How to be successful in life and business

WP_IMG_9959Does the world need another advertorial[1] on how to be successful in life and business?

This morning I read the article, “Books To Change Your Life And Your Business,”[2] on LinkedIn. It is rubbish. The books listed will not change your life, but might place you in a better neighborhood. Jeffrey J. Fox’s How to Become CEO[3] includes a chapter on required reading for those interested in rising to the top of the corporate ladder. It is a far better and engaging booklist than the one Linda Coles provides.

But, maybe Americans ask the wrong question. Maybe our culture seeks the wrong definition of success in life and business.

Earlier this week, Sunday morning, I was reminded that Americans who have enough to eat, adequate clothing, a place to sleep and a car, are in the top 15 percent of the world’s wealthiest. Further, if you have plenty to eat, a modest collection of clothing, a savings account, two cars and own your home, you are in the top five percent of the wealthiest people in the world.

What if success in life and business is simply a matter of doing what aught to be done? And doing it the best of an individual’s abilities?

[1] A “blend of advertisement and editorial.”
[2] “Books To Change Your Life And Your Business” by Linda Coles, May 21, 2014, accessed May 21, 2014, The books mentioned in the article include: Choose the Life You Want by Tal Ben-Shahar, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini and others
[3] Booklist from How to Become CEO include: The Bible, The Art of War, The Book of Five Rings, The Prince, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, anything by Thomas Jefferson, The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, and others.

Weekend reading


A light breeze from the south, sunshine, blue skies, and the chirp and trill of birds set the stage for a lovely Sunday afternoon. I am sitting outside the apartment reading a book. Or rather reading through a stack of books.

Across the courtyard a guy enthusiastically shouts at his television regarding the baseball game. To the south, the theme music for the television show Dr. Who is heard from an open second-floor window. Why not sit outside and read a good book? Or two. In this northern climate there have been only a few days like this so far this year.

One of the books I have already read, but wanted to reread a selection of poems. One book I bought because I ran up such a large fine at the public library it made practical sense to purchase a copy and finish reading it. Others were on a list of books I have intended to read. One book I put off reading, but am more than 50 pages into it and wonder why I put it off for so long.

What about you? What are you reading this weekend?

Want your words to reach millions of people?

Goodreads May 2014 e-newsletter announces winning poem

Goodreads May 2014 e-newsletter announces winning poem and poet

It is very attractive. Even tempting. Imagine that you are a poet and “more than 20 million people” read one of your poems. That is equivalent to everyone in the state of New York reading your single work of poetic vision and craftsmanship. That is the claim of the monthly poetry contest promoted by Goodreads and the ¡Poetry! group.

The contest rules are simple. All you need to do to enter the monthly contest is to post your poem in the monthly feed of the group. [1] Each month the contest receives hundreds of poems [2] — enough to fill a large print anthology book. I have contributed twice, [3] [4]  but have not won a contest. The May finalists — four of them selected by the judges — were posted on April 29, 2014 [5] for readers to vote on their favorite poem of the contest. [6] On May 14th, a Goodreads e-newsletter arrived in my inbox announcing the poetry contest winner for the May contest. Congrats to the winner!

Yet, there is a part of me that is a bit sad. Not because I did not win. But because I almost deleted the email. In order to read the winning poem, I had to scroll all the way to the very bottom of the e-newsletter. And then I wondered — how many of the 20 million recipients actually read the poem? Even if one percent of the people who receive the e-newsletter actually read that poem — it is still more readers than any published literary journal or magazine in America can reach in a single month. That is impressive.

[1] The June 2014 Goodreads Newsletter Contest, accessed May 14, 2014,
[2] 384 poems to be exact. That is the total number of poems submitted for the May 2014 Goodreads Newsletter Contest, accessed May 14, 2014,
[3] I contributed the 148th entry for the May 2014 contest (accessed May 14, 2014):
[4] Also, the 104th contributor for the March 2014 contest (accessed May 14, 2014):
[5] If I remember correctly, there were supposed to be six finalists, but two were disqualified, accessed May 14, 2014,
[6] For the next two weeks, finalists wait and/or self-promote their way to the top spot and winner of the contest, accessed May 14, 2014,

Two ways to hear the audio podcast

08 May 2014 Podcast Cover

If you missed last week’s Coffeehouse Junkie audio podcast, “How long it takes to write a haiku?”: it is available on SoundCloud and PodOmatic.

Here’s a link to SoundCloud:

Here’s the link to PodOmatic:

Again, thanks so much to Amy Annelle for the music and Maniac Coffee Roasting for some great beans! Stay tuned for the next audio podcast coming soon.

Quote: “Lock up your libraries if you like…”

“Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

Virginia Woolf (via nocureforcuriosity)

[Podcast] How long it takes to write a haiku?

08 May 2014 Podcast Cover

Welcome to the relaunch of the Coffeehouse Junkie audio podcast. A lot of things have happened during that time and there is much I plan to share with you, just not in this episode.

Yes, it is true. The last two years or so I have fasted from coffee. I almost had to rename this blog and audio podcast because of it. Thankfully, my sister introduced me to Maniac Coffee Roasting in Bellingham, Washington. Specifically, the Decaf Espresso Royale blend. Check them out at They are the unofficial sponsor of this episode. If you would like to officially sponsor an episode, email me at coffeehousejunkie [at] gmail [dot] com for details. Please include “podcast” in the subject line so that your email doesn’t end up in the spam folder.

Amy Annelle - A School Of Secret Dangers

Amy Annelle – A School of Secret Dangers

Very special thanks to Amy Annelle for granting permission to use her song “Will Try” between the segments. Years ago, the album A School of Secret Dangers introduced me to her work. If you like her song, check out Amy Annelle’s latest album The Cimarron Banks. Visit the website for more info about her music or find her music on Apple iTunes.

Here’s what’s coming up in this episode:

  • How long does it take to write a haiku?
  • So many books, so little time
  • Keep Calm and Write Something
  • Last night, I fell asleep writing a poem


Listen here:


Or listen on:


Quote: “Art is not a handicraft…”

“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”

Leo Tolstoy (via subcreation)