Friday, October 24, 2008

466 Self Help Book

466 Self Help Book

A favorite "self help" book is called "Think and Grow Rich."  A guy named Napoleon Hill wrote it for publication in 1937 and it's still in print and still selling well.   Hill was a lackey of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and was the first to go public with Carnegie's "secret" which essentially this:  If you think you can do something, and you make an organized and viable plan, you CAN do it.

There is, of course, no data to support this thesis.  But it's been around so long, it's kind of "in the atmosphere."

Most richness happens either by accident, or -- as Balzac put it -- with a crime.

We just LOVE those self help books.  

Let's forget about the crime and concentrate on the accident.  After all, we don't want to encourage some budding Al Capone or Richard Nixon here, do we?  Nah.

You get rich accidentally, and often you get poor the same way.  So, do you think there's a market for a self help book called "Think and Grow Poor?"  Sure.  Why not.  Think it'll sell?  Of course it will.

We'd start out with some case histories.  Self help books love case histories.

We'd tell the story of, say, Uptown Jerry, who started life with plenty of dough, but ended up living in the projects.  We'll trace his history from born realty magnate, ended up as a bus washer and weaseled his way into the food stamp program and subsidized medical care and housing.

Then, we'd analyze his lifetime journey, show how he turned a pile of loot into a pile of Health & Human Services I.D. cards and the good life.  Guy hasn't worked a day in 25 years.  We'll show you how you can do the same.

You say no one wants to be poor and no one wants a book on how to become so?  Nonsense.  There's a crying need for this.

No job, no education, no problem.  You, too can become a member of the underclass.

No ambition, no energy, no problem.  You can join the ranks of millions of your fellow Americans and hundreds of millions of brethren around the world.

Work, education, ambition and energy are your enemies.  To use a frequent self help cliche, the longest journey begins with the first step.

Then, it's on to more case histories and more analysis.  


--The above idea now has been rejected by eight legitimate publishers.   They're obviously afraid of the daring new concepts.  But they're not the only game in town.

--You think the "Amos 'n' Andy" show is dead, not so.    It's lighter weight than the original and even includes some white guys, but the 21st century version is on TV every morning.  They call it "The Maury Show."

--Shameless plug.  Using the new Google "Chrome" browser makes a lot of stuff faster, especially on a not-too-gracefully aging computer.  But there are worries that as the company spreads, it's going to become the next Microsoft.


I'm Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.
(C)WJR 2008

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