I set out to write Demystifying Success to provide young adults (ages 16 to 25) with the needed tools, techniques, and personal/financial guidelines to help them grow their own success, tailored specifically to their own goals. To help readers avoid the same common mistakes that have derailed and paralyzed so many people from achieving their success in all areas of life, I candidly share stories of my own personal successes and failures (learning opportunities). I also share the secrets to not only my personal successes, but others’ as well—helping readers readily envision their own achievable successes. I designed Demystifying Success to be straightforward and practical so not only young adults, but adults of all ages, could immediately jump in and start applying these real-world tools to reach their goals as soon as possible.
The practicable information and educational concepts shared in this book are sadly not currently being taught in most U.S. high schools and colleges. I honestly find it shocking that for a country which prides itself on its technological and educational advances, most of its population is financially illiterate—and through no fault of their own. How can parents and teachers be expected to educate young adults when they themselves are lacking this very same knowledge? The answer is they can’t. And as a result, more and more young adults are now entering the real world financially illiterate and ill-prepared to achieve their future success. I was inspired to write this book because I am passionately determined to help do my part to break the generational cycle of financial illiteracy.
I have organized Demystifying Success into four sections:
Section I: Self-Awareness
This section contains three chapters that focus primarily on concepts and experiences associated with one’s own self-discovery. The reader will start by becoming more aware of their potential opportunities by learning how to distinguish between the powers of probability (what is), versus possibility (what could be). From there, they will search for even deeper meaning within themselves to find those core values and beliefs that are essential for protecting their integrity (character) and emotional well-being. I then illustrate how “happiness” is nothing more than a positive state of mind which is primarily influenced by how one feels about oneself (self-esteem). The great American industrialist, Henry Ford, once said, “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are right.” In this first section, the reader will continue to learn how to cultivate their own happiness, while enhancing their overall self-esteem. They will understand how to create healthy personal relationships by surrounding themselves with positive and successful people, and they’ll learn why this is so important to their overall success. In the final chapter of this section, I cover the power of creating one’s authentic “personal brand” then wrap up the self-awareness section by addressing the importance of both mental and physical health (which involves eating right and exercising regularly). By heightening one’s awareness and exercising discipline about maintaining good mental and physical health, the mind, body, and spirit come into more alignment. To that end, I walk the reader through each step to achieve optimum health. By heightening their self-awareness and improving their self-esteem, the reader’s overall confidence and unique personal brand will improve and pave the way for greater future success.
Section II: Developing Your Tools for Success
This section addresses good time management skills and action steps for success. One’s quality of life is often determined by how well they utilize their time. I teach the reader how to control time rather than allowing time to control them. They will learn why good study habits in school, at an early age, will ultimately lead to a successful work ethic and habits in their professional life and are a key element toward achieving their desired outcomes. The next tool I address in Section II is visualizing one’s desired future, then creating and executing action plans to successfully achieve specific goals. I share my own personal goal-setting techniques and secrets that have allowed me to become president of several organizations, a student/protégé of such musical legends as Dr. David Baker (Indiana University) and legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp, John Fogerty, and others), among other amazing outcomes that have resulted from the countless probable decisions I’ve made over the years in order to pursue my passions in life. I also provide my own models for success that will empower the reader to further build and enhance their own strengths to succeed.
Section III: Taking Action
Successfully executing one’s life-long goals is all about realigning oneself (who you are, right now) with all of the knowledge and experiences that are acquired in life and from reading and working through Sections I and II. The reader will learn why intentions ultimately drive decisions and how these decisions lead to probable outcomes for success.
Section IV: Wealth Creation
Since money is such a key component to both financial security and the attainment of tools for personal success, in this last section I show how to properly manage and budget money so that one can live a very happy life. I also teach my wealth-creating model that will help the reader understand how the very wealthy continue to increase their wealth over time. And finally, I educate the reader on the importance of savings, understanding debt, and having good spending habits that, if followed, will most certainly help them avoid financial obesity (like overeating, overspending compulsively) and ensure their future success.
Within this book, I have chosen to provide both the theoretical (“the why”) and the practical (“the how”) knowledge that I have acquired from my own and others’ past experiences to help the reader navigate their life around potential obstacles and pitfalls. All of these experiences have contributed to helping me formulate my principles and strategies for demystifying personal and financial success. After attending numerous seminars and webinars delivered by prominent speakers and educators, as well as having read countless books by best-selling authors on the subject of personal happiness and success, I have written the book that I wish someone had handed to me back when I was in high school and college.
If I had had the knowledge I have shared in Demystifying Success, it would have helped me become one of the fortunate 3% of the population exposed (from an early age) to good money management and solid financial and personal habits. It would have given me, like those lucky 3%, a head start in gaining the confidence and discipline to create my own concrete goals and plans toward achieving my success.
This is the same goal I have for my readers whom I hope you are amongst—I want you to rise to the top and accomplish whatever you choose to do in life. Here’s to you demystifying your success!