Value Creation - Experience - Commitment


By Dick Kazan

You are a very special person, but the rest of us may never know it. Why? Because instead of accomplishing your real potential, you’re probably focused on the next deal, the upcoming Arbitrend, or even what’s on television tonight. Nobody ever achieved greatness this way.
Why is it that most people remain at the worker-bee level while others become the heads of companies and amass fortunes? Is it a difference in ability? Is it who they know? Is it luck? Of course not. They achieve great things by developing a vision of what could be, believing they really can accomplish it, and then exercising the self-control necessary to make it happen.
The Wall Street Journal’s March 11, 1998 issue told the story of Gerald Chamales, who, as a child, went from one foster home to the next. As he grew older, his life became one of welfare, food stamps, drug rehab. and psychiatric treatment. But then he learned the concept I’m sharing with you, and there was an incredible change in his life. He began working odd jobs, one of which was at a telemarketing firm where he learned to sell computer products over the phone. A few years later, he took $7000 in savings and started Omni computer Products. ‘Today, his company employs 250 people and has over $25 million in sales annually, and the 46-year-old Mr. Chamales lives in a 13,000-square- foot Brentwood mansion. His next- door neighbor is Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan. What was the turning point? Norman Vincent Peale (The Power Of Positive Thinking) said it best: ‘The world in which you live is not primarily determined by outward conditions and circumstances, but by thoughts that habitually occupy your mind” For Gerald Chamales, this meant believing in himself, having a vision of what could be, and then exercising the self- control necessary to make it happen.
Mohandas K. Gandhi was a lawyer in south Africa when he concluded that one dedicated and determined individual could literally change the world. He later decided to nonviolently overthrow the British rule in India that had been in force for two centuries, the British government laughed. As he progressed, they resisted him with all the power they had. But in 1947, the British joined with their former colony in raising the flag of a free India.
Gandhi saw himself as an ordinary man practicing extraordinary self-control focused on achieving his vision. As he said, “There are two kinds of thoughts — idle and active. There may be myriads of the former swarming in one’s brain. They do not count. But one pure, active thought proceeding from the depth and endowed with all the individual intensity of one’s being becomes dynamic and works like a fertilized ovum” (“Talk With A Friend” Harijan. November 10, 1946).
In radio, only eight years ago Tom Hicks operation was comprised of himself, two partners, and their secretaries. They purchased their first radio station in 1994 and today control “403 stations, more than anyone else, with a combined audience of 60 million” (the New York Times, May 25, 1998). He also has a rapidly growing position in television-station ownership., book publishing and movie theaters. How did this happen? He learned to solicit and make very effective use of other people’s money to build his empire. But there was something more important: He could envision the possibilities, believed he could achieve them, and then had the necessary self- control.
As Gandhi, Gerald Chamales, Tom Hicks, and so many others have shown us over the ages, and idea takes on enormous power when implemented by a determined person. It becomes virtually unstoppable. Now it will be interesting to see what action you take to capitalize on this knowledge. When you do, I’ll share your story with our readers.