Monday, January 26, 2009


Article by: Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, January 13, 2009

The “Pause”, life’s lesson number 8,548. I don’t remember what the other 8,547 lessons were only that there had to be at least that many in my lifetime thus far. If only I were aware of the pause years long ago, things would be different.

It has been said that we are where we are because of the people we have met, the books we have read, and the training we have taken. I am going to suggest that as important as these things are, what we say, how we say it and when we say it may have more to do with our success, or not, than anything else we may have done or will ever do.

I have always known that words can make us or break us. It took me 63 years to figure out that the “timing” of what we say can also make or break us. It is natural to REACT to the things we experience whether they are the spoken word, physical actions or situations we find ourselves in – we simply react without thinking. Driving a car may be the best example of a reaction, conscious or otherwise. What we say and when we say it should require “thinking” BEORE we say what may be considered a knee-jerk reaction. I don’t want to sound scientific but think of it as a formula


What would happen if we modified this formula to?


What a difference a pause can make in the results you get!

Example: I find that the older I get the less I really have to say in general conversations. I seem to focus on what needs to be said rather than idle chatter. A lot of people around me are not on that same page. They talk, they have things going on in their minds like everyone does and when other people speak, some of the words may be heard. Other words are not and in between a lot of what was said is misunderstood, the words transposed, the meaning changed and/or the words are just lost in the grey matter of the mind. I have lately found myself saying to my wife, “You never listen to what I say!” From that point the conversation usually goes down hill rapidly.

It was because of a similar conversation this past week I observed the power of the pause. Here is the way it worked (in the past):

My wife would say something to me.I would respond
My wife would not hear or listen or understand what I said and come up with a different response than I had intended
My reaction would be, “You never listen to what I say!”

Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t; it is not important. What IS important is that my message was not received as I intended it to be. So whose fault is that? My wife’s – of course! Just kidding. At least that was until this past week when I discovered the power of the pause. Same situation:

My wife would say something to me.
I would respond
My wife would not hear or listen or understand what I had said and say something completely opposite of what I had intended.
My NEW reaction is to PAUSE for just a second or two and then to THINK about WHAT I am going to say next. Will it be the tried and failed reaction of the past or a new measured response? In that few seconds, I think not so much of what I had just said that was misunderstood but rather maybe HOW I said it as much as WHAT I said and what my BODY LANGUAGE also said at that very instant. Instead of placing the blame on the other person, my wife, for not understanding, I now accept the blame for not saying it correctly in the first place and/or not making sure I had my wife’s undivided attention. We all multi-task. If you are engaged in multi-tasking, can you possibly give someone your undivided attention? So instead of, “You never listen to what I say”, I now say…

“You know, (hate that phrase but somehow it seems appropriate in this case), I must not have said what I meant to say. What I meant to say was . . .”

I have found that by inserting a couple of seconds of pause in my conversations instead of having a knee jerk reaction, I have much better results. Sounds so simple and simple things are usually that – so simple we fail to see them.

Question: Have you ever taken a course in listening? Not only have I not taken one, I have never seen one – at least until I started teaching one – I call it “Listening For A Change.” That could mean that maybe for the first time you actually listen or you in fact listen to affect some form of change in your life or situation. Zig Ziglar said, “We are born with two ears and one mouth therefore we should listen twice as much as we talk.” The problem as I see it is that when someone else is talking, most of us, certainly not you, are already formulating in our minds what we are going to say next. Oftentimes we do not even wait for the other person to finish what they are saying before we jump on the end of their sentence with what we have to say. And as we all know, what we have to say is far more important than what anyone else has to say.

Action Steps

1. Try using the pause in your next conversation. Let the other person talk and BEFORE you respond, don’t say anything for at least two seconds; not a very long period of time but the first time you try it the silence will be deafening. I believe that the other person will notice your silence and consciously or unconsciously think that you are actively thinking about what they had said. How would you feel if the next person you talk to did not immediately respond to what you had just said and seemed to be thinking? Don’t know about you, I would think I may have struck a nerve (good or bad) and that the person is really thinking about what I had just said. I also believe that is a good thing, wouldn’t you?

2. If you are like me and find yourself saying things like, “You never listen to what I say.” To a friend or spouse, give them $5.00 the next time and every future time you say it and I guarantee you, you won’t be saying it for long.

Monday, January 5, 2009

How To Help The Poor

By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, January 5, 2009

Some statements are priceless. For example, in 1910 Wallace D. Wattles said in his book, “The Science of Getting Rich”, “If you want to help the poor, become rich.” You can obtain a free download of the book by going to It is hard to imagine that Wattles in 1910 could write a book for that era that would be so applicable today.

Instead of the overworked term “poor people” let’s use the phrase “people without money.” People without money do not open businesses and therefore do not hire employees. People without money are not in a position to help other people without money. Wattles nailed it – “If you want to help the poor, become rich.”

There are many fantastic books available that if studied can help anyone who applies him or herself to the very basic principles of experiencing wealth. Here is my short list:

The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me, Richard Paul Evans,

• Rich Dad, Poor Dad,
Robert T. Kiyosaki,

The Wealthy Barber, David Chilton,

The Money Jar, Grant Sylvester, very hard to find but an excellent book

21 Distinctions of Wealth, Peggy McColl,

The Millionaire Mind and/or The Millionaire Mind Next Door, Thomas Stanley

The Richest Man in Babylon, George Clason

True Wealth, Your Values, Your Money, Joe Tye, requires you sign up for Spark Plug Plus Membership at, it is worth the cost of the membership. Also available on the site for members-only is Winning The War With Yourself; excellent read

The current economic collapse has taught me is that most people, certainly not you, were not financially prepared for the collapse. Most of the above books would suggest that as a minimum, a person should have at least 6 months of financial liquidity in order to pay all of their known expenses in the event a total loss of income should occur. Do you have six months of cash? Do you have a list of your monthly expenses?

Abraham Lincoln once said, “And this too shall pass.” That is true, this economic crisis will pass and when it does, people will go back to doing what they have always done and they will get what they have always gotten (another great quote attributable to Albert Einstein). But just as the “bad times” will pass, so will again will the “good times.” It is a never ending cycle. History tells us that there will be ups and downs, so why do the downs always come as a surprise and so few of us are prepared for the surprises?

Personally I feel like my formal education has let me down. It was not until I embarked on a self-education venture that I learned about what Alfred Einstein called “the eighth wonder of the world - “compound interest.” Money matters were simply not discussed when I was growing up. In my case, “growing up” lasted well into my late 40’s. I have to believe that training on money matters is still not being taught in our public school system; what a pity!

I have discussed Joe Tye’s Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ) in many of my Nuggets primarily because it works. “Is what I am about to do or say consistent with my ideal best self?” You can change the last part of the DDQ to accomplish anything you desire. In Richard Paul Evans’ book, The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me, there is a variation of the DDQ when he asks, “Is this expenditure contributing to my wealth or taking from it?”

Think about that! “Is this expenditure contributing to my wealth or taking from it?” If you train yourself to ask that question every time you pick up something in a store, or begin to order something over the Internet, chances are you will not make the purchase. We typically buy on impulse and THEN try to justify the purchase with logic.

If you want to make a difference, I would recommend the following action items:

1. Make it a priority to study money and the accumulation of wealth. Set a personal goal to have no less than 6 months of cash equal to 6 months of known living expenses available to you as soon as possible. When Hurricane Katrina struck my area, I had no idea if or when I would be allowed back into my home nor did I know if my home had survived the storm (it did). Having access to cash relieved a great deal of tension on the family and that was priceless!

2. Put your money accountability on a computer program such as Microsoft Money (the program was already pre-installed on my computer and it works fine), Quicken, or similar programs. Most banks now have online banking so you can match your online banking activities with your check register software program and if you do it on a daily basis you can SEE where your money is going or not going and how much you are putting aside, or not, and your wealth building. Simply setting a goal is great but it is hard to SEE. If you work the software daily, you can SEE and be encouraged to continue with your efforts.

3. Learn to create and work from a budget. Identify every expense you have from the big items such as mortgage payment or rent payment down to the expenses you don’t think about once a year like taxes owed, Christmas and birthday presents, etc. When you REALLY KNOW where your money goes, you can make better decisions as to how you spend and save it.

4. Neal Boortz in his book, “Somebody’s Gotta Say It” has a fantastic savings recommendation. He suggests that you never spend a dollar bill except for tips and tolls. If you want to purchase an item that costs only 89 cents, use a five dollar bill. Do what you will with the loose change but take the dollar bills and put them in a safe place. I started doing this in the summer of 2008 and by Christmas I had enough cash for all the Christmas gifts I wanted to give out with all the one dollar bills I had collected. I started again after Christmas and already it is growing and more importantly, I can SEE it grow.

5. Ask yourself this question as well, “Is it my ego that is driving this purchase or is it necessity?” If it is ego, think again. If it is necessity, is there a less expensive option? Ask the Evans question, “Is this expenditure contributing to my wealth or taking away from it?” As attorneys say, “Asked AND answered!”

6. Read all the referenced materials above but start with Richard Paul Evans book, “The 5 Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me.” It is an easy and very beneficial read!

There is a first step to help bring our country out of its economic woes – one person at a time! Start with you. If you help one person besides yourself, preferably your children, to make wealth building a life’s study, and they in turn help their children to do the same, our country would move from a debtor nation to a nation of wealthy and independent individuals.

A great many people talk about other people’s wealth as if they had to do something illegal to accumulate their wealth. If you are like me, I grew up in a time where being wealthy just wasn’t in the future of most of the people I knew. We didn’t talk about money, religion or politics – oh how times have changed.

A very good friend of mine once said, “I’ve tried poor; I’m ready to try rich!” As Yoda said, “No try; DO!