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Golden Losers and Success Shortcuts

Willie Blythe or William J. Blythe IV, take your pick. This is a story right out of the foundations of the Shortcuts Way of Living. That's because William J. Blythe Fourth, a true golden loser if ever there were a golden loser, proved the power of shortcuts, and proved more than adequately that horrific circumstances determine who and what you become, at least as much as you allow them to.

Although the particular phrase, "Shortcuts Way of Living " was not specifically articulated until decades after William began his arduous and compelling journey, the life and deeds of William J Blythe IV indisputably parallel the foundations and principles underlying the Shortcuts Way of Living. How wise are those who learn from other people's pains and pleasures, successes and failures, hm?

What a name to begin life with, more so when you're born in a tiny town of 1200 people, with poverty a standard of life.

His dad died before he was born. His stepfather, Roger, used to beat Billy's mom when alcohol would take over in the house. Living in Hope, Arkansas doesn't promise too much, does it?   Well, he did have 2 things going for him: he was a decent student, & his mom preached the value of persistence on a daily and oft-repeated basis.     It would seem he learned well from her.  With the Boy's Club, he went to Washington, D.C.; took a tour of the White House, and actually got to shake hands with the President of the United States. A photographer happened to be less than 5 feet away, and took a photo of the US President shaking hands with young Billy Blythe...... There's a lot to be said of that photograph, and of the smiling, near-arrogant gleam in the eye of that 16-yr old kid.

I still have a copy of that photograph, and I'd swear you can hear Billy Blythe's thoughts as he smiled into the eyes of JFK: "I admire you, I want to be like you, and someday I'm going to be US President."       It's written all over his teenage face for history to examine.

Hard to decry or deny that look on his face, in his eyes. That young man was adopted by his stepfather, Roger. Naturally, he changed his last name. 28 years after the photo was taken, William Jefferson Clinton was sworn in as President of the United States. Four years later, he took the oath of office for a second time. Persistence is the greatest power on earth.

On Nov 8, 1970, New Orleans was losing a football game to Detroit, 17-16. Last play of the game. Everyone's wondering who's this 'big old crippled guy' walking onto the field, since it was quite obvious that the man was missing a hand AND the front of his right foot. The announcer advised that they were watching Tom Dempsey, the Patriot's official kicker. It was a kick heard round the world: Tom Dempsey, born with what YOU might call 'handicaps,' kicked the single longest field goal in the history of professional football: an astonishing 63 yards!!        Needless to say, New Orleans won the game. Tom's persistence paid off.

I remember reading of a baseball player who made it to St Louis' professional team many years ago. Never hit a home run, never saved a game with a single play, but by God he was a professional player... although he only had one arm!!! Like Jim Abbott, I suppose, who pitched 90 MPH fastballs for San Fransisco… DESPITE HAVING ONLY ONE ARM !!!

What's YOUR excuse for not pursuing your personal best?

Common to these people is the same identical first step:
the ability to describe with exquisite precision what they want, usually in ten words or less.
When you see this happening with hundreds of people who've individually climbed up to the three highest rungs of America's corporate leadership, the scientific word is "pattern."
Patterns do not occur accidentally,
particularly patterns of excellence

Excellence is nothing more, and nothing less,
than doing something finely, and repeatedly: a pattern.
Paying heed to these patterns means reducing the trial and error process,
and provides shortcuts to duplicating the desired result

Secondly, most of them have written notes on what they're aiming at. If it's not worth putting into writing, it's probably not worth considering... ...unless, of course, you know more than the CEO's of our Fortune 500 companies.
Put it in writing!

Third, they asked for what they wanted more than anyone else.


They asked.


And asked.


And asked.


…And asked again.

And guess what they did AND STILL DO when they can't get that "Yes" ???

You guessed it, sister:


You've known since you were a child that the more times you ask for what you want, and the more people you ask for what you want…
… the more you will receive what you want.
When did you stop asking?
  It's the single fastest way to get whatever you want in life.

That's why and how you'll prove how smart you are, and can be, using a simple technique which amounts to The Shortcuts Way of Living single greatest power any human being has ever had, and certainly the single fastest shortcut available to you, or to anyone else who's smart enough to hush up and use it this very hour and day:
Ask more people, and ask people more.

Now, let's put these high-powered tools to use together, which considerably,
measurably speeds up the quality and quantity of your results.

  • Identify a dozen or more people who are already doing well at what YOU want to excel at.
  • Write each of them a short note, along the lines of, "Hi, we both know you're top-notch in your field. I wish to make a contribution to the world as magnificent as yours. With expert guidance, I just know I can be in that top five percent." May I buy you lunch in hope that you'll be my mentor for 20 or 30 minutes?

More times than not you can expect an answer. At least half the time, you can expect an invitation to lunch.   The one significant exception I've encountered is with entertainment celebrities. Although many are famous and wealthy, few of them give a long-term appearance of fulfillment or happiness. That makes it very difficult for them to share, Naturally, there are exceptions; to date, it has proven to be the rule.

For a hundred different career fields, we have people who've risen to the top faster and more effectively than others. I'm sure you can understand why they are considered to be the single best source of guidance for success in any field. For a few dollars worth of stamps, you'll be bowled over by the general decency and willingness to share that is such a basic part of a true role model.

The truth is, between 80 and 90% of our role models are people who 'started in their uncle's rented garage' or some such modest beginning.
Two college students renting a room in their aunt's attic came up with rent.net out of desparation to find an apartment. Within five years, both had hundreds of millions of dollars, not merely because it was a dot com company, rather, because it served several million hungry wannabe apartment and house-renters.

Every invention idea is laughed at and scorned... right up until the time that one decision maker believes in it, and backs it... all the way to success. Television, the electric light bulb, the Sony Walkman, and every other toy and contrivance you can imagine, began as a 'silly' dream in someone's mind. With over a hundred documented examples, there's a clear pattern. USE THE PATTERN, just as a dressmaker does.

A mother fed up with expensive toys too easily and quickly broken, creates simple, durable toys for her kids and their friends, next thing you know people are paying her to make more for theirkids... and seven years later her toy company is grossing a hundred and eighty million dollars per year. Can you imagine her husband's eyebrows when this housewife approaching forty tells her husband she needs money to start a toy company although she's never had a paying job in her life?

How about a guy so broke at Christmas he uses his grandma's recipe? Note that this was a WRITTEN recipe.    Ah, that magical written map that guarantees success whenyoufollow the map, hm?
Because he couldn't afford Christmas gifts, he decided to bake chocolate chip cookies to give all of his friends and family, placing each dozen cookies in a little brown paper bag. Be honest, now: what possible expectations of success do you personally prognosticate and predict for a man of 42 who cannot sign his own name because he's completely illiterate? He had a dream, and the second he got someone to help him by putting that dream on paper with a written deadline,and a list of people who could help him, and the smaller steps necessary to take a "silly" dream all the way to reality.... it transmogrified from a dream into a goal. Literacy Volunteers of America, known as LVA, began teaching him, at age 42, how to read the alphabet, and enunciate "Dick and Jane see Spot," while his friends and family clamored for more of those incredible cookies.


In between his reading lessons, he rented a shack on the beach in Hawaii, ran a very long extension cord to an outlet he could 'borrow' electricity from, and baked the cookies he decided to call Famous Amos Cookies.
Since he had no money for marketing or advertising, he took the simplest, shortest path to success: he went to grocery stores, approached the manager or owner and stuck out a bag, saying, "Hi, please taste one of these and tell me if you have ever had such a delicious cookie." One bite was about all it took for store after store after store to take every bag of Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies he could produce and deliver.
He asked, and asked, and asked, and then asked again.   All smart people know what happens when you ask for something hundreds, and yes, thousands of times...SUCCESS is what happens.
  Within seven years, this (formerly) illiterate and financially destitute broke adult was able to thank the LVA for teaching him how to read as a grown adult. He thanked them handsomely; with a check for ten million dollars.

A postcript to the legend of Wally Amos is also useful for you and I to learn from. You see, ten years after he founded the company, he decided to retire to a life of teaching other illiterate adults how to read. He sold the Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Company for forty million dollars. Sadly, people he thought he could trust ripped him off for the majority of his money. The only business he'd known was baking chocolate chip cookies, and that's it.
The moment that his noncompetitive clause expired, he was back in the chocolate chip cookie business, with a new company, and a new cookie. He proved that Charlie Jones was right in saying, "It's not how hard you fall that matters, it's how high you bounce."

It would've been easy, and maybe even understandable if Bill Clinton had 'bought into' the level of mediocrity so endemic, so common, in those raised in poverty, or with alcohol-fueled abuse, or worse. ...and no one would've been surprised if Wally Amos had never amounted to much; after all, he was still bumming around at 42, illiterately, no less. In their case, as with most of our Masters and Millionaires, they found others who did it well, and they copied them. Wally copied his grandma's recipe, and Bill Clinton copied his heroes, JFK and Abraham Lincoln. Several encyclopedias today include that famous photograph of a 15-year old 'country bumpkin' shaking hands with his role model, the U.S. President.

This is not an endorsement for being just like Mike, as the famous ad exhorts us. It's a simple, powerful reminder that there are faster, easier, smoother paths to your own success. They have been paved by the blood, sweat and tears of those who pioneered the field you wish to excel in. Go ahead; call them, write them, email them, send them tape cassettes of you recording yourself asking them to be your mentor for a half-hour. Reap the fruits of asking, because no power on earth will ever bring you more than the power of asking for what you want... asking it of those who are in a position to say yes, and able to back up that yes.

  No matter who you are or what you're doing,
there is literally a 93% chance that you're not performing at your best.

This is a clear challenge to you.
What's it gonna be?

One thing is completely certain: no one can get more excited about you going from zero to hero... than the face you see in the mirror. If you have even a glimmer of what reputation you'd like to enjoy, in whatever field on earth, just start contacting those who can help you determine the best, and fastest path for you going up your own personal ladder of Life.
Wait for them to knock on your door or write you a letter... or get that pen out now.

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