Wisdom Magazine's Monthly Webzine Skip Navigation Links
Wisdom is a web compendium of information with articles, services and products and resources related to holistic health, spirituality and metaphysics.
Home  About  This Month's Articles  Calendar of Events  Classified Listings
 Educational Programs  Sacred Journeys & Retreats  Holistic Resource Directory
 Article Archives  Wisdom Marketplace  Web Partner Links
 Advertising Information
Sue Miller
Karen Clickner
Dancing Heart
Lou Valentino
Elizabeth Joyce
Sue Miller Art
Nancy Johansen
Light Healing
Wisdom Magazine
Alternatives For Healing

An Interview with Marc Allen

by New World Library

Visionary Business Q&A

Marc Allen is an internationally renowned seminar leader, entrepreneur, author, and composer. He co-founded New World Library (with Shakti Gawain) and has guided the company, as president and publisher, from a small start-up to its current position as a highly profitable player in the independent publishing world. You can visit him online at www.MarcAllen.com

Visionary Business is subtitled “An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success.” Is the book just for entrepreneurs? Has it been helpful to other people as well?

The book appeals to a very wide range of people. Over the years, I’ve heard stories — some of them definitely miracle stories — from a great number of people, including people who have solo careers, artists, and people who work for big corporations as well as entrepreneurs who start and build their own companies.

The book tells your story — is it a true story? Did you really go from rags to riches? Was there really a Bernie?

It’s based on a true story, but it’s a highly fictionalized account, especially when it comes to Bernie. There really was a Bernie, though in the telling of the story, I found it made a much better story to put everything I ever learned in his voice. Bernie didn’t actually tell me all those things; many other people did, and some of them I just came up with myself.

In my first draft, I told the story as it actually was, but it was just too confusing with too many characters delivering one short piece of the puzzle and then leaving. So I had Bernie be the main character.

The rags-to-riches part of the story is absolutely true. I was a total poverty case through my twenties and well into my thirties. Then I took a few simple steps — writing down my “ideal scene,” listing my goals, and making simple one-page plans for those goals — and my life changed dramatically in just a few years.

You write, “You have to have a higher purpose than making money in a business.” What do you mean by that?

It’s not only ethically and morally great advice, but it’s just good solid business advice as well. If you make business decisions motivated only by your desire to make money, you can make some very poor decisions that can end up really hurting you. Look at Enron; look at Merrill-Lynch and all the banks and insurance companies that are in deep trouble now. They forgot their main purpose in business, and when they just focused on making money, they ended up building a house of cards that came tumbling down.

It’s good to reflect on your own higher purpose in business and in life and find it in your own words. But one thing I know is that it will involve service of some kind. Every business, even every artistic expression, is there to serve people in some way. Enron forgot it was serving people by distributing energy. The big banks forgot they were serving their customer’s financial needs. When we forget our purpose, we can make some really dumb decisions that we will regret later on.

You’ve said in interviews that one phrase from Napoleon Hill changed your life. What is the phrase, and how did it change your life?

I reached my financial low when I was thirty-five: The company I had started was on the verge of bankruptcy, with no cash, and I was $65,000 in credit-card debt, with no cash. Then I heard one simple phrase on the radio — someone later told me it was said by Napoleon Hill:

“Within every adversity is the seed

of an equal or greater benefit.”

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

I put that quote in big letters by my phone. Later on I added my own words: Within every problem is an opportunity. And still later, I added a phrase I found in the Bhagavad Gita, a spiritual text from India written about 5,000 years ago: “Even in the knocks of life we can find great gifts.”

I started asking myself, repeatedly, what were the benefits, opportunities, and gifts in my situation? What benefits can there possibly be in being nearly bankrupt? And I found an amazing thing: When I asked that question, I started getting answers.

When I acted on those answers, my business and my whole life turned around dramatically. Within a year, our business was solidly profitable and I was a millionaire with no credit-card debt.

You say every business should have profit sharing with every employee. Every business? Are there any exceptions?

I’ve never been able to find any exceptions. The Post Office should have profit-sharing. McDonald’s should have profit-sharing. Every little mom-and-pop business that has one part-time helper should have profit sharing. Profit sharing makes every employee think and act like an owner. And once they think like an owner, every employee realizes they can either increase sales or reduce costs (or both!) — in other words, every employee can contribute to the bottom line. Profit sharing works miracles; this has been proven to me over and over.

I know absolutely — I can show you on paper — that because I give about half my profits to my employees, we make more than twice the profits that we would have made otherwise each year, year after year. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone.

Aren’t you talking about basically a whole new model of business — from one based on greed and domination to one based on partnership?

Yes, absolutely. The old model of business based on greed and domination doesn’t work very well; it usually ends up self-destructing in the end. A business based on partnership with its employees, with its customers, and even with the community and the whole environment will, in the long run, grow and prosper.

I’m so glad that so many companies are now talking about “the triple bottom line — people, planet, and profits” — instead of the old model of a purely financial bottom line. Put people and the planet first, and the profits will follow — and your company will make smart business decisions that are better for everyone in the long run.

One of your keys is, “Love change, learn to dance, and leave J. Edgar Hoover behind.” Where did you get that key, and what does it mean?

I heard it many years ago, in a news report about the Pepsi Corporation. They had improved profits by an average of 30 percent per year for the previous six years, ever since the new CEO took over. When asked for the reasons for his success, he said he had just three rules: “Love change, learn to dance, and leave J. Edgar Hoover behind.”

I reflected on those rules, and realized they were great keys to success, so I ended up not only using them in my company but writing about them as well:

Love change! Things change all the time, don’t they? We either accept it or resist it — and resistance to what is does us no good.

Learn to dance — this is a beautiful way to encourage people to use the partnership model in all their dealings with other people. Successful business is a dance, not a struggle. Dance with people, work with them to give them what they need, find the win-win solutions to every problem or obstacle.

Leave J. Edgar Hoover behind — the old-style top-down management where the person at the top controls everyone else is obsolete because it’s completely inefficient. Work in partnership with all your employees; let them tell the people in charge how best to do their jobs. A phrase has entered business: Flatten the pyramid. Manage from the bottom up as well as the top down. Have people at all levels work together in ways that allow everyone to contribute their particular expertise and insight.

Big companies now talk of breaking large groups into smaller “entrepreneurial groups.” Rather than being an insignificant cog in some huge machine, have everyone empowered to contribute to the success of the company in some way, and to benefit from that success.

You write, “The ultimate purpose of visionary business is to transform the world by doing what you love to do.” Is it really possible to transform the world?

Absolutely. The world is transforming all the time. I’m old enough now to have seen tremendous changes in so many areas of life. And we’re just beginning a huge wave of transformative change. As Riane Eisler (author of The Chalice and the Blade and The Power of Partnership) put it:

“This is the great work ahead of us:

the reinvention, the re-creation of society

so it is built on partnership rather than domination.”

Riane Eisler

Often it takes crisis before great change happens. We’re in a time of crisis, and great change is happening. We can either resist it, and get nowhere, or we can all contribute to it, each in our own unique way, by finding and sharing our talents and gifts with the world.

In the last part of Visionary Business, you write about “The Three Essentials of Success.” What are they?

It took me many years to discover this very simple key to success. And it is simple — so simple it seems obvious. There are only three essential things you need to succeed in any business or career, and none of them are all that difficult. They don’t require any special talent or education, though an ability to do simple arithmetic is helpful.

The first essential you have to have is, obviously, a product or service. Every business, every artist, everyone with any kind of career is serving others in some way. The key to real success here is to do what you love. If you put the other two essentials in place, then you can succeed by doing what you love.

The second essential you need is some way to market and sell your product or service. The key to success here is to have a multi-pronged strategy that doesn’t take no for an answer. There are a huge number of different ways to market and sell your product or service. Keep trying different ways until you find something that works. Look at those who have succeeded, and do what they have done. If that doesn’t work, try something completely original. Now that we have the worldwide impact of the Internet, the possibilities are limitless!

The third essential took me about five years to discover after I started my own company: You need financial controls. You need to carefully record and watch every one of your expenses, and move to a place as quickly as possible where your income surpasses those expenses. After five years of losing money every month, I hired a woman who looked at other companies in our industry, and made me a chart of industry averages, comparing our expenses with other publishing companies’ expenses. It was a real eye-opener. It showed me all the areas in which we were spending far too much money (mostly developing our books and printing them) and even where we weren’t spending enough (on marketing).

To this day, even though we’re highly profitable, we watch our expenses, and compare them to the previous year’s expenses in the same category.

That’s all you need, and it’s not that complicated.

Do you really believe that it’s possible to succeed by doing only what you love, and to succeed, as you put it, “in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way”?

I have proven it in my own life, and have helped hundreds — probably thousands by now — to succeed by doing what they love to do and, if they keep affirming it, to do it all “in an easy and relaxed manner, a healthy and positive way.”

It all a matter of our underlying beliefs: If we believe we can, we can. If we believe we can’t, we can’t. (Henry Ford put it that way — and it’s true!) Working on our beliefs — becoming aware of them, and then learning how to change those that don’t serve us well or limit us in some way — this is some of the most vitally important work we can do.

Bottom line: Do you think anyone can succeed?

Absolutely! We all have these phenomenal physical bodies, with these truly miraculous brains, and we all have a connection with something mysterious and powerful that can help us to succeed, as we choose to define success. I usually call it our subconscious mind, or the universe, or our intuition, but whatever you choose to call it (you can call it God if you wish, or the quantum field) we are all connected with some force that is linked to the force of creation. We can summon that force, though many different means, including simply our intention, and once we summon that force, there are no limits to what we can accomplish.

Here’s one way I often put it: The universe says Yes to every thought we have. When we say, “I want to succeed doing what I love to do!” the universe in some mysterious way says Yes, and then goes about showing us exactly what we need to do, what steps need to be taken next. But if our next thought is, “Oh, but it’s so hard to succeed, so few people succeed,” the universe says Yes, it’s so hard for you, with that thought. And then the universe goes ahead and proves to us just how hard it is.

The bottom line is that our beliefs are not true in themselves — many other people have a very different set of beliefs — but our beliefs become true in our experience if we believe them. So it’s essential to become aware of our beliefs, and to change the ones that aren’t working for us.

It can be done. I’ve done it myself. It takes no special brilliance or imagination. All that’s necessary is being willing to be totally honest with yourself. Where are you holding yourself back because of your limited beliefs? Once you see what beliefs you hold, you can change those beliefs. Because the truth is that you’re creative and powerful and here to contribute to the world in some way. And there are no excuses that are valid — unless you believe them to be valid.

Anyone can succeed, when they understand this. Even me. Even you!

If anyone can succeed, why don’t more people do it?

How many people do you know that dare to dream of succeeding in the first place? How many dare to dream of doing what they love, and making that work for them? Of those that do, how many sit down and write a plan to get there — even just a simple one-page plan? Of those that do that, how many take the next obvious steps they need to take in order to realize their dreams? Very few.

But if you take those simple steps, you can be among those few that have succeeded doing what you love to do for a living. The only way to prove if this is true or not is to try it for yourself and see what happens.

Based on the book Visionary Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success. © 2009 by Marc Allen. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com <http://www.newworldlibrary.com/> or 800-972-6657 ext. 52.

Add Comment

Article Archives  This Month's Articles  Click Here for more articles by New World Library
Wisdom Magazine
Nancy Johansen
Light Healing
Elizabeth Joyce
Lou Valentino
Alternatives For Healing
Dancing Heart
Karen Clickner
Sue Miller
Sue Miller Art

Call Us: 413-339-5540 or  |  Email Us  | About Us  | Privacy Policy  | Site Map  | © 2024 Wisdom Magazine