Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Apathy - Or In My Words!





By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, March 17, 2024


The year was 1963, keep in mind, I was born in 1945. In 1963, I had just graduated from High School and began my Freshman semester at Bowling Green State University.  As I was walking between classes, there were two students walking behind me and I could not help but overhear their conversation.  One said to the other, “Isn’t it terrible that someone killed the President?”  Thinking they were talking about the President of the University, I turned and asked, “who on Earth would want to kill him?”  They got very angry with me and said, “No you idiot, the President of the United States!” 

It is true that during certain events in your life, besides the obvious ones like a marriage or birth of your children, you DO remember where you were when you heard some surprising or devastating news, such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  I don’t have the exact date etched in my mind but I do recall that it was in November of 1963 and I was 18 years old.  Something else that was growing worse in 1963 was the War in Vietnam.  To this 18-year-old male, that was something very serious to think about; I was in college, so as long as I was a student in college, I would or should not be drafted into the military. 

I don’t know why I signed up for the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) in college, but I did.  That apparent accident turned out to be one of the best unconscious decisions of my life.  I loved it!  By “it” I meant the military and the discipline I learned even in college.  I felt very proud to put on the uniform of my country at age 18 but I also knew that as long as I was a student, I would not be wearing that uniform in any battles ragging thousands of miles from Ohio. 

Fast forward to late 1964 early 1965, I knew that I was a square peg trying to fit into the now famous square hole while I was in college.  I was forced to take course after course relating to subjects that I had ZERO interest in and had nothing to do with my two majors, Marketing and Advertising.  I sat out a semester to get my head straight and that was a huge mistake because my draft number put me in the crosshairs of being drafted, which I was.  

I spoke to the Commanding Officer of my ROTC unit who was an active duty Air Force Officer.  He gave me some sound advice in that he said that since I completed two years of Air Force ROTC, if I enlisted in the Air Force as an E1, I would graduate as an E3 not the E2 that other members of my boot camp would be.  The E1, etc, referred to rank and pay grade.  I would be a fool not to take advantage of that opportunity, after all it meant more money! 

Working back in my hometown, my mother managed to get me deferred long enough to finish the semester I was currently attending.  How she did it, I’m still uncertain of but I think her contacting the Mayor of Youngstown, Ohio might have had something to do with it.  During the time before my deferment ran out and when I would be officially drafted into the Army, I began my quest to join the military, more specifically the Air Force.  It is a long story that I won’t get into and it is actually kind of funny but I managed to enlist in the U. S. Coast Guard.  I was sworn in on September 20, 1965.  I was now 20 years old and had no clue what I was getting myself into. 

Why am I telling you all of this?  What does it have to do with the title to this Nugget?  EVERYTHING!  During my High School days, I was interested in playing on the school’s basketball team, playing on the school’s track team, playing in the school’s two bands, marching and dance bands.  I had no interest in politics or even current events, it’s called apathy and apathy has an official definition, but my definition at that time – I just don’t give a shit, so don’t bother me with any of it.  Between 1965 and 2024, the United States has been directly involved in several wars, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya (to some degree), Afghanistan and others.  “Directly involved” means that in some wars, we actually supplied troops at various levels from major to minor.  Then there have been other countries where we provided funding and weapons but did not fight with combat troops.  Today there are 3 and soon to be 4 such battles being waged:  Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and now Haiti.  But if you are like most people, you “just don’t give a shit!”  

I see a lot of similarities between MY mindset in 1963-1965 and the mindsets of so many people of ALL ages in 2024, NOT JUST THE TEENAGERS AND THOSE IN THEIR EARLY  TWENTIES; ALL PEOPLE – INCLUDING ADULTS! 

Want proof? 

I did not consider anything in this Nugget for the 2020 vote because of the adverse effect COVID may have had on voting. I therefore used the 2016 National Election to prove a point.  Here are the numbers as per:


Total number of Americans 18 or older:   245,500,000

Total number Registered:                           224,100,000

TOTAL NOT REGISTERED:                     21,400,000

Total number who Voted:                            137,500,000

TOTAL WHO DID NOT VOTE:                114,000,000 


APATHY:  ONLY 56% OF THE COUNTRY MADE THE DECISION FOR 100% OF ALL CITIZENS AS TO WHO THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE AS WELL AS OTHERS RUNNING FOR NATIONAL, STATE AND CITY OFFICE AND ANY REFERENDUMS THAT WERE ON THE BALLOTS!  A lot of referendums directly affect local and state citizens, including you, and NOT voting could be crucial!  It’s difficult for me to imagine a country where 6 people out of 10, make crucial decisions for all 10 people, including the 4 who “didn’t care” or “didn’t want to be bothered with such nonsense”, and whose decisions might or might not be in all of the people’s interests.  But then, “I don’t give a shit!” 

THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT.  I don’t care which political party you prefer over another.  It is a statement to prove that APATHY runs rampant within the United States and I can only assume the rest of the world as well.  I know because in my teens and twenties, I was part of an apathetic America.  I saw people who actually risked their lives to vote in countries like Iraq where they inked their fingers to prove that they have voted in a country which at the time, was still very unstable and the ink could have made them targets! 

Simply put, IF YOU DON’T VOTE, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN but complain most people will as if they had a part in the decision process of the United States – YOU GAVE UP YOUR CHANCE TO VOTE!  PERIOD!  States and cities make it possible for persons with disabling injuries or diseases to either get to the polls or to vote “absentee.”  Absentee simply means you request a ballot and they send you one in the mail and you return it in the mail and you have voted without even leaving your home.  I personally know this to be true in my area because of disease and injury, I could not go to the polls to vote and I voted by mail.  The important thing is, I VOTED, DID YOU? 

Back to my High School, College and 20-year Coast Guard career.  I was at first apathetic by choice (High School, College).  During my 20-year Coast Guard career I was apathetic more by the demands of the service and laws that prevented government employees from being vocal about their political beliefs.  Still. I have no excuse for NOT paying attention to city, state, national and world news!  My only real-life excuse is that, back “in those days” we did not have the internet and social media to keep us posted.  It was either the local newspapers, television news, and/or radio station news.  In all those years from 1961 through 1985, being home or even on duty where I could watch the news were extremely rare so I did not make a point of going out of my way to watch the news on TV. I rarely subscribed to the local papers because we moved around, A LOT!  Radio was used more for music than it was for news. 

YES, those are excuses.  People have no such excuse today except for their own apathy towards current events, local, state, national and international.  You can get any news you want at the end of your finger tips by using your smart phones, your tablets, your notebooks and/or your desktops or the TV!  YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE FOR NOT PAYING ATTENTION.  The ONLY excuse you have for not getting involved in matters that affect your life, is APATHY!  AND APATHY IN 2024 IS A CHOICE THAT YOU HAVE MADE IF YOU DO NOT PAY ATTENTION AND DO NOT VOTE!  PERIOD! 

In the early 1990s, I read a book written by Cleon W. Skousen, titled, The Naked Communist.  It was then I realized just how important it was for everyone to pay attention, even get involved if you are physically able and the law, just as was my case, allows you to get involved.  In short, the book identified the 45 specific goals The Communist Party USA established that if achieved, would take over America without firing a shot.  I was shocked beyond belief when I realized that in the mid-1990s they HAD achieved their objectives.  There is evidence of that every where you look in America.  If you would like to read the goals, you can watch them on this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fQ4J9tcQ2I 

The following may be the best proof of my own apathy that I could possibly include in this Nugget and it just happened on March 17, 2024.  The facts presented in these six links, I can honestly say I knew nothing about until March 17, 2024; how pitiful is that?  You will never know why unless you watch them.  My challenge to the reader is to watch at least the first one but beware, you will want to binge watch the remaining five.  Special shout out to Michelle Moore of  The Michelle Moore Show, https://rumble.com/TheMichelleMooreShow for providing me with these links.  If the links do not work by clicking on them, simply copy them and post the link to your browser, it will work. 

PART 1 Revision of Evidence:  The Assassinations of President Kennedy and Oswald. 



PART 2 Revision of Evidence: Motives for Murder, Vietnam and LBJ:   



PART 3 Revision of Evidence:   LBJ, Hover and others What So Few Know Even Today:



PART 4 Revision of Evidence:  The RFK Assassination As Never Seen Before:


But the series continues with Parts 5 and 6, but before you get to that point, let me add more of my thoughts. 

Maybe you all knew this stuff in the videos, if so, good for you.  I certainly thought I knew about it, but could not swear to what I had been told and/or taught.  This six-part documentary series WILL either enlighten you to the corruption that exists in our government or it WILL confirm what you already KNEW to be true.  It did for me!  In fact, I can't believe how much I DIDN'T KNOW BUT THOUGHT I DID!  

There is no reason for you watch this six-part series but I hope you do because I would love for someone to confirm that they too, DIDN'T KNOW THE DEPTH OF DECEPTION THAT EXISTS IN OUR GOVERNMENT, AND WHY IT EXISTS! 

PART 5 Revision of Evidence:.  The RFK Assassination Continued, MK Ultra, The Jonestown Massacre   I have read the book written by Congresswoman Jackie Spier (briefly appearing in this episode)Undaunted:  Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage and Fighting Back. This book definitely enlightened me to Jonestown but what the video does is that it confirms how much our government was involved prior to all the deaths.  As for RFK, again, evidence I had never heard before.  It all reinforces the depth that "our government" will go to prove a point, true or not; mostly untrue.  


PART 6 Revision of Evidence:  Martin Luther Kind + Conclusion.  Before you open it. I MUST warn you that the beginning of the video is very graphic and not for the faint of heart.  I knew of the lynchings in our history but even those depicted during the beginning of this video far exceed any number I would have known about or even guessed; makes me wonder how many there actually were.  So, I looked it up on the Internet.  If you believe what this link provides, you will be blown away!  Look for yourself!  https://www.statista.com/statistics/1175147/lynching-by-race-state-and-race/  Part 6 also provides evidence that must surely make you question the conviction of James Earl Ray in King's death.  It certainly did me!  I was definitely against the Vietnam War but I had not heard Martin Luther King's positions; turns out they were the same as mine.  I had always been told that King was a trouble maker and as a result, I paid him little attention.  Shame on me for not listening to what he actually said.  More importantly, there is an uncanny sameness in the plot to kill King and the plot to kill Kennedy.  Someone is set up to take the fall while others who actually performed the murders get away and no one seems to care.  The government has told us what happened and we all believed our government; surely it would not like to us.  Right? 


The end of Part 6 makes me wonder why these same evil forces haven't taken out Trump.  You may or may not like Trump or even some of his policy statements but you must agree that America was better off under the Trump Presidency.  In fact, if you watch all 6 episodes, you hear a lot of JFK, RFK and MLK in Trump's statements.   





But then, I just don’t give a shit!  Right?

Monday, March 11, 2024

Selecting a Vice President



By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, March 11, 2023

DISCLAIMER:  This is NOT a political comment, this Nugget represents MY thoughts regarding how, why and whom a presidential selectee, regardless of political party, should select a person to become his or her Vice President.  

The first question that I would suggest considering is the role and function of a Vice President of the United States.  What is it?  Sadly, I think there is only one answer but unfortunately, the answer depends upon the person, any person, you would ask.  The following are a list of names representing the persons who served as Vice President during my lifetime:

Harry S. Truman *

Alben W. Barkley

Richard Nixon *

Lyndon B. Johnson *

Hubert Humphrey*

Spiro Agnew

Gerald Ford

Nelson Rockefeller

Walter Mondale

George H. W. Bush

Dan Quayle

Al Gore

Dick Chaney

Joe Biden

Mike Pence

Kamala Harris

The first question that I would suggest considering is the role and function of a Vice President of the United States.  What is it?  Sadly, I think there is only one answer but unfortunately, the answer depends upon the person, any person, you would ask.  The following are a list of names representing the persons who served as Vice President during my lifetime: I was not old enough to remember Truman and Barkley.  The first Vice President I remember was Richard Nixon.  Most people know that Harry Truman was Vice President under President Franklin D. Roosevelt who died in office during his FOURTH term as President.  The person most people have never heard of is the selectee that Truman made when he was elevated to the office of the Presidency; that being Allen W. Barkley.  Frankly, that would make for a great trivia question.  Who was President Truman’s Vice President. 

Five Vice Presidents went on to become President.  Kamala Harris, of course became the first female Vice President.  I am well aware that what I am about to say, many will disagree with and that is okay.  Tho names annotated with an asterisk, in my mind, were the ONLY Vice Presidents who I felt (my opinion) were qualified to be a Vice President and thusly, possibly become President by default.  As for the rest, they were chosen for a myriad of reasons, most not essential to be selected as the person to become Vice President of the United States. 

FIRST:  To be president of America, you must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen and have lived in the country for at least 14 years.  Therefore, the first qualification of a Vice President should be AGE, is the person old enough (35) to ascend to the office of the Presidency should that occasion ever arise.  There is no upper age limit for the President so the same should apply to the Vice President as well.  The Vice President nominee should also be a citizen and have lived in the country for at least 14 years. 

SECOND:  Does the person considered have the personal qualifications, subjective as they are, to be the President of the United States.  In this regard, experience, presence of mind, knowledge of the history of the country and world, and have the ability to communicate with others is extremely important)  Suffice it to say that Kamala Harris would have a difficult time on the world stage because she finds it difficult to talk without her annoying and loud laughter; not a good optic for sure.  Plus, she gets engaged in what can only be called word-salad narratives.  Again, not a good optic.  Of course that is just my OPINION! 

Dick Chaney is another example of optics.  Not many people liked him, especially the national media.  They consistently painted him as someone who worked for and may still worked with the Military Industrial Complex. Shooting a hunting companion in the face was also not a good optic. It would have been problematic should he have ever ascended to the Presidency. 

None the less, those are what I would consider (my opinion) to be the prerequisites for a Vice Presidential selectee.  I emphasize that those are my opinions.  That opinion evolved over time and is based on what I would want in a Vice President if I were the President, a very farfetched idea. 

What actually goes into the selection process is also based on my opinion, so here goes: 

Presidential candidates often select someone from a state who the Presidential candidate believes will be able to attract votes from his or her home state.  I know this because it has been openly discussed for decades. 

Candidates are definitely selected because of their political party affiliation.  While this certainly makes sense, it is not an actual requirement.  A Presidential candidate can select anyone he or she chooses from any political party including no party affiliation at all. 

Our current Vice President was primarily selected because of TWO physical traits that President Biden specifically said he would do if elected.  Those traits being a FEMALE and BLACK.  He obviously felt that it would be a perfect selection, especially if he could satisfy both physical traits in one person; thus, he chose Kamala Harris who at the time was a Senator from California.  By design for by accident, the selection of Harris checked one of the other boxes that being that she could draw votes from a very large and populated state.  That was a bonus.  But her selection from California really wasn’t a plus because Democrats have carried the State of California for decades so her selection did not add to the electoral count.  Someone from a state that may change from one party to another because of the additional votes would have been more perfect. 

In a perfect world, one in which we presently do not live in, the Vice President should first and foremost be qualified based upon experience and beliefs that are similar if not exactly the same as the President who the Vice President works for.   Look at the list again and pay particular attention to those names with the asterisk.  In my opinion those people would have qualified, in my book, to become the President of the United States.  All the others are primarily political wannabes, OR, they fulfilled the need to come from a swing state to bring electoral votes with him.  Maybe the worst selection of all, in my opinion, was George H. W. Bush because he had an agenda that was completely opposite from President Ronald Reagan’s.  Reagan was for a strong and free nation and believed in a government that worked for “we the people.”  Bush, on the other hand, and in his own words, wanted and promoted a One-World-Government; that is the direction we have been headed as a nation ever since except during the four years of Donald J. Trump’s presidency. 

In 2024 we have two candidates, Biden and Trump.  The big question is WHO will Trump select as his running mate?  It would appear that Harris will be Biden’s Vice President by default.  The question in my mind is, should he select Harris because he can change people if he desires to.  In all honesty, I ask you, the reader, if Biden wins and should something happened to him over his next four years in office to where he can no longer perform his duties due to ill health or death, do YOU, the reader, think Harris is qualified to become President?  It is an honest question that everyone ought to think about.  The same question holds true for Trump.  Will he select a person that could become an effective President or will he select a person because that person brings electoral votes to the ticket in spite of any other qualifications? 

Most people, certainly not you, could care less who the Vice President to be is, it will not affect their vote.  Sadly, most people, certainly not you, vote solely based on the party affiliation of the person running for President and not who the Vice President is.  They also seem, in my opinion, not to really care about what the Presidential candidate stands for in regards to establishing a vision for the country’s future.  What policies will be enacted?  What policies will be terminated?  Will taxes go up, will they go down, or will they simply remain the same when one of these people take office?  The big question for me is will we as a country continue to support foreign countries engaged in war causing massive loss of life and destruction of property and for what purpose are we helping by funding one side over another?  Since both men will have served a 4-year term, it should be easy to answer the question, are you better off under Biden or where you better off under Trump. These are some of the things that are important to me, not what small letter in parentheses follows the person’s name.  Most people, certainly not you, really don’t care about a candidate’s policies or past history, they simply vote for the (d), the (r), or the (i) after the candidate’s name.  That is NOT how you properly vet a presidential candidate! 

To put it as simply as I can, in my opinion a Presidential candidate, regardless of party, should: 








Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Why Are YOU Here?


Why Are YOU Here?

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 5, 2024


There were two men working very hard in the heat of the day.  They were repairing railroad ties and rails in a train yard.  One of the men was named Ronnie Freedman.  They both had sweat dripping from their brows and their shirts were soaked and their pants and shoes very dirty. A train approached with only one passenger car attached; a very beautiful and elegant passenger car.  It had to belong to someone very important.

Both men stared in awe at the beauty of this one car when suddenly a voice rang out, “Ronnie Freedman, is that you?”  Of course, Ronnie was taken aback by this acknowledgment and replied, “Yes, yes, it is!?

The voice once again called out, “Ronnie Freedman, get your butt in here!”

Ronnie reluctantly approached the rail car and was shocked to see his old friend Bruce Feldman standing at the entrance.  Bruce was not only Ronnie’s old and faithful friend of the past; he was also the President of the Railroad!

“Come, get you and your friend some cold lemonade to quench your thirst and then come in and sit for a while, let’s catch up.

Ronnie did as he was instructed and after exchanging pleasantries, Ronnie had to ask.  “We both started at the Railroad decades ago as entry level laborers.  I’m still a laborer and you are the President of the Railroad; how did that happen?”

“Ronnie, you see, we both went to work AT the railroad.  You went to work FOR the hourly wage, I went to work FOR THE RAILROAD!

There is a very valuable lesson in that short story and people around the world could learn from it but sadly, most either won’t take the lesson to heart or have never heard the story in the first place.  How many young people do you see every day working at fast food restaurants for $8.00 or slightly more an hour?  They all seem to be working for the hourly wage instead of working for the restaurant.  When you find one that IS working for the restaurant, that person(s) stands out like a sore thumb!

I’ve told this story in the past and it is worth repeating in cased you, the reader, have not heard it before.  I used to travel a lot using my car in my business.  I would get up early to get out on the road and before I would get on the Interstate, I would stop at one of the fast-food restaurants and order a large black coffee using the drive through lane.  I traveled on weekdays so it was not unusual to hear the same voice on the drive through machine.  Unlike most voices at most restaurants, this voice was most pleasant and extremely polite to hear.  We got to know each other by facial recognition but not name recognition over the course of months.  I was so taken by the way she handled herself on the intercom and then how she would place the paper dollars in change in my hand first and then placed any loose change that might be applicable on top of the paper bills instead of just dumbing everything in my hand as what usually happens.  I never dropped any of the change outside or inside of my car as a result of her carefulness!

I wrote a letter to the manager of the restaurant, commending the manger on their hiring decisions that resulted in them hiring such a proficient hourly worker.  Time passed, but not much when I ordered my usual large black coffee at the drive through window.  When I approached the window to pickup the coffee, the young lady said, “I know it was you!”  I asked what she meant.  She said the manager was so impressed that a customer would write a personal letter and actually mail it with a stamp to commend her on her performance, that the manager gave her a raise! 

That is a perfect example of someone going to work FOR the restaurant and not just for the hourly wage which at the time was probably in the $5.00 an hour range if that.

It would be impossible to finish this Nugget without including some personal information about myself.  Growing up in the 1950s, I was always impressed with the number of family members who served in the military.  One uncle was wounded at both Normandy and then again during the Battle of the Bulge.  Another uncle served on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific during WWII.  I had one aunt that served as an Army Nurse and another who served in the Coast Guard during WWII and the list goes on.  Then while in the 5th grade, we took a field trip to an Air Force Base near my home. I was able to meet a lot of active-duty military men (no women at the time) and actually got to sit in the cockpit of an F-101 Voodoo Fighter Jet.  I was hooked but didn’t know it.  When I went off to college, I attended the university without ever coming to grips as to how it could help me EXCEPT, I enrolled in Air Force Reserve Officer Training (ROTC); once again I was hooked but still didn’t know it.

It was the mid-1960s and Vietnam was going hot and heavy when I very unexpectedly received a draft notice to report to Army Boot Camp.  I obtained a deferment to finish the semester I had started and during that time joined the U. S. Coast Guard.  It took me a while to realize that the Coast Guard was exactly where I needed to be and where I belonged!  It provided me an income, a career path and I could very easily see and understand exactly what I needed to do to advance up the ladder, so to speak.  What I didn’t know at the time and certainly could not appreciate something I did not know.  I had unintentionally gone to work FOR the Coast Guard, not for the many benefits that a Coast Guard career presently offered or the great retirement plan they had in place in the mid-1960s.

In short, I wanted to do and become my very best person (Coastie) for whatever time I decided to serve.  As it turned out, I served for twenty years.

To answer the title of this Nugget, Why Was I Here? Not only did I want to improve myself, be a good team member (which was critical in any military), I wanted to advance as far and as fast as I could so I could (1) be of service TO the Coast Guard AND in turn, my COUNTRY; and (2) set myself up for a career should I decide to follow that path.  More importantly, the Coast Guard made it very clear what every member, enlisted and officer, had to do IF they desired to be promoted.  What I discovered was that so many of my shipmates joined for the income and benefits, a small percentage went to work FOR the Coast Guard.  I didn’t know it at the time because I had never heard of the 80/20 Rule but if I were able to research all the members that joined the service when I did, 80% would have joined to (1) avoid the draft; (2) for the income; (3) for the benefits; or (4) all three of them.  Yet about 20% joined because of honor, duty and country.  Given my early introduction to members of my family that served and that one visit to the Air Force Base, I now know I was in the later of those two groups.  Looking over your life, it is easy to see things that you didn’t see as they were happening.  Otherwise, I would have recognized that I truly believe that I left every unit I was ever assigned to, better than when I first reported there for duty.  While that was NOT my mission statement in life, it was an unconscious mission statement that I worked hard to achieve; I had never heard of personal mission statements or Life Mission Statements when I joined the Coast Guard in 1965.

Fast forward to the early 1990s.  I am not ashamed to admit that from the time I graduated High School (1963) until the early 1990s, I did not read one single book, EVER!  Just didn’t want to do it which is one of the many reasons I never felt like I fit in a college.  Then by accident or by design I met two people who changed my life forever.  One was Lee Shelton who recorded a cassette series, Creating Teamwork and the other was a former boss, Dr. Tom Hill.  The information on the cassette tapes remains with me to this day.  Lee Shelton introduced me to one of his seminar audiences and said I could recite the content of the tapes from memory I had listened to them so many times.  As for Dr. Hill, he convinced me that everyone, including me, should have a Life Mission Statement.  I’ll ask the question now; do YOU have a Life Mission Statement?

If you don’t know where you want your life to go or what you want your life to look like when you are finished, how will you know when you are on track to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve in life?  Gret question, NO?  I worked hard at what I wanted my Life Mission Statement to be.  I actually worked on it for weeks.  None of my initial missions seemed to satisfy what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  Then out of the blue the following appeared to me and I immediately adopted it:


Then came the HOW!  How was I going to put myself in a position to live up to that Mission Statement?  After listening to the Creating Teamwork tapes, over and over again, there was one comment on the tapes that I can remember to this day.  Read I’m Okay, You’re Ok! every six months.  I didn’t read it every six months but I did read it more than once.  Keep in mind, I had NOT read a single book in decades!  Based on the reading of that one book, I was now hooked on reading.  I recognized that as a real estate Broker/Trainer/Team Leader, if I was really going to be able to help people to do whatever they did, to do it better, I had to become a lot more knowledgeable about, creating teamwork, sales techniques, contract law, motivation, individual recognition, telephone techniques, becoming an effective listener, developing personal relationships and so many other subject matter, I HAD TO BEGIN TO READ BOOKS, ATTEND SEMINARS, LISTEN TO TAPES AND PODCASTS whether I wanted to or not. 

I tallied up the books that I have read and since the age of 44 (I’m now 79), I have read well over 1200 books.  I also have at least 100 eBooks and have attended an untold number of seminars, conventions and listened to hundreds of podcasts.  I tell you this not to brag but rather to demonstrate that I took my desire to help others “to do whatever they do, to do it better!” seriously!

Then the most amazing things began to happen.  My real estate agents would come to me with a problem or situation and without even thinking about it, something that I learned in one of these books, tapes or seminars would immediately come to mind.  The memory was triggered by the problem or issue.  If you were to ask me who wrote the books or even what their titles were, I may or may not be able to provide that information.  The lessons learned, however, on the pages of the books, the speakers’ presentations or the many eBooks simply became available to me to impart to the agent in need of advice or a recommendation.  It’s funny how that works.

Then this morning, I was listening to a podcast that featured Michelle Moore who at one time was a REALTOR® with the same company that I had worked for before my retirement.  She said something that I was aware of but she put it in the simplest of terms.  “I can teach you what you need to know but I can’t teach you how to care for your customers!” 

That is one lesson that I learned the hard way.  At one point in time, I had grown the Real Estate Market Center in a small town from 15 agents to 105.  As their Broker, their Team Leader and their Trainer, I felt responsible for their success and/or their failure.  The lesson that took me a while to learn was that some agents signed on to our company and went to work for the commissions that they “could” earn.  Others went to work for THEIR company.  Do not be confused when I say “their” company as compared to “our” company.  Each real estate agent is in business for themselves.  When they become a licensed REALTOR®, they place their license with a licensed broker (like me) and then they go about building their own real estate business within a business.  They are in fact, in business for themselves.  The lesson I had to learn as their Broker/Team Leader/Trainer was that “you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink!”  In my case, you can bring the training (the water) to the agents (the horses) but you can’t make them take the courses you provide.  It’s the 80/20 Rule again!  20% would take advantage of the training offered, 80% wouldn’t.  As in most real estate companies, 20% of the agents, do 80% or more of the work over the course of any given year.  Imagine what that number could look like if more of the 80% actually took the courses offered.

Recognizing that so many agents chose not to attend the inhouse courses, I began writing one-to-three-page articles (called Nuggets for the Noggin) all based on (1) the courses I would teach and/or (2) book reviews on the books I have read.  Initially I would send the Nuggets out to my agents via email.  The word got out, how I don’t know, that I wrote Nuggets for the Noggin and Team Leaders from all over the country wrote or called and asked to be put on my mailing list.  Prior to Hurricane Katrina, I had well over 550 people on my mailing list to receive the Nuggets as I wrote and distributed them.  Hurricane Katrinas put an end to the mailing list when for some reason my mailing list simply disappeared from my computer.  This was about the same time as social media was taking off and people were creating websites and blogs.  I created a blog, using www.blogger.com.  Very easy to create and more importantly, maintain.  I would write the Nuggets as I had done in the past using Microsoft Word, but then I would copy the Nugget and paste it to the blog.  I would then use email and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter (now X), GETTR, Truth, etc. to let everyone know there has been a new Nugget posted on the blog.  I know the Blog is getting traffic because there is a number counter that counts the number of people who opened the blog but I don’t know who the people are.  I retired from real estate in 2012.  Between the late 1990s and the end of 2012, the Nuggets were written about sales techniques, customer relations, business building, working with other real estate agents, contracts, ethics, etc. plus I would also write Nuggets on every book I had read.  The Nuggets number in the hundreds!  Now, from 2012 and beyond, I write about anything that is on my mind like this Nugget.  I have posted a lot of book reviews as well.

Why did I choose the Nugget approach to help people to do what they do, to do it better?  I knew that so many agents chose NOT to attend the training classes but they just might read a one-, two -,or three-page article related to doing their business more efficiently, and it worked.  A lot of agents who would not attend the classes, did read the Nuggets, or so they said.

More importantly, I compared the short one-to-three-page Nuggets that took just minutes to read to the hour or more long classes and/or podcasts and there is no comparison.  Most trainers and podcasters start with a lot of needless graphics and music intros to their podcasts.  Then they talk ever so slowly making it difficult to keep up with what they are saying, at least for me.  Thank God there is an ICON on most RECORDED podcasts where the listener can choose to speed up the presentation.  I remember the famous presenter Zig Ziglar saying that he talks fast, like 80 mph with gusts up to 120 mph.  He did this to keep people’s attention focused on the message he was conveying.  Most hour-long podcasters could get the meat of their presentation across to the listener easily within 30 minutes or less if they presented their material more like bullet points rather than lengthy conversations.  I often wonder if the podcasters ever listen to their own podcasts and do a self-critique.  If they did, I believe they would change their presentation style and the length of the podcasts.

Using Golf as a metaphor, a typical golfer who plays 18 holes with a group, usually plans on playing for about 4 hours.  It would be impossible to focus for 4 hours but a golfer doesn’t need to focus for 4 hours.  He or she only needs to focus in increments of about 1 minute before and during each golf shot made.  In between shots the golfer can relax the mind and focus until it is time for the next shot.  Then the professional golfer does something like adjust the golf clove to TRIGER the process of focusing on the task at hand all over again.  People who listen to podcasts are the same way.  They are looking for the meat and basically ignore all the needless chatter between the meat offerings!

For the record, this Nugget is far too long but I believe it contains a lot of meat to think about.

A valuable lesson taught by co-founder of Keller Williams Realty International, Gary Keller, is “you can choose to be learning based or ignorant based, the choice is yours!”  By this he means you can choose to read books, attend seminars, or listen to tapes or podcasts and be learning, OR, you can choose not to do these things and watch your competition pass you by!  This is true regardless of what business you are in.  PERIOD!  If you are NOT improving, you are standing still!


Here is another question, will the world be a better place because of what you did when you when here and when you could achieve your Life Mission?

Did you go to work for what the World OFFERED you or did you go to work FOR what YOU could offer to the World?