Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I had the sudden realization that none of the postings so far specifically talk about our current economic crisis in the United States, and how to deal with it. Well, being the old codger that I am, I remember quite a few other recessions. I even vividly remember my parents and grandparents talking about The Great Depression, and how people were on every corner selling apples because they had no other way to earn money. And how my grandfather had a clothing factory and lost everything when his two banks both closed and there was no way to get his savings back.
And yes, the seeds of many of today's great businesses and great fortunes were first planted during those years. Because some people understood the most important thing to understand about money in hard times:

There's still lots of it out there and you just have to be smarter to get some of it.

A friend was recently telling me how drastically her IRA stock portfolio had decreased in value, and how her condominium had lost approximately 20% of its value. And I said to her, "Well, I
guess I'm lucky then to not have any money invested in stocks or real estate." When a recession hits after a long boom period as this one has, we are not educated or prepared to deal with it.
For example, have you ever considered this simple fact: If your home has gone down in value, chances are some other homes and other assets have gone down even further. And maybe you can even trade up in these difficult times. In other words, sell your home and buy something that has dropped even further in price. Unless, of course, your home has been the single biggest loser in the plummeting real estate market. And the same with your stocks. I would get out of
many of those investments and keep most of your cash liquid (thankfully, you can keep money safe in banks with federal deposit insurance--which came about because so many people, like my grandfather, lost their entire savings in the early 1930s). There are wonderful bargains to be had in the not-too-distant future. People with cash will have a great advantage in the next couple of years.

I'm in a different situation. I have no cash, no assets, no investments, and am living on my $1030 monthly Social Security check as I start to build a business marketing healthy dark chocolate and work on a book on those health benefits. It may be six months before I see any money from the book advance. It may be three to six months before I start getting any significant income from my Xocai business. I am just barely getting by after my rent is paid.
And yet, I continue to have robust expectations.

You see, I understand something that most people don't. An economic downturn is the best time to build a fortune. Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, and many other billionaires say this is so, and I've seen it to be true. But you need to be aware of the times in which we now live, and put that awareness into action.

First of all, and I feel I should charge you at least $10,000 for this piece of information, but I am finding out that the more I am willing to give out free, the more comes back to me. First of all, STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE ECONOMY!

You are just one paycheck away from homelessness, you lost your car, you're not able to go out to eat in nice restaurants or take vacations any more. Great! That means you have more time and more incentive to start doing it all differently. You're lucky if you've been hit hard by this economic downturn and probably don't even know it.

You do have to be more discriminating in these times. Lots of hungry people out there means that some of them would like to grab your money and run. You see, I am giving everyone reading this the benefit of the doubt, and assuming you are of superior intelligence and able to perceive what is best for you in your current situation. Just the fact that you found your way to this blog means you are someone who realizes you can build a better life for yourself. So I'm not talking to the millions out there who are dumber than tree stumps. Who are waiting to be rescued. Who think things will get better in two or three months. Well, every economic expert I've talked to thinks we'd better prepare for the long haul. This next five or ten years may go down in history as The Big Slump. But as always, some smart people will survive and thrive.

What does it take to succeed in a depressing economy? It takes what it has always taken, knowledge, information, and finding something other people want that you have. In terms of knowledge and information, boy, are you lucky to be going through this right now, during the time of the greatest technological breakthroughs in the dissemination of free information in the history of humankind. Yes, I mean the Internet. One dictionary definition of "dissemination" is to scatter widely, like seeds. And that certainly is true of the Internet.
Of course, I have a unique perspective on this, as I only have been online for a few months after having no access whatsoever during twelve years of incarceration (check out that story on my first blog posting). So I got hit with the magnitude of this phenomenon all at once. And I have a feeling that even most really Internet-savvy people don't grasp the full scope of possibilities available. Do you realize that just a generation ago, when billionaire John Paul Getty wanted to find out something, he had to hire dozens of people to do the research and it took a long time to gather all the information? And he still wouldn't have near the full picture that you can get
right now just by typing in some key words to Google. All the rulers, potentates, religious leaders, and geniuses in history did not have access to the huge amounts of knowledge and information you have right now. So what are you doing with it?

I'll tell you what I'm doing with it, which may be a model you can emulate or not. I am learning as much as I can by studying tutorials, reading blogs and websites, and studying the subjects that interest and reward me the most. Right now, huge amounts of information is coming into my little Apple Powerbook about health and dark chocolate. I think a great book will come out of it, because one of my main skills is finding the essential truths in large amounts of information. It's how I built a successful career as a broadcast journalist/investigative reporter.
If I had had the Internet then, I probably would have won a Pulitzer.

And before I even understand all the ins and outs, I am test marketing ads on Google, to get people to read this blog and to find out more about the healthy dark chocolate business. I am
also starting very selectively to choose certain people to approach and enroll in what I think will be a very long term successful dark chocolate business. I am trying to do it right rather than fast. And I am staying focused on my main goal: helping other people become prosperous.
I figure if I can work with ten or twelve people directly in this business, my income needs will easily be met. And if they are as successful as I intend, I can write still another book about that.

And am I lucky. I have gotten involved in the one proven recession-proof business that is the most fun to be involved in. Chocolate. One of the few businesses that grew during The Great Depression, one that is still booming today.

Depressed about the economy?--have a piece of delicious dark chocolate--it is a proven mood elevator. Want to start earning some extra income?--sell a piece of chocolate. And when times start getting better--throw a chocolate celebration!

And how much did real estate prices drop in your neighborhood in the past six months?

And if you had told me even fifteen or twenty years ago that someone could get their own business going with a product that everyone loves and half the population craves, and is the most powerful health food ever discovered, and that it would cost you--at most--about $1500
and almost all of that for inventory rather than business expenses, I would have laughed.
And now I'll be laughing all the way to the bank, where I've started passing out chocolate to some of the more personable staff members who are facing being in a career in a horribly dysfunctional industry. Everywhere I look in this current economic environment are more
opportunities--I love it. And so should you.

Not to belabor the point, but to be a part of my prosperity team in the healthy dark chocolate business, get in touch: Check out the video under Chocolate for Health at, or the blog at And think what great fun it will be proving the naysayers and doomsters wrong.

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