Principles of Achievement

I’ve been asked about how I’ve achieved my life successes, so my Principles of Achievement tell that story.


Pad, Yellow

For many, many years I’ve been using a yellow pad, the 8 1/2 x 11 version, not a legal yellow pad but the smaller one. I’ve used this mostly as my to-do list. I never numbered the items, but sometimes I’d make a note in the margin so I could prioritize my list.
But the magic happened after I wrote down what I needed. For example, “Call Steve” and usually within a very short time, Steve would call me! This happened over and over again. It was like a magic pad!

As years went on and I had the experience over and over, I tried to understand why this happened. And I came to the conclusion that my mind had the idea to ‘Call Steve’ and the signal went to my hand to write this down, through my arm, into my fingertips through the pencil lead and on to the paper! So, it was a very committed idea to ‘Call Steve’ and because of those mechanics, Steve called me! This phenomenon has happened over and over, and I’ll never give up my yellow Pad!

Very Highly Motivated

After I became the manager of a small chain of camera stores in ski resorts of the northwest, the owner wanted to sell the business. Since I had started the original store, I felt confident and knew I could operate the stores. But I didn’t have any money! I did have a house and I thought I could get a second mortgage and pay off the balance over two or three years and I’ll never forget Paul’s comment when I proposed my deal, he said, “I suppose so.”

The big risk was the interest rates at that time was over 20%! And, I thought, what could be the worst thing that could happen? I could lose the house, lose the store, the cars, maybe all my stuff. But I didn’t think that would happen and if it did, I’d figure something out then! I was so Very Highly Motivated I decided to take the risk and we made the deal. And the rest is history…the stores thrived, I paid the bank and Paul their balances sooner than the due dates! A very worthwhile deal. Total Win-Win.


When I was a clerk at the F-Stop camera store, the owner thought it would be a good idea to start our own photo finishing processing laboratory. After he did extensive research and ordered all the equipment, rented space, made all the leasehold improvements, he invited me down to see all the paraphernalia and see it in action!

As we were walking around looking at everything, I asked him, “Paul, how could you spend all this money and invest it in this lab?” He said, “Zip (my nickname) you know, I could have invested in the stock market and maybe I would have gotten some stock certificates to look at and probably put away in a safe somewhere but look at all this!” As we walked around, he started pushing buttons, lights came on and motors started to whir. As all the equipment came up to speed, the printers, processors, the dip and dunk machines came to life he said, “At least with this investment, I’m able to see, touch, feel, and hear all this stuff. And besides, I think it’s really important to invest in yourself.”

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