The Scales Of Personal Development


Copyright 2017 Paul Edgewater/All Rights Reserved

Think of every song you’ve ever heard. Think of all the songs you’ve loved during your life (also the ones you didn’t like). Think of all the styles of music to which you’ve ever been exposed. Now think of music from a historical perspective and how many pieces of music have been written since the first melodies were accidentally hummed by one of our primitive ancestors. Now think of music as we move into the future. We know that creative artists and musicians will continue their unbroken streak of writing new material until the end of time. Now think about this. All this music, from the beginning of–and to the end of–time, is all based on seven main notes.

I’m going to assume many musicians are reading this and are thinking about all the 1/2 steps (sharps and flats, etc.) and some will want to tell me that this is only true in Western music, as some other cultures have their octaves divided into 12 notes, such as with Indian music. Or that even with Western music, if we look as a chromatic scale, we are looking at 12 notes. Fair enough. But all music is based on octaves, and however we break that up, each octave represents a new plateau, nuance, and they all contain “C, D, E, F, G, A & B.”

Why the big musical set up about personal development? Good question. As we find in the good book, Ecclesiastes 1:4-11 “There is nothing new under the sun.” ( All musical notes have already been invented; they all exist and can and will only change in their permutation. Ditto with all the philosophies pertaining to personal development. It’s all been figured out before. It’s all been communicated before. It’s all been written before. It’s all been shared before. They all already exist and can and will only change in the permutation. Success and failure are very simple and very old concepts.

When some “new” personal development guru comes along, they are simply a new messenger reaching a new audience with a new permutation; they are saying nothing new.

A lot of personal development uses acronyms and abbreviations to help us remember the message. Acronyms like: “L.I.F.E. Live It Fully Everyday” and abbreviations like: “T.C.O.B. Taking Care Of Business, or like Elvis put it, “TCB.” I’m going to throw a ‘new’ abbreviation into the mix, and it’s based on the notes of music.


“C” stands for “COMMITMENT.” If we aren’t committed to our objectives, we are only fooling ourselves. Success is hard enough when done correctly. It’s almost impossible when done incorrectly, and one of the biggest mistakes we can make is to have ‘an out,’ or a ‘backup plan.’ This is anathema to commitment. By having a backup plan, it tells us we’re not committed to our objectives. Think about marriage; if we have ‘an out’ or a ‘backup plan,’ it can only mean we are not in it to win it. The relationship is a but a whim. Our goals and objectives are worthy of the same commitment we give to our ‘committed relationships,’ or we will fail at all of the above. Julius Caesar said, “If you want to take the island, burn the boats.” In other words, eliminate the back up plan.

“D” stands for “DECISION.” Tony Robbins reminds us that it is in our moments of decision that we manifest our destiny. Truth. The Latin root of the word “decision” literally means “to cut off.” In the modern usage, when we decide something, we are cutting ourselves off from other options (see “commitment” above). To do a certain thing, we must not do other things. We must decide what our objectives are and commit to accomplishing nothing else.

“E” stands for “EXCELLENCE.” If we don’t excel in our endeavors, we will be ‘also-rans.’ ‘Calling it in’ won’t cut it if we want to achieve worthy goals. With excellence comes quality, merit, skill, talent, accomplishment, preeminence, supremacy and mastery (a few fringe benefits we enjoy when we strive for excellence). More on “excellence” can be found here:

“F” stands for “FOCUS.” Since we are humans, we come equipped with a survival skill: awareness of our surroundings. It’s hard-wired into us. This is a handy tool if we are in the wilderness crouching over at a stream to get a drink of water. It keeps us alive, because we hear, see, smell and are aware of natural predators in our midst. This same survival instinct that kept primitive humans alive is also a detriment to success in the civilized world. We get distracted by everything. It takes almost all of our mental energy to stay focused on our objectives because everything and everyone is clamoring for our attention. Think about having a staring contest. On paper, we should be able to stare at one another forever. How simple; just stare at one thing and don’t do anything else. But as we all know, inevitably, our nature kicks in, and our eyes have to look away lest we miss something. Multiply the difficulty of staring at one thing for a long time a thousand fold when we concentrate our focus on achieving something great and/or challenging. The world is full of distractions with distracted people. Let’s not be one of them.

“G” stands for “GREATNESS.” Not much to clarify or explain here. We either commit to Greatness or decide we’re okay with being also-rans. It should be said though that the word “great” has been watered down in the modern vernacular. If someone discovers the cure for cancer, that would be truly “great.” If we are trying to set up an appointment with a business associate and we both agree on a time and place for a meeting, that is most definitely not “great,” yet we always say it is, don’t we? I’m guilty of this just like everyone else. In our quest to be “great” in our personal development and achieving goals, let’s make sure we are thinking of the work and the true weight it carries (think “great” as in “Alexander The Great” not “Can meet at noon on Tuesday? Yes? That’s “GREAT!”).

“A” stands for “ALTRUISTIC.” When we succeed, we owe it to the human race to share what we’ve learned. I’m not just talking about charity either (it should go without saying that tithing is an essential component of being a well-rounded, person of value). I’m talking about sharing our lessons with anyone willing to listen. How many Galileos, Newtons or Einsteins did civilization need for the entirety of the human race to benefit from their minds? Just one of each because they shared their discoveries with the rest of us. Their minds didn’t turn to dust without first documented what they learned. While this seems to be a standard operating procedure in the sciences and the arts, it isn’t a standard operating procedure in the personal development world. It seems that every generation has to learn this stuff over and over. I don’t know why this is. The best minds in personal development have almost all written books, yet their teachings seem to be forgotten when they are gone. Let’s stop this here and now. If you and I learn something that will be of value to others and for future generations, let’s commit to shouting it from the rooftops so all can benefit. I would like to add that your life and mine would be a lot more fruitful if the writings of Samuel Smiles were required reading in school instead of Einstein. They teach us about Einstein (which is good and useful), but the stuff that can make our personal lives amazing (like Samuel Smiles) isn’t even on the radar. For a list of recommended reading, please visit my website: and check out

“B” stands for being the “BEST.” I’ll admit to being hard-headed on this one until I was exposed to the teachings of Bo Eason. I’m now committed to being the best in my commitments and goals because of this great man. Please check him out. One of the most profound thinkers of our time. Here are a couple of useful links: 

In closing, I’ll throw another musical analogy in the mix. Picture a piano keyboard. Not only do we find the seven main notes, but we also see seven full octaves. Let’s think of the next goal we want to accomplish as the lowest octave at the left side of the keyboard. Once we achieve that one, we continue to move over to the right, covering all the octaves until we’ve mastered our “CDEFGAB” system. You may be thinking, “What happens when I’m done accomplishing seven great things?” Fair question. Here’s my answer: After you accomplish seven great things, get another piano and start over because you’ll be able to afford a really nice piano and you’ll be really good at personal development!

Please share this with the people you love!

Thank you for reading!

GAME OVER (guess who won?)


The type of people who win at life, never change:

  • Those of us who are unafraid of not belonging to a group.
  • Those of us who celebrate rugged individualism.
  • Those of us who lead and don’t rule.
  • Those of us who are keenly aware of sowing and reaping.
  • Those of us that set goals.
  • Those of us that have contingency plans, yet rarely need them.
  • Those of us who would rather be on the giving side of charity than the receiving side and make a point to be.
  • Those of us who tithe.
  • Those of us who reject the pretense of anyone who hasn’t walked the walk on which we are embarking.
  • Those of us willing to share our life-learnings with those who are ready to learn.

There is nothing new under the sun and the rules of winning are constant and evergreen. Don’t reinvent the wheels of success; only refine them and improve upon them. Even as they are, they will serve us well.

For more information about winning at life, please visit me at:
Thank you!

Smiles Make Money!


When I was a teenager, I worked at a telemarketing company setting up appointments with homeowners for thermal window presentations. We were each given a very small cubical, a phone, a few torn-out pages of the reverse directory phone book and instructed to call everyone up and down each street until someone said “yes.” One of the tools they gave us was a mirror mounted directly in front of us, so we could see our facial expressions as we spoke with people. Underneath the mirror, there was a small sign that said “smile and dial,” because people can hear a smile in your voice. Try this with your friends. Speak on the phone with a smile and then without. Have them tell you when you smile. Invariably they will guess correctly. Remember, our clients are aware of our smiles too!
It’s been said that a smile only has value after you give it away to someone else. That’s not just touchy-feely, tittle-tattle either; there is a plethora of hard, scientific data to back that up with facts.
A 2001 study from Jörn P.W Scharlemann demonstrates that a smile increases trust amongst people by 10%. A 1991 study by Hinsz & Tomhave shows that when you smile, you get reciprocal smiles from 50% of people (pretty good odds!). A 1978 study by Tidd, Kathi L.; Lockard, Joan S., titled the “Monetary significance of the affiliative smile: A case for reciprocal altruism” illustrated that service staff earned significantly more than their slack-faced, bovine-like peers. If you’re not sold yet, a 1952 study by Abel & Kruger suggests that smiling people outlived their forlorn friends by an average of 7 years!
The eyes are also powerful communication tools. More than that, our eyes tell people if our smile is genuine or not. A smile that engages only the mouth is forced. A smile that includes the eyes is real. These genuine smiles are called a “Duchenne” smiles, named after a 19th-century neurologist from France whose research confirms this phenomenon. When you smile, make sure that you proudly display your crow’s feet–we all have them! It’ll show the world that you are indeed happy to see them and that you have been smiling for a long, long time!
Let’s begin each day with a big smile and wear it all the way to the bank!

Copyright 2017/Paul Edgewater/All Rights Reserved


Keep Going!

1My good friend and coach, Dave LaRue, shared a phenomenon with me that is common to many achievers:

“That worked so I well, I stopped doing it!”

At first blush, the statement seems whimsical or quaint, but it’s exceedingly profound. The lesson is consistency. Don’t let your drive to succeed be modulated like the AC/Heat on a thermostat (on and off and on and off, etc.). If something works, keep doing it and don’t stop doing it. Too many of us close the deal, lose some weight, achieve the goal, get the girl (or guy) and then stop doing the things that made us achieve those things. If we want to keep closing deals, keep the weight off, achieve more goals and keep the girl (or guy), we have to keep doing what got us those things in the first place, or they go away. Jim Rohn reminded us years ago, that if we don’t use something, we lose it. Disuse equals loss; every time. Personal development means growth and in order to grow, we can never go back to what we did in the past if it didn’t serve us. But if it worked, by all means, keep doing it and keep finding new ways to improve upon it!
For more information on Dave LaRue and his philosophy, click here:
For more information on me, click here:

Thanks for reading!

Turn Gate Keepers Into Welcoming Parties


Here’s a great way to get past the ‘gatekeeper’ at any business when paying them a visit in person.

Assume that the very first person you see when you enter the place of business is either the owner, manager or the one in charge. Even if it’s completely obvious to you that this person may ‘just’ be the receptionist, or an employee, never ask this person if you can “see the owner or manager, etc.” We do this for two reasons:

  1. No matter what they look like, they very well could be the owner, manager, or the one in charge and you’ll be doing a lot of damage to your case for not recognizing that. Even if the person is in overalls and changing a lightbulb, they could be the main contact. If we ask this person something like, “is the owner in?” they will not be happy to have to tell us that they are indeed the owner. Always assume you’re speaking to the key contact and they will appreciate that you made this assumption.
  2. If you really are just speaking to an employee of the key contact, invariably they will get a ‘kick’ that you thought they were the owner or manager, etc. They will respond with something like “I wish” with a big, broad smile. But in the back of their mind, you have created a bond with this person; you thought they were special and they will like you for it. You have recognized this person’s potential for growth and greater things. If this person is a receptionist or a secretary, they will very likely let their guard down for you when it comes time for follow up visits and the like; they won’t be a gatekeeper anymore; they will be a welcoming committee.

Try this the next time you call on a prospect and you’ll see a marked improvement in how you are received at businesses you visit.

Note: this works on the phone too!! When someone picks up the phone, ask: “You’re the owner, right?” You’ll be pleasantly surprised how well this works!

The Nightmare Of “Living The Dream” Copyright 2015 Paul Edgewater All Rights Reserved

Living The Dream

When I travel to the Midwest, there is a great little green canteen where I get breakfast and/or lunch near my office in Chicago. There is a vivacious young lady who works there who answers with “living the dream” when asked “how are you today?” I sense a touch of good-natured snark in her voice when she says those words as I know a bit about her and her goals from our conversations. She is a very happy and good-natured person; she loves her job and is currently attending school to pursue her goals. The future is hers to make as she envisions it. Indeed I believe she is living the dream; her dream. Of the people I hear using this contemporary colloquialism, she actually means it in its positive connotation. She is the exception to the rule. Almost everyone else I encounter who says “living the dream,” is usually trapped in a self-imposed situation that they don’t like. Example; I recently had a drink at a bar where a very cantankerous young man snapped back at me with “living the dream” when I asked how he was doing. It was obvious from his tonality and mental state that he was hating life and what he was doing–or not doing–with it. “Living the dream” is sadly more often a nightmare for most people who wantonly throw those words out into the ether and don’t know that they could indeed be living the dream if they just decided to do so. I find this troubling.

I have to stop myself when I ponder young people’s jargon. I’ve been blessed to be alive for almost 50 years now and I’ve learned almost everything I know the hard way. Had the catch phrase “living the dream” existed when I was young, there is a very high likelihood that I would’ve used it too. When we are young, we have a tendency towards cynicism. Moreover, when some old-timer would tell me a thing or two, I always thought I knew better. Factoring this equation, I know that if you’re my age or older, I’m preaching to the choir. However, if you are a young person hungry to acquire some wisdom without falling on your face in the process, please read on.

Life is like a vacation; it has been designed to be amazing but it’s always too short. At the beginning of a vacation, we have a list of things to do and in spite of our best efforts, it’s over before we know it and we find there isn’t time for our list of to-dos as we pack our bags to go back to our ‘real lives.’ How I wish that when I was young, someone told me how short life was in a way that made me actually believe it. I really had no idea. Fast forward to now; there is so much I still yearn to do. So many dreams to experience. So many lives to touch. It pains me to have to confront the reality that I don’t have the time to even scratch the surface anymore and only choose the goals and dreams I know I still have time for and the ability to achieve. I’m feeling keenly aware of the fleeting nature of life lately and I find the more I express gratitude for it, the faster time slips through my fingers. It’s paradoxical recompense for taking pause to appreciate life’s blessings. That is a phenomenon I wasn’t expecting. and it compelled me to write this blog.

Whatever it is that makes your soul sing, do it now. Do it with gusto and dedication. Be true to your soul. So even if you have to take a job you don’t love, or do something you don’t like on the way to your goals, know that it’s a small price to pay. Remember success is a journey and not a destination, so when someone askes how you’re doing, you can answer them sincerely with “I’m living the dream” and mean it with every fiber of your being, like my friend at the green canteen.

Thank you

Branded, Specialty and Promotional Marketing Vehicles

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Part 1

Putting your company logo and messaging on your fleet (even if your fleet comprises of just one vehicle), is one of the most cost effective opportunities to promote your products and/or services. You might say that branded vehicles run in my DNA. My great-grandfather William Theodore, born 101 years before me in 1865, was apprenticed as a spice blender. He grew into a traveling salesman in south central New York State for Newell & Truesdell, purveyors of wholesale groceries and “Yankee Notions” in the last century. His service vehicle, a Model T Ford panel truck, was emblazoned with the logo: “New & True.” Where a lot of earlier branding seems “quaint” and outmoded now, his Ford Model T retains its dash and presents an unforgettable sight even today. The photo here is circa 1916.

Wouldn’t you think that by now, almost a century later, everyone would have learned that this is one of the most cost-effective methods of advertising based on ROI ever devised? They haven’t. Thousands and thousands of company vehicles traveling the highways are utterly blank or without a dash of branding of any kind. What a shame and what a wasted opportunity, especially when considering that mobile media advertising offers the lowest cost-per-impression of any major advertising medium.

Research by the American Trucking association, reveals that wrapped or branded vehicles get an average of 138 visual impressions per mile. That gives your brand, company or cause, first hand exposure to about 16 million potential customers a year—per vehicle. Additionally, a study by the ad agency, RYP & Becker Group, reveals some truly exciting data. 97% of survey respondents recalled the copy and creative of the wrapped vehicle. 98% thought the wrapped vehicles created a positive image for the advertiser. Finally, 96% thought vehicle graphics had far more impact than billboards. I hope you are convinced and are now planning on branding your fleet (even if it’s just one vehicle, or your personal car), and if your fleet is already branded, let’s take this opportunity as far as we can.

To stand out in this era of sensory overload, we must do something beyond the ordinary to survive and thrive in our modern business climate. Nowadays, no one is going to tell their friends about a truck with magnetic logos stuck on the doors. Logos on the side of your vehicles are a good start, but they’re not going to be enough. There are many other ways to take vehicle branding further. Following are some options you may want to consider. Harvey MacKay, in his timeless tome, “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive,” makes the wise suggestion of putting your company logo on the roof of your vehicle (in addition to the sides and back). He wrote that almost 25 years ago, yet today, countless side-branded-only vehicles roll down streets and roads all over the world, with mute, blank roofs staring back at all those executives in high rise offices (or any office above the 2nd or 3rd floor, for that matter). We can take a cue from some service vehicles like police cruisers and ambulances, as we’ll often see messaging on their roofs.

Ambulances also put their messaging on the leading edge of their hoods—with the copy in reverse—so that we can read the messaging in our rearview mirrors when they are behind us. This reverse messaging on the hood is a great place to put your website address (check with local restrictions on this tactic, as some municipalities have archaic laws against reverse copy on the hood of any vehicles except ambulances). Putting your messaging on the back of your fleet is also crucial. It’s worth noting, this is the best surface on your vehicles where you can have detailed information about your goods or services, as this is the only surface that can be viewed for a prolonged period of time by other motorists when vehicles are on the move. Anyone following your vehicles can potentially follow them as long as they’d like. They don’t have to pass you until they have read your messaging (so keep it really interesting).

To recap:

· Messaging on the doors (or anywhere on the side). Utilize logos and minimal copy here (7 words-max). Have your creative do most of the talking on these surfaces.

· Messaging on the roof or top surface of the hood/trunk. Make it big and bold here. Something that can be read from a high floor in a tall building. This means large fonts and few words (5 words max).

· Messaging on the leading edge of the hood in reverse (keep it simple; website only, for instance). Again, check your local ordinances.

· Messaging on the rear. Go into more detail here and keep it interesting, compelling and creative. Something akin to, “You’re following the leader in (insert your product or service and note features and benefits). Call us today and we’ll put you in front of your competition.” Make sure your phone number, website, social media links and QR codes are prominently displayed here.

Please comment and check back for Part 2 soon! Thanks!