The Journey Continues, it’s 2018


“We are all survivors, or we wouldn’t be here, but some of us have survived with somethings working for us.” T.D. Jakes,  “2017 Motivation  Compilation”.

I did an epic blog that got lost in the fog when the Empire fell. With every break up there is some joy and some pain. But when it’s over, the question you should ask yourself, is what did you gain?

In 2013 I started this journey into the internet world. T.D. Jakes talks about commitment, and “that was the year” I became committed to my path. I knew I needed to do something because I was approaching retirement age. I had stuck my toe into blogging but a real world accident on the road, took me to a fork in the road.

I was taking my granddaughter to preschool and got involved in a three car accident. The other two drivers were taken away to the hospital and my granddaughter and I walked away with a scratch. Unfortunately my vehicle’s air bags went off and my car was totaled. Instead of replacing my 10 year old mint condition van,  I took the money and ran towards my destiny. I jumped on a plane and went to Denver Co. to my first Empire Network convention. I bough a program before I left, and as soon as I got back I bought the next one. I got busy and did what I could do.

I traveled so much, that I almost lost track.  It’s only when I look back, that  I can remember all the locations; Denver Co., Washington D.C., Miami FL, Charlotte NC, Orlando FL (twice), Nashville TN, Las Vegas NV (twice) from 2013 to 2015. Air fare, hotel , food and event cost add up quick.  It’s even more of a challenge when you are living on a fixed income. When I was working I could work overtime and qualify for extra pay but there is no overtime in social security.

After working 40+ years and being in two branches of the military (Air Force & Army) I was not going back, to the time clock grind again, period! A friend and business associate of mine asked me if I was still blogging?  He was still working and didn’t have time. I told him yes I did, and he said I have enough material (600 blogs) to write a book.

I ordered the Gerry Robert, author of Millionaire Mindset, home study course, “Publish Your Way to Profits”. So I could get my stuff together in a readable book form.  I wanted to attend the actual course when he came to the Philadelphia PA area but I was away on a trip to Nashville TN. I ordered the home course and saw him do his presentation from South Africa.

I was able to do what I did, because of a unique life experience.  I realized that I have been blessed with a sound mine and healthy body and that I still have a purpose to fulfill. I’m still here, another year. I’ve seen homeless veterans walking the streets and young folks distracted without any direction. I feel great at 68, and I want to feel fine when I turn 69. I plan to have “published author” added to my name.

I have been Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!!   It’s a blog novel of true stories of ordinary people who overcame all kinds of odds to become extraordinary, who then turned around to help others.




Look for the seeds of greatness

Some of the best seeds we plant, are in the garden of the mind.
Denis Waitley and his grandmother planted a victory garden near the end of world war two. As they put in the little seeds, she told him that whatever you put in the ground, will grow. He didn’t know it but she was also planting the seeds of his success.

She told him that if they planted fruit or vegetables they would grow. The weeds will come in uninvited and unannounced, you don’t even have to water them, but that is how life is. When good seeds are planted in people, they will grow also. Model yourself from good people and you will be all right. And you will be able to handle the weeds, the cares of life, and move forward in spite of the troubles.

If you don’t have a wise grandmother, who gives you words of wisdom, search for a “good gardener”. I found the seed of greatness in books. Napoleon Hill is well known for Think and Grow Rich. A lot of people may not be aware, but that classic book was based on a quest that took many years, that resulted in the first book titled, The Law of Success.

The Law of Success was published in 1928, after 20 years of research and interviewing some of the richest people in the world at that time. Eighty some years later there is a group that still studies his material; the think and grow rich mastermind group. The link is Monday through Friday at 9 am EST you can call and listen in or participate. The phone number is 712-432-0900 access code 565762#. Paul Hutchins is the host and the call has been on-going for five+ years.

The best seed store for the mind, that I found was the Success Store. They have a catalog of material from Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Denis Waitley, Chris Widener and a host of other motivational and inspiration speakers. There are books, DVD’s/CD’s and digital downloads. You can even sign up for a FREE Online Newsletter.
I choose Jim Rohn for his grandfatherly way of explaining things; simple, yet profound and life changing. I never met my grand fathers but I’m sure they would have shared some of their wisdom.

If you don’t have a positive role model, you can get around people that can have a specific goal in mind. Get involved in organized activities; sports teams, a musical band or a club where people have the same goals in mind, instead of the same problems.

Too many young folks have no direction, and they make the wrong choices and they join the wrong group. If my father had not stepped in, there is no telling where I might have ended up. Respect or fear kept me and my friends out of trouble. But that was then, and this is now.

You can read about people who overcame their situation and went on to make a contribution to society. Bibliographies of famous people, is a great starting place. Most started with nothing, and turned their life into something.

The name of the book is Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!! It’s a blog novel of ordinary people who overcame all kinds of odds to become extraordinary, who then turned around to help others.

If you are in a negative environment find those positive things that will keep you afloat. Realize that bad news sells, and that fire burns some, and warms others. Most people just are glad, it didn’t happen to them. You can blend in, or you can stand out. Either way, it’s your choice.

If your family is the problem, turn their negatives into a positive. You can’t cut off family, but you can limit the time you spend with them, unless you are married to them. Be careful of what you let into your mind.

If possible, join a mastermind group; like-minded people with a goal in mind. If you can join a community, join and get the family involved. I always found that most multilevel organizations, are very positive minded because, you must have the right mind set, to build an organization, or else no one would want to join you, and your efforts.

I have been in several multilevel organizations over the years and I always liked being around positive people. You can go to your job with a negative attitude, “as long as the boss don’t see you”. But being negative in your own business, and you won’t attract customers, or get paid.

Everybody has a story. I made some money in one MLM opportunity, because I was at the right place at the right time. I had an organization of 1,000 reps with 10,000 customers but the company went public and was bought up by another company, and the income opportunity disappeared.

The history behind the Empire Network was that the co-founders, David Wood and David Sharpe had success, but their teams weren’t. They set out to change that! I went to Denver Colorado, my first major event and saw the awarding of the first members of the millionaires club, in person.

I attended the Team Take Massive Action training for the next day, with one of the members of the new millionaires club. In Washington D.C. when the company decided to have regional events I had a chance to meet another group of leaders, and to hear their stories. All along, seeds were being planted. This has been straight talk, no chaser. If you don’t plant seeds you won’t have a crop.
Internet comments
Daphne Dobson
Fantastic post Earl! I love what you say here, some of the best seeds we plant are in the garden of the mind. Powerful stuff! Thanks for sharing!

Lynn Brown
The seed of greatness and the garden of success, I love that. I didn’t have a grandmother, growing up. I am drawn to magnificent life leaders like Napoleon Hill as well. We have the ability to grow into our greatness each and every day. And I’m glad to be around incredible people like yourself and our community.
Thanks for sharing Earl!

Danny Yoon
You simply got to start surrounding yourself in an environment of positive people. There is definitely, greatness within yourself with more positive energy than a negative one!
Thanks Earl

Earl Hackett
Thanks for your comments. If we plant no seeds, the garden gets filled with weeds.        What we put in our mind now, determine our future deeds.

How the power of perseverance, wins in the end

Oliver Napoleon Hill went through more setbacks than most, yet he persevered.


Napoleon Hill was born into poverty, illiteracy and superstition in Virginia in October 26, 1883. He was only eight when his mother died. Little Hill who was nicknamed Nap, wanted to be like Jessie James, the outlaw and I’m sure he and his brother were a hand full. So, his dad got married right away.

Hill’s father married a woman named Martha who became a major influence in young Oliver’s life. She encouraged him to give up the cap gun and pick up a pen. She told him, that he needed to go in another direction, and needed to use his overactive imagination to become a writer. She told him that if he got as good with the pen, he would be more famous than Jessie James.
Before he was twenty, Hill landed a job with Bob Taylor’s Magazine where his first assignment was to interview the richest man in America at that time, Andrew Carnegie, the 73-year-old steel magnate. It’s at this initial meeting that the wise and wealthy older man said, “It’s a shame that each generation must go through so much trial and error to find success in life”.

He also said, “Wouldn’t it be nice, if someone documented and recorded the success principles, that anyone could follow?” He paused then he gave the challenge, that forever changed Napoleon Hill’s life. He asked if Hill if he was willing to commit the next twenty years to complete the work (without compensation). Since Andrew Carnegie knew most of the powerful people, he would introduce Hill to them.


Hill took on the life time mission, but he wanted to have a life at the same time, so he took out a personal ad in the newspaper for a woman seeking marriage. When he went to the woman’s house to meet her, her cousin caught his eye. So, he married Florence Elizabeth Horner and they had three sons. But Hill was so determined to succeed that he left the family and went to Chicago to seek his fortune.

Hill held several jobs, but ended up working for President Woodrow Wilson, writing propaganda, during the “Great War”. After the war, he pitched his idea for a magazine, to a printer named George Williams. He called it “Hill’s Golden Rules”. Unfortunately, a rife developed between Hill and Williams and the magazine folded. (a minor misfortune)
He then moved to Ohio where he met Don Mellet, publisher of the Canton Daily News. Don was involved in trying to publish articles about prohibition, and he was gunned down by gangsters. The only reason Hill was not killed was because his car broke down. This time he went to Virginia. (major crisis and misfortune)

Hill struggled for about a year with depression, but finally found a publisher willing to publish his book. His Law of Success was a smashing success and he finally called for his wife and sons to join him, now that he had lots of money. When the Great Depression came, the royalty checks stopped coming in and he became broke again. This time when the current President called for his services, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his wife filed for divorce this time. (crisis and misfortune again)
So he got married again: This time to Rosa Lee Beeland. She was 29 and he was 54. She labored with him on the “Thirteen Steps to Riches” manuscript, but the publisher thought it sounded too much like his first book, so Hill changed the name to Think and Grow Rich. By 1940 Hill was a millionaire again, and they were spending the money as fast as it came in. But when the divorce came, the wife got most of the money.
Hill then met and married a highly educated woman, who worked for Jacobs Press., Annie Lou Norman was 47 and Hill was 60. She was his final companion who stuck with him until the end of his days. To me that is another lesson; on persistence. It’s never to late to find a good mate.


Upon Hill’s death, she appointed the first executive director to the Napoleon Hill Foundation, so Napoleon Hill’s work would go on. Before the end, Hill went to Chicago again, where he met W. Clement Stone who had been struggling, but was now wealthy because he read the book Think and Grow Rich. They formed a partnership which lead to Success Unlimited which later turned into Success Magazine.


Napoleon Hill never accumulated the wealth that Andrew Carnegie had, but he will forever be remembered, for the books he wrote, and the influence he left to the world. He lived his message, that you can do anything you want, if you believe and put forth the effort. What is your destiny? If you don’t write your story, who will? This has been straight talk, beast mode. Blogging for me was about telling my story. Don’t you think it’s time, to write yours?
Internet comments
Shahidah Akbar
Really enjoyed the post and the videos. Napoleon Hill is one of my favorite authors and a source of inspiration.

Earl Hackett
Thank you Shahidah for your comments.
Glad I had the opportunity to finally meet you in person at one of the events. Most people who get comments over the internet never get to meet the other person on the other end. That was the “personal part ” of being in the Empire Network. Everybody does not make a lot of money but everyone can build relationships; syndication and events did that.

If you are reading this in book form it means I persevered to write about my adventures. This is my way of saying thanks to Napoleon Hill, who has helped so many over the years. Still it’s hard to believe that he wrote the Law of Success in 1928 after 20 years of studying the riches people on planet earth at that time.

What you see, didn’t take 20 years of study but two years+ of blogging almost every day coupled with life skills as a two-time military veteran, plus 40 + years of life, grinding to make something of myself. I think my mom would be proud. Pop also.

It’s better to be late, than not at all! Now it’s, your turn, and the rest of the crew!

Searching for Forrester and discovering more

“Finding Forrester” is the 2001 America drama that is a work of fiction.


But even a work of fiction, has facts and direction. The reason I watched the movie was because the first James Bond, Sean Connery had the lead role. I remember seeing him in the original “Dr. No” in the neighborhood movie theater when I was a youth. In fact, it was the first time I went to the movies by myself. I must have been about 8 years old.

I saw, “Finding Forrester”, the movie on TV, and watched it was also because it was about writing. Blogging is about writing stories, but the medium is the internet. On a dare, a young 16-year-old student named Jamal, sneaks into a recluse’s apartment, who is always watching them play basketball on the court outside.

Jamal steals a token of his deed, but is surprised and rushes off and leaves his backpack. Forrester drops the backpack out the window and when Jamal gets home, he notices that the recluse man has written some notes in his journal. Jamal is intrigued and returns and ask for more writings. Forrester tells him that before he can read anything he must write a 5,000- word essay as to why he must stay, the f**k out of his home.

Jamal returns later with the completed essay and they develop a relationship based on writing. Forrester helps the young writer, but tells him that he can’t take any of his writings out of the apartment and that he can’t tell anybody, who he is. Later Jamal finds out who he really is; the author of one book, that won the Pulitzer Award.

Jamal is offered an academic scholarship to a prestigious private school because of his test scores, and his scores on the basketball court at his local school. Fraction arises when one of the professors at the new school claims plagiarism because one of his writings “sounds like something he read long time ago”.

Jamal gets Forrester to finally get out in public, by taking him to Madison Square Garden, but it proves to much, so they end up in an empty Yankee Stadium. The memory of being at the ball park relaxes Forrester and he opens up about his past. Seems that the death of his family members, led to him becoming a recluse.

Forrester attends a writing contest that Jamal entered, and does a reading. The professor recognizes him right away, but the rest of the audience full of students and facility, doesn’t know who he is. As he approaches the front of the room, he announces his name and says, “That’s my picture, on the wall.” The wall contained world famous writers.

He reads the article and receives a huge applause. He then admits that the reason he showed up was because he was friends with Jamal, and the words that he just read, were Jamal’s words. He also explained that he gave Jamal permission to use some of his words to his published work.

Forrester goes back to Scotland and Jamal is just about ready to graduate from high school, when Forrester’s lawyer shows up, and tells Jamal that Forrester, has died from the cancer, that he had before he met Jamal, and that he left him the keys to his apartment and a note. The note thanks him for his friendship, which caused him to come out of his shell so he could enjoy the rest of his “brief life”. The note also gives Jamal permission to write the forward to his “second ever novel”.

One critic of the movie called it the resilience of the human spirit. Another writer wrote about Forrester’s condition and the relationship/parallels between fiction and the real life of American author J.D. Salinger. When you learn to really listen, you find good things to write about later. If you blog enough you will write your own story over time. Mine will be titled “Standing In The Shadows, Listening To The Greats”. What will be your story? If you don’t write it, who will?

Internet comments

Keith Everett
Great story Earl, really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

Tara Woodruff
Wow!!! I love how sharing our own personal truths, can have such an impact! Sounds like a fantastic movie. I will be sure to watch!

Awesome post Earl, thanks for sharing.

Earl Hackett

Someone once made a remark about life imitating art, or art imitating life. Most movies start from ideas from books. If you happen to see this blog, be on the lookout for my life project; my first novel titled  “Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!!

You never know where your inspiration will come from

Inspiration comes in various forms.
The key is to be open, and ready when it comes.

Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich”, a classic which I had read a long time ago. Then one of the leaders of a network marketing company I was working with, recommended that I read “Law of Success”. (Law of Success was “20 years” in the making).

I bought the book, looked at it quickly, but put it away. If you saw it in hard back edition (1100+ pages) you might do the same thing. I was not ready, too busy working on my job, to get into it. Then something happened (I lost one of my full-time jobs).


I don’t know about you, but when Life Change happens, I take time to re-group and rethink my situation. Now I had time to read. One of the gems in Napoleon Hill’s book “Law of Success” stressed the power of a definite chief aim.

“Any definite chief aim that is deliberately fixed in the mind with determination to realize it, finally saturates the entire subconscious mind until it automatically influences the physical action of the body toward the attainment of that purpose. What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

Another thing Dr. Hill talked about a lot, was the mastermind. He started his 20 year quest from a suggestion from Andrew Carnegie, to interview the industrial giants of that time – Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone. What did they do, to get to where they were?

I remember seeing a poster many years ago when I was at Fort Bragg, North Carolina that stays with me still, and it talked about the power of persistence.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genus will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination along are omnipotent.

– Calvin Coolidge

An inspiration also came to me in the form of dialogue from the movie “Coach Carter”. The coach, played by Samuel L. Jackson asked a young student, headed in the wrong direction, what was his biggest fear. Later on, in the movie, after the third time, this is how the student responded.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.  Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlighten about shrinking,
So other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine, as children do. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in every one. As we let our light shine, We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, Our presence automatically liberates others”.


Internet comments
Daphne Dobson
I love the title of your post. I absolutely agree with it. You never know where inspiration will come from. You just must tune in to receive them, when they come. I love the quote about persistence. This is a quote that’s been on my mirror in my bathroom for years. It’s a daily reminder to keep keeping on. Thanks for sharing!

Janet Green
You are so right Earl. You never know where your inspiration will come from. However great books are always a great source of inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

Earl Hackett
You are welcome.  Personal development helps us to actively learn how to tune in the good, in a world full of nonsense. Sometimes we get so busy hauling rocks, we miss other opportunities.


My Legacy Poem (because I sat in her seat)

I shouldn’t say, but I wanted you to know, before I go.

I won’t lie, about all the books I’ve read.

And I’m still reading, cause I’m not dead.

It’s because of them, that I’ve really grown.

And these are the words that they have sown.

I have finally reached a particular age,

And I’m about to reach a spectacular stage.


I’m not looking for fortune and fame,

Sometimes I’m just glad, that I can still remember my name.

Maybe an attitude of gratitude has kept me around.

I’m just trying to leave something behind.


The words have come from many places,

From various times, and different spaces.

I’m just hope, that I have listen to the right crowd.

Listening to giants and legends shouldn’t be wrong,

In fact it made me strong.


When my time comes and I have to go,

I just wanted you to know,

I’m just trying to leave something behind.


When all the thoughts have left my mind,

I want you to know, it’s more than the money and gold,

I just wanted to leave something for your soul.

Writing and rhyming never gets old.

It helps to have fun, and it’s fun to be bold.

I’m having a ball, and that ain’t all.

I’m having fun, leaving something behind.



I sat in the seat that started it all.

They got rid of the rust, and wiped it all down.

Rosa was her name, and now she wears a crown.

She left a legacy, now everyone knows of her fame.


Hidden Figures seemed to reveal what’s real,

Reading, writing and higher math is a good deal.

If I don’t write my story,  no one else will.

I’m just trying to leave something behind.


Mom was about survival, I’m about arrival.

She left a legacy that will be hard to beat.

She survived it all and stayed on her own two feet.

She took the bus to work, even in the cold, and she was old.


Dad was rough and it made me tough,

I could have gone left, but I stayed right.

And because of them both, I continue the fight.

That’s why, I trying to leave something behind.


When I give you my card or my link, I give you part of my soul.

The business may change, but the logo never gets old.

The little scrappy kid from the Detroit East side of town,

Finally grew up, and yes, I got around.


I’ve been to seven different countries, on three separate continents.

Some of it was due, to working for Uncle Sam,

Air Force and Army was more than a game.

It became a part of my name.

Then some of the travel was due,

To just who I am, and what I do.


Life is a big adventure, and I just had to get away.

I escaped the auto plant, to discover the world.

Some of it was for, the call of duty,

And some was to just view, the beauty.


When you go to the library, you will see a lot of books,

When you visit my blog, you see my various looks.

Once it’s in the cloud, you got to have the link.

Lose the link and you will never know how I think.


I think I will just write a book.

Writing a book, is no easy task,

But once written, the thoughts will last.


“Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!!”

Will bear my name. And who knows, maybe I’ll see some fame.

That’s how, I will leave something behind.

So, Stay tuned!

I would like to be done by June.


Earl E. Hackett

Writer, Blogger, Author





How Books and Audio impacted my life

Legends and Giants aren’t born, but they grow through experience. Legends to me are people like Napoleon Hill, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, and Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. They are all gone, but their work lives on.


The Giants that walk among us, just to name my top ten, are Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Bob Proctor, Chris Widener, Connie Podesta, Darren Hardy, Dennis Waitley, Les Brown, John Maxwell, and Steven Covey. Who are you top ten?

Brian Tracy is one of the giants in the personal development business. He is the top selling author of over 50 books, that have been translated into dozens of languages. His bestselling audio video program, “Psychology of Achievement” has been translated into more than 20 languages. He has travel around the world delivering positive and effective lectures on leadership, selling, goals, strategy, and success psychology that brings immediate changes, with long term results.

Brian developed himself, and learned a lot about himself, and the world. He was born in Canada from a family that struggled financially. I was born across the river and over the border, in Detroit Michigan. He dropped out of high school and started his career as a labor. I finished high school and labored on the automotive assembly line. This was back during the time that the Motor City was booming with four car manufacturers.

Brian left Canada to travel the world. He drove to the United States and got on a ship to England. Then he cycled to France, Spain, and Gibraltar. I joined the US Air Force to get off the line, and went to Germany after a brief stop in Tripoli Libya, where the US was forced to close down the military base there because of Col. Muammar Graddafi.


In his early travels and adventures he worked with the famous Dr. Albert Schweitzer, and he trained with martial artists and earned his Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. I only earned a Brown Belt in Shotokan, and I worked for the famous combat fighter pilot, “Chappie James”, who became the first African American, Four Star General for the Air force.

Everybody, is influenced by someone. There is such a great power in a well written book or audio program. Guess where to find some of the best? Go to the Success Store? Brian Tracy mentioned two books from the legends and one from a master. If you study, research, write and lecture to millions for 30 years I would call you a master also. It’s more than the money, but the impact you have on people’s lives.

What are you doing to leave a lasting legacy? If you don’t write your story who will? I decided that I would like to finish my book before it gets to late, the titled – “Standing In The Shadows, Listening To The Greats.” Special thanks to Gerry Robert author of “The Millionaire Mindset” for giving me a different the track to run on. If you commented, it may become part of the book; a marketing idea, from Gerry’s training’s. This has been straight talk, beast mode.
Internet comments
Jenny Weeks
Earl, once again, you have amazed me and touched me. Very powerful post. I am not surprised you worked for General “Chappie” James. I knew there was something special about you. You are humble yet you rise above others. I love your post and always, ALWAYS come away with something profound and ever so valuable. Thank you, Earl.

Earl Hackett
Thank you for your kind words. I’m just thankful that I took those steps to broaden my horizon and that I found some great mentors along the way (some were in books, many were on audio tapes, and a few were in person).
When I met Col. Daniel “Chappie” James he was the base commander at Wheeler Air Force Base in Tripoli Libya, North Africa and they were closing down the base. When he spoke to our little group I knew he was someone special (a true American Patriot). It wasn’t until later, that I realized he was also, a trailblazer.