Thursday, December 26, 2019

How To Start Writing Your Great American Success Story in 2020

“I have written this book because 100 years from now, there probably will be no other trace that I have lived on earth. Our great grandchildren will most likely not know our names, they will have minimal interest in our having lived, or in what we did during our stay on this earth.” Herb Peyton, Founder of Gate Petroleum and author of New Boy, his autobiography.
The United States is full of great American success stories. From native sons who grew up in poverty to immigrants who came here with very little, they have built businesses that have provided them with livelihoods and enriched their communities. Unfortunately, many of their inspiring stories will be forgotten because they have never been written down.

2020 is upon us. Many people have resolved to lose weight, get in shape, and take better care of themselves. Some have resolved to write the books they have been thinking about for years. Lots of great businessmen and businesswomen would like to leave their marks in the form of books and literature, but they don’t know how to go about it. There are several ways to organize a business-oriented autobiography. Here are three straightforward ways to do it.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Mr. Rogers, Thanksgiving, and Habitual Gratitude

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
ikimedia Commons
On the morning of Thanksgiving in 2019, my family and I watched “Won’t you be my neighbor?” It’s a documentary about Fred Rogers, the creator and star of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS. On Thanksgiving afternoon, I went to the movie “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” Tom Hanks plays the part of Fred Rogers.

Both movies were very good. One of the most powerful scenes in the feature film has Mr. Rogers in a restaurant with a writer named Lloyd Vogel. (In real life, the name of the journalist was Tom Junod, who wrote an article about Mr. Rogers for Esquire.) In that scene, Mr. Rogers asks Mr. Vogel to think about all the people who helped to make him what he was.

As the camera pans around the restaurant, some of the faces are familiar. In fact, several of the people who were interviewed for the documentary appeared in the restaurant scene. For example, Mrs. Rogers and the actor who played Mr. McFeely on the television show were in that scene.

Whenever a film is made about a real person or about something that actually happened, one has to wonder how accurate the movie was. Parts of the feature film about Mr. Rogers are made up, including the restaurant scene. However, in real life there was an event where Mr. Rogers very publicly encouraged people to be thankful for the people who had helped them in their lives.

In 1997, Mr. Rogers was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at The Academy Awards. In his short speech, he asked members of the audience to think for ten seconds about all the people in their lives who had helped them in some way. As the camera panned around the room, some audience members wept.  Ten seconds of sincere gratitude can affect a person that way.

This is the time of year when people make plans for the coming year and formulate their New Year’s Resolutions. Giving thanks can be just as powerful as making a New Year’s resolution. Naturally, the list of people to be thankful for includes friends and family members. For people in business, it can also include the clients and customers who have contributed to one’s success. Thanks can also be given for the mentors and advisors who have been helpful.

Like Mr. Rogers, I believe there’s something very powerful about being thankful. Being habitually and intentionally thankful can have a very positive impact on one’s life and on one's business. My morning routine includes making a list of three things I am thankful for. I encourage others to make thankfulness part of their routines as well.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Are you ready to get started on your Great American Success Story?

I’m Danny Murphy, but not Danny Murphy the famous baseball player. Or the famous soccer player. Also, I’m not the Dan Murphy who owns most of the liquor stores in Australia. I’m Danny Murphy, the writer. Actually, there are over a dozen Danny Murphys who are writers.

I’m the one who works with clients like Dick Erickson, Founder of Sun Tire, to document their Great American Success Stories. Then I help them to present their stories in the form of books, videos, and through social media. For example, Dick’s forthcoming book is titled Rubber Meets Road: Business Isn’t Rocket Science.