Andean Thoughts on Depression and Pinnacle Careers

by | May 14, 2013 | Archives

Pinnacle careers can help us neutralize depressing events.

Many readers tell me they are depressed with the state of their nation.  This is not just an American comment.   I received messages from readers in Canada, Ecuador and all over Europe… plus a few from Asia… especially Japan and Singapore.

A common source of this depression is their view of the change that has taken place in the democratic process.

Here is how to make such a view better.

Merri and I lived and worked with a number of Andean shamans and one specialized in treating children who had depression.  His prescription was “eat well – sleep well and work hard with joy in the heart”.   He had them live in this routine and soon they were back to youthful brightness.  Perhaps the most important lesson we learned from the years with this yatchak was learning how to make work joyful.


Shamans walking with views at our Andean hacienda.

One reader who moved to Ecuador for example wrote:  Many of us who served in the Viet Nam war are now in our sixties and can no longer afford to live in the country we served.  I was fortunate to have served in Vietnam, Beirut and Iraq.  I love what my country was, but have my doubts about America’s future.

This depressing view has been developing for a long time. This is a natural evolution.  My first book “Passport to International Profit” published in the 1970s, explained why this change would come when it defined  the “Concept Conversion Trick” and said:   “The Concept Conversion Trick begins when people agree on a good concept for working and living together. The people go to work and if the concept is good they will create a paradise. The government gives them a flag and a song. Then the government pulls the trick. The government convinces the people that the flag and song are important. Then while the people are busy watching the flag and singing the song, the government replaces the concept with a set of ever increasing written rules and regulations administered by bureaucrats and backed up by a police force.

If this writing sounds prophetic having been written 30 + years ago, it was not. A simple review of any previous great society shows this trick and the evolution brought by it.  Like the Roman Empire, things may get better for a while, then worse and then better again. In the long term, as societies age, they lose their original vibrancy and life.

This is the universal nature… to grow until the growth becomes so excessive that balance is lost.

This truth shows us the nature of mankind and every underlying force that goes from birth to continuity and then transformation. This is the way of life.  However when we recognize and accept this fact, we can adapt and do a lot to slow the rot and return our community into a more positive space.”

Read more from my 1970s book “Passport to International Profit” “Don’t be a sitting duck when the shooting starts“.

The Longer We Are On the Pond the Smarter We Can Be

Having decades of experience offers many benefits… inner growth, more focus on health and the ability to coax our community into a better place.

These separate subjects, actually tie together rather well in a pinnacle career.  Health, wealth, meaning and service are so inexorably linked that if you apply the process of having one it becomes easy to have the others.

This thinking came clear to me years ago when one small sentence in a book review about “The Wealthy 100” which showed the fallacy of working just for cash.

wealthy 100

The Wealthy 100 at

This book showed who the wealthiest people in the world were by looking at their wealth at the time of their death in relation to the GDP of the U.S.

John Jacob Astor was the wealthiest man in these terms as his wealth equaled 1/65th of the U.S. GDP.

The paragraph in that article that shook me to my roots was: “The stories of the Astors, Vanderbilts and Morgans have been fascinating. They were not always the smartest, or best educated, but possessed a single minded discipline. If there was a common denominator it was a passion they brought to business whether inspired by greed or desire to be the best.

The backlash; many lived unhappily.”

My immediate thought was, “How would I feel if in the last 30 seconds of my life I realized that I was the richest man in the world, ever and yet I had lived an unhappy life?

This is why pinnacle careers offer more power than any we have had in the past.  If we have a career doing what we love, we do better and joyfully, put in more energy, time and care.

This is nature’s irony; if we chase money, it seems to run away.  If we pursue our passion and work without concern for the cash, the wealth can’t resist us.

Now is a great time to know more about health and its relation to wealth because as the economic slowdown carries on, people feel worse. They look for new values and ways to feel better despite the negatives in the outside world.

We live in a holographic, fractal universe.

This quantum reality can be summed in the phrase, “As above, so below”.  Most humans on this earth are feeling the external turmoil within. We are all one and we are all connected. All the negativity that abounds in uncertain economic times impacts us all at some level.

There is no better way to overcome this, to make a positive statement in the way we serve others. Charity is not the main answer either. For success, we must be rewarded for our efforts.

“The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” is a book on human behavior by Andrew Solomon. This book tells of a unique study that shows how people put meaning back in their lives after the most horrible of circumstances.

Noonday Demon

The Noonday Demon at

The book reviews a study of Cambodian women who had survived the trauma of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge purge where 20 % of the population was destroyed.

The three-step plan used gives us a great insight into how we can have true wealth. First, the women were taught to forget, the psychotherapist Phaly Nuon, a woman who had lost her family as well says they used exercises each day to forget so that each day they could forget a little more of the things they would never entirely forget. They distracted with music or embroidery or weaving or whatever seemed to work. “The loss is under the skin”, she said “and we cannot take it out.” But they could forget that it was there, even though it was.

Second, Phaly Nuon taught them to work. They had to learn to work well, have pride in the work and to be paid. The receiving of energy as well as the giving of it was necessary to make this work. Finally, once they had mastered a trade or profession she taught them to love. She used a steam bath to do this, where the women could meet and give one another manicures and pedicures. Doing this made the women feel beautiful and put them in contact with the bodies of other people and to give up their bodies to the care of others. Grooming is one of the primary forms of socialization among primates and this return to grooming brings the women back to balance.

Finally, she taught the women one more vital lesson, that these three steps, forgetting, working and loving are not three separate skills, but part of one enormous whole. The practice of these three things together each as part of the other is what makes the difference.

I quote this book and Phaly Nuon: “It (this wholeness) is the hardest thing to convey” she laughed-“but they all come to understand this, and when they do-why, then they are ready to go into the world again.”

Wholeness in giving and receiving is the answer.  If we give too much without allowing others to return we manifest the parasitic element that lies within us all.

Solomon also wrote in his book “The people who succeed despite depression do three things. First, they seek an understanding of what’s happening. They then accept that this is a permanent situation. And then they have to transcend their experience and grow from it and put themselves out into the world of real people.”

This is good advice for viewing the changes that have taken place in our world.  Understand what has happened…  accept the change… and rise above it to make the existing reality more positive for all.

There is no more powerful process than serving through business.

Give.  Give in ways that support this earth and help the world.  Serve in a way that brings joy to your heart.   Your rewards will be better health and wealth.  There is no other model for success that makes more sense.


Learn how to serve by writing to sell.

Seven P Secrets of Self Publishing

When you write, you can work anywhere. 


Here I am working poolside in the winter, at our Florida farm.

gary scott

Here I am with our hound Ma, working during the summer at our North Carolina farm.

Learn how to earn everywhere, while living anywhere you choose.  I have been able to earn by writing in Hong Kong, England, the Isle of Man, Dominican Republic and Ecuador to name a few of the places I have lived.   Anywhere I am,  I am  able to work.

All I need is my laptop.

That’s all you need too… a laptop to be free!

Before computers, a pencil and pad did the job.

Freedom is just one benefit you can gain from a laptop business.

Another benefit is income.   Writing has brought me both our farms in Florida and North carolina, free and clear… plus a lot more.

Another good example of earning potential is my friend Hugh Howey.   He was working for $10 an hour in a book store when he self published his novel Wool, typing in a storage room during his lunch breaks.

Soon he was earning over $100,000 a month on  This helped secure a six-figure book deal from Simon & Schuster, and an option for film by Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner and Alien.

That’s what he’s doing now.

Hugh Howey

Hugh and I playing chess (he beats me badly).

Writers like Hugh are great inspirations.

A couple of years ago Hugh  left Florida, and moved to South Africa.  He had a sailing catamaran built for him and now can sail the world while he continues to write.

Hugh explained it like this: And that’s the miracle of working as a writer: I can do it from anywhere and everywhere. The past few years, I’ve done a lot of writing from airplanes and airports while on business trips abroad.  SAND was entirely written overseas while traveling through seven different countries; I think it’s a better story because of those inspirations.  In upcoming years, I may be writing near your home port.

Hugh’s a super star writer and his success could not happen to a more deserving and talented person.  He pours enormous energy into being worthy of his readership.  But you do not have to be a million dollar a year earner or a traveler to benefit from writing.

The good news is… you do not need a huge success to have a rich and fulfilled lifestyle.  Self Publishing can bring you a life that most people only dream of, as a journeyman writer, instead of a super star.

May I hastily add that the path to stardom begins as a journeyman… so the journeyman’s path brings success without stardom… but can also lead to stardom.

What most success stories like Hugh’s rarely explain is the many hours of writing that was devoted before their self published book sales soared.   Hugh, like most writers were journeymen first.  Stardom came later.

Here are sevens secrets that can help you become a journeyman writer. 

The secrets are a writer’s armory of tools that allows almost anyone to create successful publications for income, freedom and fulfillment.

Take Merri’s and my publishing business as an example.  

Merri and I are not writing stars.  We are journeymen who have for more than 40 years, year in and year out, earned solid income writing and self publishing dozens of publications about multiple subjects.

Some years that income has been more than solid… over a million dollars.  Yet in terms of stardom, we are hardly known.

In a moment you’ll see why that’s fine for us and probably will be for you too.

First some history.

Merri became involved in self publishing over 40 years ago… first helping a veterinarian publish a book on a very specific market… animal acupuncture. Then she showed a needle point artist how to sell more books to an even more specific audience… “needle point enthusiasts”  about her needle point work to an audience larger than the population of the city she lived in.  This led Merri to eventually become Executive Editor of an award winning magazine in Florida.

My story allowed Merri and me to work and live from Hong Kong to London to Europe to Eastern Europe, then the Caribbean and then Ecuador… making millions in the process of following our adventures… having fun… while helping a large readership adapt to a rapidly changing world.

That’s what self publishing can bring, profit, adventure and fulfillment, a great feeling of worth and wonder.

Self Publishing has created exactly the lifestyle we desire allowing us to span the world and work with meaning and purpose.

Self Publishing has become a new business art form. 

The seven secrets can help you start your own self publishing business now.

Everything in publishing is new and exciting and changing.  Publishing is being recreated by the wonderful power of destructive technology.

Everything is new… except the seven secrets. 

Change in the publishing industry is disturbing many.   We love this evolution due to these seven secrets we call the 7Ps.  The 7 Ps are so fundamental to writing and publishing that new technology enhances rather than reduces their power.

The First P is Passion.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it AND create income with self publishing.  This can be your direct ticket to the kind of fulfillment you’ve always wanted.

Whether you want to travel the world or live as a recluse, work 12 hours a day or not work much at all,  you can set your schedule to succeed, if you’re willing to learn these seven secrets.

You can start part-time with any dream, passion, and budget.  Once you’ve created a product, you’ll enjoy the “multiple effect” of producing profits over and over again.

So the question is… What do you love to do?

What’s Your Passion:  An example is that thirty years ago, a client of Merri’s had a passion to help people who were in pain?  He published a series of pamphlets explaining various chiropractic disorders in very simple terms.  For example: “What Is Whiplash?”

The pamphlets contained solid information, but were simple 5″ x 7″ brochures with drawings and explanations. He sold them with a rack to chiropractors, who put them in their offices for patients to read.  These little self-published items sold year in and year out for decades.

There are thousands of ideas of this sort that can lead to big business.  It’s just a matter of defining and then acting on your passion.

Although I can work when I please and go where I wish, for me the most important reason for being a publisher is the satisfaction it brings. 

I love the projects I take on, so work doesn’t feel like, well… work.

What do you love?  If you love golf, then you can write and sell publications about golf.  Love travel, fishing, dogs, dolls, or art?  Write and sell publications in these fields.

Are you concerned about crime, war, poverty or environmental issues?  You can publish information products that help reduce these concerns.

Would you like to help the world be a more spiritual place?  Publish a newsletter, write a book (or hire someone to write it for you), record a tape… publish something that enlightens people.

Whatever your passion, you can immerse yourself in it and earn income by publishing for ereaders, print on demand, CDs, lists, bound books, or any format you choose.

Be immersed in your passion and get paid well for it. 

This is why stardom is not the main goal for most writers and self publishers.  Extra income, more freedom and fulfillment are usually more than enough enough.

The seven Ps are:

#1: Passion

#2: Problem

#3: Person

#4: Profitably Priced Product

#5: Prospecting Pathway

#6: Promise

#7: Presentation

The first time I exposed others to the secrets in Self Publishing was in a weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.  We offered the camp for $1,500. 80 delegates enrolled.  People from all walks of life attended—chiropractors, businessmen, investors, doctors, realtors, inventors, airline pilots, engineers, and housewives.

Merri and I were so overwhelmed by the response, we decided to make it available to a larger audience.  We created a written course based on our current self publishing activity called “Self Fulfilled – How to be a Self Publisher.”  Then we recorded the weekend “Writer’s Camp” seminar.

Thousands have used the course as it has evolved over the decades.

You can receive both the written course and the recorded weekend seminar, in an MP3 file, in a special “Live Well and Free Anywhere” program I am making available to you.  The normal fee is $299 for the written course and $299 for the recorded workshop.   I’ll send you both the course and the recorded workshop and my course on how to expand the profits of what you write called “Eventful Business” (also $299) all for $299.  You save $598.

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within 60 days for a full refund .

These courses are not theoretical.  They describe, step-by-step, how Merri and I built a million-dollar international business and how we are running this self publishing business right now.   We use the 7Ps today just as we did four decades ago to create a strong annual income.

This correspondence course is for those who would like their own international self publishing micro business for fun and profit. If you want fun, freedom, extra income and fulfillment with your own full or part time writing or want to build your existing business, by writing to sell you can profit from this course.  The course can help who want their own business or who want to have a business together or a family business.  This is the perfect course for those who can no longer find employment, who are looking for ways to earn abroad and who wish to retire and supplement their income.

Whether you are retired, an investor, chiropractor, doctor, dentist, professional or already own your own business, this offers another way to make money, to turn your passion into profit. We guarantee that we have shared all we know to help you start and run your own international business.  Enjoy and live a life of following your Passion to Profit… through writing.

Here is a special offer. 

Whatever your passion, however you do business, chances are you’ll be writing either to create a product or to sell a product. 

You save more than $598 because you also receive a recorded webinar conducted by our webmaster David Cross (at no extra cost).

David-cross-images tags:"2012-4-20"

David Cross

David has been our webmaster since our website began in the 1990s.  He is Merri’s and my business partner. We could not run our business as we do without him.

Learn the tactics we use in our web business that condenses 27 years of practical experience about search engine optimization, and writing for search engines.

For the last 27 years David has worked with companies large and small – IBM, Agora Publishing, AstraZeneca and many small business owners.  He has worked in 22 countries, and lived in six of them.

David’s clients span the globe and represent companies and charities both large and small.  From corporate giants to small, one-woman businesses and everything from finance, healthcare, publishing, technology, real estate, veterinarians, alternative health centers and everything in between.

David is an essential part of our web based business.

Myles Norin, CEO of Agora, Inc.  wrote:  “I have found David’s knowledge and experience unmatched in the industry.  Without David’s expertise and guidance for the past 7 years, we would not be nearly as successful as we are.”

As Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Inc. in Baltimore, MD, he worked closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers and – over a 7-year period – helped to propel Agora’s online revenues from around $20 million to well over $300 million.

David’s webinar will help you gain benefits in your micro business that large internet marketing companies use.  In this practical recorded workshop you will learn valuable skills to help your micro business.

There has never been a time when the opportunity for small businesses abroad has been so outstanding.  Expand your borders now!  Increase your economic security freedom, independence and success.

If you are not fully satisfied that this offers you enormous value simply email us for a full refund within 60 days.  You can keep all three courses as our thanks for giving our courses a try.

You also receive a report  “How to use Relaxed Concentration to Brainstorm Business Ideas” and a recorded workshop “How to Become and Remain Rich With Relaxed Concentration” at no additional cost.

Plus you get more in the program.

You receive regular writing and self publishing updates for a year.  Businesses usually need to evolve.  Merri and I continue to publish and have our independent businesses.  Some basics have remained for decades, but new strategies occur all the time throughout the year.  We’ll be sending along updates that share our most recent experiences as we learn and continue to grow our international micro business from Smalltown USA.

My special offer to you in this “Live Well and Free Anywhere Program”, is that you receive:

  • “Self Fulfilled – How to Write to Sell” course
  • Video Workshop by our webmaster David Cross,
  • The entire weekend “Writer’s Camp” in MP3,
  • MP3 Workshop “How to Gain Added Success With Relaxed Concentration”
  • The business course “Eventful Business”
  • Any updates to any of the courses, workshops, reports or recordings for a year

We are so confident that you’ll gain from this offer that if you are not fully satisfied, simply email us within the first three months for a full refund. 

Order “Self Fulfilled – How to Publish to Sell” and a full year of update lessons $299.  Click Here.      

See success stories from Self Publishers and a few who have attended the “Writer’s Camp” that you will receive on MP3.



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