Prosper Students Get a First-Look at Prosper Book
Prosper Students | Provo, UT
New York City, NY
(Right to left) Steve Schussler, It's a Jungle Out There; Randy Garn, Prosper; Jeffrey Gitomer, Little Red Book of Sales; Kevin Hall, Aspire
Prosper Students | Provo, UT
Jeff Kempton | Mount Timpanogos, UT
Neak Jenks | Mount Timpanogos, UT
Scott Anderson | Singapore
Dave Crenshaw | Ventura, CA
Every top money-maker I've ever worked with lives and breathes the principles Prosper so eloquently teaches.
Aleksandra Efimova | Chicago IL
As Ethan Willis and Randy Garn so beautifully describe in this book the steps to reaching your "Polaris Point," I thought long and hard about my journey to inner peace and prosperity. The most important lesson I've learned is that happiness is relative. It comes with a fine balance between your expectations, aspirations and the realities of our own lives.
I'm proud to say that today I'm living the American dream.
My story is one of a young Russian immigrant moving from the booming metropolis of St. Petersburg to the small and quaint town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was quite an adjustment, but one that sparked my curiosity for the world, culture and the arts.
When I was teenager I wrote in my journal what I would like my life to be like when I grew up. I envisioned living in a high-rise building in a cosmopolitan city and walking down the street among fashionable people. I wanted to drive a BMW or a Mercedes. I knew I wanted to do some kind of work in the arts. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and start my own business. I wanted to make money.
I had no idea how powerful that journal entry would be. As I got older, I often re-read it, just to remember what my goals had been at 15. Surprisingly, each time I looked at it, I was closer to achieving my dreams.
In 1998 at age 20 and a junior in college, I founded my first company, Russian Pointe, and began selling luxury ballet pointe shoes that I imported from Russia. Once Russian Pointe took off, I decided to expand my education and was accepted to Harvard Business School's prestigious Owner/President Management Program. The Harvard experience opened my eyes to even more possibilities to create a sustainable and long-term vision for my company's growth and to engage my employees in that vision. It taught me how to clearly articulate goals, effectively communicate with my employees and prioritize the many projects we juggle.
Business was growing after the launch of Russian Pointe, but I didn't stop there. As I became more successful financially, my passion and desire for arts education and international relations only grew stronger. That's when I decided to start a new venture in 2010 with the launch of Growing Through Arts. This endeavor is very close to my heart because it engenders learning and exploration about the arts in children through the use of children's books, e-books, toys, games and mobile phone applications.
Today, I am a successful business owner, the founder of the non-profit organization Russian Culture Now, which aims to enrich people's lives by increasing awareness of and appreciation for Russia's current contributions to the fine arts by fostering an international interchange of ideas. I was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley to co-chair the Moscow Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International and by Illinois Senator Mark Kirk to chair the Russian and Eastern European Advisory Board.
I feel prosperous, not because I've made money, but because I discovered early on what truly makes me happy ― to create what's never been done before and to have an influence on society and on the world.
We're all a work of art, constantly changing and evolving, unique and flawed, but that's what makes us human beings. I wouldn't be where I am today without a solid foundation and the strong belief that I still have to work on bettering myself every day. We're all works in progress.
I've learned that to make your happiness sustainable, you must create a life filled with things you like to do, rather than with things you like to have. To remain truly happy and prosperous, you must use your original vision as a guide, but you must also let your vision change as you grow and mature. We should be free and flexible, open to change based on new experiences we have and new people we meet along the way.
I've found that prosperity comes easily when you're living true to your own values and goals. When you live in harmony with yourself and the universe, the right things come your way and the right doors open. All you must do is be willing to open them and you will find your "Polaris Point."
Gary Spirer | Austin TX
I did not know what to expect. A book on prosperity is what Randy Garn had told me he had written.
I had come to know Randy as a cofounder of Prosper Inc., a coaching group, and I knew Randy's company had achieved a lot of success and that Randy had graduated from Harvard Business School. But, when it comes to writing books, smart people running very successful companies can write some very dull, boring books.
As someone who has read literally thousands of books on numerous subjects, I must admit, I possessed a lot of skepticism. Was this going to be another rah, rah book on "you can be wealthy too"?
When I received Randy's book called Prosper: Create the Life You Really Want, I noticed that his co-author was CEO and co-founder of Prosper Inc., Ethan Willis. I turned to read about Ethan and discovered he had co-written a #1 Wall Street Journal and New York Time's bestseller called The One Minute Entrepreneur. Ethan also had been recognized as "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young.
O.K. Two smart guys.
When I started reading Prosper, I was immediately intrigued when I came to the fact that Randy and Ethan had founded Prosper in 1999 and had coached over 75,000 people of all ages in 80 countries to become more successful. 75,000 people is a lot of people!
As I kept reading, the book reminded me of a great European film that starts out with no rush to wow you; then, suddenly you find yourself hooked by its genius.
That's what the book Prosper does.
In today's crazy, frantic age with so many unknowns and great uncertainty, Prosper becomes the comforting voice that lays out a compelling blueprint for living a fulfilled life.
Prosperity is defined as money + happiness + sustainability:
"We see prosperity as multi-dimensional. When you are happy, when you have enough money and when you are at peace with earning that money, this leads to [a] sustainable state we describe as Prosperity. Balancing these three things — money plus happiness plus sustainability — leads to prosperity. The prosperity that we value depends on creating income consistent with our inner selves, our core selves, and without that, no amount of external compensation can fully make us happy...
"This book is not about happiness. It is about how money interacts with our lives and how we spend our days and efforts earning it...By money, we mean income sufficient to support your goals...
"How much money is enough to ensure sustainable prosperity? The answer is enough to support your financial dreams in a way that honors your deeply-held values and principles but not so much that your money distracts or alienates you from those very values or principles. The trick is to make your work feel more like an activity you enjoy than activity you dread."
When you read Prosper, you start to realize that prosperity comes from the inside out. Prosperity takes into account your entire being. You have to like who you are and be brutally honest about what you really want. What makes you excited to jump up out of bed and want to take another step in your journey called life?
To start or accelerate this prosperity journey, you need to ask yourself — or with the help of a partner — some questions such as:
Prosperity is much more than financial success since financial success alone is often short-lived, inconsistent or anti-climactic.
The goal is "to create lives of breathtaking wealth, balance and, yes, grace...sustainable prosperity."
The incredible power of Prosper is that it teaches alignment. Think of a car that's out of alignment and not fine-tuned: It doesn't run on all cylinders; the drive is far from smooth and does not reach its full potential.
In Prosper, you suddenly realize that, for pennies, Randy and Ethan are walking you through the Prosper coaching method worth thousands of dollars.
The Prosper Method involves Six Practices:
You will enjoy the exercises and case studies in Prosper, such as when Ryan Bingham talks to Natalie, a young woman he is mentoring on finding her Polaris Point.
You'll enjoy writing your list to what you consider your 7 wonders of the world.
You'll be surprised at who prospers more: The Lawyer versus The Janitor.
You'll take money quizzes and your Prosperity Profile.
You'll love the story of how Dan Gazaway created an academy for those who want to become baseball pitchers.
In the end, prosperity comes down to you, your own words you tell yourself — your self-talk — and what you believe makes for a life fully lived.
As Eric Butterworth stated "Prosperity is not just having things, it's the consciousness that attracts the things. Prosperity is a way of living and thinking and not just having money or things. Poverty is a way of living and thinking and not just a lack of money or things."
You'll truly love the book Prosper!
George Brunt | Provo, UT
This book will help you achieve true prosperity. It is destined to be a number one best seller!
Jade Koyle | UT
Prosper contains the keys to sustainable personal economic progress.
Josh Christopherson | UT
Prosper has truly helped me create the life I really want. Not only have I been able to reach my “Polaris Point”, as a consultant I have been able to help literally thousands of people begin the process to reach theirs because of the principals taught in this book. Ethan and Randy really know what it takes to change lives, because the strategies they teach have changed mine and countless others. This book will create a lifetime of happiness for everyone who adds it to their library. It belongs on your bookshelf right next to “Think and Grow Rich”.
Brett Hickey | New York, NY
Brett Hickey was born and raised in north western Canada, the son of two school teachers living in a small town. At the age of six, Brett lost his Mother to breast cancer, and could have lost his Aunt to the same disease had it not been for the treatments that saved her life. These defining moments, combined with the love and coaching from his then single Father (a principal of a French-immersion middle school who later stepped down to become a high school math and science teacher in order to spend more time with his son) created an awareness and passion for helping others. Brett’s drive and passion combined with his early life experiences inspired a form of social entrepreneurship and innovation with a profound belief that strong, profitable businesses can best be built with soul, spirit and scale.
Graduating with a dual diploma in French and English, Brett was exposed to other cultures generally not afforded to small town kids. Brett was determined to not have “can’t afford it” as a reason why he couldn’t do or have things. Having worked nearly a dozen odd jobs from shoveling the snow off roofs to pumping gas, Brett went to work on oil drilling rigs – the highest paying job available after graduating from high school. In one year, he rose the ranks quickly earning an annualized $150k salary at the age of 18. After saving enough money working for twelve months, while also having experienced the loss of two friends being killed on the rigs, Brett decided to head back to school in pursuit of a better life.
Always driven, Brett set Canadian speed skating records, winning a Canadian gold medal and North American bronze medal. While skating on the national training team in Calgary, Alberta, Brett co-founded an on-line work placement agency in the health care industry. During this phase, he was injured in a cycling accident, and abandoned his dreams to skate in the Olympics to focus on business and his college education with aspirations of making it into Canada’s top international school, McGill University. He was accepted and was also able to live with his Aunt, another deeply important influence in his life. “Was I disappointed about not heading to the Olympics? Of course, after making it so far, but my life has always been a constant quest to live the most successful and happy life possible, striving and pushing myself to new limits, though often redirected by outside circumstances,” Brett said. “The successful people I’ve met and admired are those who understand it is not what happens that matters, it’s how we respond and that we continually strive to improve.”
Brett graduated with honors from McGill with a major in finance and a concentration in accounting. In the very difficult 2001 recruiting year, he was awarded a position at Salomon Smith Barney (then the investment banking division of the largest financial institution in the world.) “As with many entrepreneurial endeavors, we do our research but always face obstacles along the way. For example, when I moved to New York, I realized that with no U.S. credit history I could not rent an apartment so I found two guys I’d met during recruiting and created a bedroom by building a temporary wall in their living room,” Brett said. “While the hundred-hour work weeks were challenging and it was very hard to have any balance in life, my time in investment banking was incredibly rewarding. Institutional training and experiences from top tier investment banking teaches people how to execute quickly and precisely with extreme attention to detail and the need to multi-task in order to survive. One of the more exciting transactions, I prepared the financial model and analysis on was the $16 billion, front page of the Wall Street Journal, reverse triangle merger of Travelers and St. Paul insurance companies with Nuveen asset management.”
While working at Salomon Smith Barney, Brett’s creative and entrepreneurial passions took over as he developed an investment thesis where he raised his first private equity fund of just over $20 million (at just twenty-five years old). Over the next four years, Brett raised a number of other funds, was involved in bank formations and invested in over 50 small and medium-sized businesses ranging from controlling stake acquisitions to senior secured loans giving him exposure and learning to all types of investment structures.
“That was an awesome couple of years. We had a sound investment thesis, but until documents are signed and money transfers hands, nothing is a done deal.” Developing and growing the initial funds was a lot of hard and creative work with limited resources. While the businesses grew rapidly and a substantial amount of value was created, Brett realized there was something missing. “There was one thing I had little training in, and that was around building cultures. I also realized that I wanted to do more than just make money and that I passionately pursued many of my humanitarian endeavors but found they often conflicted.”
Through exposure to organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Brett realized that entrepreneurship, investing and benefiting society could co-exist with synergy. He joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), and embarked upon a three year program for distinguished business owners at Harvard Business School (HBS) in order to spend time with as many business owners as possible and maximize learning around operations and culture to supplement his entrepreneurial and investing experiences.
“Today I am still very actively involved as the Chairman of Networks for the New York City Chapter of YPO and graduated this year from Harvard Business School. They have been two of the most rewarding experiences of my life both personally and professionally.” In an incubator-type fashion, Brett used his time and resources to construct a new platform combining social good with building businesses in a way that improves financial outcomes instead of the old way of thinking that benefiting society has to come at a financial cost. Thus, Availor Group was born.
Availor is a word created as a derivative of the word “Avail” which broadly means to help. Despite a long journey ahead to accomplish all he wishes, Brett now has a platform and culture united to make a meaningful difference in the world while creating substantial financial wealth in a way that awakens him with excitement and drive. For those who know Brett, they know he is full of energy which has only increased with this new awakening and mission.
On “having it all” and finding true prosperity, Brett hopes one day he will start a family and raise children who will benefit from a healthier, happier and more balanced world. “I’m in a really good place, in my early thirties, because I love what I do and the people I work with.”
As for advice to others seeking true prosperity? “Create a dream and then build it. Don’t be consumed with people telling you how difficult everything will be. If I had listened to some, I’d still be on the oil drilling rigs. Richard Branson was a large inspiration to me as someone who relentlessly pursued his passions, overcame many obstacles and now lives an amazing life personally and professionally, while substantially giving back to humanity.”
Another piece of advice Brett passes along is to be very selective about the people you spend your time with. “Do your diligence on the type of people they are. Everybody is good at receiving money, but few make the right decisions in challenging times which may negatively affect them. I now ensure everyone I do business with is involved with and passionate about humanity in one way or another. This, to me, says they care with their actions, not just their words. If you are reading this you are likely in a position to make a substantial change in the world. It might not happen overnight, but it is possible! Imagine the impact we can all create!”