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Dan Kennedy: Watch The News. Make News.

Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy, The Millionaire Maker

I happen to be a politics junkie and, therefore, a news junkie. I even write political columns, so I have to pay attention daily. But I learned years ago that it is the news media’s job to make every problem a crisis, every item of earth-shaking, life-altering importance. Few news events actually are. As a matter of fact, most things wind up being about as important as you permit them to be.

Few people think of themselves as news-makers.

All the world’s a stage, and on it there are players, but there are countless more spectators. It never dawns on people how much of their time is spent as a spectator, how little spent actually playing a game over which they exercise control. Millions watch football on any given Sunday. Only a small cadre of coaches scheme to win their games on Sunday, a small number of players work hard all week to be mentally and physically prepared to win the games in which they compete. It’s significant that the spectators rarely make news – the winning players and coaches do. And the spectators never get million-dollar contracts to watch. They must pay for that privilege.

There is that old cliché, about three kinds of people: those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; those who wonder what the heck happened, why, and why they were left out! There’s a lot of truth to the cliché. Most people act as if they are in a little boat set adrift in a vast ocean of circumstances beyond their control, rowing fast and frantically, looking about endlessly for someone to come to their rescue. Few are captains.

It’s my observation that exceptionally successful people are very deliberative and purposeful about three things, in this regard. First, they act as captains. Every day – yes, every day – they set out on a charted course of their choosing; they never meander about aimlessly. Two, they are “makers”, creators, doers. They make things happen, make things move forward, get things done, sometimes through sheer force of will and refusal to accept or excuse less. In doing so, they are even, from time to time, news-makers, to their clientele, in their industry, in their community.

Third, they seek association with people of this ilk, and abbreviate as best they can the time spent with or on people not so self-determining, self-motivating. They recognize just how powerful association is. My friend, the late Jim Rohn, said that given the bank balances of the five people you hang out with the most, he could “guess” your bank balance with great accuracy. He also noted that rich people have big libraries, poor people prefer big TV’s – a way of asking you what sort of ideas you associate with most. A lot of people with 52” plasmas and TV’s in three or four rooms of the house say they have no time to read.

Most accomplishment or lack thereof is result of investment – not accident. Those who are endlessly, constantly disappointed with their incomes, businesses, lives, prefer believing in accident, luck, randomness as a comforting religion, but that’s delusional. Examination of most success reveals controllable causes, notably that person’s investments of his time, energy, money, in association with productive and provocative ideas, and people who are in the game, not in the bleachers.

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