Learn how to be successful in your business, career, or trade by listening to people who have been there and done that. Learn how good work ethic has helped them in their lives. Find out how frugality, proper planning, and considering the “What if’s” has helped them survive and stay out of debt. Discover how budgeting and filling market needs can help you be successful in your own business. (Click Here if video doesn’t display) If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to like us on Facebook. Listen to us Live Saturday Evenings at 6PM pacific time atPrepperBroadcasting.com Bumper Music: “Bankland” By Javolenus / CC BY-NC 3.0 Transcript The following is a text transcript of the audio. Due to the verbatim speech and nuances it may be difficult to read. However, it is being provided as a courtesy to the hearing impaired as well as for those who wish to move quickly on to the pertinent parts of the podcast. Transcript is at least 80% accurate. Tom: Welcome Galtstrikers. I’m tom and this is our weekly Libertarian talk show where we discuss not only the problems of today but also solutions. If you have any questions or comments during tonight’s podcast the call in number is 1.347.202.0228. After you’ve connected remember to press one so that our producer knows that you want to be on air. If you’re listening to our show on blog talk or any other website that carries our player you can listen and join us in on the chat-room at prepperbroadcasting.com. If you scroll down about midway on the page you’ll see the chat room. Just enter your user name and click connect. I do invite you to come in/call in and get on the show if you’re interested in ideas on how you can be successful in your business or your career. Because that’s what we are gonna be talking about. Tips to be successful and being successful doesn’t always mean having a bank full of a lot cash. It can mean that but really what success is about is about achieving the goals you set out to accomplish. And whether that goal is to earn a degree in school or get the career of your dreams. Or maybe that goal is to live off the grid and to be completely independent of the grid and be self-sufficient. Maybe that goal is to be a homesteader. Maybe the goal is to get out of debt. So whatever your goals are, success is based on achieving those goals. So the question to ask yourselves is, “What are your goals and have you achieved them?” and if you haven’t achieved them yet then what are your plans to achieve your goals. So that’s what we are going to be discussing tonight and as I said if you want to call in the number is 1.347.202.0228 and then dial 1 to connect with the producer and then he’ll bring you on the air. So our first guest that I’m bringing on is Charles and Charles is going to talk with us about what his success was in getting out of debt and among other things that he has done. Thank you for coming on the air Charles. Charles: Yes I am here. Can you hear me? Tom: Yes I hear you very clear. Charles: Coming in good. Yes. So it started a long ways back, I’m a senior now it was back, I was about 30 years old and had come back from overseas and realized that the money was starting to get in trouble. This was back in the day of Nixon when he closed the Gold window and said gold was not going to be a backing for our money anymore. A lot of things going on, of course we didn’t understand them. Nobody got any education in money and we were just out running around. I was about 30 at the time and just happened to get a job with a bank. Wells Fargo Bank in California and got into their library and taught myself about money and what it was all about. So I would suggest first of all, yeah, get an idea of the money system and how it works and what’s happened to it, especially recently. There is quite a bit of trouble out there, the interest rates of course are very high. Security is probably your first concern to take care of yourself. Security and medical and get those things taken care of first. I got into the homesteading then just sort of an extension of that. I got to reading the old books. There was one called, “Farmers of Forty Centuries about Chinese and Japanese agriculture and how they had sustained the same land for 4000 years. Farming over and over using compost. I thought how bizarre compared to our new fertilizers and all of our chemical agriculture. So of course I got to thinking all these directions and it directly lead to mother earth news and homesteading and planning. Getting started, figuring out how to get sort of self-sufficient. How to take care of myself. It just looked like the world was heading that it continued in as we see today. It looks chaotic to me, I don’t know how it appears to everyone else but – Tom: Yeah it is a very chaotic now. What are some of the homesteading books that you’ve read that you think our listeners should read. Especially considering that we have all the fertilizers and the GMO seeds and things like that. I know a lot of people are interested in growing organic food and raising their farm animals organically. So what are some of the books you’ve read that stand out as being some of the best books that our listeners should read. Charles: Oh I read a lot of the classics. I read the, gosh my memory, I know my memory is going to jump around on me. As soon as I think of a name I lose it. I read the classics. There was a fella over in India an English agriculturalist. Sir Albert Howard was his name and he was completely organic farming and doing work like that. Just whatever I could find I would read. Jay Rodale was the fella that wrote the Original Organic Gardening text that was such a popular book back then. That was the bible. The true bible. I guess and Mother Earth News took up as a monthly supplement so we just made plans and decided how to get off the, you know get out of the cities mostly. That was the main thing to get where I am at now. I can tell you know sitting here with 5 acres with a spring and all the fire wood I want. Trees and the quite, no traffic anywhere around. Of course I’m retired and older but it’s quite a, quite satisfying to get out here in the country. It really is. The gardening sort of comes naturally. You get to look around out in the country and you see the gardens. You see the people that are doing the gardening right. You can, you know you just have to follow the rules; you keep up with it and you do it right. Tom: Yeah Charles: Succeed. Put it away- – Tom: Yeah gardening too. That’s you know, getting back to successes and always about money. Success can be just about having a successful garden and I think that is, a lot of people think it’s just real easy. You can just put some seeds in the earth and just put water on it and it’s gonna grow, but there is quite a bit more to gardening than just that. Depending on where you live it can be quite a challenge. Charles: Yeah. Most of its habit. You develop habits. You continually do things and you learn as you go. It’s so hard in the city. City living and living out in the country is so different. There are so few distractions in the county. Of course you do put up what you grow out there. My gosh I’ve got potatoes out there now, and picking corn and had a good raspberry crop this year. Any extras you give away or take up to the corner and sell. You try to figure out some way to get some kind of cash income. You’ve got to get that cash income of some kind. Tom: So as far as gardening goes, I don’t know what part of the country you’re in but what types of food crops work best where you’re at. Charles: Well I’m in East Tennessee. I’m right outside of Knoxville. About an hour outside of Knoxville outside of Lansing. Morgan county Tennessee where it’s about zone 6. We don’t get a steady rain. In this case you have to pay attention to irrigation and the soil is a little bit to sandy. I’m on an area that drains a little bit to fats and you sort of learn that as you go along. It takes not that much time. You get a routine and do a little bit in the morning and a little bit in the evening. Enjoy I, it’s just so much fun anyway doing it. I did flower gardening too as a kind of side income and grew perennial plants. Sold them in a little nursery I started and sold vegetables. Ran a little farmers market. That was good. It’s pretty relaxed. It’s a great way of life and I just can’t stress now it’s just time to do it because the world seems so chaotic out there economically and oil. I don’t know if we’re gonna run out of oil or not. It doesn’t look good. What do I do with that oil? Do I buy me a mule? Do I get me a pony? Tom: So as far as your homesteading goes and gardening, one of the biggest challenges that I hear most people have is being able to produce enough of their own food that they don’t have to rely on the grocery store. So my question would be what percentage of your food are you able to produce on your own? And what percentage do you have to get from the grocery store? Or are you completely self- sufficient as far as food goes? Charles: I, well I’m sort of out of that loop right now because I’m single and living by myself and the things I buy from the store are the things that I just can’t produce. I’ve got a cellar down in the basement and my particular favorites are the big squash. The Hubbard squash. In fact I got a couple of blue ribbons at the fair last year. The Morgan County fair for my Hubbard quash that I grew. Their huge and their keepers. You can have squash all winter. Potatoes are easy to keep and grow and keep. You can produce those staples; of course mess around with greens all year round. Early greens, late greens, broccoli, cauliflowers, just sort of work em end whenever you can and play with green houses. However you want to do it. You can produce whatever percentage you want. Or that you can afford or however you want to do it. You trade with people. Folks down the road they can all kinds of stuff. The can their potatoes and things. They do as much as they can but I don’t, I just put up potatoes with some lime on them. Yeah it’s – – Tom: So I’m wondering for somebody that doesn’t have, maybe somebody that’s really good at gardening but they don’t have quite the time or the equipment to do the canning. I wonder if it’s good for those kinds of people to trade the food that they grow with someone that does have the canning equipment and the time to do that. If that bartering like that can help people in that situation that want to store up for the winter time. Charles. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s what I do with the neighbors down there because I can’t get out there like I use to and garden. It’s getting pretty tricky. It’s getting hard to walk, my hips are bad. So I’m sort of slowing down on that respect. They’re going at it completely, she works in raised beds and yeah it depends a lot of what you like to eat. You can put up a lot of cauliflower. You can put up a lot of cabbage. You can put up enough sauerkraut. More than you could ever eat. Tom: Yeah I – – go ahead Charles: Oh I was just gonna say that’s part of it yeah but the other parts like fire wood and stuff like that. That takes a portion of time. You sort of divide your time everywhere. You start getting your firewood up. I’ve got wood heat, I’ve got a little bit, and I’ve got all kinds of heat. I had a gas line put in here recently. I’m at the end of a gas line and so I thought I’m so dog gone old I can’t hardly carry that firewood anymore but I cut and burned my wood the last ten years and it’s got to be one of the most enjoyable things you’ll ever do. Nothing quite like a wood fire. Tom: What about live stock? Do you do much livestock? If so what kind of animals do you like to raise? Charles: Well I don’t know. I’ve got cats and dogs of course. I used to raise rabbits. I’m quite partial to rabbits. Rabbits supply some of the best eating. Gosh they were delicious. Quite easy to keep, I had cages; I built my own cages and put them up off the ground. The neighbor, people all around me have animals. Just about everything you can imagine. Chickens and genies, and the rabbits and the – – I think if I were to go back if things get tough like they may and I consider they could I would maybe go to some birds. Squab sort of things. Pigeons. Something I might deal with. Tom: So have you done pigeons before? Charles: No I haven’t. I’ve seen some videos though. I’ve seen people with them. I think I could do it. I think they might be alright. I remember my mother eating squab in fine restaurants during the war. We would go to downtown Columbus Ohio to a restaurant during World War II and shed order squab. Of course I never ate it. Over the years. That was the – – Tom: I’ve never heard of that before. Charles: Yeah I think about that often now during the war we ate a lot of strange things. All kinds of meat and things that aren’t eaten now. I guess it’ll go back to that, I don’t know. I’m quite fearful at the economic situation. I just don’t know if you folks interested in that or not. The situations the country is so far in debt and the banks; I fell they are completely corrupt. Tom: Yeah let’s talk about that a bit. I know debt; it was a big trouble for me. I am happy to say that I am completely out of debt with the exception of a little bit of back taxes that are almost paid off finally and then my mortgage on my house. Other than that I had, at one time, I had 30,000 dollars in credit card bills and a pick up payment and all kinds of credit lines and I’d say not counting the pickup I was about 60,000 dollars in debt. Just drowning in it and I finally clawed my way out of it. I decided that’s the end of it and I’m gonna get to work and start paying this down. I’ve never filed for bankruptcy, I’ve never had repossession. I’ve never had a foreclosure. I had two house payments. I still have two house payments because one of em is my house and the other ones my mom’s place. I took that house over for her and we have that house up for sale. One time it was pretty tough for myself and I decided I’m not gonna be like these, the people that you hear about that just walk away from their house. I didn’t want the headache that comes with that and that haunts you the rest of your life too. So I decided I’m just gonna keep making the house payments and get that caught up and pay off the other bills and work harder and I finally did it. I’m curious about you and what your situation was and how you were able – -I don’t know if you were already in debt or if you got into debt or if you were just able to not get into debt. I didn’t know your story on that but I’m kind of curious so that our listeners can know what tips they can do to either stay out of debt or get out of debt if they are already in debt. Charles: Yeah. Getting out of debt and staying out of debt is very important. Very important cause it’s just such a difficult thing to do and you know that, you’ve been through it you just think, “OH my Gosh.” Yeah I spent years and years in fact it held me back on the homesteading. It completely held me back from moving out in the country. There are so many things I couldn’t do. A lot of it was of course the kids. I had two children and my son is deaf and had some other problems and it just turned out I was working other jobs and keeping it paid. Keeping things paid up and trying to stay out of debt. I finally got out of debt to retire. I said I wouldn’t retire until I got out of debt. Once I got out of debt I came up here. I bought this place up here. I still owe on this property, 5 acres and an older house. The payments are so minimal out in the country to on an older property. Yeah the debt is a frightening thing. One thing they don’t teach in school as we grow up is economics and what debt is about. It seems to be a concerted effort to get us in debt as much as possible, to get more toys. If you succumb to that you get in a trap and you just can’t get out of it. Getting out in the country- – you don’t get in the country until you retire. I wish I had been able to come out with my family. We did get out in the country briefly in the nursery business for a while which happened in 1982 when that economic crisis finally occurred. It blew up with the 18% interest rate. I was actually paying 24% a year interest rates. I was trying to start a business. The business I kept it going about 5 or 6 years, the nursery business. I finally gave that up and went back to a I got into the reverse osmosis water treatment business and did that for about 20 years before retiring. But had I not been in debt and had I managed my finances better I would have had a better chance of getting out. Getting more secure quicker for sure. Tom: So what are some of the best tips that you can give our audience about getting out of debt? Any tricks or techniques that they can follow to help them achieve that goal? Charles: Oh it’s tricky. It’s just yeah it’s hard. Maintaining your vehicle. It used to be we could maintain our vehicles. These are subtleties that I’ve noticed over the years. You know I used to be able to work on my own car and neighbors and we’d work on cars and share parts and all kind of things, but now you can’t work on a car yourself. Things you can’t do. So I don’t know. Tom: Yeah unless you buy an older vehicle. Charles: Perhaps buying an older vehicle is not as expensive to maintain. Tom: Yeah I’ve got that’s what a lot of people in my family does. My brother he’s got an old pickup that he’s changing the transmission himself and the engine their changing out my mom’s pickup truck. You can do that with an older vehicle. The newer vehicles, not unless you’re a, ya know technician. It’s about impossible for the common person to do. I had a 69’ Nova that I had when I was in high school and I was able to work on that thing, do everything on that car by myself. Charles: Yeah. You know that religiously if you maintain all the fluids and watch the thing and avoid some of those costs. Avoid those break downs, that’s a definite thing you gotta do. Tom: I don’t know if you’re familiar with Uber but I’ve been writing Uber a lot to get around instead of, I talked about this in another show, instead of paying for a Taxi cause it’s a lot cheaper and a lot more efficient if you’re needing a ride in the city. I mentioned this as a solution for people that might have a car payment. A really big car payment that they can’t deal with and they realize it was a mistake. Well rather than just letting that car and destroying you’re credit I brought up the solution about being a driver for Uber and putting that car to work. Cause now your car payment becomes a tax write off and you actually get the income. Start turning that vehicle into an income producing machine rather than just a depreciable asset. So that’s a solution that I’ve come up with for people that have new cars. Personally I wouldn’t buy a new car. I probably will never buy a brand new car, if I do buy a new car, and I don’t even own a car. I just have my truck for work and that’s it. But if I were to ever buy a car it would probably be an older vehicle if I have time to work on it. Or it would be a newer used car that would be paid off. I’d have it paid off; I’m never going have car payments. I am either going to buy an old car I can pay cash for right now or I’m gonna save up and buy a nicer car and pay cash for it. But I’ll never take a loan out on a car. I did that before, I made that mistake and I’ll never do that again. Charles: Yeah. I’m sort of coming to the end of a I’m pushing 200,000 miles on this old van I got that I’ve been nursing along. It’s worked out well. I highly recommend a van for being out in the country. It’s just so handy and so yeah I’ve gotten older van that it’s still expensive to have repairs. The thing about I, if you can find some way to make some income. However it would be. Find one particular way. Whether it would be buy the internet or making something. Making canes or wind chimes or something you could sell somewhere somehow. Plants that have a particular incredible bloom on it. You bring those into bloom and sell those right at the time they flower. You can pick up money here and there, there’s ways to make money but if you have to pay that debt and you have expenses. Tom: Speaking of that, we live in North Idaho and every summer they have a big book up there with picking Huckleberries. Think those things go for like 30 bucks a gallon. So if you’re really good at that you can make 20 or 30 bucks in an hour if you a good patch to pick those berries. There’s buyers up there so. Depending on where you’re at. Charles: Yeah there’s something everywhere. It can be moon shine, it can be anything. AS long as people are around you find what their interested in and like working on small engines is a tremendous one right now. Everybody’s got, how many small engines people have. My neighbor, he’s sort of a jack of all trades. He grew up in West Virginia, out in the country. He works on engines and does all kinds of car repairs. You know you’ll look out in the country and you’ll see all these old cars in somebodies property or something and think their all junk cars but that’s their part supply. That’s the local parts department. Tom: Yeah. Well anyway we’re- – we do have a break to go to and then after the break I’ve got a few question in the chat room that people want to know due to your financial background they were curious about. So we’re gonna go to a break and then I’ll ask those questions to you after the break and then I have another guest coming on shortly after you. So we’ll cut to a break real quick. Charles: Oh ok. I’ll be right here. Tom: Welcome back everyone this is Tom with Galtstrike and we are speaking with Charles about his success and achieving retirement and getting out of debt and living on his homestead. I also want to remind anyone that if you’re listening in on the radio or if you are called in the number to call in is 1.347.202.0228 and don’t forget to also press one so the producer will know you want to be on the air. That way we can get you connected. So anyways, we are talking to Charles and we have questions from the chat room. One of our guest wanted to know with your knowledge of financial matters, how would you get ready, if you were to get ready to drive after a major economic disaster? What would your recommendations be? Charles: I guess I’m pretty much a hard metal man. I keep silver and gold and I get away from paper money and paper debt as much as possible. Of course at my age I can bury some out back and watch it increase in value. I say increase in value it’s perhaps not a real increase in value. Anyway, gold and silver I would recommend for financial security. Silver dollars. Tom: Yeah I guess that kind of answered the other question that the guest asks. Where would you spend your available income to get ready? So that’s kind of answers that question. Getting those precious metals. I do that myself. I’ve been investing in mostly silver because I can’t really afford much gold. Definitely silver for me. Also, I was curious to know, you know some of the tips that you might have that lead you to retirement besides getting out of debt. What are some other tips that you have for our listeners that are looking to be independent and retire? Charles: Well, the first one that immediately comes to mind is your health. Don’t be an over doer. All my life I’ve been over doing and I’ve worn my back out. I’ve got back and joint problems. Try to be gentle with yourself and just not overdo it. Just remember you’re going to use that body as long as you can. You can see a lot of old people that don’t have the problems but once those joints, like sciatica, I’ve got a sciatica condition. Another one on habits too. I’ll mention habits. I use to be an alcohol drinker. I used to drink beer until I got neuropathy. I’ve still got the neuropathy. I quit the beer long, long, long time ago but still got neuropathy. So you gotta watch you don’t do yourself in having fun. Tom: That’s a recommendation I have myself. In another podcast that we did we were talking about becoming successful in your career but I think this also applies in retirement is considering all of the different records that you have in life. For example, your credit record. You’ve got to have a good, clean, credit record to get a good job. A lot of employers look at your credit history. But that also applies to being retired. You want to get out of debt; you don’t want to have those debt payments when you’re retired. You know and then your health. I mentioned maintain a good medial history because certain careers you gotta pass those physicals. Well same thing when you’re retired. You want to take care of yourself when you’re young so you’re not paying the price when you’re older. Charles: Yeah. Yeah. On and off I’ve been vegetarian. I’ve been through spells where I’ve more or less been complete vegetarian and then other times lately I’ve let up on it a bit. I’ve kept my weight down that way. Extra weight is extra baggage and it cost more. It’s just another one of those things. Exercise and that’s one of the good things about gardening. Work around a place like this. Everything I do, whether it’s hauling in firewood or cutting firewood and stacking it, whatever I do out there helps keep my weight down and my health up. Tom: Yeah I wanted to add to, I’ve got family members that have had run ins with the law in the past and that’s also something that can haunt you the rest of your life and that can be a big problem even when you’re getting retired. You know there is some people out there that are prone to getting speeding tickets and all sorts of fines for all sorts of things. If you’re young you don’t really think about it but when it gets retirement age not only those things come to haunt you but if you’re in that habit of getting speeding tickets and like that and you’re on a fixed budget and you pull out and run a red light or whatever. That two or three hundred dollar ticket or however much it is, that’s totally unexpected. It’s about avoiding the unexpected expenses. Charles: You’re right yeah. I remember the $40.00 ticket I got cruising through a stop sign one time that was my last ticket. I said no more. You just have to make decisions like that. You can’t get tickets and drink and drive and stuff like that. Not if you’re going to live to be 60 or 70 or want to do anything with your life. You’re better off just sort of getting some habits. It is a lot about habits I think in the end. Oh I wanted to mention a name that this fellow; Chris Hedges has a couple of videos on now. He is the most interesting person today as far as what is going on in the world today. If your readers and listeners there would remember that name. Chris Hedges. He’s got some very interesting documentary videos on the internet and he’s at the fore front of what I think is going to occur eventually. There will be a confrontation between the corrupt economic establishment and the people because we are all gonna be broke. There’s no jobs left. Tom: Yep. Yep. Well anyway, I am gonna bring on our other guest here. You are welcome to continue listening in. Charles: Yes. I will. I appreciate it. Tom: So we’re going to bring on G-Man. G-Man wanted to talk a little bit about his successes and what he’s got going on now. Are you there G-Man? Well. I don’t know if he dropped out. G-Man: I’m sorry Tom. Did you- – can you hear me ok? Tom: Yeah I hear ya. G-Man: I was answering the other line and came in at the moment there. I assume you were inviting me on huh? Tom: Yes. You said you had some things you wanted to talk about. G-Man: Well, yeah I kind of wanted to talk a little bit about, you know I notice some of the people in the chat room. Of course with prepper broadcasting I think the average age is somewhere in the 50’s probably. I’m 57 myself and I look in the chat room and what people are talking about and going along with your topic tonight, ethics and work and you know making some extra income and what have you. I just wanted to point out a couple of things I’ve learned in my life. One, I think one is you’ve got to enjoy what you do. I mean a big amount of money if you’re not having a good time making it. Especially if you spend 20-25 years and you’re just not having a good time. These last 5 or 6 years I think I’ve worked harder, longer hours, for less money than I ever have in my life but I’ve never enjoyed myself so much. That is a very big thing for me and I think it’s important for anybody. No matter what you’re making, if you’re surviving, be happy with what you’re doing. Enjoy your life, enjoy what you’re doing. So that’s kind of one of the things, one of the points that I think is important for anybody. Another comment I wanted to make in regards to what Charlie mentioned as far as making a little extra money. You know these little things that maybe could make you a little extra money. If you enjoy it enough, if you love doing it enough and work at it it may be something you could make a lot of extra money. If you apply, if you make that a goal in whatever hobby or craft or that back yard gardening and turning it into a Saturday market. Being the best at the Saturday market or whatever it may be. Like I said this that I’ve been doing for the last 5 years has been blood, sweat but not tears. It’s been smiles and now some big things are opening up because those around me are seeing what it means to me and how much I enjoy what I do so the opportunities seem to open up. You live your life to your fullest. You be happy with what you do or you find something else to do and be happy with that. Those around you are going to see it and things tend to happen. Maybe it won’t happen tomorrow or next year or maybe in 5 years but it’ll happen and if it doesn’t happen you’ll damn sure be happy with yourself. Tom: One of the things I’ve always been bringing up is that you’re among the first people to really blaze the trail of internet radio. You got into doing that when internet radio and pod-casting was still pretty new to the web. So you’ve come a long way to building it up to what it originally was. What I’ve always been saying is it won’t be long in terrestrial radio that FM and AM stations are going to be gone. I can’t remember the last time; it’s been so long since I’ve listened to FM radio. Right now I have the XM satellite radio. That’s what I listen to in the truck. I don’t listen to FM radio because I keep losing the station all the time. The XM radio has proven to be a lot better and what I keep telling people because I’m watching the trends and I see how things are going. It’s going to go to internet radio and downloads because people don’t like the, even with satellite you get dead spots and you lose the signal. Then there’s a monthly fee and all that. I think people are going to be going to Wi-fi in internet radio. Especially with data plans. I know if you’re living at home or at work and you’ve got unlimited data plan you can listen to internet radio all day long. For people that are traveling you know, of course you have the data plans on the cell provider have a limit. But it’s not going to be long and that is going to eventually have unlimited plans, even for the cellular plans. G-Man Not only that Peaches Ozzy in the chat room mentioned HAM radio and that is something that we are looking at in the near future too. Is broadcasting, we are about to start broadcasting via satellite. Ham radio that’s down the road. It’s very expensive to get started so it may be down the road a little ways but HAM radio is definitely an avenue that we are looking for. Again because what Charlie had mentioned earlier, who knows where we are heading or what’s going to happen but not just politically or some new war or anything like that. Any kind of disaster that takes out the power grid or whatever else you know. A HAM radio could be a very big thing you know with very big potential. So and there is a hobby that can also be turned into a few extra dollars one way or another. I don’t want to take up any more time because I know you have another caller in the Que Tom. So thanks for letting me come on for a moment. Tom: Oh we do have another caller in the Que? G-Man: You have Bill in the Que. Tom: I don’t see, maybe I need to refresh the screen but I don’t see it yet. Go ahead and bring Bill on. Charles: Am I still on here Tom? G-Man: You’re on there Charlie and Bill if you’re still with us you’re on live right now also. Charles: He did bring to mind a couple of things. I raised cooking herbs for a while and sold them to restaurants. That was an interesting one. Get yourself a big plastic bag full of basil leaves. Take em down and sell them for fifteen or sixteen bucks a pound at the time. Of course that was 30 years ago. That off grid power technology and stuff. Boy that’d be a place to learn and earn. Tom: Do we still have Bill on the air? Bill: Yeah I’m here. Tom: Alright Charles I really appreciate it. Some really great ideas. You can keep listening if you want. We got about 8 minutes left or so and I want to get Bills thoughts on the air. Are you there Bill? Bill: Yeah, I’m right here. Tom: Ok. Bill: I forgot to add my Aladdin heater that I have. I used it for nine days during an ice storm. To use it for heat the house and also to cook on. Cooked everything in the fridge that we could and we gave the rest of it away to people that had power. But we lost power and water for…we lost water for three days but anyways, I grew up on a farm part time in south Mississippi at my grandparents far, I stayed there summers. I learned how to hunt and how to work on a far, It was subsistence type farm. A lot of farm animals, cattle, horses, mules, chickens and what not. I was just a farm kid during the summers then came back to school each year and then went back every summer. Also Christmas and other vacations. I spent two years in the Army and went to Korea for ten months. I came home and went to graduate school and I worked through the employment service and the community college for 21 years and then retired. Disabled when I was 47. I had a neurological disease and some others that have completely disabled me now. The VA is taking care of me but I learned to subsist. I learned how to camp in the boy scouts. Even after the boy scouts we camped on the river on the sand bars at night. In tents we had our fires and we cooked out there as well. I camped out in Wyoming back in the 70’s for about 3 years and lately this year 2016 I’ve been out there maybe 3 times because I’ve had trouble driving and walking up and down hills in Wyoming. I got to the point I couldn’t do that at all so I’m home-bound now but I’ve got everything here in my house and shopping garage to take care of me for a long time. Plus what I put down on the chat board. I am consistently looking for something else I need to learn how to do. My wife is disabled and I’ve got a disabled daughter living with us but we are in the delta here where there is plenty of food grown. So I don’t see a problem with that if we had a complete breakdown of financial and political situation. So I’m not worried about. I don’t worry about anything anymore, nothing bothers me and that may be a fault. I keep looking for anything else I need to do. I know how to fly an airplane but I’m not qualified anymore because I failed my physical. I drive with hand controls. I used to know how to work on cars and tune em up but I can’t do that anymore. I have a tiller for my garden but it finally quit. Someone gave it to me. I had to rebuild the carbonator and other parts to get it running. I gave it away to somebody that knew how to fix it good. We use a shovel, hoes, had two parts of my backyard to keep my dogs out of the garden. We still have a small plot for gardening. My wife does all that. I can’t do it anymore but I know what to do. I can get out there but I still have to use a walker but it still hurts me to walk like that. I don’t know what else to tell ya. Just tell people to learn how to do things. How to do without. How to store anything useful whether it be scrap wood or a copper wire. Anything that can be used as tools. Rope, string, anything you look around. Sharp knives and any kind of hand tools you need. I got a pellet rifle which I haven’t fired yet. I’ve got 11 boxes ammo boxes full of ammo. I won’t tell ya how many guns I have because I buy and sell em and I divide those up and down. Our shooting range is our extra income which is not very much compared to how much time we put into it. My partner and I been operating that since 2001. 142 acres, most of it in woods for any kind of wood we might need. Fire wood, cooking, building. We got 10 acres for the firing range and ten acres of soy beans. We are doing that too. But I can’t do much anymore. Tom: I was going to ask with your experience with farming and raising animals for somebody just starting out with their own homestead that want to get into raising livestock, what would be the best animals for them to start with and some tips you might have for them to get started and learn how to do it? Bill: A good start for a family of say five would be about 20 acres maybe about 25. You need a pond that will hold water. The animal’s chickens are ok if you let them roam. They’ll find bugs or whatever to eat but you have to feed em. That means growing corn, ground up corn for em. You have to know how to raise chickens. They can get sick with cholera and all die. You got to know how to treat that. As far as bigger livestock; a few cows for maybe milk. Milk cows. Anything for meat, maybe goats maybe e some steers. I don’t know what else. You might want a draft horse a mule in case you wanted to plow the ground, bigger area. All of that 20 or 25 acres needs to be in operation to growing food, growing trees. You have to be self-sufficient and it has to be fenced to keep animals out and keep your animals in. You have to have good neighbors too. Someone you can trust. It would be good to have at least a crystal radio operating if you can’t, or don’t have something else. They’re ways to make if you just look at the simple directions. I made em since I was a kid. You can make em for A.M. radio, even F.M. CB and short wave if you’ve got a long enough antenna and its high enough. I’ve done that too. I have been involved in short wave radio for a very, very long time. HAM radios have just been the last five years or so when I had plenty of time to do that. I’ve got a VOM meter I can test circuits and batteries, resistance. I’ve got a small electric solar cell. Tom: I hate to cut you off there Bill. We just hit a hard break there at the end of the show. Bill: Ok. Tom: So I want to thank you guys for coming on. I want to thank you everyone for listening in, it was a great show. I appreciate your opinions. Guest: Thank you Tom yeah. Appreciate it. Guest: I appreciate it too. Tom: Thank you. This article first appeared on Galtstrike and may be copied under the following creative commons license. All links and images including the CC logo must remain intact.
Melanie Davis is the founder of Triumph Press, publishing a nonfiction genre of books including true and inspiring stories of overcoming or self help. She is also a bestselling author and ghostwriter, including The Triumph Book Series. The Triumph Books is the first in the series, sharing the stories of people who have endured severe tragedies and who have found purpose and joy BECAUSE of what they went through. For the second half of our show we talk with Thad Forester and his experiences as an author. Thad was inspired to write because of his love for his brother who was Killed in Action which led him to publish his first book with Triumph press. In this podcast, both will share their success stories in publishing and writing. (click here if you are unable to see the video) If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to like us on Facebook. Listen to us Live Saturday Evenings at 6PM pacific time at PrepperBroadcasting.com Bumper Music: “Bankland” By Javolenus / CC BY-NC 3.0 Transcript The following is a text transcript of the audio. Due to the verbatim speech and nuances it may be difficult to read. However, it is being provided as a courtesy to the hearing impaired as well as for those who wish to move quickly on to the pertinent parts of the podcast. Transcript is at least 80% accurate. Time stamps do not match the video. Tom: Welcome Galtstrikers. This is our weekly Libertarian talk show where we not only discuss not only the problems of today but also solutions. If you have questions or comments during tonight’s broadcast the call in number to get on the air is 1.347.202.0228. After you’ve connected remember to press 1 so our producers will see you want on the air. If you are listening to this show over on blog talk or any other website that carries the player. You can also listen and join us over in the chat room at prepperbroadcasting.com. So tonight we are actually going to have a two hour show. For the recording it will be broken into two separate shows. For those of you listening live we will have two hours. For the first hour we are going to be speaking with two guests about how they became authors. How one of them became a self-made publisher and how their success stories can inspire you to become successful in writing your own books or even starting your own business. For the second hour we will be talking about the recent police shootings. The black lives matter movement, the violence and what can be done about it. So let’s get started. My first guest to night is Melanie Davis. She is a self-made author and publisher and has a very interesting story to tell on how she got started in her own business. Welcome to the show Melanie. Melanie: Hey, thanks for having me. Tom: Yeah thanks for coming on. So, anyway, you started your own publishing company called Triumph Press. Could you tell us a little bit about that and then give us a short summery about that and then basically start from the beginning on how you got into publishing and writing books. Melanie: Ok. Well I guess sit all started in my college years when I studied English and have always enjoyed writing but as years went by and I became a mother I turned my writing largely to journal and I developed a tradition that when I was pregnant and found out if it was a boy or girl I would go and buy a journal. A little girl or little boy journal and I would start writing in it and I would take it with me to the hospital and have them put their first foot print in it and write a mothers first message to her child. I did this with my first 3 children. My third child is a daughter. Her name was Brin and she passed away at 7 months old of SIDS and what I did some months after her passing I picked up my journal I had been keeping for her and I wrote what happened. What it was like finding her in her crib. The ambulance ride praying that she would make it but knowing that she was already gone and all the challenges we had following her death. We lived in San Jose California at the time and we buried her in Carson City Nevada and we had a little tiny white casket in the back of our van and we were driving. We broke down in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and so I remember standing in the rest stop watching the tow truck pulling my van with my baby’s little casket inside and driving away. There were a lot of challenges at that time that I was able to write down. Then a long time, not to long, but sometime after that I picked up my journal again and this time I wrote what I learned and that is that I know God lives. I know that he helps us and supports us in our challenges. Because if you had asked me before my daughter had passed away how I would react to losing a child I would have said, “Throw me in a dark room. Lock me up and throw away the key.” I would have not thought I could get through that but on the day of her death and even during her funeral heaven was so close and was actually such a sweet experience. If you were to see the pictures from her funeral you wouldn’t find one of me crying. I would even go back to those days so I didn’t have to live the ones following. So I wrote what I learned and I wrote my wisdom because I wanted my children and my posterity to know that whatever challenges or difficulties come in life that they can get through them. That is who my audience was. Well, after some time I discovered a new technology that everyone has seen now but at the time it was brand new and that’s what I call story booking and that is where you are able to digitally publish a scrap book that has your pictures and your stories and I was pretty excited to find this technology because I was able to put my journal into it along with all my pictures of my daughter from her life and the funeral. Now when you go through something hard and people hear about it and know you’ve gotten through it and done fairly well. They will come to you and ask when they have someone they are concerned about or are maybe going through something similar. And they’ll ask you how did you get through it or what can I say to my sister or brother or friend or coworker that just lost a child? All I could do was publish or print another copy of this book. I would give it to them and say maybe there is something in my story that can help them. And I probably handed out about a hundred copies of that little colorful printed story book. It’s a hard back book and as I did this I felt great healing every time that I could use my story to help someone else and I got a lot of wonderful feedback who either gave or received that book. So I ended up working for this company that was called Heritage Makers and they are the first company to come up with this technology and so I became- – it was actually one of those and it still is actually. I am no longer in it because I’ve moved on to start my own company but it’s called Heritage Makers. So I became one of their first consultants and within I think it wasn’t much more than a year I moved up to become one of their founding executives. I had about eight hundred consultants underneath me. It was an MOM type companies. Just to try to shorten this a little bit I discovered that that process of writing was so healing I developed another kind of process that I called story books for healing. Wrote a program that I later renamed the Triumph Program that helps people to go through the process that guides them to write their stories and find the purpose in what they went through and ways they can use that to help others. And then publish books at the end of it. In the process of working on this program I worked with a lot of Hospices and I ran bereavement groups that utilize this program and I had some phenomenal results but I had a lot of bereavement counselors get mad at me because I would tell people that you can overcome grief. They would get mad at me and say, “Oh we don’t say that. We aren’t sure that’s true that you can find a new normal. Or in time it will get better.” They have all these catch phrases that really set the bar low for people that they will ever be happy again. Of course over coming grief is how you define it and I define it as finding purpose and joy in life and being able to continue to live with a smile on your face and hope. So that is when I wrote my first book which is called The Triumph Book. It is a collection of stories from people who have endured sever tragedy that found purpose and joy in life because of what they went through. It is all types of tragedies. Not just death/loss. There are stories of dealing with MS. A man whose wife was killed in a car accident on their honeymoon. A story from the tsunami. Many different types of stories and a lot of them were so intense that the made the news when they first happened. But my book was able to show what happened afterwards. How did they get through these challenges and I wanted to maintain creative control of my book. I wanted to control what the cover looks like because it was significant. It is a silloute of someone standing on a winner’s platform and they are holding a book above their head representing their story saying this is the greatest gift I have to share with the whole world. I wanted to maintain the integrity of the story because they are all first person. Sometimes I help people write them but they are all first person which is the best way for history to be recorded. So what I did is I started my own publishing company called “Triumph Press”. Then after publishing that book I actually went on to write another in what became The Triumph Book series and that is called “The Triumph Book Hero’s”. Which is a collection of 27 first person stories from our veteran’s spanning the decades of war from World War II up to our recent conflicts, all different ranks and wars. It was actually in the course of writing that book that I met the next guest that you’ll have on this show. I was able to tell the story of his brother, Mark Forester, who was killed in combat, and some other important stories and some very historically important stories that had never been told before I interviewed the veteran. But in the course of writing the book I found out I had been an ignorant civilian and had no idea the battles that our veteran’s face when they come home from war. Anyway, I went on to create another version of the triumph program that is meant to help them overcome PTSD which is causing the suicide epidemic of at least 22 a day. There is actually 18 a day as I was writing that book and it has only increased. After producing that book and another work book in addition to the triumph program I then went on to publish other authors and there are quite a number of books in the Triumph Press Library, one of them being Thad Forester’s book, “My Brother in Arms”. It is all about his brother Mark. I have a lot of military books in my collection. The genre of Triumph Press is true and inspiring stories that can make a difference in the world. I also publish self-help. So I have quite a variety of books. I do have one that I think would interest the audience that’s listening written by Todd Jones called, “Fully Prepped; A comprehensive guide to what you need to be prepared.” It is a really terrific book for anyone that is interested in preparation. Tom: How can – – What’s the easiest way for them to find that book? Melanie: Just go to the website effectivetactics.com and you can get the book. He sells it in bulk with great discounts so they can share it with friends and neighbors and family. Tom: I’m gonna post that in the chat room so it is effectivetactics.com. Ok I posted that in the chatroom Melanie: They will see on the home page. I have actually have gone on to be a co-host with Todd Jones on his show called “Effective Tactics.” So they will see it. We have kind of, a graphic that makes it look like we are on a big billboard in Dallas, Texas. We are not actually but you will see me there on the billboard with him if you go there. So yeah, I published a number of books. Quite a few of the books I’ve published have gone to number one on amazons kindle including Todd Foresters. Mine went to number two “My Triumphs with Hero’s.” That is because I could never knock The Art of War of number one. Tom: Oh wow. Melanie: A pretty tough one to compete with. So I feel very fortunate to have gone through a challenge, a tragedy that I did because I do have faith in God. I have faith that I will see my daughter again and I know that her death was in His plan and it had a purpose and I feel that the purpose was so that I could do what I am doing. Being a publisher, an author and I am also a ghost writer. I’ve gone on to work with authors that need their help writing their books. I am about to publish two books next month that are pretty amazing. One of them deals with parental alienation. This is a father that had to fight his ex-wife in court to regain the rights to parent his son. She did some pretty bad stuff to him and accused him of things like sexual assault on their child and things he never did that caused him to lose his job. He finally won the rights and she lost hers because the courts saw through everything that she was doing. She ran home immediately shot her son and then shot herself. Come to find out the things he went through are not at all uncommon and I think this is going to be an extremely important book in making changes in family law and mental health systems and hopefully CPS as well to protect our children and our families when there is a custody battle. So yeah. Sorry probably not as brief as you would of liked. Tom: No, I think it is a pretty heartwarming and compelling story of your life’s experiences. Sad to hear that you had to go through that, but it seems you are providing a very much needed service with your publishing company and the types of books you publish to really help people out that need that help. You certainly don’t sound like a greedy evil capitalist to me. Melanie: No. but you know what I have no problem being successful and it empowers me to do more good. There’s – Tom: Well yeah exactly. Melanie: I used to do a lot of my work kin of on a service basis for free and because Im like “Oh how can I charge people? “ But I just couldn’t maintain that. It is just not possible. Making a business out of it allows me to do more good. Tom: I have found that in the prepping movement with APN and you know writing blog post myself and things I have seen with some of my other friends that are authors and produce content. A lot of times we get vilified by people like “This should be free! These videos should be free on YouTube! These books should be free!” And I’m thinking well you know, authors gotta eat to. Authors got to survive. Publishers need to survive. I think the free market and capitalism get such a bad name so often you know people think, ”Oh you’re just doing that for money.” Well. My answer is “What do you do for work”? Would you do your work for free too? Some people have a gift for writing and that is what they are called to do. To write or publish books and you know, when you are providing a much needed service there is nothing wrong with selling that because that provides you with the money and the capitol to move forward and continue to do what you do to help even more people and I think it is an excellent service you are providing with your publishing company and helping these authors to get their stories out to people which in turn helps people that read those stories. If you are just giving everything away for free I don’t think you could go nearly as far as you are able to do with the way you are doing it now. So I think this is really awesome. How can people reach your website? Is it TriumphPress.com or something like that that they can go to? Melanie: That is a good guess. TriumphPress.com and if there is anyone listening that is interested in writing a book or learning to be a better writer I actually have a free e book that they can download called, The 7 Rules of Exceptional Writing.” They are welcome to go to my website and download that and I think you will learn a lot about how to be a strong writer. Writing well is just a matter of being a good re writer. That is what this teaches you. How to take what you are putting down and go through it and strengthen it where you can look for things that can make your writing more compelling and more interesting and more lively. So – Tom: So anyways – – Melanie: That is something I do give free, Tom: We have about 9 more minutes before we bring Thad on. Obviously we will go to a break before we bring Thad on but I want to go over a few things. First, if any of our callers that are listening in on the phone or anyone that is listening on the player if you’d like to call in and talk to Melanie and ask a question or two. The number is 1.347.202.0228 and don’t forget to push 1 on your phone so that you can get connected with our producer. Anyway, you’ve got some words of wisdom that you have provided for people to become successful. So let’s go through the list of that since obviously you’ve become successful in your publishing business. What can people do if they want to be an author, if they want to be a publisher or maybe they are just starting some other type of business? What are some of these steps? The first one you showed here is pursue your passion. Could you talk just a little bit about that and how people can pursue their passion? Melanie: Yeah. That is the first tip. I think I sent you 7 or 8 tips and that is number one. That probably goes without saying but it comes first because whatever you choose to do you can be wildly successful but it’s going to be work and the only way you’re going to work as hard and long as you might have to to be as successful as you like is if you’re passionate about it. So that’s just the first thing when you’re looking at starting a business make sure that it is something that you love. Tom: Ok. Number two here is, “there is no such thing as overnight success but a good mentor will show you the short cuts’. Melanie: Yup. That’s right. Any time you see- – I see commercials on television of advertising someone trying to sell their program to become a millionaire in short order. There is no such thing as overnight success but I know having gone through the path of reaching success that there is a lot of places I made mistakes. Spent a lot of time or a lot of money on things that if I had a mentor they could have steered me clear of those rocks and that is what I do for my authors in addition to publishing with them. Helping them publish their books I become a coach for them. And so I can take what I’ve learned, and a lot of times learned the hard way and help them not have to go through the same things. I’ve also learned some ways that can really help some great marketing opportunities or ways to promote a book that can be very successful. If Id of had someone like me helping me along I think that, I do believe that I would have had more success a lot sooner and at the very least I would not of had some of the failures or I guess there is no such thing as failure but some of the life lessons could have been taught a lot easier. I encourage people to seek out a mentor. Someone that, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same business they are in but just who has been successful in business. Of course if your and author you would want to seek out someone who has been a successful author, just ask them what they recommend. What is their wisdom? What should or shouldn’t be done. Tom: Yeah. Definitely help people to save a lot of time and hardship in their own business to find other people who have been successful to help them learn from their mistakes basically. Number three, “Failure is a requirement for success.” Melanie: Yes. I absolutely believe that and so that might seem like an opposition to what I just said in tip number two but you are going to fail when trying to succeed. It is inevitable and it has to happen because there is skills and opportunity that comes from failure. My dad just finished reading (inaudible) book. I think it’s called; it’s something catchy, The Shoe Box or something. I just came out this year. Anyway he is the founder of Nike. In his book there is so many times he was just about to go bankrupt and just about to fail but some of the things that would happen to him, he would use his opportunity and it was actually what catapulted him to success. Some of the different ways that he was being criticized, well it turned him into a perfectionist. Instead of just having an average factory he has factories that are internationally recognized. It is tremendous examples of working environments for his employees. Definitely when negative things come along they can help us to reach heights that we might not of without those failures Tom: Yeah. I think a lot of people get discouraged and you know, give up to easy because they fail the first or the second time. Then you try to encourage them and they say, ‘oh it’s impossible. I failed, I am not even gonna try.” But I think they say like the average business person fails at least three times before they become successful and that’s the average. Some people probably succeed their first shot and there’s probably people who have tried 20 or 30 times before they get it right. That is what my grandpa used to tell me. You will fail at least 3 times before you succeed and he has been right about that. I know I have failed at least 3 or 4 times in business. I’m finally getting some things right and finally getting to be successful myself. A lot of work and has taken a long time. It goes back to number 2, there is no such thing as overnight success. Melanie: There really isn’t, if someone is successful overnight then they haven’t had enough failure to keep that success in my opinion. They are going to make a mistake because you just learn and are stronger from those failures. I forget who said it but one of the phrases I’ve always heard is double your rate of failure if you want to be successful. Tom: Yeah Melanie: That’s one way to look at it. Tom: then number four is “Charge what you are worth.” Melanie: Yes, that is very important and that is another one I have learned from experience. When you charge what you are worth people treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I’ve had different situations where I would charge very little and what I found is when I was trying to help and serve people is that when I didn’t charge enough they only valued my services as much as I was charging. There were a lot of times when those who paid the least worked me the hardest. When I started to raise my rates in publishing people appreciated the work I did more. It was really interesting and you know what? They were still able to pay it. Sometimes I helped them. I might help them set up a GoFundMe account. When I say help them I would actually help write their story for them or help them know how to put a video together to go with it and I’ve helped authors raise the money they need to pay me. So I can still give them some assistance but what I find is that when I charge what I am worth I am treated more valuable. So. It is really important. Tom: Yeah. I have found that too. Even like for example, getting sponsorship ads on my website if you’ve got some empty space you’re not charging enough. What is it? No. If you don’t have any empty space, if all your ad spots are filled up, you’re not charging enough. You should always have at least one or two empty spots on there. That means your charging enough. It is kind of a supply and demand thing. Same thing with hearing about musicians at their concerts. Charging outrageous ticket prices and people complain about that and I’m like, well, they’re sold out aren’t they? And they are like yeah and I go if they are completely sold out they aren’t charging enough for those tickets because what ends up happening is if they are too low on their prices then they get ticket scalping and stuff. People ripping them off and then charging double for those ticket prices. Even in the concerts there should at least be a handful of seats that are empty if they are charging what they are worth. People go well, that is price gouging. Well, no its not if people are willing to pay that much. If they want to pay that much then let it go, if it is too much then don’t go there. Melanie: Well and definitely, we have a human nature about us and we have our perception and when someone charges a lot we assume that means they are more professional and we treat them more professionally. So if you charge to little in your business you just don’t come across as professional. You come across as bargain basement and therefore people value it at that level so it is really important to figure out what your worth is and charge accordingly. Tom: well we are coming up on a break here and I want to get Thad in as soon as we can but you do have about four more points I want to go over real quick and we will go over those after the break and then I will bring Thad on. So let’s go to our sponsors right now. Advertisement Tom: Welcome back everyone. I have Melanie Davis on with me. She is an author and publisher. She owns Triumph press. The website is TriumphPress.com and we are talking about how she became successful. Anyway, we are going to go onto the other four points that you made here before we bring on Thad. You mentioned you may have to charge less than your worth to start out to prove your worth. So we are talking about charging what you’re worth. Now what about this? Charging less than your worth when you start out. Melanie: I know that may be in opposition with the first point however, when you are just first starting out it is okay to do some work that is for less and use that as an opportunity to do a terrific job so that you show what you are capable of. Until you do some work, when you’re first starting out, you may know that you are great but you don’t have any record to prove it. You have to develop that track record. You might even look at it as a kind of internship.it is ok when you first start out to maybe do some work that is more of a gift to someone or something that is discounted as an opportunity to show what you can do and then as you build your portfolio then you can start charging more because you have a track record. Tom: So basically just to get your foot in the door. Ok then number six. Always ask for testimonials from satisfied customers and use them on your website and elsewhere. Melanie: Yeah. That is key. I know that I really rely on the testimonials of others when I am making a selection whether it is a product I buy on amazon or when I hire a plumber. If you’ve done a great job for your customer then ask them for a testimonial and they will be happy to give it. I have a page on my website where I have testimonials from clients I have worked with and I am really proud of that. It means a lot to me to be able to do work that is good enough to be able to build a page like that and I think it can make a big difference in your business to have someone select you over your competitors. To have those testimonials where they can find them. Tom: Number 7; Find a way for your product and service to be tied to a cause and give away a preset portion of your profits. It serves others and gives you a marketing platform. Melanie: Yeah, that one right there I could probably spend 30 minutes talking about but since time is short that is something I do a lot with my authors. Usually they write about a topic that can be tied into a cause. Whether it is with veteran’s or disabilities, there is a lot of different ways that I have been able to network off authors and their books with causes that their book may be able to help raise awareness for or raise money for. You can build a partnership with a nonprofit and say hey, if you help market my book I’ll return 10-15 percent of the sales to you. You can write about the cause in your book If you’re at that stage and help bring awareness to them and help tell their story. That is just some examples of how I have been able to do that in the type of business that I am in. But really, cause marketing is really some of the best marketing you can do and usually it doesn’t cost anything but what you are able to donate. I’d love to go on but I don’t want to take up any more time. If anyone wants to contact me about that I can talk to them a little more via email or my website. Tom: Yeah, I want to get Thad on here. The last one was run your business and don’t let it run you. Let’s bring Thad on. I want to get him the last 17 or 20 minutes or so. Thad, thank you for coming on. Thad: Great to be here tom, thanks for having me. Tom: Yeah, sorry we went a little bit over the hour there. Anyway, so you are one of Melanie’s authors. Can you give a little bit of back ground on how you got started and what got you interested in becoming an author and how you connected with Melanie? Thad: Well, in Sept of 2010 my little brother Mark was killed in action. He was my best friend and we had lived together as adults. I didn’t get married until I was older than the average Joe and we had lived together while he was in college. We were pretty close and I just knew immediately I wanted to write a book on his life. One reason was because we needed a record, our family needed a record of his life and I’ve seen it. You can see how quickly family, new nieces and nephews born. Well they don’t know him. They have never met him. We have got 5 or 6 new nieces and nephews in the family now that has been born since my brother was killed. So I wanted a record of his life but also I thought that you know, the world needs to know about these great Americans who voluntarily serve to protect us so I felt like it was a calling, it was a mission of mine to write the book. I didn’t know how I was going to get it published, I didn’t care early on because there have been few things in my life where I have known that this is just what’s gonna happen. So I started working on the book and I met Melanie, I don’t know, maybe 9 months (inaudible) We spoke and she told me shed help me out. I never made any commitments. I kept working on the book and started talking to her more and then realized, and I looked at other options, but I realized this was really my best option. This is going to work because I could get some one on one coaching from Melanie and she was also passionate about getting marks example out there. Also, she was going to give me basically full control because I wanted say in how the cover looked and what it was called and so she really kind of met all the needs that I had. I’m not a , I’ve published and written one book, that was my first book and I’m not sure if I’ll write another one I am not experienced in it. I just had a passion for the story that needed to be out there. That is kind of how we got introduced or I guess how we got together in a business sense and why I chose her company Triumph Press. Tom: So both of you basically got started and found your successes through your own personal hardships that you had to overcome and you’ve used that to- – You know that is the same thing when last couple weeks ago I had a self-made publisher that came on and he became successful by drawing from his hardships that he went through. So I think that is something I think people really should, you know people that want to be an author or entrepreneur then they can learn from both of your experiences that they can draw on their own hardships in their past and use that to become successful. Or like Melanie said, using past failures as well. So could you tell our listeners how people can get your book and find out more about you? Thad: Well, there are several places. On amazon first of all, it’s called, ‘My Brother in Arms’. You can look up; I have a website an author website called ThadForester.com. Then also we have a foundation that is in my brother’s name so if you go to MarkAForester.com then you can find out all about him and you can buy the book from there also. Lot’s of ways to find out about me or the book. Tom: A couple other things about you. You said you started a podcast called Patriot to the Core. You’ve already done 4 episodes. Can you tell our listeners about that and how they can listen to your podcast and how that is working out for you? Thad: Yeah. Yeah. I am new to this so I just feel like along this journey with writing the book and interviewing team mates of my brothers from multiple branches of the military I have met a lot of exceptional Americans who many have been injured whether it is physically or visibly or even those that suffer wounds that aren’t visibly. Also plenty others that are just freedom fighters that want to protect us and so I felt like I met so many and they kind of inspire me so I wanted to interview these types of people and share them with the world of podcasting. It’s not all military. I happen to have a great friend who is self-employed and he started a nonprofit where he is ready to deploy at any given moment to a natural disaster in the world. And he has gone all over the world many times. To Haiti, to Nepal, to Japan, I mean multiple places. He works with disaster relief; he works with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. I guess more so with the Salvation Army and he tags the rural orphanages is his specialty. You know just people that are selfless and humanitarians and also many of them have a military connection but not all. So, I’ve got 4 recorded and edited but I am waiting until I get a few more and I will have it published on ITunes and probably through the google play option also. You can definitely listen to it if you go to PatriotToTheCore.com. or even to my website at thadforester.com you’ll see a link up there to the podcast patriot to the core. So there are four episodes up there now. Melanie will be one of the guest sometime coming up. So yeah, it is a new project that I am learning as we go as well. Tom: That is amazing. So that is PatriotToTheCore.com. So both of you in your businesses and organization and your podcast and your book, you’re providing a valuable service to people. That is what I really like about the free market. We talk a lot about that, the free market and the way to really be successful in that is to provide a needed service and it sounds like you are doing that with your podcast PatriotToTheCore. Anyway, I’d like to take some questions if we have any callers that are listening in and if they want to call in. the number to get on the show is 1.347.202.0228 and press 1 if you are listening right now and want to ask any questions to Melanie or Thad. Just dial one. I did get a question I wanted to ask from Dave in our chat room. He wanted to ask about some of the failures so I will ask Melanie first since she was on first. What are some of the failures that you went through Melanie that you learned from? Melanie: Oh Wow. This one. Tom: Maybe just one or two of the big ones and then I’ll ask Thad. Melanie: Ok. Let me think. I think that sometimes I tend to go big. I go a little too big and a little too broad. When you are doing something that you are passionate about you may find a lot of different ways to go about that business and you are so excited you want to go down all those paths. And they are all good paths but if you go to wide in your marketing or in the products that you are offering you can spread yourself so thin that you fail to be successful because you need to be more focused. I think that is probably one of my biggest weaknesses that I have to battle on a regular basis because as I continue to work I continue to find other ways to expand. Sometimes they’re good and are definitely doable but I have to keep reminding myself to stay focused on what is working before I jump to the next opportunity. I don’t know if that is to general. Tom: I am running into that myself, having too many irons in the fire. Sometimes I have that problem myself and sometimes it’s just better to stay focused on a few things than spreading out to much. Melanie: And that is the last tip too. Run your business. Don’t let it run you and it is really easy to let that happen. It has caused my failures most often. Tom: What about you Thad? Any failures that stand out for you that you’ve learned from that have helped you to become successful? Thad: Well, I told you I think earlier Tom, earlier in the week, is I still have a day job too. I’ve experienced rejection with jobs. Even within my current company. You know one that I am still working on right now when it comes to maybe more so this topic, my book, is Costo. Costco has rejected me a few times to get the book in their stores and even if it is just to get in their system so I can do their book signing because we have all, most of us have been to a Costco on a Saturday and you see the enormous amounts of people that flow through there and I’ve wanted to get in there for a book signing. I don’t even care if the book is on their shelf or not actually and they don’t want my book in their store right now. So I don’t know I think I don’t really look at it as a failure I just look at it as I’m going to find a way and maybe it will take Melanie intervening somehow to make it happen but yeah. That is one of my biggest challenges right now is continually marketing the book. I guess 3 years old now and I think its gotten some great, for being a first time author and kind of not with a huge publisher we have been very fortunate. We’ve gotten some great reviews on ITunes or on amazon. Melanie: Yeah and you did reach number one on the kindle best seller list for a period and that is fantastic. I think Thad’s stuff is tremendous. His brother’s story, he is exceptional. I don’t think you’ve told them Thad but your brother was a combat controller for the Air Force which a lot of people probably don’t even know what that is but it is a special forces of the Air Force and they’re the guys standing up on the mountain top for all to see trying to coordinate the planes in the air to drop the bombs and the missiles where they are needed so they don’t hit the friendlies. It’s a stressful job and very few can do it. Thad you could probably explain better about that. It is really an incredible book and I can’t say enough good about that book. My son, at 17 he read it and it was life changing for him. Tom: We just have a few minutes left and we’ve got a caller on that I would like to bring her on so she can ask either of you a question. I have Mary Ellen, are you on the air? Mary Ellen: I am. I am. I was wondering what kind of stories garner the greatest interest in what you publish? Melanie: Well, true stories. Of course my genre is true stories. I think that truth can be far more fascinating than fiction. When you have a story of overcoming something really sensational or very difficult people are drawn to those stories. I think that we have an inate need to hear stories from people who have accomplished something that we need to accomplish or want to believe in. So I think stories that are inspiring, people are just drawn to them, they need them. They can do very well. Mary Ellen: Ok. Do you find that for example a different story for each chapter is easier to short? Melanie: That’s how my book series is “The Triumph Book” and The Triumph Book Hero’s”. The Triumph book is 20 chapters and 20 stories. The hero’s book has 27 chapters so it’s 27 stories from Veteran’s. It’s kind of like a reader’s digest almost. One chapter and you’ve read a story. That’s how my books are formatted but others are just the telling of a story throughout the book. That’s how Thad’s story is. Thad’s story begins with, well, hearing of his brother’s death and preparing for what was going to come. It takes you through that and then takes you through his life. I like the way that’s organized. It’s a little different than just chronologically organized. If you’re looking for an interesting way to tell a story, unless you’re doing an anthology which is what I write. Collections of stories. I would always recommend finding unique ways of telling the story. Jump right in the middle of the excitement and then go backwards and show how you got there and then go forward to where you end up. That’s always an interesting way to tell a story. Mary Ellen: Great. Thank you very much. Bye. Tom: Alright. Anyway get back into this. Thad is there any more you want to add? We only down to about 4 minutes left for this show. I wanna give you a few final words before we close out the show. Thad: Yeah. I would just like to kind of pick up where Melanie left off. I ‘m glad that she said that about the book I mean, Mark was a combat controller and very few people know what these guys do or have even heard of them. I think very few know the Air Force has guys like this I believe. So one good thing about the book is that it introduces you to the world of the Air Force special operations field and also the book does begin with the end and I think we experience some very unique things. The notification process, how many people have had the guys show up at their door. The military uniformed men or women that show up at your door to notify you of the death of your loved one and so at Marks request he had simultaneous notifications of my parents and also me. So the book talks about that and how we were notified and the behind the scenes of how- – And these were people that notified us were team mates of Marks. Commanders and trainers and leaders and so it wasn’t just some Air Force people from the local Air Force base in Montgomery. They came from North Carolina and they had to stake out the houses and make sure we were home and time it just right to knock on the doors. So it goes through that process. The Angle Flight, I don’t think many Americans know about this. The transferring of the American hero’s body from war to the US of A. For Mark he went to Dover first and then made his way to our home town of Haleyville and so all the support from the Patriot Guard Riders which is another unique incredible organization that if anyone doesn’t know what they do I encourage everyone to look them up because those are some great Americans. We discuss some tremendous support from so many people that didn’t know us and didn’t know Mark and then lots of support that did know us and knew Mark. The book is a biography of his life so you can see how he became the man he was but also there is definitely a heavy military influence to it. You’re gonna see a lot of words from other people. You don’t hear me in the book talk about my biggest—really I wanted to make sure I was accurate and I wasn’t some mourning brother trying to make my little brother sound like some super human. So I really, it took three years to get this book published and so I think it’s definitely accurate and factual. There are a lot of testimonies of other people of the type of man and warrior he was. Tom: Ok well anyways we are just about at the end of the show. We have about a minute left and I want to thank you guys. I think that is amazing that you are carrying on your brother’s name the way you are in doing this in his honor. I think it’s great that both of you are doing what you’re doing for veterans and for publishers and getting helping those people out. So I want to thank you guys for coming on and we’re going to start the second half of the show. We are going to talk about the violence in Dallas. If you guys want to listen in and give your opinions on that you’re welcome to0. We are gonna start that after the break here. I do want to mention also we have another show starting on Friday called The Prepping Academy Fridays at 6 P.M. Pacific. The host of that show is Forest Garbin. He is a former US Air Force Airman. Forest is a survival instructor in our instructor HAM operator and a Krav Mara apprentice instructor. Forest also owns a Carolina survival preparedness academy in Charlotte North Carolina. So that is Friday at 6 P.M. and I want to thank you guys for coming on. We are gonna go to a break and then start the other half of this show. Thad: Thank you Tom I enjoyed it.
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