July 16, 2014 | Tom Suddes



I saw this quote from Pablo Picasso in something I was reading lately.


Reinforces the Entrepreneurial Mantra: THINK BIG.  BUILD SIMPLE.  ACT NOW.

Here are some more quotes to help you ACT NOW.

“My dreams are worthless.
My goals are impossible.
All are of no value unless
followed by ACTION.
I will ACT NOW.”
- Og Mandino (My Favorite Author)

“We can’t cross the sea by merely staring into the water.”
– Rabindranath Tagore (Bengali Nobel Laureate)

“VISION without ACTION is hallucination.”
– Thomas Edison (Genius)

Here is an 8 1/2 x 11 Poster/PDF of ACT NOW QUOTES to print and post or share.

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July 15, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Simple Suggestions for Loving Your Life

You can read an article on Happiness’ every day online, on Flipboard, in magazines, etc.

Here’s a great one I just read in my new SUCCESS MAGAZINE, August 2014 called THE SCIENCE OF BEING HAPPY by Patty Onderko.

The Science of Being Happy
She begins by mentioning Martin Seligman, the author of AUTHENTIC HAPPINESS, LEARNED OPTIMISM, as the leader of this kind of “Positive Psychology Movement”.

Here’s the essence of the article … ” … the most powerful message to arise from the new science of happiness is the idea that we can significantly change our work and life satisfaction no matter who we are, what we do, where we live or how much money we make.”

And then this, We can all be glass-full people if we want.”

She shares 7 practical ways to “increase one’s subjective well being”  (aka, happiness).

  • Use stress as a challenge not a threat.  Some good stuff here.  Basically, that new research shows stress can actually help us thrive as long as we’re not afraid of it.  “Some Stanford researchers actually showed how stress can enhance the development of mental toughness, heightened awareness, new perspectives, a sense of mastery, strengthened priorities, deeper relationships, greater appreciation for life and an increased sense of meaningfulness..”  (This last fits really well into the essence of BE FOR IMPACT … around purpose, meaning and more.)
  • Think young.  When taken out of context, there’s a lot of lines in here that feel like time-worn cliches or pablum.  But all of this is backed up by real research at real institutions.  For example, researchers from Harvard and MIT basically believe that you really are as young, and young-looking, as  you think you are!
  • Cultivate a positivity bias.  This reinforces the natural human psychological phenomenon of ‘negativity bias’.  (One hundred people give you a 5/outstanding at a keynote presentation, one person gives you a 1/no value … and all you can focus on is that negative person’s feedback.)  One of my favorite lines: “The mind-body connection is so strong that not only can we influence our health through our outlook – but we can re-wire our brains to respond and think in more productive ways.”
  • Find meaning.  If you don’t read anything else in the article, read this short piece finding meaning.  Having a deep sense of purpose … ability to find meaning from life experiences, putting others first … and your social IMPACT on the world all contribute to your feeling of happiness and success.

Note:  Her last thought is to sing.  I was doing really well with the article until I saw this.  However, she does say that it’s okay to sing in the shower or in the car.  In my case, as long as nobody can hear you.


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July 15, 2014 | Tom Suddes

ForImpact.org as Your Resource


To the Tribe,

Sorry about going ‘dark’ for the last few weeks. I’ve been spending a lot of time with family, working around Eagle Creek (building mobile chicken coop, etc.) and re-thinking priorities and focus.

Mobile Chicken Coop

We are committed to make ForImpact.org the best possible RESOURCE we can … and I know we need to do a better job of organizing the content so it is easier for each of you to get what you want … when you want it.

We are working on a ForImpact.org site re-design that will use the following framework for our information architecture:


My goal is to take our best thoughts and nuggets from these last 12/40 years and put them up in a way that can help you if you are working on your BLUE (your organization, your story, your message, etc.), on your RED (your team, your board, talent issues, prospects, etc.) and your GREEN (sales, funding, presentations and more).

Additionally we know that we can impact your GOLD as well … your own personal development, life issues, thoughts on happiness, success, celebrating your birth date and more.

We’re shooting for our prototype on September 1st and opening up the entire site to the world November 1st.

*Following is the first labeled GOLD nugget.

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July 9, 2014 | Nick Fellers

Storytelling Boot Camp

“Our destiny follows the story we tell ourselves.”
- Jim Loehr in The Power of Story

I’m convinced this is true for our funding results.  I’m also convinced this is true:

  • For our selves.
  • For our causes / organizations.
  • For our teams.

By ‘story’ we could mean the plot of a movie.  But, if you go up in altitude, ‘story’ is really about the way in which we weave together everything that happens around us.

This fall we will be hosting our first ever STORYTELLING BOOT CAMP at Eagle Creek.

This will be a session where we focus on:

  • How to drive your organization and team. (Story for Leaders!)
  • The funding story.
  • The story to recruit and retain talent.
  • And (not to be underemphasized) the story we tell ourselves… the story that drives our energy… and our destiny as individuals.

This first session will have limited seating.  I would love to have the group consist entirely of long-time readers / followers.  If you’re interested in learning more, contact Kerry Suddes.

Note: We’re designing this to be helpful for ANY organization.

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June 20, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Creativity … Eat, Move, Sleep … To Be Superman

I’m reading 3 great books that I wanted to share with the For Impact community. Choose one, two or all three. I promise they’re well worth the time and energy.


    I first saw this in an article in Fast Company in April, which highlights my favorite takeaway from the book: THE BRAINTRUST! My guarantee: If you read what Pixar/Disney does at these BRAINTRUSTS … you will never have another ‘regular meeting‘ again!
    2. Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes. Recommendation from my great friend and business partner Nick Fellers. Tom Rath is best-selling author (How Full Is Your Bucket?, Strengths Finder 2.0, etc.) and senior scientist and advisor to Gallop. He has been managing a serious illness for more than 20 years. That alone gives his writing huge credibility. EAT MOVE SLEEP leaps into the circle of my favorite books that capture the entire message in the title and on the cover! The book is filled with nuggets that will help anybody make much better decisions in these 3 interconnected areas.This book can be skimmed, opened up to any page and nugget, and has a terrific table of contents with 30 themes that will allow you to pick and choose where you want to go.
    Note: If you have any interest in your own health and well being … this is a great place to start this summer.
    3. The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. Nick Fellers and I recommend and give each other books 2 or 3 times a week. This is another one of his discoveries that will blow your mind. Just the tagline alone should get your attention! ‘Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance’. Kotler does this by drawing on a decade of research and reporting with dozens of the top action and adventure sports athletes like Big Wave Legend Laird Hamilton, Big Mountain Snowboarder Jeremy Jones and many others.The bottom line for me is the book represents the amazing possibilities of finding FLOW.
    Kotler starts with the Godfather of Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, former Chairman of the University of Chicago Department of Psychology and author of a number of great books on FLOW. Here is a great TED Talk on FLOW by M.C.
    (I bought both the book FLOW and the book CREATIVITY: THE FLOW OF PSYCHOLOGY OF DISCOVERY AND INVENTION by Csikszentmihalyi in August of 1996 in Portland at the iconic bookstore Powells. I’ve been trying to find ‘FLOW‘ ever since. Mostly hard to do, but when it happens … WOW!)
    Kotler’s stories about big wave surfers, free climbers, wing suits diving off of buildings in New York City are absolutely fascinating. Almost every story is about amazing athletes who must find FLOW … or DIE.
    This massive acceleration in performance have occurred within the world of action and adventure sports … and Kotler highlights the characteristics necessary for this kind of peak performance. Again, if you are interested at all in maxing out your potential and changing the world … this is a ‘super‘ read.

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June 17, 2014 | Tom Suddes

These 3 Things …

Nick is leading a session at Eagle Creek today and tomorrow with 50 wonderful people representing some amazing organizations.

Even after all these years, it still astounds me at the power of Nick’s opening around These 3 Things:

  1. IMPACT DRIVES INCOME.  (Not the other way around).
  2. BE FOR IMPACT!  (Your Organization.   Your Team.  Yourself.)
  3. JUST ASK.  (Don’t wait for a Perfect Message, Perfect Priorities, Perfect Pitch.)

We’ve learned from doing a lot of these sessions that CHANGE takes 3 minutes and then 3 months or 3 years.

You can grasp the power of These 3 Things in 3 minutes.

How you apply it is up to you.

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June 12, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Message to Garcia

I was reading an article from New York Times about Jeb Bush.  Politics aside, it was a very interesting article about his “bookishness and pragmatism”.   A voracious reader, the article talked about all the different, almost Gates-like, diversity in what he reads.

The article mentioned that while he was Florida’s Governor (1999 to 2007), new employees would find a copy of a treasured Bush book on the desk:  A MESSAGE TO GARCIA.

I love this story!  I actually have a small pamphlet printed in 1918 that highlights this 1899 essay.


I am paraphrasing Hubbard’s story… but I think you will get the point.

THE STORY: When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the insurgents… a General Garcia. He was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba – no one knew where. Mail or telegraph could not reach him… and the President had to secure his cooperation quickly.

Somebody told the President, “There’s a fellow by the name of ROWAN who will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”

Andrew S. Rowan, West Point Class of 1881 was a First Lieutenant in the 19th Infantry, U.S.A. (Yes!) Because he knew the topography of Cuba, was familiar with Spanish, and had shown himself to be a brave and prudent solider, Lieutenant Rowan was selected for this mission.

In short, he took the letter, sealed it in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart and crossed from Jamaica to the southern coast of Cuba in a sailboat. He disappeared into the jungle, made his way inland to Garcia’s camp… and DELIVERED THE MESSAGE!!!

In Hubbard’s words: “The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia. Rowan took the letter and did not ask, ‘Where is he at?’ By the eternal! There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and his statue placed in every college in the land. It is not book learning young men need nor instruction about this and that but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; and do that thing – ‘CARRY A MESSAGE TO GARCIA!’” Read more

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June 11, 2014 | Tom Suddes

“If there’s something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ASK.”

We are preparing for next week’s SALES BOOT CAMP at Eagle Creek.  I thought I’d share a picture of the orchard, garden and pool area for Eagle Creek alums and new attendees.

Eye in the sky on ECLC.

SALES is about the ASK.  The quote by W. Clement Stone is awfully simple and awfully powerful:


This is almost ALWAYS the case:  SOMETHING TO GAIN … and NOTHING TO LOSE.


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June 10, 2014 | Tom Suddes

Maya Angelou: The Most Important Virtue

I was in Winston-Salem this past weekend at Wake Forest with Oprah, Michelle, Bill, et al.  (Full Disclosure:  They were for Maya Angelou Memorial Service.  I was there for the grandkids!)  Thanks to Shane Parrish at Farnam Street, here’s a great little blurb on Maya Angelou and a great quote:

“I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences.”


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June 4, 2014 | Nick Fellers

Message is what people hear

What is ‘message’?

A message is not necessarily WHAT YOU SAY, it’s WHAT PEOPLE HEAR.

This is the simplest definition I can offer. It’s adapted from Words the Work.  It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear. By Frank Luntz.

If you geek-out on message, this is a terrific read.

I’ve been using this definition to make people aware of their message.

What do you want people to hear? Ultimately, I suspect it’s that you’re changing lives, saving lives or impacting lives.

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