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Succeeding reader comments part 1


Ordered 3 books from you... Just finished "Succeeding..."

Absolutely and Totally Excellent... in every regard!

In fact, I am overwhelmed.

It's not just the information... it's the willingness for you to share your personal info... and to "call it like it is" regarding your life experiences!

I know I will need to read "Succeeding" many more times to get the full benefit.

You are an inspiration.


Travis McFee, DDS

Dear Reed Folks -- this book is awesome. Have bought several copies over the years. I am a mother of 4 teens…and well understand how difficult it is to reach them with life altering information. Thanks again for sharing this book with the public -- it is thoughtful and has saved me a lot of time that would have been spent trying to put information together from disparate sources. Hearing this from someone other than parents is helpful. First daughter graduating from HS. Thanks for sharing it with the public. Take care -- Diana

Hello to Marty and John, I have purchased all three of your previous editions of Succeeding. Now I am buying them for other people. It is the best non-fiction book I have ever read. Even at 58 it is not too late for me to learn from it. Many thanks... Bill Orland [Marty is John T. Reed’s wife]

The words you write in your books ring true. They sound much like the advice my own father used to give me, and I live my life by his words and what he taught me.

I made this, my third purchase from you because I want my son to read what you have to say about succeeding. I am sure they will be wise words.

When my son is through with the book, I plan on reading it myself.

Best wishes to you,

Jim Peterson

Hi John - Your book is a great book. I have purchased it, and it is one of my all time favorite "self help" books. I will forward this to the people I know who have a young high school graduate in their family.

Best Regards,

Steve Beach

Hi John,

I just wanted to let you know I finished your book Succeeding and enjoyed it very much. It is easily worth double the price. There's so much good stuff in it.

 It confirmed many beliefs I've come to after years of trial and error in my twenties so I found it reassuring. For example, I've never been a great employee and never ended a job on good terms. But I've made over $2000 a week in self-employment (just not always consistent with it). I'm always tempted to go back to a job because it's normal, but now I know I should make self employment work for me.

 I'm also really glad you talked about drinking and sobriety. I quit drinking a year ago and I must say it might be the single best thing I've done for myself. Most people should not get involved with drinking. It is a huge time and money suck and creates potential for many other problems. I wrote this article about it to celebrate the one year mark:

 I shared it in a few places and got inspiring comments. Some people have said they're struggling with issues related to drinking. I got one hater who said it was basically my fault for over doing it. haha. I guess it comes with the territory though.

 Anyways, I just wanted to pass it along as you might enjoy it. Thanks for writing your military articles. And thanks for writing Succeeding.


 Joe Choi

Mr. Reed,

 Succeeding is a book that's worth its weight in gold. 

I've read the book cover-to-cover several times, and even now, every time I read a section, I learn something new.  All of the advice in Succeeding pertains to topics that are hugely important to me. I appreciate the details regarding achievement, risk, success, and happiness.  As someone who is still at the early stage of his career, I find your insights to be incredibly valuable.

 What impresses me most is that the advice in Succeeding is highly credible.  You have a collection of impressive achievements, longevity, and no hidden agenda.  As a skeptical reader who has read over a hundred self-help books, it is often hard to determine what advice I can trust.  I pay especially close attention to your words because you are someone who, based on decades of experience, understands what it takes to achieve goals that are universally respected.  You include your failures, and the lessons you learned from them. 

What I can say is that the vast majority of your advice is damn good, and my life has been greatly enriched by studying Succeeding carefully.

In fact, I enjoyed Succeeding so much that I've decided to order 3 more of your books.  Keep doing what you're doing, so people like me will continue to gain tremendously from your experience.

Warmest regards,


 Hello Mr. Reed,

I am a college senior currently reading Succeeding. I haven't read a personal development/success book as dense with valuable content as yours.

The best part of the book (so far) in my opinion is your explanation of Reed's Law in large organizations: "No one can be more honest than anyone above him in the chain of command."

That really hit me when I read it. Like cold water poured over the head. All I can say is thankfully I'm working for a tiny start-up software company when I graduate.

Oliver Hudson

Hello John,

First, Merry Christmas!

Yours is probably the first email I have received in years wishing me a Merry Christmas. Not "happy holidays," not "seasons greetings," but "Merry Christmas."


I just ordered your latest edition of "Succeeding."

I have also purchased the previous two editions of "Succeeding." Technically, I'm probably two decades and then some past what some might consider the "target market" for that book. However, I've found it quite interesting and inspiring, despite that "technicality." It has ratified some of my own thinking, given me some things to ponder, and frankly, is a pleasure to read. It has that enjoyable, conversational tone that all exceptional books have. Besides that, you are a smart and insightful guy.

Warmest regards,

Greg Carpenter

Hi John,

Six years ago, when my wife was my fiancé, I commented that your book “Succeeding is Brilliant” and that my fiancé and I really enjoy reading it. Well, six years later, my wife and I still think Succeeding is Brilliant and we still very much love reading it.

Kind Regards,

James Kahn
Phoenix, AZ

[Reed note: I am not brilliant. What is unique about me is I really say what I think. That seems normal to me but it is apparently impossible for the vast majority of people. I have no idea why. With regard to succeeding in life, maybe most people are too embarrassed by the reality of the adult world to explain how to deal with it.]

Coach, I read your Succeeding book and I probably learned more useful information from that book alone than I did in 13 years of grade school and 5 years of college. The information from the book is vital to having success, but unfortunately we never learn these things in school.

John Deramo, Jr.

Indeed, the only thing I didn't like about Succeeding was that I didn't have it when I was graduating college. I had to learn many things the hard way: find a job that matches your strengths, the volleyball team story also hit home (finding a team that matches your abilities), etc.

Joshua Reed (no relation to John T. Reed from Facebook

I have purchased and read all three editions of Succeeding. It is the most profoundly useful non-fiction book I have ever read. I would have hugely benefited from reading this when I graduated from high school. Unfortunately, that was a long time ago. I still hope to use it where I can. Now, if I can only get my high school children to read it...

Bill Orland on Facebook

Dear Mr. Reed,

I have recently finished reading your book, Succeeding, and reviewed it twice. It was by far the best success book I have ever read. To put it more accurately, this is the first and only book I read in regards to succeeding, which is authentic, thorough, brutally candid, and relevant to the current time. Almost all of the contents are backed by your real life experiences. I laughed, got emotional and sometimes disturbed.

Before I read your book, I thought I was relatively diligent and hardworking. Sadly, it wasn't the case. It turned out that I was much lazier and more immature than I originally thought I was. I thought I was an honest person but I figured that I merely had half-ass, lukewarm integrity and inner strength when it came to facing with unethical outside pressures. This realization made me quite uncomfortable. I am embarrassed that I sent you a lengthy thank you note previously the way I did.

Reading about your Dating System story made me laugh. So did about the stories of your former bosses.

Well, your readers' raves about this book are certainly right. I am very glad that I read it. Like one of the readers comment, I wish I could have read it much much earlier. Yet, at the same time, I know that I wouldn't have appreciated this as much back then since I didn't go through my share of B.S. gurus's books and seminars. In the end, I was able to find you and your book out of my past mess. It took for a quite long time, but I found you. The book and its message is truly a gem.

In order for me to really thank you, I feel that I need to act upon and rebuild my life using the knowledge and information you gave me. When the day arrives, I will let you know what happens and send you another thank you note.

Till then,

Thank you, once again!


Your Succeeding book was a life changing book for me. It's a book I wished I had when I was 17 but could not have understood it until I was 27 when I read it. It drove a lot of sense into me. It made me re-evaluate many areas in my life. Caused me to see and do things differently. Thank you!

Jack Young posted on Facebook

hey John,

Just a quick follow-up on the email I sent you 2 years ago.

I thought you might want to know that your book LITTERALY changed my life. 2 months after reading succeeding and applying the principles I learned in it, I met my wife, a year later, we got married. A month ago, she gave birth to our daughter. [The book focuses on finding where you belong in life, careerwise, and with whom you belong, marriage-wise.]

The reason why this is significant is: I read lots and lots of books before reading yours. Few if any of them had that kind of impact on thinking and my life.

But that's not it, I now started a blog, and I'm working on a book, after reading some of your other stuff.

Here is the link to my blog!/PatrickLJacques

Anyway, thanks a lot!


Hey Coach,

I love your books. I have been coaching football and baseball for over 30 years, I truly enjoy reading your work. Keep up the great job, and keep me posted on any new books out there that you have written lately.

PS: I have the one on being a success, lead me towards a direction, if you know of any other authors out there that come close to your work on success or motivation.

Coach Capra
Head Freshman / Head Baseball
Hartland High School
Hartland, MI 48353

Thanks again for what you do, John. Thanks for helping me to see deeper.

Regards, Bryan Rush

Hey guys,

Hope you're well. Just wanted to send out a quick recommendation (above).

As you know, I'm always on the look-out for a writer with a fresh perspective. This has it in spades; I haven't read anything quite like
it. The closest writer that comes to mind, Christopher Langan, writes on entirely different topics, but these two guys have some intangible quality in common. Recall that Christopher Langan is the bartender who writes books on the meaning of life / the universe / mathematics, etc., and purportedly has the highest IQ in the world (somewhere between 195-210). Interestingly, it seems that Langan & Reed are close to the same age; I bet Malcolm Gladwell would have a theory about that.

I recall reading in one book review of Reed's works that he has an "acerbic" style. There's truth to that, and it's enjoyable to digest. I think one of his chief strengths is his uncanny ability to view the world, well, 'objectively' - - as much as that is possible I suppose.
If you're interested, you can find it online easily - just google John T. Reed Publishing and you'll get to it right off.

Patrick Smith

I wanted to write to tell you that I think Succeeding is an excellent book and it was even better than I expected.

Kevin Kelly

Thoroughly enjoyed your Succeeding and Baseball Coaching books. Also, from someone who played baseball at Princeton University and then spent 8 frustratingly long years in the Navy (wrought with the same "counselling sessions" you frequently mentioned from your Army days), I find your detailing of your son's football career and your own military commentary to be incredibly accurate.

Dylan Jones <>

Dear Mr Reed,

I ordered Succeeding on 05/25/2011 and have finished reading it after a week or so. To describe my experience, in short, I couldn't stop reading it because every chapter and every point is all true. While reading it I recalled and thought about the past fifteen years of my life and I regretted it. I wish I could have read your book earlier. Your book could have helped me cut through all those learning curves and all those mistakes that I have done partly as a result of a gullible youth….

I have lost five digits sum of money by following B.S. authors …. I wouldn't have lost all those money if I have read your book. Thank you very much.

And btw, on your homepage, it says "May be the best possible graduation gift on earth." I think it should read "DEFINITELY..." instead of the modest "May be..."
Also, I am recommending Succeeding and your website to my brother in law who just graduated from UCLA. I think he's gonna love it.

Best regards,

Bill Marson,
Jakarta, Indonesia

Hey John,

I purchased your book Suceeding. In it you say you are not a people person. But I do know you care about people. If this were not so you wouldn't have written such a great book like succeeding. I teach youth Bible study at my local church and plan on teaching from your book, Succeeding. Also, like you, I am an individualist. I march to the beat of my own drum.


Succeeding is my favorite of all your books. Great advice at any age, but especially good for young adults.

Darrell Woodruff

I purchased your book several months ago and have found it valuable, interesting, and stimulating. But I didn't just graduate- I'm 52 years old! Many of the ideas are timeless, and for that matter obvious- but as you know, it is often our own shortcomings that are the hardest to see. Very good read and well worth the price!

Kent Norris

I have been completely satisfied by all the books I've ordered previously from John Reed and am looking forward eagerly to reading his latest on protecting oneself from the coming financial crisis.

John Whiteheart

Hi John,
I just finished Succeeding. The only thing I hated about reading that book was finishing it. I did not want it to stop. I cannot thank you enough for having produced a work of such insight.
I've been reading success books for years, many of which I could not finish it. Tony Robbins says in the introduction of one of his books that only an insignificant proportion of people who buy success books get past the first couple pages, I'm not surprised.
The 'success' industry is not about giving advice, it's about entertaining, it's about feeding people's fantasies, and perhaps more importantly, it's about giving people hope. And selling hope is good business. People will pay anything for hope.
Anyway, Succeeding is the best (tied with think and grow rich) success book I've read in my life. Actually, I see it as the practical counterpart of Think & Grow rich. And so, I did want to take a few seconds to say thank you.
I will say this: I think a man's greatest strength is often is greatest weakness, and I think that the very qualities that make you so good at what you do could possibly hurt you a bit in certain areas, but hey, this is true for all men who ever accomplished anything of any significance, so I don't know if it's even worth mentioning.[Reed comment: See my YouTube video “Don’t be a weed.”]
In any case, keep up the good work.
Oh yes, one last point about Robert K[iyosaki]. I understand where you come from, and the points you make are valid, but I think it's important to realize that the problem is not RK or any other gurus, the problem is people's inability or unwillingness to think critically (there will always be someone else out there trying to mislead you, intentionally or not). And when you refuse to think, you will be mislead, even by excellent information.
Ok, I've said enough.
All the best John!

I want to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed reading (and sharing) Succeeding and How to Publish. Looking forward to your thoughts on the economy.

J.B. Sinnott

My dad bought me Succeeding and I loved it - just started JV Football - this was my first year coaching in HS and I can not put the book down. Your book is giving me many new thoughts. Thanks,


Great article [about the Succeeding book] . I have bought both of your Succeeding books and the Inflation/Deflation book. All well written. Am giving them to my [adult] year old son to read.

Al Chariton


Your Succeeding book should be required reading for all high school seniors, college freshmen or kids in their 20’s. Great book. I am very impressed with your approach to life and your insistence on analysis based in fact, reason and logic. It is refreshing to see that in real estate and all walks of life.

Nick Giuditta
Trusts and Estates attorney, Westfield, NJ


I've got to admit, that was an excellent book. My parents read it and said the same thing.
Bruce Hough, MD

Mr. Reed,

Your outspokenness is precisely why you're a breath of fresh air.  You are willing to tell the truth and evaluate things objectively to help other people.  Obviously, you are providing information/expertise of value.  That is why I enjoy purchasing/reading your books. 

Succeeding is an outstanding book with a lot of good advice.  I read it often….

…keep up the outstanding body of work, stay healthy, keep writing and keep coaching. … you are my concept of the American dream, in many ways because you are making a good living being honest and sticking to your principles, even if they aren't always well-received in all circles.

Mahi Reddy

Thank you

Mr. Reed,

Thank you for my "Succeeding" book! I hope [How to Protect Your Life Savings from Hyperinflation & Depression] is even half as informative; if so, I should end up very well (maybe even overly) prepared for the coming financial crisis!)

Ben Brown

Mr. Reed,

Hi, I saw this book when I was visiting my cousin and took a look through a couple of the chapters.  The information in the book is really great and it's very well written so I'm ordering another copy before I leave.  Thanks so much.

Anup Myneni

I've purchased Succeeding. and think it's an excellent book, I refer to it all the time. I can count on one hand the number of books I've read on success which are so rich in content, thank you.

antoine bouchard

I am Jimmy Hill from North Carolina. I read some of your books. I loved them, man. You really are doing everyone a service by your non-B.S. way of life.

I bought the Succeeding book and loved it.

When I started studying real estate, I was an idiot. I believed all that Kiyosaki B.S. You could by a property for little to nothing down and the rent would more than cover the expenses etc. I found out that was a load of bull in a hurry.

But after wasting years of studying this nonsense I finally started reading your books. Now I laugh at the advice those real estate books at the local bookstore give. I realized how little I really did know and fell for a sales pitch.

I also come from a family that does not motivate anyone to get an education. It's like they believe education wasn't important. I use to believe that, until I found out the hard way. Once I started getting a job, I found out that the ones who were telling me what to do and making the money were the college graduates. And that is true at every place I have ever worked.

Just wanting to let you know that I am supporting you 100% and thank you for putting me on the right track with real estate. I also like your new military page. Terrific.

Best of luck to you.
Jimmy Hill from Facebook

[Reader responding to email suggesting Succeeding as a Christman gift:]

Thank you John but I already have the 1st and 2nd Edition of Succeeding.

I'm probably not the first to say I wish I had read it when young (before
joining the military, etc.)

Happy Holidays,

Greg Helfer, Pharm.D.

Dear Mr Reed,
I’ve had some correspondence with you recently; you quoted me from my thoughts on your review of “The Unforgiving Minute”.
As I said back in that conversation, reading that review tipped me into picking up a copy of “Succeeding” from you. Decided not to wait for Christmas after all.
And what a read it was.
I do intend to write you a more formal testimonial in future which I’d be happy to be quoted on, because frankly you deserve it for this book.  For the moment, though, this was a great read, tremendous amounts of information to absorb, and even more importantly a surfeit of just plain good advice.  I didn’t get a “buzz” experience as I tended to get from some of the property “guru” books – that ‘buzz’ was usually from the rah-rah, you-can-do-it stuff which is in the books and which I know you’re aware of.
What I got from your book was a sense of information “clicking” into place – a sense that the information I was being given was accurate, born of experience, and at some level – probably the common-sense level – what I already knew.  An author named Frank Herbert once said that you can discern true religion from the false by the fact that when you learn it, it enters you as something you’ve always known.  Not saying your book’s a religion, or anything like that – I saw your comments about your discomfort with elements of the halo effect – but it just had that wonderful, straightforward, common-sense element to it that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten from another self-help or real estate investment book in the market.  Many, many thanks for taking the time and effort to write this book.  It’s well worth the asking price and more.
Kind regards,

I found your first edition of "Succeeding" informative and real-world.  I am looking forward to the updates in the second edition.

Robert Nall

Thanks Jack I've purchased [Succeeding] and refer to [it] often. ...thanks!!! for making me look great and [like I] know, REALLY KNOW what I'm doing!

Buddy Hicks

John T. Reed has just published the second edition of his most popular book, Succeeding. It was 205 pages, and now it’s 320. This was a terrific book: I highly recommend it.

Bill Mencarrow
Owner, The Paper Source newsletter

Dear Mr. Reed, I have been reading your books on real estate investment for several years and have found your advice to be honest, sensible, and innovative. Your knowledge has made me money and made me more aware of risks and how to reduce those risks. My goal is to read all of your books on real estate investment and I am slowly working my way towards that goal. Your book Succeeding has been a light; I had an absent father--your book gave me some of that fatherly advice that I missed out on. It has helped me prioritize what is important in life, set goals that will make me happy and healthy, and a roadmap to achieve those goals. It is in my desk at work and I often refer to it.

Jonathan Davis, JD

Love your books. Your Succeeding book is one of my favorites. I reference or read it daily. In your Succeeding book you talk about natural talents; you're definitely talented in writing. I really appreciate it. I finally feel like I've connected with a writer who is not me. I wish this book was around when I was in my early twenties. Thanks again.
Ryan VanDyke

Please go to Succeeding reader comments Part 2