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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection

The measure of success

By David Chilton
Special to the Toronto Sun

We all want success. But how do we achieve it? Is there a single formula we can follow so that everything we touch turns, figuratively if not literally, to gold?

The short, disappointing answer is not likely, if for no other reason than one person's idea of success may be dramatically different from another's. That's a point Ivan R. Misner and Don Morgan make repeatedly early in their new book Masters of Success - Proven Techniques for Achieving Success in Business and Life.

"The measure of your success is how well you use your productive time to achieve the goals that are important to you," the authors say. Success is not a race or a contest with the other guy, they argue, but what individuals want to get done in the time allotted to them on Earth.

So, they write, for the former addict (this is an American book, after all) who stacks lumber for a living, every day on the job is a success. And, less dramatically, there are those unremarkable individuals -- that includes most of us -- who keep their bills paid and their families intact. They, too, are successes, Misner and Morgan maintain.

Having established how success can be understood, even as they caution that it's a many-headed slippery beast, they then move to the major thrust of the book: how to achieve success as individuals themselves define it.
Co-author of two "Masters of" books

Morgan, a St. Louis, Mo., native who heads Business Network International Canada and BNI Northern Illinois, says in an interview from Vancouver that a couple of themes emerged again and again when he and Misner were researching and compiling the book.

"Hard work and following a system are crucial to success," Morgan says, however it's defined. They're followed in ascending order by enthusiasm, passion and white hot desire, Morgan continues, borrowing a thought from his wife. And she should know. Nancy Holland Morgan skied for Canada at the 1960 and 1964 Winter Olympics.

Morgan wrote two of the essays in the book and Misner wrote two. There are about 60 others and all are short and punchy. Most could be read in the time that it takes to travel from one subway station to the next.

Some of the essayists are well known and best-sellers in their own right. John Grey of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus fame kicks off the book, and there are pieces from success guru and infomercial mainstay Tony Robbins; Vince Lombardi Jr., son of the famed Green Bay Packers' coach; unlikely activist Erin Brockovich with M. Eliot; and astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Other names are far less familiar -- at least to a Canadian reader -- and details about the writers are sketchy. There's a piece by International Chess Master Igor Khmelnitsky, another by Swedish marketer and businessman Gunnar Selheden, a piece by Texas businesswoman Shelli Howlett and an essay from Harvey
  • Masters of Success is published by Entrepreneur Press at $18.95 US.
  • The book is a 266-page compilation of short essays on success.
  • Authors Don Morgan is now a business referral entrepreneur, and spent 20 years in health care planning.
  • Ivan R. Misner is a businessman and academic in California.
  • Among the better known essayists in the book are Buzz Aldrin, Erin Brockovich, John Grey and Tony Robbins.

  • Mackay, who's billed as "one of America's most popular and entertaining business speakers."

    Morgan concedes that "getting people to take notice of us was the big challenge," -- and sifting the material once it came in was no walk in the park, either. He says it took him and Misner, who's based in California, about three years to prepare the book for publication.

    Misner and Morgan's first book, Masters of Networking, was an international best-seller, and they hope to produce a series of Masters of books.

    That might work, if Masters of Success is any guide. There aren't any real penetrating insights in the book, as Morgan himself allows, but that's beside the point. Its strength lies in reinforcing what we already know.

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