In 1948 I went to work for the Grand Trunk Railroad in Detroit. Then in 1951 I was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Korea as a combat rifleman. I was wounded in combat and awarded a Purple Heart. When I returned to the railroad in 1953 I was given a low grade management job. I married and we had children and then In 1961 I was transferred to Battle Creek, Michigan. Then in 1972 a new vice president recognized my creative talents and I was named Corporate Employee Communications Officer. Few years later I was promoted to Corporate Communications Officer.
In 1983 I retired and formed my own corporation, Growth Unlimited’, with the corporate slogan, “Touching Peoples Lives.” My goal was to follow wherever my muse might lead me. I gave myself the freedom to do whatever I felt I wanted to do. To write whatever I felt like writing; to find clients and give speeches on whatever topic I felt like pursuing. First I did humor banquets. Then a friend told me that if I could include something on increasing sales I could immediately double my fee. I became “Mr. Lucky of the American Platform.” Sure enough, I doubled my fee and then I doubled it again….and again. I wrote books…first “Selling Lucky” and then “Selling Luckier Yet”. I wrote a series of Lucky Ideas for a magazine and then one day at a Success Rally where I shared a stage with many of my heroes in the positive thinking field I realized that what we were doing was instant rehab for people who had somehow messed up their lives, perhaps with alcohol or drugs or people who had just gone through a divorce or maybe bankruptcy. And I had the idea how wonderful it might be if we could somehow teach children and their parents to become winners in life by reading my books and listening to our cassette tapes. I wrote The Three Robot Series of books and we created tapes and I went to schools and spoke for teachers and parents and students from kindergarten to grade 12. I even spoke to students at Notre Dame. I followed my muse and some called me The Wizard of Pos.
In 1975 I joined the National Speakers Association and it enabled me to associate with some of the most brilliant and successful people in the world. It changed my life and instantly broadened my horizons.
I never went to college but my goal was to learn something new every day. Never had a business plan. I had an accountant who managed my stuff and made out my taxes. I kept writing books, generally at least one a year and sometimes two or three. We did O.K. I didn’t have any grand ideas about making a fortune as some of my speaker friends did, still I made more money than we needed.
In 1988 I spoke at the National Safety Council and one of my clients tagged me as The Art of Safety. My clients that followed that exposure at their major annual meetings included General Motors, Toyota, some pharmaceutical corporations and then a long string of power companies and petrol companies. I wrote a bunch of books on corporate safety and turned out a lot of safety booklets for workers.
1n 2002 The National Safety Council presented me with their Distinguished Service to Safety Award which is their highest award given to an individual. My work in the Safety Field had improved the safety records of many, many corporations. They said that a whole lot of workers were not injured on the job because of my efforts.
Along the way I was widowed, moved to Hillsborough, North Carolina and married a real “Southern Lady” where I’m living happily ever after, still following my muse, doing what I feel like doing and still intent on touching people’s lives in a positive way.
What are my words of wisdom for somebody just starting out? Don’t let greed become your master. It takes away all the fun. Give to get. But do not give to get something in return, that isn’t giving, that’s trading. Learn to give for the pure joy of giving. That is the secret to happiness and the pursuit of happiness makes for a pretty rewarding life.