Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review: Success Is Never Ending

A Book You Can Buy From Me

Book Title: Success Is Never Ending, Failure Is Never Final

Author: Robert H. Schuller

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (hardcover), Bantam (paperback)

Date: 1988 (Nelson), 1990 (Bantam)

Length: 267 pages

ISBN: 0553281828

Quote: "I developed a philosophy for successful living that I called 'Possibility Thinking.' Today I look back and rejoice over the success of this system. Wow! Has it worked for me! And I know it can work for you!"

Wow! Now the overpriced, show-offy "Crystal Cathedral" has gone bankrupt! But I don't want to gloat too much; everybody gets old, and many business ventures don't survive their founders...and the Crystal Cathedral was more of a merchandising gimmick than a cathedral built to the sole glory of God, so why shouldn't it meet the usual fate of businesses whose founders have to step down. Further reflections on this theme:


Nevertheless: although most of us "met" him first as a TV superstar, Robert H. Schuller did know something about how to get rich. And although this book may limit itself to a focus on emotions that overlooks ideas like knowing the market, contending with protectionist regulations, and delivering a product that will satisfy the expectations your marketing pitch raises, it does contain some solid, practical wisdom...of the "as far as it goes" variety.

My observation is that many of Schuller's fans latch on to the feel-good, "Wow! Go for it!" aspect of his pep talks. This can be harmful. If you're going to listen to the "Wow! Go for it!" parts, you need to read the whole book that clarifies a bit more of what Schuller meant. Yes, that overriding tone of "If this doesn't work for you, it's your own fault, so don't even write to me" does become annoying, but if any form of Positive Thinking appeals to you you need the grounding effect of the common sense Schuller expresses in this book. "You have to plan to make it happen!" is not just a happy-puppy yelp; if you read this book carefully, Schuller will guide you through a planning process.

Which may or may not work. As a head trip it can help. As real-world guidance...it's as likely to be helpful as any other book could be. Will your works of art appeal to people who can still afford to buy works of art? Will your software package work for people who are still in the market for software packages? Will your restaurant...etc., etc., etc. Schuller wouldn't know, and doesn't try to say. Con mucha suerte his step-by-step guidance may help you anticipate and avoid some of the difficulties your career dream is likely to encounter.

Whatever you may think about his way of marketing the Christian faith, Robert H. Schuller was, like most non-hereditary millionnaires, a good source of advice on marketing in general. And current market forces make this an excellent choice if you want to buy A Book You Can Buy From Me in order to show appreciation of this web site and/or post a free advertorial to market your own career dream.

By now you probably know the drill. $5 for a clean copy of the book, $5 for shipping; if you buy more than one book the total shipping cost may be readjusted based on weight and distance, but in any case I'll send $1 to Robert H. Schuller out of this total price of $10; e-mail salolianigodagewi@yahoo.com.

Or, if you're in Gate City, Virginia, you can look for a mold-exposed, cleaned copy in the Mountain Treasures store. (Fair disclosure: since a few books were delivered to Mountain Treasures, a few weeks ago, some have already migrated into for-profit stores.)

I'm wary of immodest "God talk" about the ups and downs of my personal business, not wanting to invite the kind of Christian-phobic reaction Robert H. Schuller tends to elicit, but I will note that the nice Experience Works types at the Mountain Treasures store have an uncanny way of meeting me on the way to or from work when I happen to have something they can resell at a substantial profit, which, of course, goes to a legitimate charity. The Lord works in mysterious ways...including car phones.