October 2008 From Kevin Knebl


Hello again to my friends, family, colleagues, and clients. Many of you know me personally through work, networking or through one of my speaking engagements related to sales skills, effective networking and personal development; and some of you may know me only by email and telephone. Welcome to everyone that’s new to this distribution list.

There are a lot of very smart and interesting people that I am fortunate to network with. We share books, movies, music and ideas that stimulate us. I'm always interested to learn what other people that I respect are reading, watching and listening to. This is my monthly email newsletter with books I’ve recently read, movies seen, music devoured, ideas and other things that may be of interest to you. If you find this interesting and would like to pass it on, please feel free to do so. If you’d like to be removed from this list just let me know. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you and you would like to be added to this distribution list or if you’d like to view previous newsletters, please email me and let me know.

Thank you for all the great feedback on this newsletter. I always respond to all comments and am happy that this newsletter goes out to readers all over the US, China, Singapore, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, England, Spain and even New Jersey.

I use LinkedIn.com for business networking, Facebook.com for social networking and Plaxo.com for keeping track of contact information. Through LinkedIn, I have been able to refer a tremendous amount of business and connect many people for business purposes. LinkedIn is going public next year and it will be an IPO similar to Google. If we are not already connected on LinkedIn, please contact me to connect and if I’m able to refer business your way, I’ll be happy to do so. Please also consider connecting to me through Facebook as it is a fantastic way to keep up to date with your friends all over the globe.

A number of people have asked that I insert an announcement indicating whether I have any upcoming speaking engagements that are open to the public. I do have a few public speaking engagements this month in Colorado. If you have an interest in dates, times and speaking topics, please let me know.

October, already? Wasn’t it just April? 2008 is flying by. The leaves are changing here in Colorado and it’s nice to see some snow on the Rockies. It won’t be too long before it’s time to get the skis out- yeeha!

Rules For Renegades- Christine Comaford
This is a great book for people that are looking to start their own business or become the “CEO of their job” and are interested in learning the thought process behind the shift from employee to business owner. Renegade entrepreneur — and runaway success story — Christine Comaford has lived the kind of life most of us can only dream about. From model to monk to multi-millionaire, she has always gone after what she wanted—and gotten things done. She’s won, lost, worked, played, and every step of the way, she’s written her own rules.
This book lays out her ten life lessons that help people make their dreams come true.
Christine has a great sense of humor and never takes herself too seriously in her writing although as you’ll read, at many points in her career she has been serious as a heart attack. She is very open about her connections and experiences in business including her dating Bill Gates and Larry Ellison, and the lessons learned from these and other business moguls.
I like this claim of hers:
I didn't start with any advantages – mega-brains, status, or money, for instance – so if I did it, anyone can. If you simply want to become financially independent, this book can help. If you want a meaningful life full of rich connections, this book can help. If you want to have more self-confidence and self-esteem, this book can help. If you want perfectly toned abs, killer buns, and thinner thighs in thirty days, sorry, this book can’t help.
I especially like her Rule 2: An MBA is Optional, a GSD is Essential. Yes, schooling is important, but not as important as being a person that “Gets Stuff Done”. We all know lots of people with all kinds of letters after their names that can’t think themselves out of a wet paper bag. And we know other people that are go-to people that get things done. I’ll take the latter every time.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
· To some extent, all first-time CEOs are making it up as they go along. This is what you do with a new job, a new role in life or business, a new community you are joining. You’re declaring yourself to be something you aren’t yet. You are intending it. You are choosing it. You’re declaring victory as you step onto the battlefield. Then you’re doing what it takes- applying the required skills and the hard work- to succeed in this new role.
· You’re the composite of the five people you spend the most time with.
· It also gave me a crash course in thinking like a CEO, which is something that all of you, dear readers, need to start doing right away. Train yourself to both look at the big picture and to see that everything is an illusion. And of course, pick one that’s empowering!
· Many of us fall into a familiar trap: we choose power/money/self-esteem-by-association because we don’t think we can create our own. We think we’ll get a “contact high” from being close to power instead of wielding it ourselves.
· If you want happiness for an hour-take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day-go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month-get married.
If you want happiness for a year-inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime-help others.
This is a fast moving book that has great lessons about business and success while also being a lot of fun to read. You’ll laugh your way through this book and I think that mixing humor with content is one of the best ways to teach. Thanks to my friend David Fein for turning me on this author and book. David, you remind me of Comaford in many ways and I mean that as the highest compliment.

LOVE- Leo Buscaglia
This is one of my favorite books of all time. There are some authors that you just connect with and Leo is in my top three and has been for years. In 1969, Leo, while a professor in California started an experimental course called “Love Class”. He didn’t attempt to be so presumptuous as to teach this subject but instead to be a facilitator of the students in discovering what the real meanings of the word were. He and his students sought to guide each other closer to an understanding of the delicate phenomenon of human love. He led this class for three years and it started a groundswell of interest in Leo’s work that has led right up to today.
I could fill up many newsletters full of quotes and insights from this book so I’ll try and limit it (it won’t be easy). Here goes:
· Education should be the process of helping everyone to discover his uniqueness, to teach him how to develop that uniqueness, and then to show him how to share it because that’s the only reason for having anything.
· You are always the best you. You will always be the second best anyone else.
· Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.
· Yet, it never seems as obvious to him that if he wants to live in love, he must spend at least as much time as the auto mechanic or the gourmet in studying love. No mechanic or cook would ever believe that by “willing” the knowledge in his field, he’d ever become an expert in it.
· Everything is taught but seemingly what is necessary for the growing individual’s knowledge of self, of the relationship of his self to others.
· Living is the process of continual rebirth. The tragedy in the life of most of us is that we die before we are fully born.
· I would not want to form a partnership with an architect who has little knowledge of building or a broker who has a limited knowledge of the stock market. Still, we form what we hope to be permanent relationships in love with people who have hardly any knowledge of what love is. They equate love with sex, attraction, need, security, romance, attention and a thousand similar things. Someone in love class once said, “I wish she could love me more and need me less.”
So most of us never learn to love at all. We play at love, imitate lovers, treat love as a game. Is it any wonder so many of us are dying of loneliness, feel anxious and unfulfilled, even in seemingly close relationships, and are always looking elsewhere for something which we feel must certainly be there? “Is that all there is?” the song asks.
There is something else. It’s simply this – the limitless potential of love within each person eager to be recognized, waiting to be developed, yearning to grow.
It’s never too late to learn anything for which you have a potential. If you want to learn to love, then you must start the process of finding out what it is, what qualities make up a loving person and how these are developed. Each person has the potential for love. But potential is never realized without work. This does not mean pain. Love, especially, is learned best in wonder, in joy, in peace, in living.
This was the first and is one of Buscaglia’s best books and can be read again and again and each time you’ll discover something that you either missed the first time or were not yet ready to fully recognize in your loving. As we progress as a society to become a more disconnected group (while often claiming to become more connected) by constantly texting, surfing the internet, checking our Blackberrys and being generally oblivious of the people right next to us, I see more and more need for us to study this classic book. If you can implement the messages taught in LOVE while also staying connected in an ever increasingly integrated virtual society, then you have the best of both worlds.

This is a movie that my brother and sister-in-law recommended to me. It’s a low budget independent film set in Ireland. Neither of the two leads is a trained or experienced actor. The film was shot for $160,000 and took about two weeks to film. In an era of gazillion dollar mega-films, this is an incredible accomplishment. “Falling Slowly” from the film won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song and the soundtrack also won a Grammy nomination.
It’s the story of a Dublin street musician who meets a young Czech flower-seller and their developing relationship. They both have relationships with significant others but are deeply affected by their short time together. There are some very subtle emotional moments in this film that I thought were fantastic. Who needs a big blockbuster to convey human vulnerability and sincerity?
There is no sex, violence, guns or anything else that you wouldn’t want the kids to see. There is some good, Irish swearing (which is often hard to understand with that crazy accent), but other than that it is a clean movie that is a true work of art. The songs are simple and pure and I keep re-listening to them over and over. This is the best movie that I have seen in some time and that’s coming from a guy that has frequent flier miles attached to his Netflix account. Did someone say “movie snob”?

Chacha is a free service and a web site that I have been using for a few months. As long as you can call or text message from your phone, you’re good to go. Anytime you need an answer to virtually anything, you can call or text ChaCha and get your answer. The questions get forwarded to people that scour the web for answers to your questions. You can get answers to pretty obscure questions. You call or text your question to 242242 and within seconds or minutes the answer will be returned. I texted “who is Kevin Knebl?” and was amazed at the answer. The people that reply with your answers often even have a sense of humor and I’ve had back and forth conversations with them. You’ll never lose a trivia bar bet ever again!

Ashley Qualls is a 17 year old millionaire. This is a great clip that shows that you don’t have to think up some world-shattering idea to become rich. She started a simple common sense online business with $8 borrowed from her mother. She comes from a blue-collar family and dropped out of high school and now is the CEO of her own company and has a staff including her mother. Her business is thriving and she’s not learning theory from business school, she’s built a real business that has helped her make millions, stimulate the economy and employ her friends. Thanks to my friend Joe Sabah for sending me this great clip.

Someone once told me that the 70’s was a musical wasteland. They couldn’t have been more wrong (I guess we have to agree on a definition of “wasteland”). Once upon a time there was a band called Focus and they had a great song called “Hocus Pocus”. They combined hard driving rock with whistling, strange mouth sounds, a flute and yodeling. Yes, you read that right. I remember hearing this song years ago and wondering what these guys looked like. Now, with YouTube, you can see almost anything. Ironically, this song is currently being played in the background of some McDonald’s commercials. This clip from 1973 has Gladys Knight introducing Focus to a Japanese audience. You can’t make this stuff up. Crank up the speakers!

Two engineers illustrate the proper care and practical benefits of cats. I have friends and family members that are engineers and one even refers to himself as a recovering personality deficient party animal. These guys are a bit odd, but it is interesting to see cats from an engineer’s point of view. I especially like the cat yodeling section.

This clip is from the movie that I reviewed earlier in this newsletter. The song plays while you watch clips from this great film. Get the soundtrack to this movie- you’ll love it.

BORN FOR LOVE (parts 1, 2 & 3)
These are the first three parts of a PBS special featuring Leo Buscaglia from the 1980’s. He is talking about some of the topics from his book, “Born for Love”. He is so free of any of the typical pretensions that some public speakers have. He just speaks from his heart and is truly sincere in his desire to speak the truth and love people. If you enjoy these three clips you can watch the rest of them on YouTube. The remainder of his clips are accessible to the right of the one you’re watching (they’re in numerical order). I have watched every Leo clip on YouTube many, many times and never get tired of them.

“The tide always comes back in.” Norman Vincent Peale

“Students achieving oneness will move on to twoness.” Woody Allen

“There are so many men who can figure costs, and so few who can measure values.” Unknown

“When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.” Thomas Szasz

”Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” Edgar Allen Poe

“In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.” Napoleon Bonaparte

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Gandhi

“The average person thinks he isn’t.” Father Larry Lorenzoni

“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” Robert Cody

“Acts that go unappreciated are not often repeated, except by God.” Alan Cohen

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…it has no survival value; rather, it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis

“Men have become tools of their tools.” Thoreau

“The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.” William Gibson

If you think that this will be of interest to someone that you know, please feel free to forward it on. If you have any thoughts or opinions on any of these recommendations or have recommendations of your own, please let me know- you never know where the conversation will go from there. As always, if you’d like to reach me, the easiest and fastest way is either by email or mobile phone.

To your success,

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