Hội Thảo Thế Kỹ - Seminar of The Century - Les Brown

Uploaded by linminfang on 18.03.2012

T Harv Eker: Can I get any more incredible? Yes?
Audience: Yes!
T Harv Eker: It’s all incredible. It’s all wonderful. You know, the people who are
on this stage, for the most part, they are handpicked. All the trainers have been handpicked
by me, and this next person that I want to bring up here, oh, man, this guy is going
to light a fire under your ass. This guy can resonate. He can bring the house, all of it.
He is a renowned professional speaker and author, a television personality. He has a
high, high-energy message that really has people shake off mediocrity. Shake off what?
Audience: Mediocrity!
T Harv Eker: And live up to their true greatness. He has been honored with award after award
after award after award after award, and he’s been touted as one of the world’s top five
speakers by Toastmasters International in all time. Good or good?
Audience: Good!
T Harv Eker: He was actually awarded an Emmy, an Emmy for one of his recorded speech presentations,
and he has become a leading fundraiser with PBS. With who?
Audience: PBS!
T Harv Eker: He is, as I said, internationally recognized. He has successful books all over
the place, and one of his books is called Live Your Dreams. A newly released book is
called It’s Not Over Until You Win. This is a treat. This is the magnificence of none
other than Mr. Les Brown!
Les Brown
Alright, let's get to it. It’s so great to be here. Well, let's get to work. Alright,
thank you. Let's get to work. You are beautiful. I’m so excited to be here. I’m very honored
to be invited here by a man that I consider an icon when it comes to personal empowerment,
a man who is truly a Renaissance man, who is ahead of his time, and having the vision
and the dream to create a Woodstock of the Mind. He’s making history. T. Harv Eker,
let's give him a round of applause! Let's give it to him. Thank you so very much! Yes.
I consider him a personal coach, an example of what we all can be when we make up our
minds of living from our greatness as opposed to fears. How many have some major goals you
would like to achieve? Raise your hands, please. Very good. I like to ask that question. There
is an old saying that says, “If you aim at nothing in life, you hit nothing.” Dead
on the head.
I’ve been looking at my life and reflecting on my life because 10 years ago I was diagnosed
with prostate cancer. I stand before you because of God’s grace and mercy, and faith in knowing
that as we work together, as we believe in the possibilities of the fact that healing
takes place first within, then without, the possibilities are unlimited to what we can
I’m going to do a national tour called You Are More Powerful Than Cancer. One of the
things I think, doctors should never tell anyone they’re terminally ill. I think what
they should say is that, “my knowledge and ability to help you has terminated.” My PSA 10 years ago was 110. As I stand before
you, it’s 270. One to four men, you know that's normal. PSA stands for prostate-specific
antigen, but to me PSA stands for Positively Staying Alive.
I was reflecting on my life during the time when I received 238 radiation seed implants,
and as I looked at my life, I asked myself a question. And I want to ask you a question.
How many of you know if you had your life to live over again, you could have done more
than what you’ve done thus far? Raise your hands, please.
Now, that proves the point of what we do, what we accomplish, what we produce in life
is only a tip of the iceberg of what’s possible for us. I want you to think about some major
goals that give your life a sense of meaning right now, and as you’re thinking about
that, I want you to shake someone’s hand on your right and your left and around you,
look them in the eyes and say with conviction, “You have something special.” Do that
quickly now, please. Tell them, “You have something special.” Yes.
So now, I want you to join me right now. I want you to think about some major goals that
you’d like to achieve, something that gives your life a sense of meaning, something that
will give your life a sense of purpose and direction. My first major goal was to buy
my mother a home. That was important to me. I’m adopted.
I was born in a poor section of Miami, Florida called Liberty City in an abandoned building
on a floor with a twin brother. And when we were 6 weeks of age, we were adopted by Mrs.
Mamie Brown. My mother was 46 years of age. She only had a third-grade education but she
had a Ph.D. in Mother Wit.
I feel like Abraham Lincoln who said, “All that I am and all that I ever hope to be I
owe to my mother.” I saw a sign once that said, “God took me out of my biological
mother’s womb and placed me in the heart of my adopted mother.” So my goal and dream
was to buy my mother a home, to take care of my mother.
My mother was a domestic worker on Miami Beach, and she would go to work and many days she
would take us with her. And we ate the food left over from the families that my mother
cooked for. They were very kind and generous people. They would say, “Mamie, whatever
food is left over after you cook, you can pack it up and take it home to the children,
the food that’s left over after we eat, and feed those seven children that you have
Because of that generosity, many nights we did not go to bed hungry because they were
so kind and so giving. We wore the hand-me-down clothes of the children that Mama kept. If
they were too small, Mama could sew, she would let them out, or if they were too large, she
would tape them in. And my mother was a great baker. She could bake a cake. She could bake
a sweet potato pie so good you couldn’t eat it with your shoes on. You had to take
your shoes off so you could wiggle your toes.
And I used to say, looking at the beautiful mansions that she used to clean, I would say,
“Mama!” She said, “What is it boy?” “When I become a man I’m going to buy
something like this for you. I’m going to buy you a home one day.” She said, “Leslie,
you don’t have to do that.” I said, “I know Mama, but I want to. I’m going to one
day.” She didn’t know and she was curious, where was I getting those thoughts from?
I used to work and take care of Mr. Sidorsky. He was a very demanding man, very meticulous
guy. He would say, “Leslie!” I’d say, “Yes, sir!” “Come here!” “Yes, sir!”
“You did not clean this ashtray!” “I’m sorry, sir. I do apologize.” And I’d clean
the ashtray. “Look at this dust here. Look at this dust!” “I’m sorry, sir.”
Now, what Mr. Sidorsky did not know was that I deliberately didn’t clean certain things
because I wanted him to call me into his office. Because when he was in his office, he would
listen to motivational messages by a guy by the name of Earl Nightingale. It was a series
called The Strangest Secret in the World. “We become what we think about.” “All
of us are self-made but only the successful will admit it.”
And as I heard those words, they began to program my mind and began to affect my thinking,
and it changed how I saw myself. And my vision of myself began to expand. Listen to Bob Proctor
talking early about awareness and how important it is. He most certainly is right because
I had the awareness at that point in time as a result of being exposed to those messages
that I could do more than I was now experiencing.
Even since I’ve been associated with working with Peak Potentials, my level of awareness
has expanded. Robert Riopel and Roxanne and Gail Kingsbury. It began to expand all of
the people that I’ve interacted with. Life is about expansion. Robert Schuller said Success
is Never Ending.
And I want you to think about some goal that will give your life a sense of meaning, a
meaning and value. And whatever it is, I don’t want you to limit. I want you to expand it.
I’ve found that most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss. No.
Most people have been like me. Most people aim in life too low, and they aim too low
and hit. I did that for many years. And many don’t aim at all.
So I want you to think about goals in three areas, some personal goals that you’d like
to achieve, something that gives your life meaning right now, and some career goals,
some financial goals that you’d like to achieve, and your social contribution. Horace
Mann said, “We should be ashamed to die until we’ve made some major contribution
to humankind.” My mother was a 22-year breast cancer conqueror, so before I leave the planet,
my goal is to reduce the number of women who die from breast cancer in honor of my mother.
How many men are over 40? Raise your hands, please. As a 10-year prostate cancer conqueror,
my goal is to decrease the number of men who die from prostate cancer, encouraging you
to get your PSA test if you haven’t done so. I owe you a digital rectal examination,
and I’ll be glad when they can check our prostate by looking in our ears. There's gotta
be a better way. I’m turning red as I talk about it but you can’t see it.
A friend of mine, he’s a urologist now, used to play lineman for Ohio State University.
He’d say, “Les, let me give you a free rectal.” I’d say, “No, buddy. You’re
too motivated.” Oh, we don’t roll like that. My goal before leaving the planet is
to reduce the number of kids that are impacted by autism, to find a cure for autism, to work
to raise money and to raise awareness, to eradicate it from the planet before I leave
here. What’s your goal? What’s your dream? What is it you want to do with your life?
Dr. Joel Martin said something that I love. She said, “What would the world be like
if everybody lived their dream?” Here’s what I found about life. It’s not as complicated
as I used to make it. I think that life is about dreams and stories. Everything that
exists—the world at one time was barren—but everything that exists, hotels, planes, they
weren’t here. Everything that we see every day, computers, all the things that we see,
someone had a dream.
Someone had a dream of a person standing onstage and their voice being amplified so they don’t
have to scream and yell and could be heard by thousands. Someone had that dream about
how to transport us from one place to the other quickly and safely. The clothes you
have on, where you’re now seated, all came out of somebody’s dream. The world’s greatest
What is your dream? I said that you have something special. I didn’t say that just to be kind.
I said it because it’s true. You are God’s chosen vessel. You were chosen, one out of
400 million sperm. You have something in you that when you were chosen, when you showed
up, there's something in you that if you don’t do it, all of us will suffer.
Repeat after me, please. “Live full. Die Empty.” Let's say it again. “Live full.
Die empty.” Dr. Howard Thurman, one of the mentors of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and
Albert Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi. He was a very brilliant writer. He wrote some things
that really grabs me. He wrote Deep is the Hunger, The Voice of the Genuine, The Centering
During the time after receiving 238 radiation seed implants, I was reflecting on his words,
and these words kept me up that night. He said, “The ideal situation for a man or
woman to die is they have family members praying with them as they cross over.” He said,
“But imagine if you will being on your deathbed and standing around your bed, the ghost of
the dreams, the ideas, the abilities, the talents given to you by life and that you,
for whatever reason, you never went after that dream. You never acted on those ideas.
You never used those talents. You never used those gifts, and there they are standing around
your bed looking at you with large angry eyes, saying, “We came to you, and only you could
have given us life, and now we must die with you forever.”
And the question is, if you die today, what dreams, what ideas, what talents, what books,
what music, what leadership, what voice will die with you? Myles Monroe, great orator and
speaker, said, “The wealthiest place in the planet is not in the Fareast where there's
oil in the ground, it’s not in South Africa where there are diamond mines.” He said,
“The wealthiest place on the planet is the cemetery. There you’ll find greatness that
we’ve never seen. There you’ll find talent and genius and potential never actualized.”
Perhaps that's why Henry David Thoreau wrote the words, “Oh God, to reach the point of
death, only to realize that you’ve never lived.” Maybe that's why some unknown writer
wrote the words, “What if you live your whole life only to discover that it was wrong?
That it was wrong, that you were chosen to do something else and you didn’t do it?”
Repeat after me, please. “Live full. Die empty.” I want you to take some notes and
some things, and I want you to think about your goals and dreams in the three categories
that I mentioned, personal, professional, and your social contribution.
How many of you are serious about your goals and dreams? Raise your hands, please. Thank
you very much. How many of you don’t want to take your dreams to your grave with you?
Raise your hands, please. Very good. Shake someone’s hand on your right and left, look
them in the eyes and say, “Get out of your head and step into your greatness.” Do that
right now, please. Say, “Get out of your head and step into your greatness.”
I want you to write this down. Let us say together as you think about your goals and
dreams, let us say together, “It’s possible.” Together, please. Yes, write that down. See,
ladies and gentlemen, as an entrepreneur, I’ve been an entrepreneur for 20 years.
It’s my 21st year. I could have been speaking and training for 34 years, but for 14 years
I was living in my head. For 14 years, I stopped myself.
For 14 years, I used to go see Zig Ziglar that I consider the number one motivational
speaker on the planet. Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins, they’re the best on the planet.
Bob Proctor, they’re the best on the planet. Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, T Harv
Eker. I would go and see them, and then I would leave and my conversation with myself
was, my heart would say, “I can do that.” And then my mind would ask, ”How? How would
you do that, Les Brown?”
See, when I was in the fifth grade, I was identified as EMR, labeled educable mentally
retarded, put back from the fifth grade to the fourth grade. I failed again when I was
in the eighth grade. I have no college training. And a man changed my life, and I’ll never
forget his name, Mr. LeRoy Washington. He’s in his 80s now, and he’s blind from glaucoma,
but he gave me a different vision of myself.
I was in his class waiting on another student. He came in and said, “Young man, go to the
board and work this problem out for me.” I said, “Oh, sir, I can’t do that.”
He said, “Why not?” I said, “I’m not one of your students.” He said, “Look
at me.” “Yes, sir.” “Go to the board and work the problem out anyhow.” I said,
“Sir, I can’t do that.” He said, “Why?” I said, “Sir, because I’m educable mentally
retarded, sir. I’m in special education.”
And the students started laughing. They said, “That's Leslie. That's not Wesley. He’s
DT. Wesley is the smart twin.” He said, “What does DT stand for?” I said, “I’m
the dumb twin, sir.” And as the students laughed at me, he came from behind his desk,
he looked at me, and he said, “Don’t you ever say that again. Someone’s opinion of
you does not have to become your reality.”
On one hand I was humiliated, but on the other hand I was liberated because he looked at
me with the eyes of Goethe, who said, “Look at a man the way that he is, he only becomes
worse. But look at him as if he were what he could be, then he becomes what he should
be.” And so we developed a relationship, and one of the things that I can just tell
you as you think about your goals and dreams, all of us can say in the spirit of integrity
that it’s possible, that if anybody at any point in time lived their dream, then it’s
possible that I can live mine.
And what I did was, I made a mistake. I looked at my goals and dreams, and my mind said,
“How will you do that?” I went from my heart to my mind, and I stayed up there for
14 years. Fourteen years! I can’t bring those 14 years back. Those years are gone,
and I’ve made a mission in my life to help people stop putting it off and procrastinating.
How many ever thought about something you wanted to do and you procrastinated, you talked
yourself out of it? Raise your hand, please. There’s a proverb that says, “If there’s
no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.” And so, as you look at your
goals and dreams, every day we must convince ourselves, we must sell ourselves on that
it’s possible.
Every seminar, every workshop, every book that I’ve ever read, every speaker that
I’ve ever heard, it interrupted what I was believing about myself. Everything that you
do, everything matters. As you go through each day, I know now, as I look back at age
63, looking at my life, everything matters. T Harv is right. How you do anything is how
you do everything, and I realized that the choices I was making were based upon how I
saw myself.
Let us say together, “It’s necessary.” Write that down. It’s necessary. As you
look at your goals and your dreams, it’s necessary that you have a strategy and a game
plan to change the story that you believe about yourself, and that's an ongoing process.
I discovered, and many people have, that what we do, what we accomplish, what we produce,
is a result of the story we believe about ourselves.
My favorite book says, “Be ye not conformed to this world, be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind.” And so as I begin to work on myself, I realize that I’m getting out
of one story and stepping into another story. As I become aware of some things, there are
still some things I’m not aware of, so I’m still growing, I’m still developing. I’m
like the lady who said, “Lord, I ain't what I wanna be, ain't what I’m gonna be, but
thank God I sho’ ain't what I was.”
But I realize that you have to work on yourself on a regular basis, and write this down, “for
mental mindset.” “For mental mindset and stamina,” because things are going to happen
to you. I believe that the reason that most people go to their graves with their talents
and abilities and skills in them is because of the fact, number one, many are like me.
They didn’t know that they didn’t know and thought they knew.
I thought I knew myself and I really didn’t know myself as well as I thought. I’ve discovered
that sometimes people can take you to a place within yourself that you can’t go by yourself.
The other reason is, I was afraid. I never worked for a major corporation. I wanted to
speak for corporations. I was afraid I would be exposed because I don’t have a college
education. I felt inferior because of the fact that I don’t have a college education.
I allowed that level of fear, of failure, to stop me, and because I never had any experience
in it, I assumed that I could not do it. I was paralyzing myself by believing and assuming
the limited part of myself as opposed to believing that I had something special. You have something
special. There's something you want to do. Because you don’t know how to do it doesn’t
mean that you can’t learn. I like something that I heard, “You don’t have to be great
to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
Repeat after me, please. “Leap and grow your wings on the way down.” See the people
that will live their dreams, the 2% that will do that, these are—and write this down,
“Become a risk taker.” They’re risk takers. They don’t mind failing. They don’t
mind making mistakes. They’re willing to take life on, take life in the collar. Viscott
said, “If you’re not willing to risk, you cannot grow, and if you cannot grow, you
cannot become your best, and if you cannot become your best, you can’t be happy, and
if you can’t be happy, then what else is there?” I like what Helen Keller said. She
said, “Life is short and unpredictable. Eat the dessert first.”
Here’s something else. Write this down. “Make it important to become financially
independent.” You know, people say, “Money won’t make you happy, but everybody wanna
find out for themselves.” A friend of mine named Rita Davenport said, “Money’s not
important but it’s right up there with oxygen.”
And let me tell you something fellows, even if you’re as homely as I am, you got some
money, some women will find something cute on you. “Oh, he’s got eyelashes like Tom
Cruise. He’s got a walk like Denzel Washington.” I used to be so broke I’d walk past a bank
and trip the alarm. Creditors would call the house and my children would answer the phone
and say, “My daddy say he’s not home!”
Repeat after me, please. “I’ll never be broke again! Never, never, never!” Yes.
See, ladies and gentlemen, it makes a difference. The only time I really appreciated having
money was when my mother became ill. I was a state legislator in Columbus, Ohio from
the 29th House District, Whitehall in the Upper Arlington area, and my brother called
me and said, “Leslie.” “Yes.” “Mom has been sick and we’re going to put her
in a nursing home.” I said, “Wait a minute, Wesley. We can’t do that. Get Margaret on
the phone.” “She’s on the phone.”
“Get Linda and Leonard.” “They’re all here, Leslie.” “Listen to me. Mama
used to work in a nursing home. She said she never wanted to go into one. I promised her
when I was 10 that I would take care of her. We would do whatever was necessary to take
care of her.” He said, “We knew you would feel like that, and this is why we did such
a thorough job interviewing the various nursing homes, and we have found the one that's ideal,
and Mama would love them.”
I said, “Hold it. Hold it. Just a minute. She didn’t clean their behinds. She took
care of us.” See, I had a problem. I couldn’t understand how one woman, third-grade education,
46, domestic worker on Miami Beach, can raise seven children who couldn’t take care of
themselves, but seven children couldn’t take care of one woman. I had a problem with
I had a problem with that. So I resigned from the Ohio legislature and I went back to Miami
to take care of Mama, and I’ll never forget taking her to Jackson Memorial Hospital. And
when we went in, the receptionist said, as she looked at my mother, looked at me—she
didn’t say, “How are you doing? Are you uncomfortable? Are you in any pain?” My
mother, at that time, she was in her 70s. The lady just said, “What kind of insurance
do you have?” And I stepped forward and I said, “She has Les Brown Unlimited. Give
my mother what she needs. I can write a check for it.”
It gives you choices. It determines the difference in life and death, the ability to afford healthcare,
the quality of education that you can provide for your children, the ability to make a difference
in the community. I’m doing training with young people in an area of Chicago called
Englewood, where more young men have been killed in Englewood than in the Iraqi War,
teaching them how to develop their minds, how to develop their communication skills,
how to dress like a prospect rather than a suspect, how to stay away from negative people
and develop the skills to make it in the global economy.
Money makes it possible for me not to have to depend upon some government agency to make
that happen. So as you look at yourselves, make it important that you find some way to
use your talents and gifts to generate the income that will allow you to control your
destiny. I read something that said, “Either you control your destiny or someone else will.”
Here’s the other thing. Repeat after me, please. “Take care of myself.” Yes, so
you have to take care of yourself. I’m 63. I can do 140 pushups nonstop after warming
up. I couldn’t do that when I was 20 years old, and the reason that I do that, the exercise
reduces the possibility of cancer reoccurring by 32% or spreading by 30%. It helps to reverse
the aging process and keeps you younger, keeps your mind sharper, and allows me to take care
of my temple so I can continue to do my work so that you can continue to do the good work
that you were sent here to do.
So you gotta make it important to take care of yourself. Put that at the top of the list.
Because you can’t do well, you can’t do good work if you don’t feel good. You don’t
wanna be like the man who said, “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken
better care of myself.”
Here’s something else. Repeat after me, please. “OQP. Only Quality People.” Yes.
Look at your relationships, and ask yourself the question—Jim Rohn would ask this question,
“What is this relationship doing to me?” Sidney Poitier wrote a book called The Measure
of a Man. I love the tapes because I love his voice. He said, “When you go for a walk
with someone, something happens without being spoken.” He said, “Either you adjust to
their pace or they adjust to your pace. Whose pace have you adjusted to?”
MIT did a study, and the study indicated that you earn within 2,000 to 3,000 dollars of
what your closest friends and associates earn. Who’s impacting you? Who’s in your ear?
What influence do they have on you? Dr. Dennis Kimbro said, “If you’re the smartest one
in your group, you need to get a new group.” So practice the principle of OQP, Only Quality
And somebody said, “Les, can I change them?” No, it’s a full-time job changing yourself.
Some people are so negative, they’ll walk into a dark room and begin to develop. My
family members in France call me crazy for going to seminars, spending money on books
and tapes, and going to seminars. “When are you gonna stop going?” I said, “When
I die. That's when I’ll stop.”
When does a man or a woman die? When they’re dreams die. When do we die? When we stop developing
ourselves, expanding our minds, challenging ourselves, raising the bar on ourselves. The
best thinking that I had at that point in my life, it produced this life that I have.
I need some help on where Einstein was. He said, “The thinking that has brought me
this far has created some problems that this thinking can’t stop.”
I applaud you for investing in yourself, for coming here, flying thousands of miles, investing
money in yourself. I can tell you, based upon my own experience, you have something special.
You have greatness within you. What you’re doing is different. You represent only 2%
of the planet.
One great American said, “I choose not to be a common man. It’s my right to be uncommon
if I can. I’ll seek opportunity, not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled
and dulled by having the state look after me. I wanna take the calculated risk to dream
and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to live from hand to mouth. I prefer the challenges
of life to the guaranteed existence, the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of Utopia.
I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat. It’s my heritage to stand
erect, proud and unafraid, to face the world boldly and say, ‘This I have done.’”
That's what it means to be a part of Peak Potentials. Your unquenching desire and uncommon
desire to manifest your greatness. Give yourselves a round of applause.
Thank you. The other thing, as you look at your ghost and look at your dreams, repeat
after me, please, “I will fail my way to success.” Yes. Part of the reason why we
have to continue to work on ourselves and surround ourselves with quality people is
because you’re gonna have a lot of failures. You’ll have a lot of disappointments.
Maya Angelou said, and it’s true, I found it in my case, that most people go so far
in life and then they park. They stop dead in their tracks. Why? Because they take some
hits. When you have a golden dream, think it not strange that you face the fiery furnaces
of this world. You will have tribulations. Things are gonna happen to you.
I was in pursuit of my dream, and all of a sudden, “Whoom!” I got hit. A person that
I thought I would be with for the rest of my life, I thought was my soul mate. I went
through a divorce. I was embarrassed. I was humiliated. How can I teach people how to
live their dreams and I wasn’t able to make my marriage work? I questioned myself.
I took another hit. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, I was diagnosed
with prostate cancer. Then, my best friend from the second grade, Alexander Wims, he
was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. I took a hit and life staggered me, and I parked,
and I didn’t turn on my emergency lights because I didn’t wanna call attention to
myself. I didn’t want anybody to come and say, “Hey, do you need a job?” “No,
I don’t need a job. I’m not out of gas. My battery’s not dead. My heart is beating.
I’m parked. Leave me be. I’m parked.”
I was in my comfort zone. I was doing just enough to get by. I was working on a job.
They paid me just enough to keep me from quitting, and I worked just hard enough to keep from
getting fired. How many know people like that? Blink your eyes if you understand what I’m
talking about. I was parked. I knew I could do more.
But when my Mama died, it took something out of me. When I went through a divorce, it took
something out of me. When my best friend died, it took something out of me. I parked. Somebody
said that life is like an onion. You have to peel it one layer at a time, and sometimes
you cry. Life’s gonna happen to you when you have a dream. You’re gonna be slapped
around, and don’t take it personal.
Don’t ask, “Why did this have to happen to me? Why not you?” Who would you suggest?
You wanna give us some names, some email addresses? And don’t tell everybody. Eighty percent
don’t care and 20% glad it’s you. It’s called life. Suck it up and move on. Get over
it. It happens to everybody.
Here’s the other thing, as you look at your goals and look at your dreams. When you’re
going through some stuff, repeat after me, please, “When things go wrong, don’t go
with them.” Yes, write that down. When things go wrong, don’t go with them. When you’re
working on a business deal, you’re counting on some money, someone said you will get the
loan and it falls through, you have an event, and the people that you thought would be there
and support you, they don’t come through. Someone turns against you or you get ripped
off. It’s gonna happen to you.
Happened to me. Someone stole all my products, my database, over 180,000 names and addresses.
It’s not personal. It’s gonna happen to everybody, it does. Eight out of 10 millionaires
have been financially bankrupt. Walt Disney had seven. He filed bankruptcy seven times
and had two nervous breakdowns. It’s called life. But I got a saying, “When life knocks
you down, try and land on your back because if you can look up, you can get up. You’ve
got the power in you to do that. You’ve got something special. You’ve got comeback
Here’s the other thing. Let us say together, “It’s possible. It’s necessary. It’s
me.” Yes, write that down. It’s me. Take ownership for your life. Nobody can live your
dream for you but you. Nobody’s gonna take care of your business like you. Stop coming
up with excuses. Don’t give yourself permission to continue to live a small life. You can’t
fit a big dream into a small life. Give yourself permission to go for it, to test yourself,
to challenge yourself, to live full.
I like the saying, “Always try to get on top in life because it’s the bottom that's
overcrowded.” The reason you’re here is because there's something in you that says,
“I can do more. This just can’t be it. There's something in you. There's a calling
on your life. There's something in your heart that calls you to get dressed and spend the
money to go to seminar after seminar and listen to message after message and speaker after
Because there's something in you that tells you this is not it for you. You have not peaked
here. There's more in you than you’re expressing. Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has
entered the heart of mankind what’s in store for you if you challenge yourself, if you
persist and persevere, if you take ownership for your life.
George Bernard Shaw said, “The people that make it in this life, they look around for
the circumstances that they want, and if they can’t find them, they create them.” Create
what you want. You have the power in you to do more than you can ever begin to imagine,
to control your destiny, to make a difference in our children, to make a difference on the
planet, to make an impact.
Let us say together, “It’s me.” And let us say together, “It’s hard.” Say
it like you know it. Say, “It’s hard.” Ladies and gentlemen, it’s hard. The people
who have seen their retirement taken away from them by the corporations that they work
for, they were within two or three years of retiring, and they had it taken from them.
The number one entrepreneurs in this country now are senior citizens. The number one employer
and number two, McDonald’s and Walmart. And there's nothing wrong with those jobs.
I guarantee you those people did not have a plan to end up living their lives at the
end of life with those types of jobs, and they didn’t have a plan like you have, and
why are you investing in yourself not to? And it’s hard. There are people making choices
between purchasing prescription drugs or paying for gas or a mortgage note. It’s hard when
you’re working on a job for 20 years, 30 years. Give them some good years, and then
they come in and tell you, “We’ve downsized.” In other words, you’re fired.
And then you have to start all over again. How many of you know it’s hard? Raise your
hands, please. It’s hard, and it’s not fair. One of the things I like about T Harv
is he talks about work and investing in yourself. It’s not fair when people are going up against
that kind of stuff to tell them, “Just think positive and be enthusiastic and everything
will work out all right.” Ain't that kind of party. It’s hard. Life will put some
nuts on your head.
I bought my first home for my mother. I was rushing, didn’t know what I was doing, and
I bought a home that had a lien against it, and they called me. “Mr. Brown?” “Yes.”
“There's a lien against your property. We need 55,000 dollars if you’re going to stay
there.” “Wait a minute, sir. I just bought this home. The guy told me there were no liens
against it. I’m not the one that owes you the money.” “You should have checked that
out, Mr. Brown.” “Come on.”
I called my attorney, we followed up, “Yes, Les, there's a lien against the property.”
“But he told me there were no liens.” “He lied, obviously.” “Oh, my God. He
told me he wanted to help me because he admired the fact that I was buying this home for my
mother and that he was adopted. He identified with me.” “Les, he suckered you. He played
you, man.”
“So, would they take payment arrangements? What about 5,000 dollars a month?” “They
want all the money, Les. They want all the money or you’re going to have to get out.
The house is going up for sheriff sale. Do you have it?” “No, I don’t have it.
Can they give me some time? Tell them to give me three months. Please, give me three months.
My mother’s in her 70s, man. She has a bad heart. Don’t do this to me. This is my dream.
Don’t do this, man. Please, let me talk to them.”
“Les, I’m talking to their attorney. They don’t want to talk to you. I’ve got to
talk to their attorney. Do you have the money?” “No. Will they give me three months?”
“No.” “What about two months?” “No, Les. They want the money in seven days.”
“Oh, my God. Let me call you back, I’m not sure.” And I walked the floors thinking,
“God, how could this happen to me? I gotta figure this out. I gotta figure this out.”
It seemed like the days were just ticking off. Ticking off. Thursday, I had to call
them and let them know. They called me. “Les, do you have the money?” “No, I don’t.”
“Friday, you have to leave. The sheriff will be there. You’re going to have to leave,
Les.” “They’re going to take my house? What about my down payment?” “You lost
it, Les. You lost it.” “Okay. I gotta go.” “Yes.”
I prayed, “Lord, please, if you show me that you’re real, if you’re really real,
you think Paul worked for you? You haven’t seen anything. Don’t let me lose this house
and watch what I’ll do for you.” I was trying to cut a deal. Have you ever tried
to cut a deal? It’s amazing how spiritual you’ll get when you get in trouble, you
know what I mean?
When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was going as bad with the Bible and the
Holy Quran and Science of Mind and Joe Goldsmith, everything I could find. I was praying to
Jesus, Yahweh, Melchizedek, everybody. I was calling on everybody. It’s amazing.
And there I was, walking the floor, three o’clock in the morning and I had to go and
wake my mother up. I got on my knees and I said, “Mama.” I said, “I need you to
wake up.” She said, “What’s wrong, Leslie? I can hear you walking back and forth. I’m
not asleep, son.” I said, “There's something I need to tell you.” She said, “Your eyes
are red. Why are your eyes red?” “Because I feel so stupid now.” “Why?” “We
gotta move tomorrow.” “Why, Leslie?” “There's a lien against the property and
they want 55,000 dollars and I don’t have it, and we’re going to be sent out tomorrow.
We have to go back to Liberty City.”
So she said, “It’s okay. I don’t like this house anyhow.” I said, “Why?” She
said, “Because of my arthritic knees. It hurts my knees when I go up the steps.”
I said, “Then, why didn’t you tell me?” “Because you were so happy. I just said
it because you were happy. I’ll live in a shack with you, boy. I love you. It’s
not the house. I love you. I love all my children.” I said, “Thank you, Mama. Thank you.”
And the next day when we were in the truck going back to Liberty City, and we pulled
down 68th Terrace, the neighbors came out and said, “Whoa! Mamie! Mamie, y’all coming
back? Are you back?” “Yes.” “What happened to the home your boy bought for you?
Those boys you adopted?” “Leslie didn’t do a title search. He made a mistake.” And
boy, I was so humiliated. How many ever made a mistake that you were just humiliated? Raise
your hands.
I was devastated. I was taking the furniture off the truck, and my mother came and I was
crying, and she said, “Boy.” I said, “Yes, ma’am.” She said, “Hold your head up.”
I said, “Mama, I can’t.” She said, “Hold your head up!” I said, “Why? Look what
I’ve done!” She said, “It’s okay. It’s okay. You are going to make a lot of
mistakes in life, young man. You’re going to fail your way to success. You have nothing
to be ashamed of. Keep your head up and take that furniture back in the house.” I said,
“Yes, ma’am.”
And I learned something from that. If you ever go through something, hold your head
up. If you ever make a mistake, hold your head up. If you ever do something that everything
goes wrong, life catches you on the blind side, hold your head up. It’s not over.
Goethe said, “That which does not kill you will make you stronger. Hold your head up.”
Shake someone’s hand on your right and left and say, “Hold your head up.”
Here’s something else, ladies and gentlemen. Repeat after me, please. “You gotta be hungry!”
Everybody together. You gotta be hungry! I’ll never forget Mr. Washington. He said, “Mr.
Brown.” “Yes, sir.” “What do you want to do with your life, young man?” I said,
“Sir, I wanna be a disc jockey.” He said, “Mr. Brown.” I said, “Yes sir.” He
said, “You gotta be hungry!”
I said, “What do you mean by that?” He said, “People that are hungry are willing
to do the things that others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t
have. People that are hungry are willing to invest in themselves. People that are hungry
will go to seminars and workshops. People that are hungry are always searching, always
seeking higher ground. So how do you wanna make it?”
I said, “I wanna be a disc jockey.” He said, “Good. Here’s what to do.” He
said, “I want you to read 10 to 15 pages of something positive every day.” He said,
“You don’t get in life what you want, you get in life what you are. You must program
yourself to success.” He said, “I want you to listen to Earl Nightingale and Zig
Ziglar. Listen. Faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing.” He said, “I want
you to change your relationships, and I don’t want you to ever lose your hunger.”
I said, “What do you mean by that?” He said, “People that are hungry are unstoppable.
People that are hungry are no-matter-what people. They make it happen no matter what.”
He said, “I want you to listen to Paul Harvey.” “Who is he?” “He’s the world’s greatest
communicator. Success leaves clues, young man. Always listen and follow people who are
doing what it is you want to do at the level that you want to do it, and learn from them.”
I told T Harv when we were standing by the stage, I said, “Hey, man, I wanna work more
with you. I want you to coach me. I wanna learn from you.” See I’ve found you’re
never too old to learn and you’re never too young to teach. Always have a thirst for
learning. So I listened to Paul Harvey every day on the radio. While in school, I would
go out and listen in his car. He gave me his keys.
I was working to develop myself, and I continued to listen to motivational messages, and he
would take me to see the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale who wrote the book The Power of Positive
Thinking. I toured with him before he passed. “You, you have something special. You have
greatness within you. Don’t allow your circumstances to determine who you are. Don’t allow your
negative thoughts to hold you back. You, you have something special. You can do more than
you can ever begin to imagine.”
Dr. Peale was an incredible man. I admired him. When he spoke, he gave me goose pimples.
I could feel him in my heart. I’ll never forget, we were coming back to the school
and Mr. Washington said, “Mr. Brown.” “Yes, sir.” “When Dr. Peale spoke, you
didn’t move. When he spoke, you were hanging on every word. When he spoke, we didn’t
have to tell you to sit down and be quiet. Why?”
I said, “Sir, I could feel him when he talked. I felt like he was talking to me, sir.”
He said, “He was.” I said, “But he doesn’t know me.” “But he was speaking to you.
Did you feel him in your heart?” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Most people feel
him in their head. If you felt him in your heart,” he said, “Listen to him, son.
Follow him. Learn from him.”
And I would go to seminars and workshops, anywhere I would find where Dr. Peale was,
I would be in the audience. I would drive 200 and 300 miles just to hear him speak,
and my dream and vision was to share the stage with him. I thought about it.
What is your goal? What is your vision? I want you to hold it in mind. There's some
power in that. Because when I became involved in speaking, I will never forget, I got a
call from Og Mandino who wrote the book The Greatest Salesman in the World. He said, “Les,
I’m stuck in Philadelphia. I need to be in. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is appearing.
I can’t make it. I heard you were in Chicago.” I said, “Yes, I am.” “Can you go and
open for me?” I said, “Yes, man! Oh, my God! Dr. Peale?” I said, “Yes, I’d love
to do it!”
And I went there. I came and I said, “Hi, I’m Les Brown.” He said, “You’re not
the Band of Renown?” I said, “No, I’m Mrs. Mamie Brown’s baby boy. I’m here
to speak.” He said, “Come backstage.” His wife Martha was there, and she said, “Papa,
Les Brown is here, the speaker.” And he said, “Les Brown? Les Brown, shoot for the
moon, because even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” I said, “Sir, that's
my quote! I wrote you when I was in the 11th grade. I was a part of a special education
class project. That's my quote.” He said, “I know. I end all my speeches with that
And Dr. Peale had a great sense of humor. A young man was backstage and I had so many
questions to ask him and my mind froze up, and the young guy said, “Dr. Peale, how
old are you?” And he was up in age. He said, “Sonny, I’m 92.” The young man looked
at him and said, “I don’t know if I wanna live to get 92.” He said, “That's because
you’ve never been 91.”
So I did the things that Mr. Washington suggested. I listened to motivational tapes on a regular
basis. I would go to seminars and workshops whenever Zig Ziglar and Dr. Denis Waitley
and Jim Rohn would come to town. And I said, “Sir.” I said, “What do you want me
to do now?” He said, “Mr. Brown, I’ve given you everything that I can give you.”
He said, “Develop your mind, put your money where your mouth is, continue to learn how
to be an effective communicator, because once you open your mouth you tell the world who
you are, and always surround yourself with OQP, Only Quality People.”
So I went to apply for a job on Miami Beach, WMBM Radio Station. Milton Butterball Smith
was the program director. “Hello, Mr. Butterball! How are you, sir? My name is Les Brown, sir.
I’d like to be a disc jockey.” He said, “Young man, do you have any journalism in
your background?” I said, “No sir, I don’t.” “Do you have any experience in broadcasting?”
I said, “No sir, but I practice all the time, sir. Let me audition for you sir. Let
me show you how good I am. All I need is a shot, sir.” He says, “No, we don’t have
any job for you.”
How many have been rejected? Raise your hands, please. I was devastated. I went back and
I told Mr. Washington. I said, “Mr. Washington, they said no.” He said, “Don’t take
it personally. Most people are so negative they have to say no seven times before they
say yes.” He said, “You gotta be hungry! Make ‘no’ your vitamin. Go back again.”
I said, “Yes, sir.”
“Hello, Mr. Butterball! How are you, sir? My name is Les Brown, sir. I’d like to be
a disc jockey.” “Young man, weren’t you here yesterday?” “Yes sir, I was.”
“Didn’t I tell you no yesterday?” “Yes sir, you did.” “Then why are you back
today?” “Well, sir, I didn’t know whether or not somebody was laid off or somebody was
fired, sir.” “Nobody was laid off or fired, now get on out of here.”
I came back the next day. “Hello, Mr. Butterball! How are you, sir? My name is Les Brown, sir.
I’d like to be a disc jockey.” “I know what your name is. Weren’t you here the
last two days?” “Yes sir, I was.” “Didn’t I tell you no the last two days?” “Yes
sir, you did.” “Then why are you back?” “Well, sir, I didn’t know whether or not
someone got sick or someone died, sir.” “No one got sick or died. No one was laid
off or fired. Now don’t you come back here again.”
I came back the next day, talking loud, looking happy like I was seeing him for the first
time. I said, “Hello, Mr. Butterball! How are you?” He looked at me with rage. He
said, “Go get me some coffee!” I said, “Yes, sir!”
My favorite book says, “The greatest among you will be your servant.” How many of you
are serious about your goals and dreams?” Raise your hands. Very good. Write this down.
“Provide more service than you get paid for.” I go to a lot of seminars and workshops, and
one of the things I know about T Harv Eker, when I was sitting in the class with Robert
Riopel and all of the other presenters, they hold themselves to high standards and they
provide more information than anybody else in the industry bar none.
They hold nothing back because their commitment is for your success, and when you hold yourself
to high standards, write this down, “Impact drives income.” That's why you’re here,
because the training, the seminars, have been making a difference in your life. If they
did not have impact, 200 or 300 people would be here, if that amount. Impact drives income.
So I became the errand boy for the disc jockeys. I would go get their lunch and their dinner,
and I would bring it to them in the control room, and I’d watch them working the control
boards knowing my time will come. Write this down. “I expect to reach my goal.” Yes.
You wanna operate with a spirit of expectation. I expect to reach my goal.
So I started preparing for the next position. I’ll never forget one quote that I heard,
“As you look at your life, you look at your goals and dreams, it’s better to be prepared
for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. If
you expect to reach your goal, prepare yourself now.”
And so then, pretty soon, the guys at the station, they began to take a liking to me.
Write this down. “Build relationships.” As you are aware, people deal with people
that they know, like and trust. And so they would say, “Leslie.” “Yes, sir.” “Come
here.” “Yes.” “Come outside. Who did this?” “Oh, your car?” “Yes. Who cleaned
my car?” “I did, sir.” I would wax their cars in the weekend inside and out. “How
much do you charge?” “Oh, nothing, sir. I just wanted to help out.” I was providing
more service than I got paid for. I was building relationships.
They said, “Whoa. Look here. Diana Ross and the Supremes are coming to town. The Four
Tops and The Temptations. Here. Here are my car keys. Pick them up for me. Take them to
the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach.” I said, “Yes, sir.” I would drive them
all over Miami Beach in the big, long Cadillacs. I didn’t have any driver’s license, but
I’ll drive it like I had some.
Then one day, it was a Saturday afternoon, a disc jockey by the name of Rockin’ Roger
was drinking while he was on the air. It was a Saturday afternoon, and I was the only one
there. Rockin’ Roger got so drunk he could not complete the show. He started slurring
his words. He was about to fall off the chair and there I was, looking at him through the
control room window, walking back and forth, young, ready and hungry.
I was saying, “Drink, Rock, drink. Drink, Rock.” I’d have gone and got him some
more if he’d asked me to. Then, pretty soon, the phone rang. It was the general manager,
and I answered the phone. I said, “Hello?” He said, “Young boy, this is Mr. Klein.”
I said, “I know.” He said, “Rock can’t finish his program.” I said, “I know.”
He said, “Would you call one of the other DJs in?” I said, “Yes, sir.” I said
to myself, “He must be thinking I’m crazy.”
I called my mom and my girlfriend Cassandra. I said, “Y’all come out on the front porch
and turn up the radio, I’m about to come on the air.” I waited for about 20 minutes,
and I called him back. I said, “Mr. Klein, I can’t find nobody.” He said, “Young
boy, you know how to work the controls?” I said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Go on
then, the records but don’t say nothing, hear?” I said, “Yes, sir.”
I couldn’t wait to get Rock out of the way. I put on a fast record. I said, “Look out,
this is me, LB Triple P, Les Brown, your Platter Playing Poppa. There were none before me and
there will be none after me. Therefore, that makes me the one and only. Young and single
and love to mingle. Certified, bona fide, indubitably qualified to bring you satisfaction
and a whole lot of action. Look out, baby, I’m your love man!”
I was hungry! I was hungry! Give the old man a round of applause! I was hungry! I was hungry!
You gotta be hungry! Shake someone’s hand on your right and left, all around you, and
say, “You gotta be hungry! You gotta be hungry!”
To get those dreams out of your head and step into your greatness, you gotta be hungry.
To get those ideas, that talent, that gift, out of your system, you gotta be hungry. To
get up off the canvas of life and understand what Willie Jolley meant that a setback is
a setup for a comeback, you gotta be hungry. People that are hungry are willing to do the
things that the others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow others won’t
have. How many of you got value out of what you’ve heard thus far? Raise your hands,
please. Very good.
I would like to leave this with you. I don’t know what your goals are. I don’t know what
you wanna do. Here’s what I know about you. You have greatness within you. Here’s what
I know about you. I can help you to live full and to die empty. I can show you what I’ve
If anybody told me that I would be doing what I’m doing now, I leave here today, I go
to New Orleans and speak there, then I’ll be flown to Barcelona—if anybody told me,
given my circumstances, born in an abandoned building on the floor in a poor section of
Miami, Florida called Liberty City. If both my birth parents stood up and said, “Hello,
son,” I would not know either one. Being labeled educable mentally retarded, put back
from the fifth grade to the fourth grade, failed again when I was in the eighth grade,
no college training, if anybody told me the principles that I would teach you, that they
would have the impact that it has had on my life, this Les Brown that you see, I did not
know he existed.
And I tell you that you have greatness within you. You have the ability to do more than
you can ever begin to imagine. Come into the room with me, and I guarantee your life will
never be the same again. I’d like to leave this with you. I don’t know what your goals
are. Mine is to find a cure to autism. Mine is to find a cure to breast cancer and to
prostate cancer. Mine is to work with our youth and to reduce the recidivism rate in
our prisons and help young people learn how to become an asset to our society rather than
a liability.
Mine is to train speakers to become great communicators, to speak from their heart not
their heads, and teach them how to impact and create a new conversation so people can
see the possibilities of life and overcome the possibility of blindness that held me
hostage for 14 years. I don’t know what your goals are but here’s what I know about
you, and I don’t know you. You’ve got greatness within you.
And I’d like to leave this with you, something my mother used to love to hear me say. “Leslie.”
“Yes, Mama.” “Say that thing for me boy that makes me feel good.” I dedicate
this to you, to the greatness in you and to the dream that you showed up on the planet
to produce, and it’s simply this.
“If you want a thing bad enough to go out and fight for it, to work day and night for
it, to give up your time, your peace and your sleep for it. If all that you dream and scheme
is about it, and life seems useless and worthless without it, and if you’d gladly sweat for
it and fret for it and plan for it and lose all your terror of the opposition for it,
and if you simply go after that thing that you want with all of your capacity, strength
and sagacity, faith, hope and confidence, and stern pertinacity, if neither cold poverty,
famished and gaunt, sickness or pain of body and brain can keep you away from a thing that
you want, if dogged and grim you beseech and beset it, with the help of God you’ll get
God bless you, God bless your dream, God bless Peak Potentials, God bless America. Thank
you very much.