An Ex-Loser's Secret For Success
Source: Business, May 30 1993 SUNDAY STAR
THESE Days motivational specialist are a dime a dozen. You can't throw a stone without it landing on someone claiming to have the keys to success, happiness and vast riches.
Bob Proctor and John Kanary, however, are the originals, beginning their work in the early sixties.
Proctor in particular has been extremely successful, worth earnings of excess of US$1 million (RM3.8 million) a year, and contracts with some of the largest corporations in the world, including in Malaysia, Prudential Insurance, AIA, and MAA.
Another distinguishing characteristic of these men is that they have an established relationship with Malaysia, opening a Kuala Lumpur office four years ago which serves as a centre for the entire South East Asian region. They also have a Johor office, and are planning to set up offices in Penang, Kuching and Sabah.
With this in mind, GREG BRUNDAGE met recently with Proctor, to find out a little about the man behind the success, how he got to where he is, and why he did it.
was in the late 1950's, a loser. After dropping out of high school and completing four years in the navy, he drifted from one job to another - bars, factories and other things of that nature.
" I wasn't the most ambitious employee so I had a lot of jobs, "
" Then one day, I was working in a firehall (fire station), and I met a man who saw something in me I obviously didn't see in myself, and he got me to stop and take a look at what I was doing - what I was doing with my life. I was going nowhere; I was going backwards. He suggested that I should change it. It had never entered my mind that I could. "
" He asked me what I knew about myself and I came to the conclusion after a few questions that I knew just about nothing about me.
" I've since come to the conclusion that most people don't know about themselves. You go right through the educational system and learn nothing about yourself. "
" He pointed out that if my car wasn't working, I would do something about it. So, if you're going to fix yourself , (you) better know I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. "
Proctor went on to say that he found a secret in the book, and that was to write what you want to accomplish on a card and carry it in your pocket.
Then he says:
" I wasn't the happiest guy in town, or the healthiest, and I was in debt. I wasn't too interested in happiness or health, but I was interested in money."
"I went from earning about US$4,000 a year to earning US$175,000, and then I turn it into more than a million. "That's a phenomenal change and I couldn't account for what had happened. I had given the book to other people, and they didn't change.
"Earl Nightingale (another pioneer motivational speaker) in the 1950's of Chicago had read the book, condensed it and produced a record. I started to listen to the record. I thought maybe that's what did it. However, other people listened to the record and didn't change. So that couldn't have been it."
"Such a dramatic change had taken place in my life, that I thought, someone has to know what I've done, and they've either written a book or are talking about it. I did a lot of reading and attended a a lot of seminars and behavioral sciences, the mind and result-oriented programs."
Although I was picking up a lot of good information, I wasn't getting my answer. I was already successful, I just wanted to know why."
After searching for years, Proctor came to the conclusion that the educational system worldwide was lacking.
"I think a lot of people have come to the conclusion that a lot of what they are learning is just wrong. In the study that I have done, I found that all productive people are creative. Creative people are very intelligent but all intelligent people are not productive or creative. You can come out at the head of your class but do nothing with your life."
"That happens time and time again. As people, we almost defy the intellect. We give degrees and diplomas for what people can remember, not based on what they can do ...."
"I don't think there's a recession anywhere in the world. I think there is a transition going on. Large corporations are changing. They are demanding more creativity on every front. You see the walls coming down in the communist countries.
That's a symptom of something that runs much deeper. People want to live a fuller life. They want to utilizes their potential. Wherever we go, there are people who want to hear what we say and we've been getting pretty tremendous results."
"We teach very simple - I'm a simple guy, I'm not complicated - program. It took me years to figure out why I was so successful. That's really what we teach."
Asked what makes him different from other motivational speakers, Proctor said most motivational speakers work by getting audiences worked up emotionally.
His model, he says, is different in that it is an educational model. He focuses on people becoming aware of their real desires, goals and ambitions and teaching them systems to help them actualize those desires, goals and ambitions.