You Can Make It Happen: A Nine Step Plan for Success


In his book You Can Make It Happen, Stedman Graham revealed the step-by-step process that paved his way to success. Now, in You Can Make It Happen Every Day, he shares words of wisdom and experience to guide readers toward the realization of their professional and personal goals.

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In his book You Can Make It Happen, Stedman Graham revealed the step-by-step process that paved his way to success. Now, in You Can Make It Happen Every Day, he shares words of wisdom and experience to guide readers toward the realization of their professional and personal goals.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Julius Irving "As a person who has achieved success as a professional athlete and business professional, I believe this book explains success as a process that anyone with the desire for it can follow. Stedman has demonstarted real insight and intellect in You Can Make It Happen."

John H. Johnson Publisher, Chairman & CEO, Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. "You Can Make It Happen is must reading for all of us who want to understannd ourselves better and live better lives. If I were a young man starting over, it would be an invaluable blueprint for success."

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Best known as Oprah Winfrey's boyfriend, Graham here expresses his individual identity as a successful businessman and social activist. With a B.A. in social work, a master's in education and a varied background in the military and in sports (having played basketball for both the U.S. Army and a European professional team), as well as years spent working within the federal department of corrections, Graham turned his attention to sports marketing and management, founding his own company, SGA Inc. Living up to his theory that there must be achievement in each of three "Circles of Success"-relationships, career and community-he also founded Athletes Against Drugs and serves on several community and charity boards. Here, Graham shares his nine-step plan for achieving success in the three circles. Discussing self-awareness, forming a vision, setting goals, taking risks and building a support network, he leads readers through his "Success Plan." Although he begins by promising that "it's not complicated," he proceeds through a lengthy and complex explanation of each of the nine steps, plus numerous workbook-type assignments requiring substantial effort on the reader's part. While this book contains all the typical elements of motivational and inspirational material, including personal stories (his own and many others'), what's missing are those less easily transmitted sparks of excitement, enthusiasm, humor or charisma that allow the best of these books to actually motivate and inspire. BOMC and QPB alternate selections; Money Book Club main selection; first serial to McCall's. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Motivational tips from a renowned minority business leaderand Oprah's once and future love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684838663
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1998
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 779,334
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Stedman Graham is chairman and CEO of S. Graham and Associates, a management and marketing consulting firm based in Chicago. He is the author of ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. Graham lectures and conducts seminars for businesses and organizations around the country. He is a former adjunct professor at Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and is currently a visiting professor at several other universities. Active in philanthropy and community work, he is on the international board of Junior Achievement, is founder of Athletes Against Drugs, and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.

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Read an Excerpt


Increasing Self-Awareness

There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.

Howard Thurman

None of us are defined by our circumstances, nor are we defined by how other people perceive us. It is up to each one of us to define ourselves, and that is a life's work.

Each of us has the ability to lead a dynamic life by pursuing our unique goals and dreams. There are no limits to what you can accomplish when you know who you are and have faith in what you can do.

Stedman Graham

My contemplation of life...taught me that he who cannot change the very fabric of his thought...will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.

Anwar Sadat

At some point in our lives, most of us need help in overcoming whatever it is that is holding us back, whether it is racism, sexism, elitism, or any of the obstacles that stand between you and your dreams and aspirations.

Self-knowledge is where success begins. The first step in developing fundamental self-awareness is to examine the things that influence your behavior, both those that hold you back and those that push you to pursue a better life. This understanding gives you the power to change and control your behavior in a more positive and effective manner.


Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four c's. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of these is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.

Walt Disney

If you want to create a vision for your life and then follow that vision, you must have confidence. You have to feel that you deserve success. People with positive self-images believe in themselves, in their abilities, and in their power to control their own lives. You gain confidence by concentrating on the talents and attributes and personal history that make you special and unique.


We cannot afford to settle for being just average; we must learn as much as we can to be the best that we can. The key word is education — that's knowledge — education with maximum effort.

Bill Cosby

You must acquire the knowledge, training, and skills to find solutions to the life problems you encounter and to find the process for success. You develop competence by slowly building upon your skills, first in one area and then another, through hard work and perseverance.


Plant the seeds of expectation in your mind; cultivate thoughts that anticipate achievement. Believe in yourself as being capable of overcoming all obstacles and weaknesses.

Norman Vincent Peale

You must feel capable of defining, creating, and controlling your life. You can do this by working on your self-discipline, by making a list of personal goals and objectives. Start with something small, do it, and then challenge yourself to do something else. As you master each of these small goals and objectives, over time you will work up to much bigger ones, proving to yourself and others that you have the power to control your life.


Opportunity is limitless. Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.

Charles F. Kettering

When you have a sense of your own identity and a vision of where you want to go in your life, you then have the basis for reaching out to the world and going after your dreams. Most of those who succeed in achieving their goals do it by creating an environment for opportunity. They open themselves to positive change by becoming positive, energized people. They believe in themselves, giving others cause to believe in them.


Copyright © 1998 by Stedman Graham

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 22, 2009

    9 Clear Steps to the Life you Want

    "You Can Make it Happen" is the kind of book that everyone will probably need at least once in their life. In very clear prose, Stedman Graham describes an efficient and effective way that people can chart their own progress. While the roadmap that Graham lays out, offered in 9 steps, should have something for everyone in it, this book is particularly useful for anyone who needs help, as Graham says, "getting unstuck." While Graham is forthright, realistic and honest, he never talks down to the reader. His public speeches are made of the same stuff. He currently makes appearances in venues across the country; he'll be in Cleveland on July 23 at the Quicken Loans Arena. There's no condescending and there's no babying. I think what helps Graham in his prose is that he's had a range of careers himself. Going from professional athlete to businessman, Graham knows what it's like to reboot one's life. And he'll be able to help anyone who's looking to do the same.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    Excellent Read, Clear and Concise, Practical Advice for Anybody Needing a Little Extra Nudge

    According to Stedman Graham, success is a nine step plan, measured in part by our surroundings and the people around us. A few essential steps of his book include "Step into the outer limits" and "Build your dream team." As Graham draws from his own personal experiences as an athlete, student, Army veteran and motivational speaker, he shows readers how they too can create a life chart of success, and clearly demonstrates how to create a vision, keep your eye on the prize, step out of your comfort zone and realize your visions and dreams. He asks readers to write thought-provoking answers to such probing statements about risk taking, decision making, finances, past failures and successes and more. This is an excellent read, clear and concise, practical advice for anybody needing a little extra nudge to help them achieve their goals and dreams in their own personal or business life. For more info and to pre-register, contact Ed Ranta at ed.ranta @ phoenix dot edu.

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  • Posted July 17, 2009

    Learn How to Plan for Your Success with Graham's Wisdom

    Stedman Graham writes from not only his personal experiences as a young athlete and Army veteran, but where he wanted to go in his life. Success is a nine step process which includes a vision of what success looks like to the individual, as well as making a list of people who have been influential in your life, which he calls "circles of success" and developing a travel plan. Sprinkled with key questions, quotes from successful authors and business persons, and space to jot down your answers, Graham acknowledges that the road to success is not always an easy one, and tackles the anger, disappointment and challenges one could face while on the nine step plan for success. Graham also emphasizes that success is greatly influenced by our community, business and personal relationships and other people we meet, and we must accept the commitment to change so that we can maintain our vision and attainment of success. For more info and to pre-register, contact Ed Ranta at ed.ranta @ phoenix dot edu.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2004

    'At the top of the self-help list, with Covey and 'Mizraim Principles'!

    Excellent! This book--like Covey's--offers sincere and practical advice. It's readable and cogent to today's world. In the same genre--though more biblically based--I would recommend 'The Mizraim Principles'. It gives practical life-lessons from Joseph the Hebrew. It's also more broadly based, but just as practical. Get 'em both! Adults can lean a lot from thsese gems!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2000

    Financial empowerment

    Mr. Graham, I would like to join your team in helping young people become financially secure. I have a program that I know will empower young people financially. If you would give me an opportunity to just present this idea to you without any obligations I would really appreciate it. I know this can work for anyone who are willing to put their efforts in it. I just want to teach young people to be independent and be in charge of their own future. Thanking you in advance. LBHughes

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