Millionaire's Notebook: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Extraordinary Success

Millionaire's Notebook: How Ordinary People Can Achieve Extraordinary Success

by Steven K. Scott


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Steve Scott held and lost nine jobs in his first six years after college. He was told more than once that he would never succeed. Yet this former corporate failure not only became a multimillionaire himself, more than forty others have become millionaires as a result of the efforts and advice of Steve and his partners. Ordinary people just like you, including a housewife, a makeup artist, a hair stylist, a salesman, a teacher, a convenience store clerk, a marriage counsellor, a carpenter, a doctor, a dog trainer, a former P.E. teacher, to name a few.
Not Simply a Book about Making Millions
A Book about Achieving Incredible Degrees of Success!

This book is not a guide to making millions, although its insights and advice could certainly result in that. It's not a book about theories. Instead, it's a step-by-step guide to success — success in any field, at any age. It tracks Steve Scott's life from mediocre high school student to a corporate failure to number-one marketing entrepreneur in the United States. It shows how a "nobody" who couldn't even afford to pay for his first child's birth could create more than a dozen record-breaking companies in completely different industries, selling over one billion dollars in products.
Unlike Any Success or Business Book You've Ever Read!
This book doesn't stop with general principles or psychological motivation, but instead gives specific tasks you can instantly apply to your personal or business life.
Your Personal Notebook for Success
Each chapter ends with a section that leads the reader through a step-by-step process that can result in greater success than he or she has ever experienced. The Notebook for Success provides a guide that can be used by anyone from a high school student to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. You'll understand why Steve Scott firmly believes that ANYONE can significantly increase his or her "batting averages" in any area of life and break through the barriers that separate mediocrity from phenomenal success — barriers imposed by others or even by ourselves.
If you want to achieve a higher degree of success than you've ever thought possible, this book will become the most important book on success you, your employees, and your children will ever read.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684803036
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 01/05/1996
Edition description: Original
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Steven K. Scott is a cofounder of the American Telecast Corporation and its group of consumer-goods companies. In addition to creating ATC's marketing programs, he has written and directed more than eight hundred television commercials and twenty-four infomercials selling ATC's product lines. Cher, Jane Fonda, Kathie Lee Gifford, Charlton Heston, Tom Selleck, and Michael Landon are a few of the more than seventy celebrities who have appeared in Steve's commercials and infomercials.

To date, his campaigns have sold more than one billion dollars' worth of products to more than twenty million consumers. In addition to cofounding and building more than a dozen multimillion-dollar companies from the ground up, Steve has also coauthored two bestselling books with Gary Smalley and coproduced nine bestselling videos.

Read an Excerpt


Steven Who?

Even if You Weren't Popular in High School, Didn't Make Straight A's, and Didn't Make the Football Team, You Can Still Achieve Phenomenal Success

Two Stevens sat next to each other at high school football games; one was in the band, the other in the color guard. Both were mediocre students, rarely dated, and were totally unknown. They excelled in nothing significant. One was Steven Spielberg, and the other was Steven who?

Insight 1: Past achievement is not a true predictor of future success

Most high schools save a part of their yearbook for the "most likely" selections. You know — the student most likely to succeed, the student most likely to be president, and so forth. I remember voting that Chuck James would be the most likely to succeed. He was senior class president, an "A" student, a good athlete, and very popular. I remember when the ballots were passed out to the senior class. There were many categories, and many students were nominated for each category. Obviously, my name was not on the ballot. If it had been, I definitely wouldn't have won in any category. Most of the class of 1966 would have had puzzled looks on their faces and would have had one question when they came to my name: "Steven who?"

I didn't have the looks or athletic prowess to be popular with the "in" crowd, and my "B" average wasn't high enough to put me in the intellectual crowd. Consequently, most of my friendships were with kids off campus. As a freshman I joined the Civil Air Patrol because two of my buddies had joined. Even though I didn't realize it at the time, joining CAP was going to play a very important role in my future.

Another Steven at our school was very similar to me. Like me, he didn't have the looks or athletic abilities to be part of the "in" crowd. He was a mediocre student, and his favorite activities were likewise "off campus." He was a good clarinetist, however, and was in the school's marching band. But at school football games, nothing was better than being on the football team. They had it made. And nothing was worse (in terms of status) than being in the band — nothing except being in the color guard. Teenagers in the 60s weren't impressed with high school students who wore military uniforms. But we got free tickets to the games and sat next to the band. I sat next to the clarinets and often conversed with the clarinetist who sat on my right. His name was the same as mine (Steve), but that was all I knew about him.

Twenty years later I received a call from my mom asking if I had ever met Steven Spielberg when I was at Arcadia. I told her he couldn't have been a student at Arcadia because even though most kids didn't know me, I knew just about everyone and never met him. She told me to grab my yearbook and look up his name. I not only found his name, I found his picture and was amazed to discover he was the "Steve" I sat next to at so many football games!

How could this be? How could Steven Spielberg have gone to my high school and yet have been totally unknown to me and most of the other students on campus? Surely his genius, his creativity, his incredible drive would have been evident to all, even in high school. Not even close. And yet all the qualities that have made him so successful were just as much alive in his mind and heart then. So why was he never successful in anything significant in high school? The answer lies in what we deem "significant."

In school the three most important areas of achievement are athletics, grades, and popularity — at least those are the three most significant areas to students and teachers. So when a person doesn't excel in any one of those areas, he doesn't excel in anything "significant." By academia's definition, neither Steven nor I excelled in anything that mattered, and I'm sure none of our peers or faculty ever expected us to achieve anything noteworthy with our lives.

This is the kind of narrow outlook that traps probably 90 percent of the American population; that is, most of us never achieve stardom in school, so when we pass into adulthood, we never expect to achieve anything worthwhile in life. We have accepted everyone else's definition of "significance" and consequently set our sights so low that we never even try to achieve the success most of us would like to attain.

I am told that when baby elephants are born, their trainers tie a rope to a pole planted securely in the ground and then tie the other end to the baby elephant. The elephant quickly learns that when that rope is on his neck, he can't go anywhere. By the time he becomes an adult, he can be tied to a small pole that he could easily rip right out of the ground, but he doesn't even try because he has been conditioned to believe that when that rope is around his neck, he can't go anywhere.

The same thing happens with most adult Americans. Having achieved nothing they consider important in their youth, they have come to believe that they are simply average and therefore expect to achieve nothing significant in their lives. By the end of this book I hope that everybody reading it will see that the superachievers are no different from the rest of us. They have just learned that the rope that kept them tied to the stake was really only a thread, and the stake itself only a yardstick. By the end of this book, you will have no reason to accept mediocrity. At this point you can't even begin to imagine what average people can do when they break loose of the bonds that have kept them bound to the "status quo."

So the first law of success involves your past and how to break loose from what you see as your lack of success.

Law of Past Failures: Don't use your past failures or lack of achievement as an excuse or limitation for your lack of achievement in the present or future. The former does not control the latter.

Insight 2: If you can do one thing well — even if it doesn't seem significant — you have the potential for phenomenal success.

Even though Steven Spielberg and I achieved nothing significant in high school, we did achieve some things that seemed insignificant to us and to everyone else around us (except our parents).

Steven was an excellent clarinetist and even gained a headline in our yearbook praising him for his acting talent in a school play (although his name was misspelled in the headline). But even more important than his musical or acting talent was his talent in something else: making entertaining home movies with the Super 8 film camera his mother gave him in elementary school. Do you think the faculty or students at Arcadia High even knew about this activity, much less recognized or valued it? I'm sure the faculty never recognized it even though he often cut school specifically to go out and film things. How insignificant was this high school activity of Steven's?

Today, four of the top ten grossing films of all time were directed by Steven Spielberg.

My success was even more mundane than Steven's. My dad had always regretted not learning to type in high school. In his adult years, the fruit of his creative mind was stifled or thwarted over and over again by his inability to type. When I was choosing my electives for my freshman year in high school, he told me I would have to take a year of typing. I argued as hard and as long as I could, but to no avail. In my mind, typing was for girls and I was a teenage boy, and those two thoughts just didn't coincide.

I finally struck a deal with him that both of us could live with. If I could end the semester as the fastest typist in the class, I wouldn't have to take a second semester of typing. By the end of the first semester, I was the fastest typist out of about sixty students. Little did I know that typing would become the cornerstone of most of my other achievements in life. Thanks, Dad.

As I mentioned earlier, I joined the Civil Air Patrol my freshman year to be with two of my buddies. The three of us were the only ones out of sixteen hundred students in our high school who were part of this off-campus organization. Certainly this was another "insignificant" part of my teenage years. Right? Wrong! Because I could type, I was quickly promoted over my friends. This was the first success I had tasted since little league baseball, and it tasted wonderful. I began to work harder to fulfill requirements for promotions, and with each promotion the taste grew sweeter and the desire to succeed more consuming.

By the time I was graduated from high school, I was the highest ranking CAP cadet in the state and had won numerous national awards, including flying lessons that enabled me to receive my private pilot's license when I was sixteen.

My achievements in CAP meant nothing to the faculty and students of my high school, but they meant plenty to my future. My achievement in this one area taught me that I could be successful even if the success came in an apparently insignificant endeavor. As a skinny, acne-faced teenager, I gained my first bit of self-respect.

A Special Note to Parents Who Want to See Their Children Learn to Achieve Success

You can help your children break the bonds of mediocrity that school and their peers use to bind them. Children don't have to be a success at everything — or, for that matter, anything significant — as long as they are successful at something.

The key is for you to listen and watch for those things that seem interesting to them. My seven-year-old loves to "build" with Legos, so every time he creates a new structure, I praise him — not just with generalities ("That's a great building") but with meaningful specifics ("I like how you put windows on each side, and I love the roof").

For my nineteen-year-old it's his ability on the drums and guitar. He's totally self-taught. His music is the kind I would never listen to for more than a few minutes, but boy, is he good! And I am so proud of him. He is also the best friend any of his friends could ever have, and I praise him for his love and care for them. For my fourteen-year-old it's his poetry and his computer skills. And I praise my twenty-three-year-old's success in her work with high school students. She is a volunteer leader with Young Life, a Christian youth organization, and, to my mind, the best leader her girls could ever have.

I could talk about my kids all day, but they're not the subject of this book — maybe the next one.

As I mentioned earlier, typing was the other "insignificant" thing I was good at. Typing didn't stop being useful to me with my first promotion in CAP. My writing is so sloppy, it was next to impossible for even me to read. To make it legible I had to write very slowly, and because my mind works a lot faster than my right hand, I wasn't very good at any form of written communication until I learned to type.

To my amazement I discovered that I could type almost as fast as I could think. Thus, I could write creatively and persuasively with a typewriter even though that was not the case when I wrote longhand. For me typing has been the key to writing. Every script I've ever written has been typed at every stage from first draft to final copy.

Since then, I have written more than eight hundred television commercials, twenty-four half-hour infomercials, two best-selling books, and one five-part ten-hour mini-series (that was never sold but was plagiarized and turned into a three-hour mini-series). I've typed hundreds of letters outlining offers that have successfully recruited more than eighty Hollywood stars to be part of my commercials and infomercials. Where would I be if I hadn't learned to type?

Even though Steven Spielberg and I did not achieve success in anything "significant" in high school, the "insignificant" things we did achieve success in became the launching pads and cornerstones of our current and future success.

Did Steven Spielberg and I have any idea how significant these seemingly insignificant things were or would become? Not a clue. In fact, I ran into Steven at a restaurant in Beverly Hills right after he received his second royalty check from ET (reported to be $98 million). It was the first time we had seen each other since high school. He came over to the table, and as we talked about Arcadia High, I looked up at him and said, "Steven, if only I had known..."And he bent down and whispered, "My God, if only I had known." He then told my guests that in high school he had figured he would end up as a studio musician.

What was true for Steven Spielberg and Steve Scott is equally true for you. There is no such thing as insignificant success. Anything you've ever succeeded at is important and can be a major stepping-stone to your future success.

Insight 3: Take a close look and discover what "insignificant" successes you have had and focus on them. They could well become the foundation of your future achievements.

Notebook for Success

Finding Gold Where You Least Expect It

The purpose of this section is to give you a quick review of the insights and laws that I have found relevant to achieving success and to help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. The key to success is learning to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. You'll need to start a notebook to complete the exercises.

Insights for Success (Review)

Insight 1: Past achievement is not a true predictor of future success.

Insight 2: If you can do one thing well — even if it doesn't seem significant — you have the potential for phenomenal success.

Insight 3: Take a close look and discover what "insignificant" successes you have had and focus on them. They could well become the foundation of your future achievements.

Laws for Achieving Success

Law of Past Failures: Don't use your past failures or lack of achievement as an excuse or limitation for your lack of achievement in the present or future. The former does not control the latter.

Personal Inventory for Success

1. List areas in your past that you consider failures — for example, high school or college grades, past jobs in which you saw disappointing results (firings, failures, or mediocre performance).

2. List what you consider your greatest weaknesses, both personally and professionally — lack of education, lack of career achievement, impatience, short temper, and so forth.

3. List any area of success you have ever accomplished, significant or insignificant, in school, athletics, business, friendships, relationships, and so forth.

4. Write down the feelings you had when you achieved that success — whether it was a grade, a promotion, or a friend saying thank-you for your advice. Reach back when thinking about the feelings. They can be as recent as a few hours ago or as distant as your early childhood.

5. Make a list of the things you do really well, no matter how important or unimportant you think they are. (For me it's typing, persuading, teaching, and seeing the logical order in things. I'm also good at encouraging other people and helping them solve problems.) Make the list as long or as short as you want, but make it! These are the strengths that you are going to be building on.

6. Finally, make a list of the things you love to do. It doesn't matter if they fall under business, recreation, social activities, or any other category.

Copyright © 1996 by Steve Scott

Table of Contents



Why Would the Marketing Man Behind America's Most Productive Company Reveal the Secrets of His Success?

1. Steven Who?

Even if You Weren't Popular in High School, Didn't Make Straight A's, and Didn't Make the Football Team, You Can Still Achieve Phenomenal Success

Notebook for Success: Finding Gold Where You Least Expect It

2. You're Fired!

Failure...the Most Often Missed Key to Extraordinary Success

Notebook for Success: Dreaming — The First Step Toward Success

3."You'll Never Succeed" and Other Observations of My Former Corporate Bosses

When to Listen and When to Ignore the Advice and Assessments of Others

Notebook for Success: Overcoming the Number One Factor That Limits Your Success

4. A Man Named Bob

Everyone Needs a Mentor...Here's How to Get the Right One

Strategies and Tips for Identifying and Recruiting Mentors

Notebook for Success: Step-by-Step Guide to Recruiting Mentors Who Can Multiply Your Success

5. Commitment and Motivation

Two Factors That Are More Important Than Credentials or Resumes

Strategies and Tips for Identifying and Recruiting the Right Partners

Notebook for Success: Enlisting Partners Who Lower Risk and Increase Potential

6. "That Woman in the Supermarket"

The Critical Foundation of Selling or Persuading

Strategies and Tips for Creating Irresistible Sales Presentations and Ad Campaigns

Notebook for Success: Persuading or Selling: Doubling Your Batting Average in Thirty Days

7. How to Hit a Lot of Home Runs in Anything You Do

Taking Swings and Lots of Them!

Notebook for Success: Converting Strikeouts into Home Runs

8. Shooting for the Moon

The Critical Key to Extraordinary Success in Any Area of Your Life

Notebook for Success: Launching Your Rocket

9. Getting Rich While Having Fun

If It's Not Fun, You Won't Be That Successful!

Strategies and Tips for Building More Enjoyable Relationships

Notebook for Success: Making It Fun

10. Creative Alternatives

The Secret to Turning Roadblocks into Springboards

Notebook for Success: Developing Your Creative Alternatives

11. Billion-Dollar Steps to Instant Selling and Persuading

How to Sell Something in Two Minutes That Most Salesmen Need Hours to Sell

Strategies and Tips for Powerful Communication

Notebook for Success: Persuasion Techniques Worth a Billion

12. Maximizing Minutes and Multiplying Resources

Building Businesses Instead of Selling Products

Notebook for Success: Removing the Limits of Your Limited Resources

13. Keys to Stellar Success

Unlocking the Doors to Success in Any Arena, Business or Personal

Notebook for Success: Designing and Achieving Your Game Plan for Success

14. Why ATC's Success Rate Is 135 Times Greater Than the Industry Average

The Secrets to Our Unparalleled Success Rate and Productivity


One Final Question: What Do You Want?


Incorporating Critical Elements into a Script

Customer Reviews