem is today.

It’s the same place he is every day because…

For Azeem, every day is Thanksgiving Day.

Let me know if his words resonate with you as they did me.

Please share your thoughts below.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mitch

Originally posted November 22, 2007.

When the taxi came this past Monday, I had no clue my 30-minute ride to the airport would impact me forever. I enjoy talking to taxi drivers, but I had no idea this guy was going to bring me to tears.

Azeem is from Afghanistan. He came to America 11 years ago. I asked him why he came here, he said because America is the greatest country in the world. If you want freedom, you come to America.

“Here, you can live anywhere, you can attend college, you can educate yourself, you can learn anything you want to learn. You can better yourself. You can take the right road any and everything is here for you. Or, you can take the wrong road. It’s up to you. You have choice. In my country, we have very little choice. I love America. It’s the greatest country in the world.”

He said his country has been violent for decades. There is no peace there, always somebody fighting somebody.

“You fear for your safety, you fear for your children, you fear every day. America is a peaceful country. You can go anywhere and you don’t fear for your safety.”

When I asked him about America being in Afghanistan, he said, “The people of Afghanistan want democracy. We don’t want Khalizaid, because he is America’s man, and we don’t want the Taliban. We want a democratic leader.”

I asked if he and his family will stay in America.

“As long as I can make a living and support my family. If the economy stays good, we will live here forever. We love it here. This is our country now. My children are 17, 15, 13 and 11. They love it here. They would not want to live anywhere else.”

I asked him if he works overtime to support a family of six.

“Oh, no, never. I work my day and I go home. In my culture, family is most important. We stay close. We live close. My whole family lives on the same block. I spend all my extra time with my wife and children.. We eat dinner together almost every night. We speak to each other and share our day. I listen to my children, they can tell me anything. It’s most important to be with children, even as they get older. They need our time and attention.”

His voice trailed off, and Azeem turned to look at me in the mirror. Our eyes met, red and misty, tears streaming down our faces. We smiled, then turned to give each other a quiet moment.

In that mirror I saw a man puffed up proud to be a father, who loved and valued his wife and children more than his job, his money or his material wealth.

I saw a man so grateful and thankful to America for opening up her arms to take him and his family in, and give them the choice to make a new life. I saw a man who understands what’s valuable, what’s important and what matters most.

I saw me.

Azeem and I are brothers.

We love our family and we love our children.

We are proud of who we are and thankful for the life we have.
We want peace for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

As I give thanks today for the incredible people in my life and the bountiful blessings I have, I thank Azeem for reminding me to make every day, Thanksgiving Day.

Bless you and you family, Azeem.
Bless YOU and YOUR family.

Thank you for being in my life.
Happy Thanksgiving with love and gratitude,

Mitch

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36th Anniversary Nuggets of Wisdom

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Today October 31, 2014 is my 36th business anniversary. It’s my 13,150th consecutive day being psychologically unemployable.

To commemorate here are 36 nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned about playing and winning, The NEW Game of Business™.

Feel free to comment and add your own nugget to the wisdom game. Feel free to share the love and play if forward!

1. The NEW Game of Business™ – The Rise of Enlightened Free Enterprise™ is conscious, compassionate, collaborative, cooperative, creative capitalism. Be a torch for enlightened business.

2. The NEW Game is interdependent. Your team is as important as your talent. Surround yourself with the best players you can find. Be a player who makes every other player better. Be a player other players want to play with. Know what you want and need, and start asking for help.

3. Success is not a pre-requisite for happiness. Success seekers often seek happiness. Happiness is not a destination, a place to go to. Happiness is a state of being, a place to come from. The NEW Game of Success™ is to come from happy, not become happy. I don’t do, have or get happy. I be happy. I can be happy with or without possessions. I can be happy for no reason at all. I can be happy because I’m alive. Choose happy.

4. Don’t confuse the spotlight with the sunlight. A profound distinction gifted me by my business partner and friend Sandy. She helped me see I was burying my gifts under a rock. I confused being in the spotlight with bringing the sunlight. Gifts light the path and the sunlight brightens the world. If you are an introvert like me and dislike the spotlight, this distinction will change your life. Let me know if this rocks your world like it rocked mine.

5. You can’t pay bills with vapor money. Another Sandy-ism. She always reminds me that if it’s coming but it isn’t here yet, it’s vapor money. Don’t be seduced by vapor money or vapor net worth. Pie in the sky is usually just pie in the sky. If you don’t have real money you don’t have money at all.

6. Bless every dollar. When business was dead and my back was against the wall, an unannounced gift showed up in my PayPal account. I blessed that $247. Money started to come and it continues to flow ever since. Bless whatever money shows up no matter how little. Every dollar matters and has the energy to trigger a windfall.

7. Control is an illusion. Be fluid, flexible, and adaptable. Trust others and trust first. Watch the world and everyone in it transform.

8. Focus on what you love most and do best. What you love most and do best may not make you the most money. It can earn you enough to enjoy a good lifestyle. It will bring you the most satisfaction in livelihood and fulfillment in life.

9. Compare not, it’s a losing game. There’s always someone “better” who can make you feel inferior, and someone “lesser” who can make you feel superior. Neither is healthy. You are unique. What makes you different is what makes you interesting and valuable. Stop trying to be the next someone else. Be the original you. That’s what the world is waiting for.

10. Sidney J. Harris on regret: “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for things we did not do that is inconsolable.” How to have a life without regret? Do what makes you happy. You’ll never regret it.

11. Selling is an elegant game and essential skill. Whether you work for yourself or someone else, sales pay your salary. No sales, no business, no job, no income. Most of us sell a product, service, issue, cause, or idea. We all sell ourselves. The NEW Game of Selling™ transforms you from a vendor to a partner to THE trusted voice of choice. Play the NEW Game, and you’ll never get old.

Get in The NEW Game of Selling here now.

12. Highest and best is highest and best. Don’t compromise. Maximize. Advocate for all parties in every deal to get the most possible. Highest and best is spiritual economics at its highest and best.

13. Don’t fall in love with products and services. Fall in love with serving people. People may not want your product or service. They do want to be loved and served.

14. NEW Rule: Rules don’t rule. Stop asking customers to obey your rules, policies and procedures. Don’t torture them with systems, automation and phone call hell. When given the choice to obey your rules, or love and serve the customer, love and serve the customer.

15. Expand the job, don’t shrink the person. The old game played from inside the box called job description. You were told the list of things you could do. Everything else you couldn’t do. The NEW Game throws away the job description box. It expands the job to the talent, ability and potential of the person. You liberate people when you don’t box them in.

16. ABC = Always Be Caring! When you care you win, even when you don’t make the sale, get the customer or win the account. People love to help, support and recommend those who really care about them. Be aware, alert, and attentive to what’s going on around you and what’s going on inside others. Always be caring. While you’re at it, always be… conscious, compassionate, collaborative, cooperative and creative.

17. Be THE most trusted voice of choice. You’ll always be in demand. In a world of information overload and choice overwhelm, we turn to those we trust. The words, “I trust you” create a sacred pact and a spiritual bond. You are no longer a seller. You are a trusted friend who serves the customer’s best interest.

18. It’s not just business. It’s personal. The NEW Game is about meaning, relevance and transformation. It’s a game of serving and being served. It’s personal.

19. We’re in the transportation business. We help transport people from where they are to where they want to be. Products and services are vehicles. They are not the destination. Talk about their destination then talk about your transportation.

20. Keep people R.I.P.E. Results transport. Improvement transforms. Progress transmutes. Experience transcends.

21. There is no “I” in TEAM, but there IS “M-E” in TEAM. Winning teams bring out the best in every player, including ME! If my team does not bring out my best game, it’s my job to find new players or change the team.

22. There Is NO “I” in System. Business is a human game. Never put system ahead of self. Systems don’t feel, have no compassion and cannot experience empathy. Systems are meant to serve us, not control us. You are the master. The system is your servant. How can the system serve you better?

23. Do your soul setting and role setting, and then do your goal setting. Read more here about how and why to do your soul setting and role setting then your goal setting.

24. Information is abundant. Knowledge is scarce. Wisdom is priceless. Good advice is not cheap. Cheap advice is not good. Products, programs and packages don’t help much if you don’t know what to do or why you’re doing it. Advice and counsel are secret weapons of successful, profitable, happy business people. Give your best advice and counsel. Get the best advice and counsel.

25. It takes courage to trust your intuition. The mind is a powerful master if not directed to serve. It diverts me away from my intuitive knowing. I trusted my intuition on many occasions this past year. Most of the time good emerged. I trust my intuition above my analysis. I trust myself!

26. The Law of the Farm is the iron law of nature. I can’t shortcut a crop. My harvest shows up because I nurtured my fields through real world summers and winters. My bounty reflects my care. I care a lot. Your bounty will tell you how much you care.

27. I can earn a living without someone paying me a salary. When I was down to my last dollar, I found a way to exchange my products and services for money. If you lost your job or your business tanked, how would you start again? If you don’t have a business or source of income other than your salary, I encourage you to start something NOW! It’s likely a matter of “when” not if something changes. Don’t wait for the change to shock you. Innovate and find your next thing now.

28. Imperfect action beats perfect inaction. I created this mantra 20 years ago to combat my pathological perfectionism. I still chant this mantra every day. I tell myself to “take imperfect action” then measure and modify because… imperfect action beats perfect inaction.

29. ROE is more valuable than ROI. Return on Energy is the most important metric of life. Energy is life force. You want maximum value from this precious resource. Money can return many times, again and again. Energy is exhaustible. Use yours wisely.

30. Life is a dance between self-reliance and interdependence. My dad told me when I was a lad, “If you want to get something done…!” I bet you know the last three words of Dad’s phrase are… “…do it yourself!” So I become independent, very self-reliant. Then the game changed. I must be both self-reliant and interdependent.

31. Wisdom is a supply and demand game. Is your “Money Talk” talking commodity, time or value? The commodity game is price game. Advice is often a time game. Wisdom is a value game. Being comfortable talking money is a big challenge I had to overcome. I got good at helping people see the value of my treatment, not look at the time it takes me to write the prescription. Wisdom is a value game based on results, not cost or time. Value your wisdom. Price it highly.

32. Your IP – intellectual property – is a gift to the world and your most under valued asset. Is it time to liberate your knowledge, wisdom and experience to benefit others? Stop obsessing over “information products” and start thinking “intellectual property.” The most valuable real estate in the world is the six inches between your ears. You deserve to capitalize, monetize and actualize it.

There are some great resources at The NEW Game of IP to help you get in the game and transform quicker and easier.

33. Mitch’s NEW Math: addition by subtraction, multiplication by division. In the old game, more is more. In The NEW Game less is often more. I add by subtracting what I don’t want. I multiply by dividing the rights to my intellectual property and letting more people use it. How can you add by subtracting, and multiply by dividing?

34. ROI x 2! My game is fast return OF your investment, and a forever return ON your investment. The faster you get return OF investment back, the sooner you’ll reinvest with me. The longer you get return ON investment, the longer you’ll stay in the game with me. How do you generate ROI x 2 for your customers, partners and investors?

35. Synergy, synchronicity and serendipity can be more powerful than effort. Stuff out of my control is more life changing than stuff I “control.” More and more I’m allowing things to happen rather than making them happen. I’m valuing surrender more than effort. Synergy, synchronicity and serendipity are effortless. Jump into this river and let the tide take you.

36. Expand the pie by asking, “Whom can I love and serve today? I keep these words above my desk. I love and serve, and people reward me with their money. It’s a complete loop. I will always be rich, and never be poor, if I love and serve. The NEW Game is an abundance game. You win by expanding the pie, not by taking someone else’s piece. Creating more pie for yourself and others is one of the most valuable skills you can develop. How can you create more pie, more value and more money? Start by asking yourself, “Whom can I love and serve today?”

BONUS… One more for good measure to start year 37:

37. “May we be kind to others.” Simple yet profound wisdom comes from the Dalai Lama. Alan Cohen writes, “Keep memories of insult on a short leash, and memories of blessing on a long one.” Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your loved ones. Be kind to everyone.

Today is a blessing. I thank and bless everyone who helped me get to this milestone. You know who you are and how much you mean to me. I couldn’t have made it without you.

With love and serve in my heart,

Mitch, CEO – Chief Encouragement Officer
36th Anniversary Playing The NEW Game of Business™

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Spiritual Economics Is The NEW Game

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Spiritual economics is at the heart of The NEW Game of Business™. It’s about the “Rise of Enlightened Free Enterprise!”

Conscious capitalism is compassionate, collaborative, and cooperative. It’s about creating the highest and best for all.

In “The Kabbalah of Money” Nilton Bonder defines it this way:

“Maximum gain for all parties with minimum disturbance to the universe.”

Don’t compromise.
Maximize.

Highest and best is the “triple bottom line,” the triple win to seek in every transaction:

Others win.
You win.
I win.

If you want to be a spiritual economics game changer, triangulate these three coordinates as your true north…

HIGHEST and BEST outcome!
MAXIMUM GAIN for all parties!
MINIMUM DISTURBANCE to the universe!

Questions I’m asking myself:

“How can I love and serve best and do the most good?
“How do I enrich as many people as possible?”
“How will I create maximum gain and minimum disturbance?”
“What’s the highest and best outcome for everyone?”

I keep these questions front and center in every interaction and conversation.

Play the game of spiritual economics today, and every day.

Watch your life change right before your very eyes.

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