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Archive for the ‘Personal Empowerment’ Category

Think and Grow Rich – Wikipedia

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Think and Grow Rich was written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. Hill writes that he was inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and later-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.[1] While the book's title and much of the text concerns increased income, the author insists that the philosophy taught in the book can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine.[2] First published during the Great Depression,[3] at the time of Hill's death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies, and by 2015 over 100 million copies had been sold worldwide.[4][5] It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill's books. BusinessWeek magazine's Best-Seller List ranked it the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published.[6]Think and Grow Rich is listed in John C. Maxwell's A Lifetime "Must Read" Books List. [7]

The text of Think and Grow Rich is based on Hill's earlier work The Law of Success, said to be the result of more than twenty years of study of many individuals who had amassed personal fortunes.[3]

Hill studied their habits and evolved 16 "laws" to be applied to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich condenses them, providing the reader with 13 principles in the form of a "Philosophy of Achievement".[3]Mark Hansen has said time has shown that two of the laws/principles are most important: 1) The MasterMind principle/process and 2) "Know very clearly where you want to go."

The book asserts that desire, faith and persistence can propel one to great heights if one can suppress negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals.

The 13 "steps" listed in the book are:

There are several courses created from the Think and Grow Rich content and principles.

Earl Nightingale co-created with Napoleon Hill a 30-minute audio summary of the book titled "Think and Grow Rich: Instant Motivator".

The first edition of Think and Grow Rich was released in March 1937. Hill claimed that despite limited promotion, the original print run of 5,000 sold out in six weeks, at $2.50 a copy, and that another 10,000 copies sold out again in another six weeks. The third print run totaled 20,000.[9]W. Clement Stone wrote: "One of the most important days in my life was the day I began to read Think and Grow Rich in 1937.[10]

Think and Grow Rich was revised in 1960, and published by Crest Book, Fawcett Publications. The revised edition had a testimonial from W. Clement Stone on the inside front cover page: More men and women have been motivated to achieve success because of reading Think and Grow Rich than by any other book written by a living author. [11] In 1987, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton hosted a TV infomercial that sold the 1960 version with an audio cassette version of the book (the audio cassettes contained an introduction and conclusion by Tarkenton and supplemental study guides).[12] In the introduction, Tarkenton stated that he believed Think and Grow Rich to be "the greatest most honored formula for success that has ever been developed."[13]

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Think and Grow Rich - Wikipedia

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August 19th, 2017 at 8:43 am

Kellogg column: Launch your unstoppable cycle of success, attain financial freedom – Glenwood Springs Post Independent

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Are you on track to attain your financial dreams? Most people are not. If you're hungry, financial freedom is possible.

You need specific written goals and a plan of action. Good mentors are crucial for learning and accountability. Realize that you won't reach your financial dreams by simply working hard to trade your time for money. Financial success requires that you build a passive income system. Don't discount your future. Learn how to launch your unstoppable cycle of success.

Attaining financial freedom requires burning discontent with the limitations of your life today. Hunger motivates changes to get on a new path leading to your vision of the future. An appetite for success demands something different than the familiar complacency that 95 percent of people accept as reality. In "Launching a Leadership Revolution," Orin Woodward and Chris Brady state, "Hunger provides the energy to begin, the stamina to persist, and the will to finish an endeavor."

Why do you want financial freedom? What were you put on this Earth to do? Those who strive to fulfill their purpose attain success. Napoleon Hill, author of "Think and Grow Rich," said, "One must realize that all who accumulate great fortunes first did a certain amount of dreaming, hoping, wishing, desiring and planning before they acquired money." What would you do if time and money were not limitations? What is your dream for your family and friends? How will you be remembered?

Dreams require specific goals with a timeline, otherwise they are fantasies. The Second Law of Thermodynamics says the universe spontaneously reconfigures to increase entropy (i.e., disorder) and minimize potentials. That applies to your potential, too. A plan of action launches you on a trajectory toward success, but life continually knocks you off course. Remember, "goals are etched in stone, but plans are drawn in sand." Be resolved to constant course corrections to attain your goals.

How do you set goals and plan for a future of abundance? In "The Slight Edge," Jeff Olson talks of "The Law of Association" that shows every aspect of your life equals the average of the five people closest to you. Napoleon Hill revealed that successful people create a "mastermind," a group of achievement-oriented individuals who amount to more than the sum of their parts. Associate with the 5 percent of people who choose to elevate their existence and serve their purpose.

Seek counsel from people who have achieved what you want. It's said that experience is not the best teacher; other people's experience is. Warren Buffett said the keys to financial success are eliminating debt and investing in self-education. Good mentors help you learn and grow and they hold you accountable. Read educational books and listen to empowering audios. Enroll in seminars on finance and leadership. Join a community of people who will lift you. Create your own "mastermind."

Trading your time for money won't result in financial freedom. Active income is limited by your finite time. Robert Kiyosaki points out in "The Cashflow Quadrant" that average people can attain financial freedom by building a passive income business system. Leveraging a system is like building a pipeline so you can stop carrying buckets of water. Associate with those people who can teach you how to establish passive income on the side while excelling at your current job.

According to Kiyosaki, the first key to wealth is long-term vision. Financial success is achieved by those who put great effort into attaining dreams and purpose. Research shows it takes 10,000 hours to gain mastery in any endeavor, including the passive business system to gain your financial freedom. Stay focused on your purpose and don't give up. An unstoppable cycle of success begins as financial growth enables purpose; fulfillment of purpose increases happiness; and happiness fosters further success.

Financial freedom depends on faith and liberty. Faith in purpose instills hunger and liberty enables free enterprise. Excessive government control and high taxes rob us of freedom and the opportunity to build wealth. Our Founders established a nation to protect "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," giving every citizen a chance to work toward financial freedom. Stand against those who strive to give away your freedom to government in hopes that it will confiscate and spread your wealth.

Henry David Thoreau said, "Most men live lives of quiet desperation." Have you given up on your dreams? Do you think your purpose is just fantasy? Buying into such beliefs is a costly mistake. You have the power to live your financial dreams. Write out your vision. Develop goals and a plan with a timeline. Seek mentors and commit to constant learning. Build a passive income business system. Launch your unstoppable cycle of success.

James D. Kellogg is an engineering consultant, author, and business system advocate. He is the founder of and the author of "Radical Action: A Colt Kelley Thriller". Look for the novel on and visit or email

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Kellogg column: Launch your unstoppable cycle of success, attain financial freedom - Glenwood Springs Post Independent

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August 19th, 2017 at 8:43 am

Entrepreneurs, time to test your business knowledge – USA TODAY

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Steve Strauss, Special for USA TODAY Published 12:46 p.m. ET Aug. 15, 2017 | Updated 1:26 p.m. ET Aug. 15, 2017

The late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurants.(Photo: PRN)

Welcome to this years annual Small Biz Quiz. This summer, it's the Famous Business edition.

1. Ben and Jerrys, as we know especially in the summer, makes great ice cream. Why did they start an ice cream shop in Vermont?

A. Because the price for bagel-making equipment was too highB. Because Bens mother had an amazing recipe for ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie dough ice creamC. Because they had both recently been laid off

MORE:Steve Strauss'column page

2. A few years after launch, FedEx faced a cash crunch and probable bankruptcy. How did founder Fred Smith stay afloat?

A. He used his own money to coverB. He flew to Vegas with the last $5,000 in the till and parlayed it into $32,000C. He missed payroll for the first time

3. Did you use a Post-it today? One study says that the average worker gets 11 Post-it messages a day. How were they invented?

A. A 3M scientist was trying to create a super-sticky glue but in a failed experiment ended up with a sorta-sticky glueB. A 3M researcher was trying to create a new type of bookmarkC. 3M offered a $1 million prize for best new office product

4. In 1998, the co-founder of Dominos Pizza sold his majority stake of the company, which was worth more than $1 billion. For how much did the other co-founder sell his share to his partner 38 years prior?

A. $1B. For a used Volkswagen BeetleC. $27,444

5. What was the original intention behind the invention of Silly Putty?

A. It was a failed attempt at making a synthetic rubber to be used by the Allies in WWIIB. It was supposed to be a putty that fixed leaky pipesC. It was supposed to be a hair replacement goop

6. Speaking of failures, even Apple has had them. In 1983, Apple introduced Lisa, a precursor to the Macintosh. Why did the Lisa fail?

A. It cost $10,000B. It weighed 48 poundsC. Both of the above

7. Remember the DeLorean auto? (Think Back to the Future.) Automaker John DeLorean was arrested in an alleged scheme to save his failing auto company. For what was he arrested (and later acquitted)?

A. Bilking investors out of $100 millionB. Bilking the Northern Ireland government out of $100 millionC. For trafficking in drugs, after prosecutors said he tried to buy cocaine in a Los Angeles hotel for re-sale in an attempt to fill company coffers

8. Dave Thomas was the founder of Wendys. While still a teenager, Thomas went to work for a man who became his mentor. Who was it?

A. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonaldsB. The real Ronald McDonaldC. The real Colonel Sanders

9. Whose was the first stylized Face on the first Facebook logo?

A. Mark ZuckerbergB. Al PacinoC. Steve Jobs

10. What was the first book ever sold on

A. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies. A book about artificial intelligenceB. Think and Grow Rich. The classic by Napoleon HillC. The Small Business Bible. Apparently, a great small business book.

Happy summer, all. Dont work too hard!

Answers: 1-A, 2-B, 3-A (with B providing a kind of "Eureka" moment as to how to use it), 4-B, 5-A, 6-C, 7-C, 8-C, 9-B, 10-A

Steve Strauss, @Steve Strauss on Twitter, is a lawyer specializing in small business and entrepreneurship and has been writing for for 20 years. E-mail: You can learn more about Steve at MrAllBiz.

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Entrepreneurs, time to test your business knowledge - USA TODAY

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August 19th, 2017 at 8:43 am

The Primary Barrier Stopping You From Everything You Want In Life … –

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Jack Canfield once said, "Everything you want is on the other side of fear." And he's right. But I'm going to take it one step further.

Pain, discomfort, shock, boredom, impostor syndrome, awkwardness, fear, being wrong, failing, ignorance, looking stupid: your avoidance of these feelings is stopping you from a life beyond your wildest imagination.

These are the feelings that accompany a life of success. And yet, these are the very feelings you relentlessly avoid!

Interesting how that works, right?

Wealth, optimal health, incredible relationships, deep spiritual maturity are all available to you. But you have to pay the price to have these things. The primary obstacle in your way is how you feel about what you need to do to have these things.

Most people aren't willing to feel difficult emotions on a regular basis. However, if you're willing to disregard how you feel in the moment, you'll have access to a world of opportunity unavailable to 99% of the population.

When you feel the fear and do it anyways, you get the satisfaction of living life on your terms. Instead of being a hostage to your emotions, you get to experience them more deeply.

Hilariously, once you break past the emotional blocks and just act, it's never as bad as you think it will be.

Napoleon Hill said, "When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve." Similarly, Tim Grover has said, "When you crave the end result, the hard work becomes irrelevant."

Put most simply: when the why is strong enough, you'll be willing to do any how. The clearer and bigger the why, the bolder the how. Hence, if you 10x your why, you'll have insights about how to do things far more effectively than the norm. As Dan Sullivan has said, "When 10X is your measuring stick, you immediately see how you can bypass what everyone else is doing."

If your dreams are big enough, you'll have to do different things than you've been doing. Not all "hows" are created equal. You'll have to do things you don't feel in the moment like doing. You'll resist the actions you need to take.

If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got. What got you here, won't get you there.

If you want bold results, you need bold actions.

If you want it bad enough, your momentary feelings won't stop you. How you feel right now is irrelevant. Of course it's out of your comfort zone. Of course it may not feel good in the moment.

Said Tim Ferriss, "A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have."

Are you willing to disregard your momentary feelings to achieve a particular results?

Life is practice.

Every day is practice. Right now, you're practicing; you're experimenting.

Start with small stuff and work your way up.

For me, taking cold showers is great practice. Even after doing it for years, I still often experience a moment of resistance. But I feel the resistance and do it anyways. Within seconds, the resistance I was feeling is replaced with confidence and satisfaction.

The more frequently you can confront and walk past emotional blocks, the more successful you'll be.

You will ride some amazing emotional waves.

You'll find yourself in situations and ask yourself, "How did I get here? How am I going to pull this off?"

You'll put off momentary comforts in order to behave in ways that generate wild success.

You can have anything you want in life. There is a path to get there. But you'll have to face lots of emotional resistance in getting there.

Do it anyways.

Right now.

Don't delay.

Do something right now you've been procrastinating.

Do something right now that shocks your emotional system. You'll quickly realize it wasn't so bad.

Then do it again, with increasing intention.

This is the essence of 10x thinking. Certain "hows" will get you 10x results. Most people won't go there.

Are you willing to go there?

How big is the emotional roller-coaster of life you're going to ride? Small rises and dips? Or huge rises, drops, spins, and twists? Life is meant to be lived, emotions are meant to be felt and experienced. You get to design the roller-coaster.

Do you want the result bad enough that you're willing to feel absurd, horrible, amazing, ridiculous, and stupid to get there?

Or, would you prefer feeling safe and regretful?

The choice is yours. But everything you want is available. And the more extreme the emotional shock you're willing to walk through, the faster you'll get the results you're seeking.

There must come a point when you stop worrying yourself over the opinions of others. Even the opinions of your heroes.

Your work and ideas must eventually come completely and unapologetically through you.

Only when you fully trust yourself and your ideas will you be able to create in a bold, honest, and beautiful manner.

No matter how "successful" you become, trusting yourself never gets easier. In fact, it only gets harder with more external noise and pressure. But you will never be happy with yourself or satisfied with your work if you don't do what you truly felt inspired to do.

Your most honest work will always be your best work. More than likely, it will also be your most successful work.


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August 19th, 2017 at 8:43 am

How to Find Success Where You Least Expect It – Influencive

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Just a few short years ago, I was struggling. I had no goals. Iwas lost, and I was sleeping on my friends couch. Life was hard. I was desperate. I lost several jobs, and a relationship unexpectedly fell apart. Every day I woke up fearful. I was uncertain about life, and I hated applying for jobs while I was homeless.

On top of my uncertainty, I couldnt hold a job. I just couldntnot even if someone were to hold a gun to my head and say, If you dont keep this job, youll be broke, sleeping in a park during the winter, and youll have nothing! I did end up sleeping in a park that November and had my first Christmas where I felt utterly alone and sad.

Then one day I woke up, and something inside me refused to continue. I couldnt live this way anymore. Something had to change. I couldnt tolerate my depression, my sadness, my poverty-fueled fears. That day, I made one goal: to change. I had no job, no home, and no money, and yet, I felt sure I could change something.

I searched inside. I looked and looked and asked myself, what could I possibly change? Despite my inability to get a job that day, despite being broke, despite feeling alonewhat was one thing I could change that could alter everything instantly? What was still in my control so that I could actually change it? I finally discovered the answer was, surprisingly, my thoughts! I could change my thinking. I could choose to see life differently and start putting more hope into life. Changing my thoughts, I realized, could change everything.

I decided right then to start spending 30 minutes every day focusing on gratitude, and then another 30 minutes envisioning and writing about a better future. To learn more about how to change my thoughts, I watched YouTube videos from Abraham Hicks, Anthony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, T. Harv Eker, and anyone else who was living the life I wanted. Id wake up and start my day by listening to one of these videos and meditating on its words. Id then spend at least 10-30 minutes just sitting quietly and letting myself feel gratitude. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, I would take time every day to feel successful. I walked as if I were already successful and pretended that I already had what I wanted.

The next thing I changed was how I spent the remainder of my day. Instead of lying around in despair, I chose to take one powerful action.

As silly as it sounds, this was all I had, and to this day, I believe this action is a huge contributor to my success.

What was this one, singularly potent action? I chose to be thankful for everything and constantly aware of the feeling of gratitude within me.If I receive a smile from a stranger, Im thankful. When I see my dogs joy while walking in the park, Im thankful. If I receive a letter from a friend or someone likes one of my Facebook posts, Im thankful. When my dad meets me for lunch or I have an idea that feels great, Im thankful.

Something exciting happened when I started to choose to feel thankful for even the smallest everyday occurrences. Everything turned into an opportunity for gratitude. In my situation, I had no choice but to change. It was either suffer through depression and loss or demand something better of myself. The choice wasnt easy, but it was my only choice. I wanted joy more than anything, and looking for the silver lining helped me get there. You, too, can find something to be grateful for by simply choosing to do so.

The other exercise I began at this time in my life was visualizing the ideal version of myself. I would walk outside and think about the best possible outcome I wanted for my life. To try this for yourself, spend a moment considering what your ideal life would look like. Then feel it. Consider it as real.

I didnt stop there though. Id also ask myself: How does it feel to have success? How does it feel to be the guy whos just made $10,000 in one month? Then Id walk as if that success had already happened and I was in the moment of enjoyment. Try it: Just a few steps. Walk as if. Thats all.

Then, the next day Id return to the same corner of the street, and Id imagine my results as if they were real. Id feel the success and walk a few steps, and then a few steps more. Id return the next day and walk a few steps farther, always feeling what its like to be the guy whos made in one month what hed once made in three to four months of full-time work.

Seeing yourself as already successful was incredibly empowering and helps to manifest actual success.

Some self-help gurus refer to this practice as the theater of the mind. Imagine yourself sitting in a theater, watching your ideal life. Its powerful!

What has changed? Well, I can easily make $10,000 a month now. I have a career I love, and I am living the successful life that I used to only pretend was real.

Now its your turn to have the success that you fully deserve, and you can start by changing your thoughts to ones of gratitude and thankfulness and visualizing your ideal self and feeling successful.

Thoughts focused on gratitude and the visualization of your ideal lifethese are powerful tools for transformation, and you can start using them in your own life today. I used these same methods to go from homeless to earning a six-figure income, and you are just as likely to benefit from focusing on gratitude and imagining your best possible life.

No matter where youre at in life, these steps can help you. As a matter of fact, after writing this article, I went back and reviewed my own use of these tools and realized I need to reapply them to help me level up again. Its my sincerest wish that all men and women across the world find greater gratitude, empowerment, and success in life.

Take one small action today and apply just one of these simple tools to help transform your life.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

I used to be homeless and now run a six figure business with my partner and travel the world. My journey to help those in need has taken me from non-profit director to supporting holistic entrepreneurs have a life of freedom. I run the Thriving Launch Podcast, which features the most influential leaders in the areas of love, spirituality, business, and success. Its my mission to help heart-centered entrepreneurs get their message heard with podcasting.

Published August 13, 2017

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How to Find Success Where You Least Expect It - Influencive

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August 19th, 2017 at 8:43 am

Control Your Emotions, Direct Your Thoughts, Ordain Your Destiny – Seeking Alpha

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Back when I was in high school, I got selected to go to a program called "Camp Enterprise," which was run by the Rotary Club. It was pretty impressive in hindsight. At the time, I was just happy to get a couple of days out of school and then get to dance with a pretty girl at the closing party.

Some of the speakers for the camp included business executives who traveled a couple of hours to talk to kids from various high schools. I remember in particular Marc Marotta, a former Marquette Warrior basketball player who became a prominent lawyer and community leader, and Ulice Payne Jr., another Marquette alum who went onto a trailblazing law and business career, who eventually became president of my beloved Milwaukee Brewers.

In one of the breakout sessions, we had a presentation that featured some thoughts from Napoleon Hill's writings. The title of today's article is a little different from an actual quote from Hill. The actual quote is:

"Direct your thoughts, control your emotions, and ordain your destiny!"

I have taken that with me in life, using it to stay balanced when things were going bad and when things are going good. I also applied it when I coached kids and men's sports teams, getting some good results and positive outcomes after the sports were done. I have made a point of using it for investing too.

I rarely tell people to sell specific securities unless they hire me to do a portfolio review. However, I have made a point of suggesting people sell some popular dividend growth stocks lately, mostly because those stocks lack the "growth" part of the equation anymore and are carrying historically high valuations.

In making a case for selling Coca-Cola (KO), Verizon (VZ) and Procter & Gamble (PG), I got some spectacularly emotionally charged responses. The same happened when I made the case for selling Altria (NYSE:MO) due to slowing growth on secular trends and government hurdles.

Take a look at any article about Tesla (TSLA). The flood of emotion, and ideology, are all over the place. How does any of that add to the discussion of whether Tesla is likely to succeed?

The same emotions spill out on oil investments, which get it from the "end fossil fuels now" crowd and the "oil forever and ever" crowd. Does injecting emotional ideology really help anybody's analysis? I think it hurts.

Over 25 years in the financial industry, I can say that my number one observation is that emotions, whether it is outright fear, or some sort of self-validation issue (often related to ideology or group affiliation), are the number one impediment to investor success.

When analyzing an investment, Jim Rogers said in an interview with Fortune, "I realized right away that if I just literally read a company's annual report and the notes -- or better yet, two or three years of reports -- that I would know much more than others."

I concur with that idea, but I also am a realist and know that folks don't have 50 hours per week to read like some of us do. So, at least ask the important questions if you are getting a synthesis of the information from others.

Here are three stocks that create a lot of emotional discussion. I would pose these are some of the questions that really need unemotional answering. I follow up with some quick thoughts of what I am thinking for you to ponder.


Ultimately, with Tesla, if it can ramp up business on cars without massive dilution, they have a chance. I don't think we can discount the power of affluent millennials buying Tesla EVs.

Residential solar is the least efficient solar and relies on individual homeowners, many of whom are strapped to make a big capital investment unless the company absorbs it which comes with different problems.

China has at least six battery plants getting ready to go and there is much more cost efficient battery storage (for microgrids and grid) than lithium that are major competitors for Tesla.

China and India seem to want Tesla factories, so I don't believe financing is a problem, but I expect deals to be like the one with Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY), which include dilution.

For me, I'm calling a Munger on this one and passing on any call on the company even though I think it's dramatically overvalued. Tesla is too hard to figure out, so I am avoiding Tesla from either side.

If you own shares, now is a good time to sell Tesla in my opinion on valuation concerns as the company would have to become the largest manufacturer in the world to justify the current price. I think that is unlikely and if it does happen, it'll be a very long time in the future.

Exxon Mobil (XOM):

Earlier this year, Exxon removed 3.5 billion barrels of tar sands oil from its reserves at Kearl, where it still has 1.3 billion barrels it plans to develop - for now. The company has billions more barrels with little to no value around the world, that it will have to write off eventually, if oil prices don't stage a significant and long rally.

Exxon is America's largest natural gas producer and has a strong hold on that. Given that natural gas is slowly replacing coal, as wind and solar soak up 100% of net new production needs, it seems apparent that the natural gas assets are valuable long term. Exports of American natural gas further support the future pricing of U.S. natural gas.

Whether you believe man is responsible for a significant portion of climate change or not, 195 nations are currently on board with the Paris Climate Agreement, so regulations could change dramatically if a "green" politician is elected president at some point with a sympathetic Congress. I find it likely regulations change dramatically eventually.

If the world starts going greener in an even more pronounced way, then Exxon could use its money to go more towards alternative energy - and, of course, that would be expensive.

Exxon is a hold to me here, but I would patiently be looking to sell it into the next oil bull market.

Pfizer (PFE):

Pfizer is a company that I worry about the growth aspects. Not only is the company soon to lose patent exclusivity on Viagra at the end of this year, with Teva (NYSE:TEVA) able to manufacture a generic, but also on Lyrica at the end of next year.

The Viagra expiration is extremely dangerous for Pfizer as it represents another hit to what was its main revenue driver a few years ago. Already, Eli Lilly's (LLY) Cialis has been boning into Viagra sales and now it'll have a generic to fight off.

To be sure, Pfizer has a significant pipeline, despite licensing out some lines a while back. The problem is that nothing is certain to be the next billion-dollar drug and they need one soon. Maybe Ertugliflozin, which is designed to reduce blood glucose levels is that drug, but diabetes 2 treatments are a crowded space at this point, so it's hard to project.

My greatest concern for Pfizer, and other drug makers, is that the pharmaceutical companies are soon going to see major legislative shifts that dig into profit margins. Socially, that might be good, but at the stock level, it sure wouldn't be. That's a real risk investors should consider.

As the baby boomers get older, there is certainly going to be more demand for drugs. Will it be enough to offset fewer home run pills and potentially tougher market conditions owing to legislation? That's very hard to tell.

While Pfizer is at no risk of going to zero, I think retesting their ten-year lows is a very real possibility amid a transition at the company and likely the industry. I rate Pfizer a sell at the current price levels and would be hard pressed to add back until I know what the laws on healthcare will be in the future.

In telling people to sell stocks that they might be emotionally tied to due to past performance or ideology, I know I run some risk of being criticized. That's life in the SA fast lane I suppose. Emotionally, it doesn't bother me that I might get flamed. It makes me sad, though, that if I'm right and people disregard what I'm pointing to that they'll lose money and the financial freedom that comes with it.

Controlling my emotions and directing my thoughts to what is truly important is a key that I keep turning. It has served me well to remember to step back from the forest to see the trees. I think it will help you too.

If you found this useful, "follow" me as I am making the transition from MarketWatch to Seeking Alpha and haven't been found by many yet. Also, please forward, tweet, like this article if you found it helpful. Thank you. You can find a history of my articles via, which ranks me in the top decile across all time frames.

For those of you who are considering joining Margin of Safety Investing, I am running a special through Labor Day that includes getting the service for only $250/year for the life of the service (I plan to run it until I'm around 70 years-old and am 47 now) vs. the regular price of $365/year. I plan to raise the regular rate once there are 1000 subscribers in order to protect the integrity of the stock picks for members who are accumulating.

But wait, there's more, people who subscribe by Labor Day will also get a free portfolio review with me via email and a personalized online webinar. I normally charge a minimum of $800 for portfolio consulting at my investment firm, but will do it for free for all new members through Labor Day. It will take a couple months to do those reviews, so join today to get to the front of the line, reviews start immediately following Labor Day.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: I own a Registered Investment Advisor, however, publish separately from that entity for self-directed investors. Any information, opinions, research or thoughts presented are not specific advice as I do not have full knowledge of your circumstances. All investors ought to take special care to consider risk, as all investments carry the potential for loss. Consulting an investment advisor might be in your best interest before proceeding on any trade or investment.

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August 19th, 2017 at 8:43 am

More than one way to address San Diego homeless crisis – The San Diego Union-Tribune

Posted: August 12, 2017 at 10:44 am

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San Diegos homeless crisis is growing worse by the day. Yet as more are living on the streets and fewer in shelters than ever before, some, including Michael McConnell who recently took to the Union-Tribunes opinion pages (Why the Housing First approach is a practical solution for homelessness, Aug. 4) argue that the best approach to solving homelessness is to outlaw any program that doesnt fit his particular recipe for success.

As someone who has served the homeless for more than 25 years, solving homelessness for thousands using a very different approach, it is hard for me to not take his criticism personally. Its even harder not to call it out for it narrow-mindedness.

Homelessness is a complex problem with causes spanning the criminal justice system, mental health, substance abuse, family support, human connection, and other social and economic forces. Other innovative and replicable program models that work shouldnt be kept out of the picture.

In his commentary, McConnell makes many mischaracterizations, claiming that progress in solving homelessness is jeopardized by ill-informed politicians and agencies. But what he gets wrong most of all is that no one is calling for an end to Housing First. Instead, what some are asking for is a simple request to include other high-performing results-driven approaches in our homelessness policy.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, deserves praise for courageously taking the lead to request Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson look at how Housing First impacts vulnerable populations families and children and how other approaches can work in tandem to overcome poverty and homelessness. He should be commended for taking action to prevent homeless programs across the state from being forced to shutter their doors, thanks to the new misguided guidelines.

At Solutions for Change, our programs our based on a 25-year personal empowerment and accountability model that puts the hard-to-serve homeless to work and is funded almost entirely by the private sector and social enterprise. Our approach adopts a completely unique model focused on a permanent solution to homelessness, not just a band aid of temporary housing.

Over 18 years, weve successfully led more than 850 families and 2,200 children out of homelessness and back on their feet. Yet, thanks to the misguided requirement that any homelessness program follow Housing First to be eligible for federal funding, weve been forced to walk away from as much as $600,000 in grants and our 40-bed family center now sits empty because Housing First rules require that we abandon our drug free housing and scrap our workforce training in favor of no-strings-attached optional programs.

When McConnell and other Housing First allies assert that their model works, theyre not talking about solving homelessness and its root causes. His goal is to getting people into permanent taxpayer-supported housing. They then offer Family Option Study as proof that families benefit from Housing First, but fail to mention how the very study also demonstrates that families in these programs experienced only temporary success because issues like employment, mental health and substance abuse were poorly addressed for the long haul.

Our approach uses work, education and employment to transform those experiencing homelessness. The families we help like this approach they want to be supported, empowered and treated as valuable and capable. Central to this effort is a healthy and drug-free living community focused on keeping kids safe. Good programs like ours with a track record of success shouldnt be shut out of the system.

This issue is about more than housing: Its about saving the lives of kids and ending poverty and dependency. We know that the large majority experiencing homelessness can develop job skills, obtain work and pay for their own housing. We must do better than coldly pushing families and children into homelessness and insisting on only utilizing one way of solving homelessness.

The number of chronic homeless in the top four cities (New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Diego) has spiked with no signs of abating. McConnell and the Housing First advocates say that providing housing, supporting sobriety, training for employment and engaging the root causes of homelessness is outdated, ineffective and wasteful. Whats ineffective is choosing to punish homelessness programs based on their approach, rather than on their results.

Homelessness reaches far beyond any single cause and our homeless policy should be big enough to support more than any single solution.

Megison is president and CEO of Solutions for Change.

Excerpt from:
More than one way to address San Diego homeless crisis - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Written by simmons

August 12th, 2017 at 10:44 am

Personal Empowerment | SkillsYouNeed

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Personal empowerment is about looking at who you are and becoming more aware of yourself as a unique individual.

Personal empowerment involves developing the confidence and strength to set realistic goals and fulfil your potential.Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and a range of skills that are used in everyday situations, but all too often people remain unaware of, or undervalue, their true abilities.

A person aiming for empowerment is able to take control of their life by making positive choices and setting goals. Developing self-awareness, an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses - knowing your own limitations is key to personal empowerment.

Taking steps to set and achieve goals - both short and longer-term and developing new skills, acts to increase confidence which, in itself, is essential to self-empowerment.

Personal Empowerment and Personal Development are two areas that overlap and interweave, it is recommended that you read this page in conjunction with our page: Personal Development.

At a basic level, the term 'empowerment' simply means 'becoming powerful'. Building personal empowerment involves reflecting on our personal values, skills and goals and being prepared to adjust our behaviour in order to achieve our goals. Personal empowerment also means being aware that other people have their own set of values and goals which may different to ours.

Many other, more detailed, definitions exist. These usually centre on the idea that personal empowerment gives an individual the ability to:

Developing personal empowerment usually involves making some fundamental changes in life, which is not always an easy process.The degree of change required will differ from person to person, depending on the individual starting point.

The following dimensions of personal empowerment are based on the belief that the greater the range of coping responses an individual develops, the greater their chance of coping effectively with diverse life situations.

These dimensions are:

Self-awareness involves understanding our individual character and how we are likely to respond to situations.

This enables us to build on our positive qualities and be aware of any negative traits which may reduce our effectiveness. Self-aware people make conscious decisions to enhance their lives whenever possible, learning from past experiences.

Values are opinions or beliefs that are important to us but of which we are not always aware.

They can be any kind of belief or perceived obligation, anything we prefer and for any reason.The reasons we may prefer one thing over another, or choose one course of action over another, may not always be obvious or known; there may be no apparent reason for our values.Nevertheless our values are important to us as individuals.In order to be self-aware it is necessary to be aware of our values, to critically examine them and to accept that our values may be different from those of others.

An individual's skills are the main resource which enables them to achieve their desired goals.

Skills can be gained through experience, practice, education and training.It is only by developing such skills that individual values can be translated into action.

Knowledge or information is necessary in the development of self-awareness and skills.

Knowing where to find appropriate information is in itself an essential skill.Without information, the choices open to people are limited, both in their personal and working lives.The internet has provided an easy way for everybody to access huge amounts of information very quickly and easily. The problem is then centred around the quality of the information found, and the skill set is concerned with finding accurate and reliable information.

Setting goals is a means by which an individual can take charge of their life.

The process of setting a goal involves people thinking about their values and the direction that they would like their lives to follow.Choices are made through reflection followed by action.Goals should always be both specific and realistic. Setting personal goals gives us a sense of direction in life, this direction is essential to personal empowerment.

Language is the main medium of human communication whether used in spoken or written form.

The use of language, how individuals express themselves verbally and non-verbally to others, can be empowering to both themselves and the people with whom they are communicating. Looking at how language is used is important in terms of self-empowerment and when attempting to empower other people.

In terms of personal empowerment and communication the following ideas are helpful and their use can be both self-affirming and positive:

Use Positive Language: Research into language suggests that a person's self-image is reflected in the words that they use.For example, people who say they 'should' behave in a certain way implies passivity and can detract from them seeming to be in control and taking responsibility for their actions.Talking about yourself in a positive way, acknowledging strengths and weaknesses, can be empowering.

Use Active Language:Use terms which imply positive action rather than making vague statements, particularly when talking about the future.For example, 'I will...' and 'I can...'.

Use Words to Define Your Own Space and Identity: If you fail to use words to define your own space and identity then others will tend to define you and set standards by which you evaluate yourself.Furthermore, they will try to persuade you to conform to their demands.Be clear about who you are and what your values and goals are do not let others define you.

In order to use language to help empower others:

Do not use jargon or complex terminology The use of jargon and complex terminology can be both alienating and dis-empowering.When working with others the use of jargon can create feelings of intimidation and inferiority.Without shared understanding of the words you use, effective and empowering communication cannot take place. Choose words with care, which give clarity to what you are trying to express.

Focus on the words people use Mirror words people use, see our pages:Reflection and Clarification for more information. Using shared terminology appropriately can enable you appear more in tune with the other person and what they are saying.

Choose positive words Choosing positive or active words such as 'will' or 'can' indicates that you have control in your life and is more likely to induce positive action in others.Compare the use of these words with others such as might' or 'maybe' which suggest hesitancy.Using words and statements which carry responsibility are empowering as they suggest a determined rather than a passive approach.

Avoid criticism and negativity: Criticism should always be given with extreme care and only when absolutely necessary.Once words have been spoken they cannot be easily taken back.If criticism is necessary then it can be given in a constructive way, through the use of positive and supporting words and phrases.Always attempt to cushion criticism with positive observations. Our page, Offering Constructive Crictism has lots more infomation.

Use open questions when appropriate: The use of closed questions will restrict responses to 'yes' and 'no' answers.This type of question can leave people feeling powerless because there is no opportunity to explain their response.On the other hand, open questions give the person being asked the chance to explore the reasons behind their answers.Open questions encourage a person to take responsibility for their thoughts and actions and can therefore aid empowerment.Open questions can also help people to solve problems through their own devices, help them to set their own goals and work out an appropriate plan of action.

See our pages: Questioning and Question Types for more information.

We all have opportunities to explore and develop new skills. In order to become more empowered we can, in our interactions with others, aim to:

Developing trust can be a difficult and lengthy process. In order to develop trust with others you may choose to:

In the workplace, and in any professional working relationship there are three basic components of trust:

Trust can be broken very quickly and may never be restored to its former level. Think about the points above and try to build and maintain trusting relationships in both your personal and professional life.

Avoid the following actions that may destroy trust and have a detrimental effect on personal empowerment:

See our page on Trustworthiness and Conscientiousness for more information.

Becoming empowered includes knowing your own strengths and weaknesses: identifying these will enable you to work on improving your weaknesses and build on your strengths.

It is not uncommon for other people to have misjudged your strengths and weaknesses, or for you to misjudge those of others.This can lead to opportunities being limited due to the misconception of abilities.It is important, therefore, to know your own strengths and weaknesses and to communicate them clearly to others, whilst encouraging others to communicate their strengths and weaknesses to you.

In some circumstances you may feel that you face problems that are truly beyond your capabilities.In such cases you should seek help.Empowered people know their own limits and have no problems with asking for help or guidance.Self-knowledge, often referred to as self-awareness, is a strength which enables you to set personal improvement goals in order to make a more substantial contribution.The more empowered you become, the more you will be able to help others to become empowered.

Confidence acts as one of the greatest motivators or most powerful limitations to anyone trying to change their behaviour and become more empowered.

Most people only undertake tasks that they feel capable of doing and it takes great effort to overcome a lack of confidence in one's capabilities. Self-empowerment involves people constantly challenging their own beliefs and what they are capable of undertaking.

See our pages on Building Confidence and Self Esteem for more information.

Personal empowerment is not a static thing that you can do once in your life.

You should view personal empowerment as ongoing personal development. As circumstances change and develop, and as we ourselves change and develop, so do our needs for development and empowerment.

Personal Empowerment | SkillsYouNeed

Written by simmons

August 12th, 2017 at 10:44 am

National women’s conference focuses on empowerment – The Philadelphia Tribune

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The upcoming Kinks, Locks & Twists: Environmental and Reproductive Justice Conference may sound like a natural hair symposium but is actually an annual national womens conference that uses Black hair politics as the entry point for discussion on empowerment and activism.

Co-founded in Pittsburgh by West Philadelphia native LaTasha D. Mayes, the conference is organized annually by New Voices, a human rights organization focused on reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, health care access, ending gender-based violence, incarceration, environmental justice and integrated voter engagement.

Mayes explained that the goal of the three-day conference is to engage Black women and girls in community organizing for lasting social change while celebrating intersectionality.

That is why intersectionality is so important to our work, said Mayes, the New Voices founder and executive director. You cant look at a Black woman or a Black person and only talk about one thing. No! These things are impacting me as a Black person and a woman and are impacting me at the same time and in different ways and different times. The intersectionality, to me, gets us to greater, more impactful solutions for the long-term. Its not just a change in policy, but about uprooting systematic race and gender oppression. Thats the difference in our work: we are confronting systems of oppression in our work and creating spaces for those who are vulnerable and marginalized.

The Kinks, Locks & Twists Conference is presented by New Voices for Reproductive Justice, a grass-roots human rights organization founded in 2004 by Mayes, Bekezela Mguni, Lois Toni McClendon and Maria Nicole (Smith) Dautruche. Initially produced in 2010 as a HERStory Month signature event, the Conference began with an analysis of the politics of Black hair, and soon broadened its focus to environmental and reproductive justice.

We are a reproductive justice organization, said Mayes. Our definition of reproductive justice is the right to control your body. When we get into it more deeply, it is about the human right to control your body, sexuality, gender, work, reproduction and ability to form a family.

According to a timeline provided by the organization, it grew steadily and now focuses on several priority issues. The Pittsburgh-based organization has also enlarged its geographic footprint to include offices and programming in both Cleveland and Philadelphia.

Throughout the years the conference has covered regional concerns, such as fracking, as well as topics of concern to all women of color like environmental racism and the reproductive cancers that can be caused by toxic hair, makeup and personal products, said Mayes. This year, we have adopted the theme #LoveSowGrow as a call to embrace our roots as women of color, recognize our potential and invest in ourselves as leaders to shape a self-determined future, she continued.

The conference kicks off with the free, full-day Black Hair Institute at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture (1218 Arch St.) on Aug. 17. Conference activities continue on Aug. 18 and 19 with two full days of events at the Friends Center (1501 Cherry St.), including sessions with social justice advocate Dorothy Roberts; spoken word artist Sonya Renee Taylor; and feminist/activist Denise Oliver-Velez.

Registration for the annual Kinks, Locks & Twists: Environmental and Reproductive Justice Conference is available at Conference organizers are committed to accessibility for all attendees, with a sliding scale of registration fees is offered this year. Childcare will be available to conference attendees free of charge. For more information, visit

National women's conference focuses on empowerment - The Philadelphia Tribune

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August 12th, 2017 at 10:44 am

Republican leader’s 1898 tweet a pathetic overture – Myrtle Beach Sun News

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Its nice to see people learn their history, but a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Case in point: the Honorable Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party.

Responding to a Democratic Party tweet Sunday on the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Woodhouse accused Democrats of being responsible for killing black people in Wilmington in 1898.

Well, technically, thats true. The perpetrators of the 1898 insurrection/coup who burned down a black-owned newspaper, forced the citys legally elected Republican leadership to resign, more or less at gunpoint, and killed an unknown number of black residents were overwhelmingly affiliated with the then-conservative Democratic Party.

But mostly, thats a cutesy debaters trick. A reasonable person realizes that the Democratic Party has changed over the past 120 years.

Following Woodhouses logic, perhaps Democrats should start tweeting about the GOPs role in the Great Depression and the number of Republicans who opposed entry into World War II, giving aid and comfort to the Nazis. Should we blame contemporary Republicans for the burning of Atlanta and Charleston during the Civil War?

In 1898, the North Carolina Democratic Party consisted entirely of white men. The state Democratic Party in 2017 includes a large number of African Americans. In fact, more than 80 percent of black registered voters in North Carolina are Democrats.

In the 1960s, with Democrats like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Terry Sanford supporting civil rights, and the attraction of Barry Goldwater and the GOPs Southern Strategy, white Southerners began to exit the Democratic Party. Most black voters have long since pledged allegiance to the Democrats.

Wed suggest that if Tar Heel Republicans want to make inroads among black voters, they not only disavow these type of antics, but also stop pursuing voting limitations that disproportionately affect African-Americans, and draw election districts that can at least pass the muster of the courts.

The Republican Party should be able to appeal to black Americans with a positive message, especially on issues like personal empowerment, economic opportunity and school choice.

So will Republicans reach out to black voters on those important issues, or is the state GOP content to let Woodhouse sit back and blast off his usual bromides, hoping to fire up the base and score cheap political points? Is that really the message they have for black voters?

No wonder only 3 percent of the states black registered voters are Republicans. Frankly, were surprised the number is that high.

Continue reading here:
Republican leader's 1898 tweet a pathetic overture - Myrtle Beach Sun News

Written by simmons

August 12th, 2017 at 10:44 am

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