Until I was nineteen I didn’t appreciate the value of books. I saw no connection between the challenges I was facing in my life and books.
At sixteen I’d left home to escape the chaos of an alcoholic home. I dropped out of school and got a job. I was determined to pursue my dreams. They were: to start my own business and become financially independent, to find a girlfriend and eventually have a happy family and to travel the world.
At nineteen, reality was delivering a harsh message. With a grade ten education I couldn’t get the jobs I wanted or jobs that paid enough. I was living in a single basement room in a rooming house, penniless, lonely and barely clinging to the hope that my dreams could still come true.
One morning when I opened the door to my room I found a used book in front of my door, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I wasn’t sure if someone had dropped it accidently or if someone was trying to give me a message, “you have a attitude problem.” I snarled to myself and tossed the book onto my unmade bed, slammed the door and left to catch the bus to my glamorous pump jockey job.
That night when I came home I began to read the book. I couldn’t stop. In it I found practical ideas I could use immediately to improve my life. Inside the front cover I found a rubber stamp imprint from a used book store. The next day I went to that used book store and bought some more self improvement books.
Although it wasn’t obvious at first. The course of my life changed for the better that day. A book was the key that unlocked the door to my future.
Soon I returned to school during the day and kept my pump jockey jockey job to sustain myself. Even the job seemed better - it was a ticket to my future. I began to keep a journal inspired by Benjamin Franklin and Leonardo da Vinci and read voraciously. Soon I was buying new books including fiction.
Today, at sixty-four, I am living my dreams. I am CEO of a group of companies, I am financially independent, my wife Janet and I have been happily married for thirty-six years, we have two wonderful adult children, we travel two months a year and spend four months a year at our California retreat, where I write.
For decades, based on my own experience, I have been a passionate advocate for lifelong learning, literacy, self-improvement and entrepreneurship as pathways to a better life. I have delivered countless talks to audiences interested in a better life. I’ve often been asked to write a book.
Over the last few years, inspired by reviewing my journals, I have written three books to share what I have learned from my journey. They are; Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!, Wisdom to Live Your MAGIC!, and The Journey to Live Your MAGIC!
Because I am financially independent I have established LIAP Media Corp. to publish these books and all royalties and publishing profits will be donated to our charity, education and arts partners.