Sunday, April 9, 2017

How is language possible

Many people believe that words translate into actions, that words are things, or become things like energy in the universe that creates ebbs and flows, positive or negative depending upon the meaning of the word.

Language itself is a miracle of humankind. I recently came across two charismatic characters online, Pastor Ken Loring and Tony Stone. They both tell us that words are seeds, and by using words in a correct manner and in a careful, meaningful way, you can sow seeds that sprout success.

Keep sowing the seed. Changes are that you have excellent seeds, and as the legendary business philosopher Jim Rohn said, by continuously sowing seeds it will ultimately fall on different types of ground. He reiterates the story from the Bible of the sower with excellent seed who persevered and eventually his seeds found their way to fertile ground.

It takes patience.

It takes tenacity.

It takes careful planning.

It takes inspired action.

It takes using words for maximum effect. Make your words positive, and watch your language. Don’t waste it because language is a gift. It is what sets us apart from all creation. Make your words excellent, and devise them as powerful agents for change. You may have heard the phrase, “freedom of expression.” I am here to tell you that expression itself is freedom. To be human is to have this power.

Helen Keller is a great example of the power of words. She couldn’t hear or speak, but she used the power of language to literally change the world. She became a public figure, a political activist who strove for social change. She became known as “the miracle worker.” Let this be an inspiration to you to use the power of language to your advantage. Speak and write the truth. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The true meaning of leverage

Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish in your life or in business is more easily realized through the power of leverage. In elementary school there have always been people who complained about having to learn certain mathematical concepts like algebra or high-level geometry, and they questioned why it’s worthwhile for them, and why would learning something so analytical and abstract would matter later in their lives. This is where leverage will come into play: -- it’s the acquired ability to learn a higher concept that trains the brain to think differently, and to cultivate the discipline to tackle a subject.

Leverage is all about using tools and methods to acquire something tangible. Knowledge that has been procured at a young age will most likely last throughout someone’s life. And so the thing you learned at a young age, to play the piano or to speak a foreign language, will allow you to gain greater insight into arts and culture that you would have not gotten without the specialized skill.
In business the art of leverage is everything. Employers leverage their employees. They allow for critical tasks to get done. If you are looking for a job or a place to live, leverage would come into play when you had two or three others help you in the search. More ground is covered. It was American industrialist J. Paul Getty who famously quipped he would much rather have 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of his own. He innately understood leverage. That’s one of the ways he became the richest man in the world in his day and age.

Work smarter rather than harder, the saying goes. Leverage allows you to accomplish amazing things. You can be super industrious with leverage on your side. At my job at the university press we employ student interns to do several mundane tasks. This allows the primary stakeholders to accomplish more of their work, and provides students with work experience and solid understanding of how books are published. The university press takes it one step further by taking time out to explain to interns various nuances of book publishing. We answer their questions. We get to know them as people so we can more effectively work with them. Interns need to be supervised closely, and it is through a process of advanced learning and acquired knowledge that leverage comes into play and makes our department the most efficient. How do we publish so many more titles with only 4.5 staff members? It is good old-fashioned leverage, baby. Qualified students provide the oil for the book publishing machine.

The previous university press I worked at did not employ student interns while I was there and leverage did not exist. This made for a dysfunctional atmosphere in the office. The university administration was in flux as well, and while the new president of the university made lots of flowery speeches about student development and how every department needed to contribute to that, it simply did not happen. They did not practice what they preached. This had a direct effect on my job. I had a good relationship with the art director, and he was able to produce graphics for marketing that were part and parcel to my job. But when push came to a shove and he ran out of time, he made it clear that I was imposing on him. An intern with knowledge of graphics would have solved it. I am great when it comes to producing content for books, I can write and coordinate processes all day long. But I shouldn’t have to do graphic arts or fill out excel sheets for order forms or look up email addresses for primary contacts. An intern can perform these tasks and learn something into the bargain. This form of leverage would have allowed me to concentrate on the things I did best and not got bogged down in minutiae. That university press under performed as a result. Last thing I heard is the administration had that department on the chopping block. A real shame because the books they did were good ones.

The magic of leverage comes into play once you set up the proper channels where everyone can benefit. The business behind is the perfect example of the best use of leverage. Because everyone has the same setup and tools and there are 14 different markets that a owner can sell into, it is the applied expertise of different team members makes all the difference for everybody. One team member might be an expert on technology and marketing web-based solutions for businesses, and another team member might be proficient in health and nutrition and developing weight loss programs for clients, it doesn’t matter what market the team member is expert in or wants to dabble in, the sales volume is shared 100% from the bottom up—no levels—and everyone benefits from the sales volume generated. has a sophisticated tracking system, a state of the art computer program that systematically finds the sales volume within the organization and calculates that sales volume automatically every single week. The system kicks out a check to the owners when sales volume reaches a certain stage. The brilliant thing is that each business is capped at a certain echelon. An owner’s business development center flushes out at that point and starts to accrue again. Each owner develops two lines of distribution—two teams—and only earns significant income when people on their teams produce sales volume, or make money themselves. allows owners to help each other by placing volume at the very bottom of an organization, and every active owner gets 100% credit and the ability to earn on multiple streams of volume. This form of leverage expands distribution and everybody wins, the company sells their products, the customer gets a superior product at the best possible price or cost per use, and the owner gets paid weekly for the sales volume generated. Bam boom!

The business of was created with leverage in mind. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. Recommendations from trusted friends is what moves people to buy a product. It doesn’t matter what that product is. When was the last time you recommended a good movie or a good restaurant? People listened to you and they went and checked it out. They spent their money on it. People hate to be sold but they love to buy. As a owner, with so much leverage moving through your business you are empowered to solve people’s problems. You help solve a problem for people and then you will have a customer for life. And because of the power of leverage and the fact that you are receiving credit from everyone on your team, and the tracking system is working 24/7 in the background, you only need a small group of customers to service. You do not have to go out and recruit the world. You can concentrate on a select group of loyal preferred customers and give them outstanding service. Leverage takes care of the rest and you end up with an ongoing income that never stops. Set it up correctly one time, teach and mentor others on your team to be optimal customer managers, and the power of leverage will pay you for the rest of your life.

Diversity is the key here. A new person can bring creativity and practical skills to an organization and transform it. In government the effect of leverage is that each branch of government is doing its job and a system of checks and balances is in place. Alternative voices are heard and everything works in a synergistic way together to for freedom and democracy to thrive. When one party takes over all branches of the federal government, as is the case now with President Donald Trump and Congress, then diversity is squelched and an agenda is put forth that damages leverage. This was the case in the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The Democratic Party controlled all branches of the federal government yet nothing got done. They lost their super majority in 2010. Now that the Republican Party is in power in 2017 the same thing is happening. The power of leverage is diminished and the diversity of voices becomes drowned out. And the fact that President Trump has zero experience as a politician in any office whatsoever, and with an authoritarian management style that is only conducive to the boardroom and not public service, any aspect of leverage becomes mute and the government itself begins to stagnate.  The government is so big and so unwieldy it needs the power of leverage to make it work best.

A case in point is the current State Department, where it was reported by AP and other news sources that the top brass at the institution abruptly resigned the other day. It’s not clear whether there was a house cleaning at State by Trump operatives, or if they left because of the transition. Remember, these were career diplomats who had been around for years and knew the inner workings of the department.  So for purposes of illustration, it doesn’t matter if those diplomats were pushed or they jumped, the fact remains that there is currently no Secretary of State, and the nominee Rex Tillerson of Exxon is in the same boat as Trump, he has no experience for the job. If he gets confirmed by the Senate, which appears likely, his lack of leverage at State with so many departures is going to mean a long and potentially dangerous learning curve. Learning on the job is well and good, but when you have no leverage it’s a prescription for disaster.

A good thing is that there will be an election in two years and it’s important for the opposing party in 2018 (the Democratic Party) to unseat the super majority and allow leverage and the diversity of voices to be restored. Meanwhile, we are in for a rough ride in the political sphere over the next two years.  We all have to be vigilant and work to create leverage in our lives and really pay attention to what is going on in our communities and the outside world.

I myself will talk to anyone who will listen to me about the issues of leverage and how people can create their own economies and act on what is important to them and their goals, dreams, and values. It’s always about the other person and how you can help them achieve what they want. As Jim Rohn once said, it’s not the blowing of the wind but it’s the setting of the sail. It’s how you set your sail that determines where you will go in life. And that takes vision and energy. If you can find the right people who understand the concept of leverage and how powerful and transformative it can be, then you can take control of your life and help change the world to be a better place.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Be Contagious with Positivity

It's an essential idea to develop a mindset that really big problems are really big opportunities. I got this from Roch Tranel of Tranel Financial in Libertyville, IL. Gifts, talents, and passions are the things that solve problems. I have found this to be exactly the case in my life. And when you expect great things to happen, guess what, they happen!

You are contagious with positivity when you apply the principles of prosperity to your attitude and your outlook on life. You have to have a winning attitude to develop this. Other people will follow you. You will become a leader. A thought leader. Leading with your actions and then determining your future through a relentlessly positive approach. YOU are awesome simply because you are you!

I started working at University of Nevada Press as sales and marketing manager in the summer of 2016. This entailed moving from Chicago metro area to Reno. This is a big change to say the least. I was able to bring my 24-year-old daughter, Isabel, with me. She has enrolled in college and has discovered Psychology. It turns out that the area of Psychology comes really easily to her, and for the first time in her collegiate career she received an A+ as a grade for a class. Wow. I've never been a big grades person - having gone to Hampshire College in Amherst, MA where they don't use grades - but I have to say that I am really proud of her,

The job at the university press is great for me because first of all, I have always loved a project. It gives me a strong sense of identity and it also means I can help deserving authors promote and market their books. And I've always been passionate about books. If you have read any of my blog entries here, or seen my live streaming videos on Periscope, or if you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Snap Chat, you will see that books are important to me. My publishing house was Wicker Park Press, Ltd, and while I was not able to parlay that company into an ongoing success, it was always about publishing books that I was passionate about. And these were high-quality books.

It's about remaining positive and using your talents to help other people. Becoming contagious with positivity means transforming your life so you can perform useful things in the world. I know for a fact I can help people realize their dreams. And remaining positive in the face of incredible challenges is the first step. It means taking the first step and putting yourself out there. People in the world need what you have to offer, so developing self-confidence, poise, and straight-forward thinking and taking action is what will turn you in to a success.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Reasons why the Unfranchise Business is the way to go!

Build an asset/create wealth!

Why the Unfranchise Business? Product – a "mall without walls" and product brokerage

Location – Internet 24/7 leverage Work 8 – 15 hours a week Invest $1,000 – $1,500 Reward – $2,100 - $3,600 per week ongoing income!

Philosophy – turning your spending into investment, everyone spends daily – anyway money – therefore, Unfranchise business – is for everyone!

Retail sales – using technology such as Shop Buddy, mobile technology, bar code scan, Facebook Shop Box, total price comparison (get the lowest price, best value), and universal shopping cart 

Unique to Market America – web portal to search and shop, powered by people, and a powerful compensation plan – MPCP - Management Performance Compensation Plan.

For more information about the compensation plan, visit 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Minnesota Historical Society Press to step outside box and publish Curiousity's Cats: Writers on Research

Research is an intensely personal thing, and it is done for many different reasons. Writers in this anthology (April 2014) strike out beyond the boundaries of the Internet and conduct hands-on inquiries into subjects that fascinate them. It takes them outside their comfort zones and into a realm whereby they can make  important discoveries and observations not only about the subject they are pursuing, but about themselves. They learn how to learn in a sense.

13 essayists contribute powerful accounts of such things as chasing documents, cracking mysteries, interviewing for long-lost subjects, and visiting unusual and sometimes exotic locations. Inspired by Richard Altick's classic book, The Scholar Adventurers (Ohio State, 1987), the writers in this book offer very different kinds of writing; historians, journalists, and novelists come together and present what conducting research means to them, what it means to their particular project, and how the process of research and exploration fulfills a basic human need.

"Each morning I would strike out for this temple of learning in the crisp autumn air ... with a sense of purpose and the conviction that this was where I belonged."
- Marilyn Stasio, from "My Research Project"

The book is a refreshing mix of academics, amateur historians, novelists, journalists, and even a scriptwriter. Each writer offers a special take on the process of investigation and discovery, and shows how the process of conducting their research has enriched their lives. Curiosity's Cats is fills an important gap in writing about writing, and eloquently shows the special motivation for writers to get out in the field and find out everything they can about a subject that captivates their imaginations.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Joseph Malham Reads from his book JOHN FORD: POET IN THE DESERT

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fourth novel by Joseph G. Peterson helps establish him as the bard of contemporary Chicago literature

Peterson’s debut novel, Beautiful Piece (2009), is a raw tale of urban lost souls. Reviewers were struck by what one reviewer called “its taut, lean prose; its noir-like plot; and most of all, its rich, darkly detailed characters.” Set in Chicago during a brutal heat wave, the book hit home with a bulls-eye reminiscent of the 10 mm pistol that the book is named after …

He followed up with Inside the Whale: A Novel in Verse (2011), a fictional account of Jim, a young Irish drunkard and his disastrous exploits, all the while possessing a preternatural ability to write and recite amazing and spontaneous poetry. Publishers Weekly commented, “In addition to Peterson's narrative, plenty of Jim's actual poems appear throughout, facilitating an effortless shifting between third and first person accounts of the drunken bard's exploits.” 

Wanted: Elevator Man (2012), Peterson’s third novel, was cited in an essay from a new edited volume called The Great Recession in Fiction, Film, and Television edited by Kirk Boyle and Dan Mrozowski (Lexington Books, 2013).  Welsh scholar Daniel Mattingly’s article in the collection is cleverly entitled Crash Fiction (as in the stock market). Mattingly pairs Peterson’s book with a novel by Jess Walter called The Financial Lives of Poets (2009) for his insightful analysis and overarching theory about how bust culture has become established in modern-day America. Peterson’s novel becomes a prime example to this scholar of how contemporary fiction deals with diminished expectations of the financial meltdown, and how the middle class has been relegated to a garbage heap with no concrete means to get by. Youthful uncertainty becomes exacerbated by nationwide fiscal stagnation, as in the main character Eliot Barnes, Jr, who takes a menial job as an elevator repairman in a Chicago skyscraper. This is another iconic theme of economic collapse and limited choices. Peterson cleverly turns diminished expectations on its head with a twist as the Barnes character comes to see inherent worth in his job as an elevator man, someone who makes things work behind the scenes, and ultimate redemption. 

Here is what we are told about the book of essays edited by Boyle and Mrozowski: -- “The collected essays treat our busted culture as a seismograph that registers the traumas of collapse, and locate their pop artifacts along a spectrum of ideological fantasies, social erasures, and profound fears inspired by the Great Recession. What they discover from these unlikely indicators of the recession is a mix of regressive, progressive, and bemused texts in need of critical translation.” 

And Peterson’s fiction clearly qualifies as one of those bemused texts. His newest book, forthcoming in April 2014, called Gideon’s Confession features a main character living on handouts from a rich uncle who believes in him. All his uncle asks for is for Master Gideon to come up with a plan for how he will enter the job market and make something of himself. Gideon keeps putting his uncle off, living in deep secret fear that the checks will one day stop coming. But Gideon obstinately refuses to commit. Rachel DeWoskin, author of Foreign Babes in Beijing, Repeat After Me, and Big Girl Small had this to say about Gideon Confession: -- “Joe Peterson’s Gideon is a rollicking antihero who moves through these pages as he does through his rich uncle’s checks: quickly and lyrically. Gideon shops, drinks, and gobbles the money away, observing the world from its periphery until the checks stop arriving, the engine of his romance revs dangerously, and he is forced to make an active choice about how to live and love. Peterson's stylish, clean prose is a pleasure, and watching Gideon come of age, albeit a bit late? Absolutely delightful.”

Beyond economic catastrophe and stagnation that looms in the shadows of Peterson’s fiction, writer Stuart Dybek, author of The Coast of Chicago deftly picks up on the theme of misspent youth in his advance praise for the new book: -- “The world that Gideon inhabits in Joe Peterson’s Gideon’s Confession is never less than recognizably real.  That attractive realism might at first seem to make a fantastical book like Steppenwolf, an odd comparison, but like Hesse, Peterson traces the journey through that potentially lethal combination of the self-doubt and towering self-absorption of youth, and as in Steppenwolf the escape is into love. Frankly, of the two, it is Peterson’s ending I prefer.”

An incredible eye for detail and taut, lean prose are what readers have come to expect from a Peterson effort, and in his new book they will not be disappointed. Peterson delivers an emotionally powerful parable that will appeal not only to twentysomethings unwilling or unable to commit and fit in, but also to adult readers who appreciate modern literary fiction and carefully crafted characters.