Letter from the Author
I know that life can often feel like you’re thrashing around in quicksand. The harder you struggle, the deeper you sink, until you can’t see how you’ll ever be free. This doesn’t have to be your experience. I’ve written Three Simple Steps to show you how to free yourself, and become everything you are meant to be.
The number three has significance throughout human history. It is the tripartite nature of the world as heaven, earth, and waters, or the three phases of the moon. It is human as body, soul, and spirit. Whether the Holy Trinity or the Yin-Yang-Tao, any person can understand and apply a complex concept through an appreciation of three simple steps. So it is with understanding the concept of success.
Think of a television. It is a complicated piece of technology. You don’t have to become expert in the science of fluorescence or plasma technology to understand the three simple actions of the on/off switch, channel button, and volume control in order to have an enjoyable viewing experience.
This book is similarly in three parts, each dedicated to one step, and must be practiced in the order written. Success cannot be achieved by changing the order, or by skipping a step. The first step is to escape the quicksand by reclaiming your individual mentality. Step two empowers you to create those moments of insight that separate the successful from the rest. The third step shows you how to turn your ideas into your new experiences.
There are a few of you in particular that I’m hoping this book will really speak to. I myself was a road warrior for many years, spending more time in airports than my home. I know the feeling of racing around while trying to convince yourself that what you are doing actually counts for something. But I remember how I felt while I was living that lifestyle; there was a gnawing in my solar plexus reminding me that I was born to make more of my life… to make a difference. That feeling of wanting to control our own destiny, but not knowing how, is what I called the quicksand feeling. Psychology teaches that men value respect over love, and we want to look back on our lives with a measure of pride that we achieved something worthwhile.
In sharing my three simple steps, I have also met many women who sacrificed their aspirations to raise and nurture a family. As the family members find their own paths away from the home, these wives and mothers can suffer from a very real sense of grief. They often speak of feeling a lack of confidence when returning to a work environment that has changed drastically in the intervening years, especially in terms of technology. Today, however, fifty-years old feels like thirty used to, and there is a whole new adventure awaiting anyone brave enough to try. You just need to know how to get it started.
The two greatest inspirations in my life were my mother, who forced God to postpone his plans for her, and my wife of the last thirty years. Both understood and applied the three simple steps outlined in this book to escape the quicksand, and control their destinies.
This book is also a rallying cry. Every week I meet people who would desperately like to be in charge of their own future, but they can’t think of an idea to help them get started. Others have an idea, but then spend thirty minutes telling me why now is the wrong time to start it.
I started, built, and sold two companies in negative economic times. There have been forty-seven major recessions in the US since 1790, and in each one household names like General Electric (US economy collapse and run on gold), and Microsoft (stagflation) started off as small businesses. Our country’s future is not in the hands of more corporate mergers, it is in the hands of individuals. Even while they are talking themselves out of starting, according to the US Small Business Administration, 99.7% of employers in the US are small businesses, and they account for fifty percent of private GDP. After every recession there is an upsurge in the pioneering spirit that is unique to America, and history shows it is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. Don’t get left behind.
If you check Amazon.com, you’ll find over nine thousand titles in the category of self-help success. Many of them offer a helping hand, but the choice is overwhelming: the thirteen paths to–, the forty-eight laws of… When all you want is to improve your quality of life, how are you supposed to learn forty-eight laws about anything before the quicksand pulls you under?
Quality of life means different things to different people. In western civilization, it is impossible to achieve a high quality of life without financial resources. Becoming financially successful is at the core of this book. For me, however, the path to financial independence went hand in glove with improvements in all aspects of a balanced life. Our lives are not meant to be a struggle, but a joyful trip, and I hope this book can help you realize that.
Some self-help books are written by authors with sizeable egos. A coiffed head with scary white teeth leers at you from the cover. The pages read like Sunday sermons full of queasy quotations. Puking parables exhort you to staple a resignation letter to your boss’s head, and buy a one-way ticket to Tibet. As valuable as their information might be, they can’t be digested without a bottle of antacids to hand. This book will show you how to get out of the quicksand… without inducing indigestion.
One of my other problems with even some well-known self-help books is that their authors only became wealthy as a result of the book’s success. They are giving other people advice on how to gain financial independence, while they themselves often do not achieve what they are preaching until after their book starts to sell well. It is dubious, to say the least.
This book is the real deal. I came from a poor background with as many hang-ups as anyone else. I had no family or business connections to help me get ahead in the world. Honestly, I have no identifiable skill or talent. I have, however, diligently studied the attributes, talents, and insights of self-made men and women. I observed three common behaviors in them all. I introduced them in my life, and I have lived them consistently for twenty years.
I resisted writing this book until I felt as though I could stand up and talk about what it takes to achieve the American dream. For ten years, I used these steps to achieve a life of travel and adventure, visiting over fifty countries while earning a mid-six figure salary. Then I used the same system to achieve financial independence. I started a company with less than twenty thousand dollars, and sold it a few years later for over one hundred million. I started another company with seven thousand dollars, and sold it recently for an enterprise value of several hundred million. I’m not bragging or talking myself up; I want you to know the truth, and to trust what I’m going to tell you. I am not a self-help guru, but a pragmatic businessman whose only advantage in life has been the application of these three simple steps.
I have all the money I need, and all profits I receive from this book will go directly to cancer treatment research and development. In return, I ask only that you share your success stories from implementing the three simple steps with me at www.threesimplesteps.com Let’s get started.
Trevor G Blake