Sunday, April 26, 2009


So nowadays everyone decries the loss of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. “Oh, isn’t it terrible,” when another million factory workers lose their jobs. Part of the problem, in addition to all the complex ramifications of trade agreements and cheap labor in emerging economies, is that the culture doesn’t support or promulgate stories about manufacturing anymore. There are no factory workers glorified in movies or TV shows or rap songs. Even the two protypical blue collar icons on TV, Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden and Kevin James as The King of Queens, were not factory workers but drivers, Everyone else either has some sort of ambiguous career, works in an office somewhere, or is in sports or show business. Kids don’t grow up anymore wanting to work on the assembly line.

With one exception: chocolate factories. It seems to be the only business that, even during hard economic times, attracts new manufacturing ventures. And what child hasn’t dreamt of being Willie Wonka, in charge of his own chocolate factory?

Willie Harcourt-Cooze in England uses the Willie Wonka symbolism a lot in his promotion of Willie’s Delectable Cacao chocolate bars, which he manufactures from beans grown on his Venezuelan cacao plantation. A celebrity chef, he also has a hit British TV show, Willie’s Chocolate Revolution, and is attempting to transform the image of chocolate as a frivolous confection to that of a healthy superfood--while keeping the fun and flavor factors alive.

Steve Adler, raw food guru David Wolfe’s partner in Sacred Chocolate of San Rafael, California, even dresses up as Willie Wonka, tall hat and all.

In Bradenton, Florida, a physicist has opened a new chocolate factory with 12 full-time production employees.

In San Francisco, a new “bean to bar” factory opened on Pier 17, TCHO CHOCOLATE, founded by a NASA physicist and the founder of WIRED magazine and starting out with thirty employees.

Chocolatiering is the new glamour profession, thanks in large part to all the data pouring out of countless research studies showing how amazingly beneficial chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is to human health. Most of the new factories are focused on producing dark chocolate.

I don’t know if this will make a dent in the current economic crisis, but thousands of people are doing quite well, thank you, in chocolate manufacturing, even small home-based chocolate-making ventures, chocolate shop franchises, and chocolate distributorships such as those offered by Dove Discoveries, owned by Mars, and Tru Chocolate, and, of course, Xocai healthy dark chocolate, the industry leader, which just reported a 45% increase in first quarter earnings, thanks to being the first to market with their patented cold-pressing manufacturing process, and with no real competitors in the healthy dark chocolate business.

And the stock market recently received an upward bump with a surprising (though I don’t know why anyone should be surprised by such results in the industry most often cited as “recession-proof.”) earnings jump of 20% reported in the first quarter by the nation’s number 2 chocolate manufacturer, Hershey (Mars is now number 1). Hershey is still a dominant force in the world of chocolate, and of late has been doing some of its own cutting edge research into the health benefits of dark chocolate, as well as buying up small artisanal chocolate companies like Dagoba and Sharffen Berger (Mars has been doing the same and funding a multi-million dollar chocolate research facility.)

The dangers of this trend was recently confirmed when Hershey decided to close down the beloved Joseph Schmidt chocolate operation in San Francisco, laying off employees in the factory and the two popular chocolate stores four years after buying the company.

Many former customers passionately voiced their objects to Hershey, but to no avail.

Even raising product prices by Hershey and others because of increased cocoa costs around the world has not dissuaded chocolate-lovers from staying united behind their favorite treat.

Chocolate is one thing millions of people are passionate about, certainly more so than TVs, air filters, vacuum cleaners, pots and pans, winter coats, and other manufactured items. And passion is the one ingredient that can bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S.

I think and certainly hope (as we all should) that there may be some of that same passion involved in building the green industries that everyone talks about. Making the planet more self-sufficient and self-renewing will take a lot of money and create a lot of new manufacturing jobs. It may not be as exciting as chocolate, but it could involve as much passion and sense of commitment.

After all, Al Gore is not nearly as charismatic a figure as Willie Wonka. But it was Gore who won the Academy Award, the Grammy, and the Nobel Peace Prize.


and by the way: I'm still gathering together a team of people who love dark chocolate and would love to earn some substantial extra income eating and sharing the healthiest superfood on the planet. Unlike most such marketing ventures, I am being very picky, and since I'll be working closely with my team, I want people I'd enjoy working with and supporting. If you want more information, even a sample of the most delicious dark chocolate imaginable, contact me at visit my website at, or

hear my three minute recorded message at (650) 589-8495. I promise you won't have to wear Willie Wonka's tall hat. (unless you insist!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Okay, maybe for you the current economic downturn isn't very funny, but then again The Great Depression was one of the high points of American humor, from screwball movie comedies to
the great radio comedians of the day, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Burns and Allen, Fibber Magee and Molly, Amos and Andy, Fred Allen. And today, rarely a night goes by when Jay Leno doesn't do a whole slew of jokes about the economy, not to mention Jon Stewart and all others.

I just came across a wild and politically incorrect commercial for Hyundai, of all companies, and you should check it out at:

One of my most successful cartoonists in terms of taking the gags I write and selling them to
top magazines like Harvard Business Review, Playboy, Barrons, The Law Journal, and even The Wall St. Journal, just took three new ones, all related to the current economy, to draw up and submit (warning--adult content)

"I don't know what else we can do to demonstrate our willingness to cut back on frills."
"I had to beg for a bailout, have had to live on takeout, and now you want me to pull out?"
"We will have to bailout before the crash landing if we want our golden parachutes to open."

We need to laugh more than ever now that there seems to be less to laugh about. It should be a basic law of the universe:

When things look dark and gloomy, find a way to laugh about it all.

In seminars years ago, one strategy I suggested for people experiencing some major upset or
stress or disappointment in their lives was to write some jokes about it, one-liners for a comedy monologue. After all, that's what many comedians do, use humor to voice their unhappiness about their lives.

I'm even figuring out how to write a prison memoir that will be funny, and have thought of
doing some standup comedy using my prison experiences and the culture shock of coming out into the world and onto the Internet after twelve years of isolation. Laughing at the sheer absurdity of life, with all its tragedy, is one of the oldest and most effective coping mechanisms of all. 

During my incarceration, I wrote over ten thousand individual cartoon gags, a number of which appeared in major publications. Only about 10% had to do with prison, crime, lawyers, but I
just looked over some of the ones in those categories from the Summer of 2008:

"Times are really tough out there--the home I bought thirty years ago is now only worth twice what I paid for it!"

"I know we're not allowed to have laptops, and I don't even want to think about how your wife smuggled that in."

"Lawyers are the easiest to catch, but the hardest to digest."

"I've always wanted to be part of something much bigger than myself--which is why I find it
so satisfying that over two million Americans are in prison."

"After three days of deliberation, we finally took a vote and here are the names of two
members we voted off the jury."

"When you come right down to it, having a toilet right in our dining area is convenient."

"My problem was I never learned to delegate my criminal activities."

Honing my sense of humor while living under these pretty horrible conditions of deprivation and dehumanization and humiliation was a real saving grace. And I'll share here one of the most shocking, absurd, and yes, sad, truths about my prison experience:

During those twelve years, I was in touch with a number of old and new friends, mostly via good old-fashioned snail mail--phoning wasn't easy--you had to book sometimes a week in
advance for 15 minutes on the phone, all calls were collect, and there was no way to call information to get someone's number. And, of course, inmates have no online access, so the
first email I ever sent had to wait until my release in August, 2008. And the shocking, absurd, sad truth? During that twelve years, there were many instances where people I contacted on the outside were much more imprisoned than I was!  They had painted themselves into emotional corners, or dramatically limited their choices and self-awareness, or just got caught up in the trials and tribulations of family, jobs, health issues, etc.  I would go so far to say I was,
waking up most mornings with robust expectations, writing every day, reading every day, in
much better shape and having a fuller, more satisfying life than some of these friends did for
various periods throughout that twelve years. And I certainly was thinking funnier than almost all of them. 

Who knows, maybe that should be my calling. Rather than strategies for becoming psychologically clear about money and success, I could focus on teaching people how to see the humor in all the adversity that comes up in a normal life, all the obstacles and challenges.
I could revert to the very first job description I ever received--from my first grade teacher in
South Philadelphia, Mrs. Kay--"class clown."



And by the way, the new MetLife survey, one of the most comprehensive ever conducted of Americans and their feelings and fears about the economy, and which I'll discuss, perhaps in my next post (, found that for many Americans, this is a time when relationships are more important than material gains. This fits in perfectly with the relationship marketing involved in enjoying and telling people about Xocai healthy dark chocolate. I am still building my team, so if interested, check out my short phone recording at (650) 589-8495, or the short video at, or contact me at
At least you can get a couple of delicious samples out of it.


One of the most amazing realities for me after coming out into the world following a twelve year prison sentence, is how many people are teaching prosperity principles around the world today. There was a time when I felt quite alone, and my book Moneylove was just about the only one around, other than Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. Today, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of seminars, lectures, webinars, books, and coaching masters sharing their professed secrets of success.

I have no way of judging the quality of all this material, but I think in general it is a good thing that so many people are exposed to the idea I helped pioneer--that how you think and feel about money has a lot to do with how much you are capable of producing.

There does, however, seem to be a gap in some of this teaching, an area few people refer to that, in Moneylove, and on my Nightingale-Conant tape series and in my seminars, I focused a lot of attention on. And that is the importance of spending as well as earning money. If you are not a good spender, even if you manage to still earn a large amount of money, you won’t have the enjoyment of your riches. Montaigne said, in one of my favorite quotes in Moneylove:

“Once you have decided to keep a certain pile, it is no longer yours;
for you can’t spend it.”

A whole seminar could be built on this one quote from the great French Renaissance
philosopher whose first book was published in 1603. I have met many people who had as their main goal accumulating a certain amount of money--and that was it. No plans for using it for personal pleasure, increased knowledge, to help others. How sad and lonely their money must have felt (I know some of you will argue that money has no emotions, but I’m not so sure, having met up with a lot of happy money as well as miserable money.)

I also see a lot of my quotes online--just do a Google search on my name and you’ll discover what I mean. This, quite frankly, flabbergasts me. After all, I was totally out of sight and out of commission for twelve long years, a period from 1996 to 2008 when the whole world changed dramatically. To still be out there is amazing. To discover how many other authors quote me and talk about my prosperity consciousness ideas is humbling and exciting. I haven’t even begun to decide how I will create something special, successful, and meaningful out of all this recognition. Right now, I’m just basking a little. And going back and learning from the teacher that I was, learning some of the concepts I wasn’t nearly as good at putting into practice as others. One of my favorite affirmations, in the series I called Prosperity Proclamations, is:

“Every dollar I bank is accumulated wealth for my personal pleasure.”

And the idea behind this is simply that by having a goal involving something that feels good to you, your subconscious mind will be much more likely to produce what it will take to bring you more abundance. In enrolling people in a healthy dark chocolate business, for example, I find it is a powerful and telling question to ask: “As you earn extra money, what fun thing would you like to do with some of it?” If the person can’t come up with an answer, I’ll admit I sort of categorize them as someone who won’t be as likely to do very well.

Fun and pleasure are not the be all and end all of a life well-lived, but they are certainly major components in enjoying success. Coming back out into the world with no money at all, I certainly have still been able to have a great many pleasures--after all, there were so many wonderful things I was deprived of for so many years: tomatoes, dark chocolate, French fries, computers, The Internet, bookstores, massages, the beach. And these most precious things don’t take much money. But I can assure you that once I am prosperous in actual assets again, let’s say no later than 2011, I will find many new things to enjoy and new freedom to enjoy it all. I have a deep-rooted feeling that I deserve abundance pouring into my life because, simply, I will use it so well.


And by the way. No, I haven't found my two superstars yet to join me in eating, loving, and sharing healthy dark chocolate--and producing some superb case histories for my upcoming book on the subject. But I'm being very picky. If you think it's something you could get passionate about and would like to build some long term residual income, check out my three
minute description at (650) 589-8495, or the short video at, or
just get in touch with me at

Sunday, April 19, 2009


There's a lot of talk nowadays about some concepts that I was first exposed to and
first wrote about and talked about thirty years ago. They are related, and I admit I am sometimes amused by how people who first learned about them in my seminars
are now teaching them as if they were newly discovered great truths. But they did
not discover or originate them, and neither did I. Most of the powerful ideas in the
universe have been around a long, long time. But that does not take away from their importance, or the fact that hearing about them when you are ready to take them in from someone who strikes a resonating chord within you--and speaks your language, is the most vital factor on how well you will absorb and be able to use them in your life.

I'm talking about the Law of Attraction and the Law of Increase.

While I won't be able to give you everything you need to know about these laws, I
do want to share a couple of thoughts that can, if they strike a resonating chord
in you, dramatically change your level of momentum.

First, on The Law of Attraction. Here's my thought:

The richness of your internal life is directly responsible for the
richness attracted to you.

That's it. Take as long as you need to focus on that thought, and at some point, it will click into profound focus and meaning, and you'll be on your way.

Next, on The Law of Increase:

Moneylove, I wrote an important principle of this basic truth that most
people forget to include, and it's not about money, at least not directly:

"If you have a good idea today, and believe in yourself, chances are you will have a better one tomorrow."

It's not about your wealth increasing, it's about your consciousness growing and expanding each and every day. When this is your commitment, everything else takes care of itself.

You see, it's not about giving you a truckload of material to study and process, but just a few simple of ideas that you can wrap your brain around and use to activate your own internal motivation machine.

Long before I, or even Napoleon Hill, talked about this, there was Ralph Waldo Emerson and Self Reliance, a great term we don't hear very much in
these so-called modern times. I thought of Emerson just today, when Sherrie
Snow, one of the top distributors and trainers for MXI and the Xocai healthy dark chocolate business, quoted him on the weekly Getting Started conference call. The quote was, I'm embarrassed to admit, a new one for me.
But it's so well-known that even has it on a mug, a picture of
which I will try to post right now (remember, despite some of my ambitious
aspirations, I am a computer neophyte).

Wow! I did it on the first try...that may seem a simple task to you, but for me it is a major step forward in my computer learning curve. Just around the corner, audio and video podcasts.

And isn't that simple quote a thing of beauty and power. If you can just sit back, pop a piece of healthy dark chocolate in your mouth, letting it dissolve very, very slowly, and think on what Emerson said. Here's a man who was born over two hundred years ago, in 1803, and articulated his principles and secrets of successful living better than most of today's motivational teachers can ever dream of doing. And all
his stuff is available online and free to you right now. The great miracle of the Internet is that it gives you access to all the wisdom and knowledge human beings have produced throughout history.

I was speaking to a dear friend today and commented that we have access to information and a range of sources today that you couldn't have come up with twenty years ago if you had a couple of billion dollars in the bank. In knowledge and information today, we are richer than the richest and noblest and most brilliant people who ever lived on Earth. Talk about The Law of Increase!

and by the way:
I also talk in Moneylove about the relationship between you and other people in doing business, and the dangers of having large impersonal institutions handling all of our finances. It took a while, but we now see where that has gotten us. That's why I am enjoying the relationships I have with my partners in the healthy dark chocolate business. And you could be one of them. Check out my three-minute voice recording on this at (650) 589-8495, or check out
my website, and watch the short video, or just
email me for more information on how you can get involved and even get some of the delicious chocolate to taste.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I was meditating this morning, a little personal brainstorming process I do, where I just let ideas flow out from the deepest recesses of my imagination without judging or filtering them. You see, I've discovered something amazing over the years--your subconscious mind is your most obedient servant. When you set it a task, a specific area of endeavor, it will always deliver. It takes practice, like exercising any muscle does.

One moment in my life when this was reaffirmed for me was when I was hired for a day by 3M to sit in a room with some other creative people and come up with funny ideas to print on Post-It pads. At the time, in the mid-1980s, 3M was seeing a lot of other companies doing humorous Post-It pads and selling lots of them, while 3M was just supplying the empty sheets. They decided they might as well get a piece of the action, hence the experiment I found myself involved in. I had never done this kind of brainstorming in a group before. But my brain was ready and started producing almost immediately. Of course, some of what it produced was unusable, as you can imagine. Stuff like, "Would you pay more attention to this note if you knew I was naked while writing it?" Or: "When finished reading this, chew it up and swallow it."
Silly stuff, but some good ones, too. And all of us came up with lots of ideas, in an area that most of us had never explored before.

I found the same thing true when writing captions for cartoons. As soon as I put my mind to it, the ideas would flow. Even in prison, when I sat down and knew I had to come up with twenty or thirty Scenes and Captions to send to a cartoonist, say Roy Delgado in West Virginia, they would start to happen, and I created a unique source of income for myself. Not a fortune, but enough to let me live very comfortably and buy whatever I wanted or needed at the monthly visit to the canteen.

Like many people, new situations sort of frighten me, I'm not attracted to the unfamiliar--until I dip my toe in and find it often fascinating and highly rewarding--so I have to often give myself a push. As a toddler, I remember my father at the South Jersey shore (usually Wildwood) lifting me up and plunging me into the ocean. Scary stuff, but I quickly came to love that ocean and during my entire childhood there were never happier moments than our annual vacation to the beach. A whole self-help book can be extrapolated from this experience. But nowadays, I have to plunge myself into the ocean.

Though you see it here first, some of this will be expanded and surely end up in a future chapter of a future book. Another thing I've discovered over the years is that
it's useful to go back over my life and rediscover the lessons that led me in successful directions, things I may not have paid much attention to at the time. We all have those, and we all often miss the point. We all need to attend, "The University of My
Life." At my age, I am now in the post-graduate studies phase. 

I just stopped to jot down two cartoon ideas. I don't know if the cartoonist I send them to will like them enough to draw them up and submit them to Harvard Business Review or Saturday Evening Post, but they will definitely be part of my next batch.
Here they are, judge for yourself (and you can probably figure out where the inspiration sprung from for each of them):


Caption:  "It's one of the great ideas from that new memory course I'm taking."


Caption:  "It was the excitement of discovering red wine and dark chocolate were good for his heart."

All of this life experience has convinced me that there aren't many limitations to what my mind can create, just limitations on what I'm willing or smart enough to ask it to do.


And if you haven't explored some of the details of the best extra income opportunity I've ever come across, and would like to join me, check out my three minute message at (650) 589-8495, or my website:,
or email me at

Friday, April 3, 2009


It's true. There are gaps and weaknesses in each person's knowledge, which
doesn't make us stupid--unless we decide to focus attention on our areas of E.D. (no, not that problem, I'm talking here about Educational Deficiency).
But I'm amazed at how many people seem to brag about their areas of ignorance. 

As just one small example, but one that consistently annoys me as I am plowing through tremendous amounts of material in researching my book on the health benefits of dark chocolate. Many so-called "health experts" report on all the research showing the tremendous benefits of eating dark chocolate on building the immune system, fighting high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart problems, etc. But then they say something like, "But of course you have to make sure you don't overdo it, since even dark chocolate is filled with calories, processed sugar, fats and waxes and
other additives that can negate the positive health effects."  

The truth is, but most of these idiots don't realize it because they have not been reading enough of the literature, that you don't have to avoid or keep dark chocolate intake to a minimum because of these factors, but merely make intelligent decisions when choosing the dark chocolate you consume.

It should be sweetened with natural sweeteners rather than processed sugar, the heating process in its manufacturer should be either eliminated entirely, as it is with Xocai's patented cold-pressing technique, or kept to a very low level, and it should not have a lot of fillers added. Folks, this is not rocket science, the healthier alternatives are not that hard to find. (and by the way, one new company, TCHO in San Francisco, was co-founded by an actual
NASA rocket scientist--and their chocolate is pretty good, though not as
delicious or quite as healthy as Xocai).

Why is this important?  Well, mainly because being accurate just may save or prolong your life. The dark chocolate research is conclusive and indisputable, so to chase people away by saying its unhealthy aspects counteract its health benefits is dangerous and totally false information.

But there's lots of that around today in almost every field of knowledge. Our insatiable appetite for information on the Internet, on broadcast and print media, forces people trying to supply that appetite to report a lot without checking it first, or even to make it up. 

When I was a newsman for Westinghouse Broadcasting, at the all-news radio stations, KYW in Philadelphia and WINS in New York, we had the slogan, "all news all the time". But it isn't all news now, it's just a little news spread around a lot.
And like that old experiment where you whisper something in someone's ear, and they whisper it to the next person in line, and by the time it goes through the individual cognitive filters of a few people it becomes a completely different piece of information--this is what's happening in media today.

By the time a rumor or blatant untruth is dispelled, more and more mainstream media is trumpeting the original lie with bigger headlines.

The whole information disseminating business has been turned topsy-turvy.
Back in the day, and I'm talking about the 1960s and 1970s here, there were huge pools of information gatherers, checkers, researchers, turning out the material for a much smaller group of reporters, anchors, commentators.

Now its the other way around. The ranks of the media stars have swelled, but budget cuts have eliminated most of the people actually gathering and checking the news and information directly. Less going in, more coming out. Remember the old cliche, "Garbage In, Garbage Out?" Well today it's "Hardly Anything In, Lots of Garbage Out."

What can we, as individuals, do about this. I think it's time to take some personal responsibility for at least our little corner of knowledge and awareness. In this information overload world, we need to be more discriminating, and not just take things at face value (or maybe we should start calling this "ass value.") One tiny suggestion when passing on something from the Internet to a friend, is to qualify it with a simple cautionary note:  "This may be a complete fabrication, but I thought you'd find it interesting anyway."


Speaking of truth and knowledge, you can check out the health benefits and tremendous income opportunity of joining with me in my fledgling healthy dark chocolate business by just emailing me at, or
looking at my new website,, or phone for a three minute message on the subject from me at (650) 589-8485. You at least ought to get your free sample of this product so you can make your own intelligent decision.