Back to the Future

We were the Chevrolet family tucked comfortably between the Oldsmobile Super 88 and the Buick Roadster households to the right and left of us in our line of post World War II bungalows on Patrick Avenue.  My Dad paid around fifteen hundred in 1953 for our Chevy Coupe while the Buick and Oldsmobile models were for the rich folks next door at twice the price. Saying they were rich really wasn’t that much of an exaggeration since a three thousand dollar car on a four thousand a year salary for our blue collar neighborhood was a lot of money. How did they do it? This collective of factory workers, postal employees and bus drivers all shared the commonality of not having a lot of money. What was the secret to owning more expensive things?

General Motors was cleaver using different makes and models to offer buyers what they could afford. The Buick and Oldsmobile hood ornaments were rockets, the Chevy hood ornament looked more like a jet plane. These were the small symbols to remind a united nation of one goal to go faster and conquer space years before President Kennedy made his promise to go to the moon. Another brilliant moment for GM was an idea ahead of its time in the 1920s. That major disruptive concept was the auto loan. This revolution  launched GM to the number one spot and created a consumer demand to get what you want today and pay for it later. Soon people all over America were financing  just about everything such as appliances, radios, and furniture by 1930.

You might say things have not changed much since a one hundred thousand dollar salary buys a seventy five thousand dollar car.

Since then, we have been adding decimal points and digits to the pile to create four trillion dollars in consumer debt. That’s just about the size of the entire GDP of Japan where all those new cars come from. Four trillion is a lot and here’s how Americans borrow so much:

  • Credit cards eat up a little over a one trillion.
  • Nearly three trillion in non-revolving debt which includes things like college loans and car payments.
  • Debt for your neighbors has climbed in double digits since 2013, and that does not include mortgage debt.
  • Those house payments add another nine trillion to the debt Americans will owe the banker.
  • Approaching fourteen trillion in debt meaning we all owe a sum nearly bigger than the GDP of China.

All of this is personal debt. That’s the debt that grows every time you swipe your smart phone at Starbucks for a five dollar coffee increasing the debt to four trillion and five dollars. For those that push for wealth distribution this should be alarming, since the only thing left to distribute is debt; not wealth.

The really big number is the National Debt now over twenty two trillion. The only time the national debt was paid off was in 1835 when Andrew Jackson was president. No wonder his picture is on the Twenty Dollar Bill.

We need more Billionaires! We do not need wealth distribution.

In 1953, thirty one percent of the population was considered to be in the top one percent, with sixty nine percent in the bottom ninety-nine percent where General Motors made all their money. The numbers have not changed dramatically as in 2010 the top one percent was thirty five percent and the bottom ninety-nine making up sixty five percent. It just takes more money to get there, but surprisingly it is not a group only for multi-millionaires and billionaires. If you make around four hundred thousand, you are in the top one percent. Some doctors make that as do some sales people.

Are you ready to fork over seventy – eighty – even ninety percent of your money to a government that losses no sleep over twenty two trillion in debt. Or, would you rather keep some of that revenue to pay down that personal debt for that new car? The decision to choose the 1953 Chevy with a jet for the hood ornament, instead of a rocket, may be a prudent way to go forward into the future.



How much money do you need to be successful?

The biggest advantage you have requires no money.

One IdeaIdeas are free and one idea is all you need to be the next big thing.  Just one idea.

Earl Nightingale said over and over, “We become what we think about.

William James

William James in his Principles of Psychology defined genius as, “Little more than the faculty of perceiving in an un-habitual way.”

It is all too common to see things through the veil of our habits. Our day-to-day activities cloud our higher selves. If we look at our surroundings in our homes and businesses and all the things we take for granted the mundane with a newer imagination. These that are called genius among us are those that see beyond the ordinary. Routine actions present problems. Instead of taking these things for granted, they see an answer. The answer may be something as usual as a round stone that becomes a wheel. Answers that cure disease and take us to the moon and beyond were all just ideas that common ordinary individuals were able to see. We all can see beyond the ordinary. We have to resist seeing things as they are, and start seeing them as they can be. The small step from the way the world is to the way it can be is just one small, simple idea that may carry the seed of a revolution.

Looking at things in our lives differently sparks creativity. Let’s agree to put to rest the way many feel they are not endowed with creative genius. We are born of genius. Humans are all creative beings. There are fundamentals you can develop to elevate your creativity. Earl Nightingale wrote the following short list:

  • A creative person has a clearly defined set of goals.
  • Creative people keep notepad ready at all times to capture ideas.
  • People that create answers to problems are good listeners with a keen sense of observation.
  • Winners expand their circle of friends and acquaintances to feed the idea bank.
  • The real genius understands the value of sharing ideas as one idea will produce many others.
  • Once the idea comes, the genius has a series of steps to improve them.
  • Time is used wisely just as any investment is.

All ideas are free. They come to us all the time. Our problem comes from allowing the old mundane habits filter those bursts of genius. Earl Nightingale wrote and recorded thousands of ideas that have been condensed into over 21 hours of life changing fundamentals in The Secret Advantage.

All the money you will ever make is currently in the hands of someone else.


What will you do to get the money from them?

Cash in Hand

This is just one idea of the thousands Earl Nightingale wrote during his career publishing best selling personal development programs. Now in the early years of the 21st century, some may wonder if the wisdom he shared is relevant today. He was even asked this at the height of his career and he responded, “In the 17th century Sir Isaac Newton gave us the law of gravity. That is still relevant.”

Earl went on to explain that there are undisputable laws of success just as permanent as the law of gravity.

This law above, “All the money you will ever make is currently in the hands of someone else,” is a fact that will be as formidable thousands of years from now, just as the law of gravity. This problem is, this law is never taught in schools, it is missed in corporate meetings, and most people in sales have never grasped the deep meaning behind it.

Tell this law to some and they think about the top one percent that has all the money, and we better get our share.

In every career, job, position, from the janitor to the CEO this is true. All the money is in someone else’s hands, and there’s only one reputable way to get it; service.

The service we give others parts them from their money more efficiently than any other. Sure, the bank robber may grab the money and run, but the risk of life in an eight by ten cell with a three hundred pound room mate is a serious risk. Better serve the public with a good product or service to build your wealth.

How does this relate? Here are some ideas:

The minimum wage clerk at the fast food place needs to be better than the competition when selling fries. The server that adds lifetime value to regular customers drives profits and profits drive promotion.

R. David Thomas, Chairman Founder Wendys


CEOs at the major fast food chains, such as R. David Thomas, started as kids flipping burgers. Dave Thomas was motivated to his success from the same book discovered by Earl Nightingale.



Other examples include: The actress that fights the temptation to be a drama diva when she remembers the fans that buy the tickets that drive box office sales, and gets wealthier.

The CEO that trains all levels of personnel the value of customer retention retires wealthy on a yacht.

For those who question gravity, they treat customers like interruptions and are doomed to never get their share of the wealth that is abundant.

Earl Nightingale taught thousands of core fundamentals throughout his career. These fundamentals are universal laws, like gravity.

Minimum wage for a salary is for chumps.

The maximum salary determines wealth.

I WANT IT ALL We spend time working hard for the money, while politicians kick this minimum wage football around as if it is the answer to raising the standards of living for middle class families. Truth is, the minimum wage never has nor will it be the generator of a better life for anyone. The minimum is a great place to start. Staying there is not a wise choice, so we have to increase our core fundamentals to become more valuable to the market and the companies that allow us to work.

That is a key point. Companies allow us to work for them when they hire us and enter into a contract that states we will show up on time, deliver more than expected, and get raises.

To understand why the minimum wage will never fix our finances, let’s look at the history. In 1961 the wage was increased to $1.15 an hour effective September 1961 and to $1.25 an hour in September 1963. That means the annual minimum salary was $2,373 at $1.15 and hour and way up to $2,580 in 1963.

To put that in perspective, in 1961 the Average Cost of new house was $12,500.00, a new car $2,850.00, a gallon of gas 27 cents, and to bring home the bacon cost 67 cents per pound. Old car.    

Next, consider the Average Income per year $5,315.00; more than twice the minimum wage. Again, this is not the answer to raising the lifestyle for families across America.

In more recent times, 2007 minimum wage of $5.85 has been raised to $7.25 per hour just two years later in 2009. In no way will this pull families up.

So, what’s the answer?

The minimum wage is a starter salary to create opportunities to get a job, perfect a skill, and become valuable. The only way to do that is to master the core fundamentals required by all successful businesses. Minimum wage is great for interns where the major pay is in experience to increase your core values.

Research conducted with top CEO’s and Business Owners revealed the top concerns of the leaders include developing dynamic core competences, focusing on and building human capital, effectively using new technology, engaging in valuable strategies and building new organization structures and culture. That research gave direction and shape to the new program to be based on four core fundamentals. The Secret Advantage, CORE fundamentals for success; Competency, Opportunity, Results, and Effectiveness.

The result is over 21 hours of edited best principles. From there, the program is produced in 64 episodes of approximately 20 minutes each for easy listening and reference. In addition to the audio library, the program includes a half hour video documentary on the lives of Earl Nightingale and Lloyd Conant is included, along with six unedited Earl Nightingale Classic Videos.