Posts Tagged ‘books

14
Aug
14

Restoration Hardware: A Book

5StepsWe live in a world that withers us. My father used to say, “My problem isn’t keeping myself motivated, it’s trying to keep other people from demotivating me!” Truer words were never spoken. Today’s headlines are filled with tributes to tribulations. How can we stay fed in a time of famine?

I usually tout the power of books for transformation, but there’s another more important reason to read: for restoration. I read to know that I am not alone. I read to learn how to deal with myriad challenges. I read to unlearn what I thought I already knew and to learn it all again the right way. Books validate our personal, professional, and spiritual lives in a world where the media and so-called experts pressure us to conform to groupthink.

If you aren’t reading, you aren’t living. You can’t partake in the full range of human emotions and thought without conversing with the whole of mankind. So read as if your life depends on it, because it does.

17
Jul
14

does your business need a little TLC?

Join today and take your business to the next level!A little TLC can grow a business big!! Tremendous Life Books is excited to unveil our newest program, the Tremendous Leaders Circle, offering businesses and groups of all sizes an affordable way to gather motivational books, audios, meeting space, training sessions, and even a speaker for one low annual membership fee.

This $1,500 value is being rolled out at a $500 price to attract organizations that want to invest in their greatest resource—their people—and encourage them to reach their top potential! This incredible value offers…

  • Use of the Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center for one all-day event.
  • A keynote speech or training session for up to 50 employees.
  • Two complimentary seats at select events at the Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center.
  • 30% discount from over 1,500 of the top motivational, sales, and personal development books and audios. Quantity discounts are even higher.
  • A copy of each new Tremendous Life Books publication to build your library.
  • Special “TLC Members Only” events in our sale room.
  • A personal concierge to manage your account throughout the year and to assist you in making the best possible selections for your particular organization.

Can you imagine being able to book a state-of-the-art conference center, get a keynote speaker, access to key speaker events, build a personal and corporate library with new releases from the top motivational publisher, and get an additional discount and personal concierge? We are driven to help businesses incorporate reading and thinking together to augment their training and employee development programs. So join us today and find out what a little TLC can do to help your business grow!

03
Jul
14

book girl

A tribute to Charlie "Tremendous" Jones from the sales force at Southwestern.

A tribute to Charlie “Tremendous” Jones from the sales force at Southwestern.

Ever since I got my first work release at the tender age of 14 I have worked. I worked in fast food, retail, at a summer resort in housekeeping; you name it, I did it. One of the jobs I had in between college years was selling books door to door with a company called Southwestern Book Company, now known as Southwestern Advantage. My father was a true believer in the role of sales in developing a person as well as being a book lover of extreme conviction.

He highly recommended that I consider working for a summer with this group. After all, he told me, if I could knock on a door cold and make a sale I would have successfully completed one of the hardest things I’d ever do in life. Sign me up!! I was all for getting the hard stuff out of the way early so I could move on to greater experiences. He also told me that when a prospect opened their door to put my head in first instead of my foot. That way if they slammed the door on me I could keep talking.

I found out quickly that selling books with Southwestern was unlike any other previous summer job. You are completely on your own to get up, get out, and get results. No one is making you punch a time clock or allowing you to sit behind a computer and surf for 7 hours and 50 minutes a day. And although there were no cell phones in my day, the company still requires cell phones to be left in the student’s home or vehicle.

It truly was a crash course in self motivation, grace under fire, thinking on your feet, and handling rejection. The goal was to knock on as many doors as possible so as to hit the law of averages and get several sales in a day. I had a difficult time with that much rejection so I modified it a bit.

I sold in the coal-mining hills of Bluefield, West Virginia my first summer. Rather than knock on 20 doors and sell 2, I would knock on 2 doors and sell two. By taking time, I was able to develop lasting relationship with these people. Some I even remained pen pals with for years to come. They cooked me meals, shared their family photos, and yes, bought my books. People who had houses with dirt floors saw the value in my $60 two-volume condensed encyclopedia set. Sometimes, if money was short, I would barter with them. I even ended up with a kitten and some moonshine (but obviously didn’t drink it since I still have my eyesight).

The next summer I sold in Blacksburg, Virginia, a much more affluent area. Guess what? They didn’t buy my books. They thought they were too good for my books. And there I learned that the people with the most resources at their disposal are often the ones who lack the most. I couldn’t even get a word in edgewise. So back to my country roots I went, where folks knew a good deal when they saw it and recognized books to be the transformative tool that they are.

You can’t scare me. I’ve sold books door to door. The military was a cakewalk after this experience. I also learned that when someone said “No” what they meant was that I hadn’t done my job in showing them the true value of my product. That was a pretty big lesson to learn so early in life.

So if a book salesperson knocks on your door, please take the time to hear them out. They are doing a job few others would even attempt. And I can guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their tremendous products and will be proud to add them to your library.

04
Jun
14

Summer Reading Had Me a Blast!!

Summer Readin' (2)It’s almost the start of another summer vacation season filled with all kinds of schedule changes and time slots that need to be filled.

To paraphrase what my father said, “You’ll be the same person three months from now except for two things; the people you meet and the books you read.” Do you want to be a more tremendous version of yourself come fall? Do you want your friend’s jaws to drop when you reappear after summer break like John Travolta’s did when Olivia Newton-John completed her transformation in Grease?

Well, I’ve got just the ticket for you, and it doesn’t involve wearing spandex, having big/slick hair, or smoking cigarettes. I’m going to tell you how to really be too cool for school next fall. Well-a well-a well-a huh; Tell me more, tell me more!
Get a hold of your parents and review this Reading Contract with them. It originated when my father worked with my oldest brother, Jere, to instill in him a love of reading. You select books that teach, edify, and enhance your creativity, and agree on an amount of money to be paid for every book you read. No trash, please, because as you’ve probably already learned, trash in, trash out. For recommendations to get started, please check out our top titles listed here.

You’ll also have the chance to support some great organizations as you learn the tremendous power of tithing AND earning your own money!

My father went from zero to hero because of the books that he read. As a youth, he had no money, no role models, and no formal education. But he decided that reading was his ticket to everything he didn’t have and the rest is history!

Brian Tracy said, “To gain a competitive advantage in your career, read at least one hour per day in your chosen field. One hour a day will translate into approximately one book a week. One book a week will translate into approximately fifty books over the next twelve months. If you read an hour a day, one book per week, you will be an expert in your field within three years. Through continuous learning, you will be a national authority in five years, and you will be an international authority in seven years. All leaders are readers.”

So this summer, unplug the devices and engage your brain so you don’t find your summer days wastin’ away! Make the most of them by investing in yourself!! I can guarantee the rewards are slicker than Greased Lightning !

 

21
Mar
14

50 Shades of Blue

50-Shades-of-Blue (1)In celebration of a life well lived, I paws to recognize one the greatest influences in my life, Mr. Blue. Mr. Blue is my soul dog, my once-in-a-lifetime dog, the companion who has stayed faithfully by my side through the tumulus last thirteen years.

People often mourn the death of a pet with great intensity, and they feel a bit strange about it, as if an animal is unworthy of such emotion.  I only saw my father cry twice in his life and one of those times was when he had to put his German Shepherd, Jessie, to sleep.

The reason we mourn the deaths of our pets so deeply is real, and is not to be discarded lightly. The love of an animal is unconditional. There are no bad times. When we lose humans, it is a mixture of sadness and, let’s be real, relief. That’s because there are good times and there are bad times. Not so with a soul dog. There are only good times which make it infinitely harder to let go.

The love of a dog is so rich, so real, so all-encompassing that it takes us to a divine level. Now I do not mean to deify or suggest that a dog is a substitute for a human or for faith, but I have come across countless humans who have told me stories of how their dog got them through the death of spouse, a divorce, or some other tragic circumstance.

Mr. Blue is one of those furever companions. He has brought such richness to my life that it is hard to even formulate the words to describe it. Those of you who have met him know what I’m talking about.

In August of last year, when Mr. Blue was twelve years old, he was diagnosed with lymphoma.  I was absolutely devastated.  We immediately embarked upon a sixteen-treatment chemotherapy plan. Mr. Blue went into remission immediately and things looked bright until his sixteenth treatment when he relapsed.

I’ve been through divorce, the death of a parent, and war (twice), and I can say this is the most devastated I’ve been. The oncologist moved him onto his second regimen of drug protocols and within a week Mr. Blue was back in remission.

He is doing remarkably well. He knows what I am doing for him. He has regained weight and is spunky and snarky, almost puppy-like. And as long as he has this quality of life we will continue on this journey. Every night I thank God for another day with Mr. Blue.

This experience has placed me in a state of thankfulness for the here-and-now, something I was sorely lacking in my life. In celebration of a life well lived and in the transformative power of a dog’s love, I invite you to join us in a special time of sharing on April 7th in the Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center where we’ll celebrate Mr. Blue’s life and continuing legacy!

03
Oct
13

I need a seriously uplifting transfusion

booktranfusionI may be tired of being happy, but I am tired nonetheless. I am tired emotionally because I am dealing with a sister and a dog who are both battling cancer. I am tired because of the vitriolic polarization of our own nation. I am tired of no one accepting any kind of responsibility for their own actions or the actions of their children. I am tired of the pronounced evil I see across the globe. I am tired, tired, tired.

I’ve been emotionally and mentally drained the past month. Which isn’t to say that I haven’t been unbelievably blessed during that time frame; it just means my spirit is running low. I just can’t get my thoughts focused on what I’m trying to say. And then it hits me. It’s time for me to be quiet and receive, not transmit. My mind typically sees so many different things in just one moment or in a single flicker, so it’s nice to be able to drift for a while. I need replenishing. We all do. Our strength comes from outside of ourselves. We are not self-sustaining ecosystems like a terrarium. We need input to grow.

Put down the pen, the telephone, the laptop, the remote, and pick up a book.  As the Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” When I am tired, it’s because I’ve depleted myself. I need to refill in order to keep going. And the higher the pace, the more resources are needed. Many times after hearing my father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, speak, people would ask me if he was always like that. For those of you who have not heard him, he was quite the energetic force of nature on and off stage. People were amazed and envious of his boundless energy and unbridled enthusiasm.

The answer is ‘yes’. Growing up I used to think it’s just because he was strong or had a resilient temperament. And while both are true, the reason behind his ability to never be tired was his constant drinking from the well of words of others. People often cry out that they wish God would speak to them, or that they wish they had a few more words to exchange with a loved one. Well, the next best thing to hearing someone speak is to read their words. And in the case of someone no longer with us on this Earth, it’s the first best thing.

So I’m writing to you today, dear reader, because I started reading again. I was stuck; I was tired; I was in a rut. But now that I’m reading I slowly feel the life force flowing again through my veins. I’ve got some really tough and tiring times ahead. I better make sure my blood bank of a library has an endless supply of Be Positive. Luckily….it does.

03
Sep
13

If you build it they will come

_MG_9515It’s finally finished, the motivational Mecca in Mechanicsburg known as The Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center.  The decision to build this facility gelled from several areas. One of our strengths at Tremendous Life Books is that we are content rich, meaning that not only are we are the premier publisher of motivational material, but we also possess  the most tremendous network of friends, colleagues, authors and speakers thanks to the ceaseless work of our founder, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. As one of our top supporters, Jeffrey Gitomer, said, “People owe him a cosmic debt of gratitude.”

We also sought to capitalize on a very basic marketing principle: If you can’t get Mohammed to come to the Mountain, bring the Mountain to Mohammed. It’s much more effective for a book evangelist to bring the weary masses into our Conference Center and put on a soiree of nourishment for the body, mind, and soul, than to set up individual meetings or sales calls. The synergy of various laymen and business people sharing a book that changed their lives or turned their company around is infinite.

As a bureaucratic refugee, I am also a convert to the power of small and medium-sized businesses. They drive the world, the labors of the few, driven to actively pursue their goals, with the entrepreneurial freedom to do so. I want a place where they can find refuge, an oasis in the sea of expensive venues that gouge us for every drop of electricity we drain out of the wall.  I also wanted a much more intimate setting as my personal experience is that that’s where the magic happens. Small groups of people meeting face to face accomplish tremendous things.

And lastly, we built a conference center to honor two things: the people we meet _MG_9556and the books we read. Those who predict the future demise of books and face-to-face interaction have totally missed the boat. Books will never die and the interaction of human beings will never be replicated, I don’t care what technology we have. I’ve learned a lot in my first half-century of years as I lived all over the world and for decades sought out the next great job or title. Life isn’t about experiencing things, it’s about developing you to become the best version of yourself so you can go out and positively impact others.

We had our soft launch in August. The room was packed for the opening two nights and the speaker shared how reading just 15 minutes a day changed his life and made him what he is today. September is slated to continue bringing them in. We’ve got three book signings scheduled, a training session by one of our authors, a corporate day-long retreat, and two chamber mixers. These events will bring in hundreds of people intent on sharing their tremendous experiences with each other and, of course, buying more books. I cannot even imagine the seeds that will be sown by these individuals and cannot fathom what type of harvest they will reap. But I do know one thing: I am beyond humbled to be a part of it. If you have ever supported us in any way, words alone will never be able to thank you because you are why we were able to build it and why they will come.

You can check out all of our tremendous upcoming Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center events on our website. Hope to see you there!

07
Jun
13

complaining won’t fill your till

Dr-EvilAs a writer, publisher, and book purveyor, I always read literary news with great interest. I’ve been in the military, high tech, and government contracting, and the world of publishing is just as volatile and crazy as any of them. Yesterday, an article on the web complained that Amazon was destroying Britain’s book industry through its rock-bottom pricing, ruthless corporate behavior, and grotesquely unfair tax arrangements.

So what’s your point? Welcome to life on Earth. Corporations are ruthless, life isn’t fair, and if you aren’t pricing everything as competitively as possible you won’t be running your business for long. When I worked in semiconductor manufacturing, it was obvious that factories outsourced to lower-cost regions to get that rock-bottom pricing; and when I was in government contracting I saw some pretty ruthless corporate behavior.

You must react to changes in your industry sooner rather than later. Pretending it’s not going to happen is not an option, yet we do this all the time. For all our claims that flexibility is the key to airpower, human beings will always loathe change. If something is radically changing in your industry (and it always is) do something differently than you’ve done it before. Repeat this cycle every day of every month of every year as long as you are breathing. And ruthless behavior, not just in corporations, is a fact of life. Only you have the power to decide how much ruthlessness you are going to expose yourself to.

How can I attract more business aside from calling my competitors jackasses? We’ve all heard of the ‘Law of Attraction’, yet you’d think everyone had a Ph.D. in the ‘Law of Repulsion’! Stop telling me how horrible your adversary is. All’s fair in love and war and ESPECIALLY in business. Don’t tell me what the other person is doing wrong, fill my head with all the things you are doing right and what that means to me! Just because you say a competitor sucks, that doesn’t make me feel drawn to you any more than insisting that my political party is corrupt makes me want to switch sides. I’m too busy being creative to worry about how to ‘dis’ my opponent. Imagine if we all engaged in conversations where we were actually passionate about what we believed in instead of spewing out hate about the opposition.

Books are sacred. They aren’t ordinary objects like TVs or even fighter jets. If you can hold it in your hand, you can keep it in your heart. And yes, you can buy our books on Amazon. But if I haven’t convinced you why you should stop by our website or call and order directly from us, than I’ve got no one to blame but myself. So stop competing and start achieving! Stop complaining and start promoting! And for God’s sake, stop pointing at the problem and start being a part of the solution!

28
May
13

hello mountain, it’s me muhammad

The Charlie "T" Jones Conference Center

The Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center

If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, Muhammad will come to the mountain. Life is all about making a series of decisions designed to move you closer to your goals; decisions that often involve seeking out alternative routes to get you to your final destination. My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, joked, “Plan on everything going wrong. If something does go right, we’ll just have to work that in!”

Like every other living, thinking person on this planet, I get up every day looking for ways to further my professional mission. I try lots of different things, plan on them all going wrong, change it up a bit, and pray a lot. This strategy kept our business steady and even on a sustained growth pattern for the last four years. Life is good, but good just isn’t good enough anymore. There’s got to be a better, more concentrated strategy out there that we just haven’t discovered.

For several years, I’ve mulled over various usage options for our vacant warehouse space. My inner child had dreams of an indoor putt-putt facility, go-carts, and bumper cars; even a year-round haunted house spooktacular. But alas, I just couldn’t link that directly to our core mission. I had even considered a flea market since our founder was such a lover of collecting antiquities and books of all types. However, nothing led this opportunity to fruition materialize either.

3d_layout_prelim1All this was going through my mind as I was still working at building our clientele base, going out and speaking, giving away books, and hosting various events at our current facility. That’s when the idea of a state-of-the-art conference center was born. Rather than go out and sing the praises of how books can transform the life of an organization, why not build a leadership annex where I could bring the entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce, and business people in so I could actually show them!

Rather than put a link on our site about how we funnel our profits to ten tremendous organizations via the Books for Tremendous Living Foundation,  why not open up a gorgeous area where these groups could come and conduct events educating people in our area about ways they can get involved and help their neighbors!

Rather than trying to get booked into high-dollar venues, why not have intimate settings where attendees can learn sales techniques from Jeffrey Gitomer; how to write books from Mark Sanborn; how to become a speaker from Don Hutson; and how to combine your faith with your profession from Naomi Rhode?

So the planning process began, and we started setting aside the money and reviewing architectural drawings. After years of trial and error and due diligence, the groundbreaking will commence on June 3rd, 2013. All systems are finally go! And while I’m still assuming everything will go wrong, I do know I’m moving that mountain one step closer. And in life, that’s all that matters. Check out our tremendous progress on our website and watch it all come together!

21
May
13

exposure to experience

ImageA bird left the safety of its home to fly and perch on the branch of a different tree. It doesn’t fear leaving the old and taking up residence in the new because it doesn’t put its faith in the strength of the branch upon which it roosts. If the branch should break, the strength of its own wings will keep it aloft.

I’ve had some major limbs break out from under me, both personally and professionally. In each case I had left the old to live in the new with great optimism and hope. Sometimes I felt the branch beginning to give way soon after I arrived. Other times I had no idea I was truly out on a limb until the bottom fell out. In either case, I not only survived but flew off to the next branch as a result of the wings of my experiences.

One of leadership’s most powerful laws is Exposure to Experience: the more356 you know, the more you grow. The more you go down, the more you grow up. The more beaten down you are, the stronger you become. My father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, wrote about this in his motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous. He used to tell me when I was younger that I need to “earn my stripes” and that good judgment came from experience which was the direct result of poor judgment.

He also said that we are all born with an empty psychological key ring attached to our side and every experience, good, bad, or indifferent, gave us another key with which to unlock the doors of life’s journey. The more keys the better. So believe in yourself enough to truly know that any experience in which you give your all will enable you to reach heights you never thought you could.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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