Succeeding reader comments, Part 2
I am almost finish in reading Succeeding, it totally changed my perception with regards to marriage, net worth and almost everything you said. I am now determined to start real estate investing. Thank you very much for your very wonderful books.
While I highly recommend this book for readers of all ages, if I were teaching a high school freshman class in any subject, I would make it a mandatory text.
Dr. Kenneth W. Edwards, Book Review Editor, The Real Estate Professional
Jack and Marty,
Thanks for the quick response sending the books. I was able to take "Succeeding" with me to my brother's house in Hughson (SE of Modesto) to read while there. Am CONSUMING it! Great stuff, but lots to read. Am enjoying it thoroughly enjoying "getting to know you" and marking the hell out of it.
... I just wanted to say how much I am getting out of the info and your "turn of words.". You certainly have a way with them! Can't wait to employ some of this stuff but want to thoroughly understand what I'm doing before I get started screwing around with my current invested monies.
Thanks for the great writing and for shooting straight from the hip, Jack, and for all the help and the quick delivery of my requested titles, Marty. Warmly,
Here I am again buying another copy because I find the information too valuable for my loved ones to go without. Your book has helped me succeed and everyone I’ve given a copy to. Thank you.
I am in the middle of your book "succeeding", great stuff.....
I purchased your How to Write, Publish and Sell Your Own How-To Book and your Succeeding book approximately one month ago. Thanks to your book, I have begun writing two books. One on the homebuying process and another on personal finance. I wanted to commend you for writing two thorough and easy to read books.
Your How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Own How-To-Book was an excellent and detailed analysis on how and why to self-publish. I also want to thank you for writing your Succeeding book. As a 26 year old who is looking at other careers and settings goals with a wife and child, I am often displeased with the drivel of career and goal attainment books on the market. Instead of ideas such as "staying positive", you actually offered concrete examples and steps based on your valuable experience.
My wife made the mistake of opening the box of books when they came to the house. She instantly said "you paid what? These books are so small!". After two weeks she began reading the books and realized how valuable the content was.
Thank you very much for your books, they are superior to anything on the market today.
I enjoyed the first edition so much that I want to see the additions. I give your newsletter first priority when it arrives each month. Thanks for sharing your great wisdom.
I am finding reading “Succeeding” to be very invigorating. It’s practical, common sense, honest advice is great. Actually it’s the best book I have ever read on the subject.
I got it to give to Sam for Christmas. I started to leaf through it, stopped went to the beginning and started to read page by page.
Now I am taking notes.
Here I am at 55 (today) about to start a new venture from January next year. Yet I feel like I am just starting out. I can talk about previous experiences both good and bad and yet none of that matters, as it has all brought me to this point.
I loved your comments on sleep deprivation in the army. I recall grabbing sleep where ever I could. I remember travelling on buses, as a young officer cadet, where you would expect a lot of chatter and fooling around. Within a few minutes we would all be asleep grabbing a few precious ZZZZZZZZZZZ !!!
All the best from [Australia]
Loved the first edition, lent it to a friend and never saw it again. (Guess he liked it as much as I did.) The new chapters sound solid, can't wait to read 'em!
The first [edition] was one of the best books I ever read.
Dear Mr. Reed:
I received your "Succeeding" book very quickly after ordering it and am thoroughly enjoying it. I am 66 and looking forward to figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Thanks for writing the books. I've had a lot of seminars, and none of them contained as much information as one of your books, even at ten times the price or more.
Thanks, and looking forward to your next book,
Thanks John! I received 'Succeeding' on Friday and have not been able to put it down. Even at 42 there is plenty which I can apply to make improvements in my approach to life. Thanks. Hey, have you been approached to mentor or consult on a fee basis? There are going to be a lot of Financial folks out of work in the coming weeks. Your unique style and lack of sugar coating would do them wonders!
Just got your book Succeeding it is a very powerful book..
Just thumbing through I could tell it was written by "one of us"( engineers).... I'm a civil engineer myself, in Piscataway NJ.
It takes a very nebulous subject that can be defined in so many ways and puts some real practical "handles" on it.
Readers can grasp how to frame succeeding in there own life and put their own dimension to it.
Very practical advice, presented in a humanistic manner.
Your pages are very impressive. I've spent a couple days now poring over half a dozen of them. I must say, your perspective regarding real estate investing [hands-on, no-nonsense and *specific*(!)] is so refreshing. I wish I had known about your books (particularly "Succeeding") about 5 years ago before spinning my wheels through my late 20's. I'd possibly have been a real estate investor by now. Luckily, my failures didn't cause me to part with large sums of cash, having avoided buying Mr. Kiyosaki's or Carleton Sheets' 'systems,' but I have a couple (slightly more credulous) friends who parted with a significant amount of money on those endeavors (which nothing to show for it to date). I did however part with large sums of cash on lost opportunities (possibly, possibly not) not making progress toward this goal for 5 years lacking knowledge, not having been invested in real estate and thus having no gains (or income), or by constructing a plan or raising necessary capital to begin that endeavor (the latter lack of capital is largely the result of a mortgage on a principal residence, where I'm 'happy,' but probably was an unwise financial move to pay during the '04 near-peak for a 1,000-square-foot house). I suspect having your book(s) and/or pages, with your sober, realistic, and specific advice on my mind during that time would have given me more direction and clarity. I've been annoyed and frustrated to no end the last 5 years trying to find a book with *specifics.*
As much as I'd like to dive headlong into real estate with your 'Getting Started..' I'm thinking of making sure my affairs are in order more generally, and recently stumbling across "Succeeding" seems fortuitous, but after having bought a dozen books in 5+ years (a few I'm happy with but they tend to be stock oriented e.g. Bogle's and Malkiel's books), I'm approaching every last 'success,' real estate investing, etc. purchase with (undue?) caution. These things are 'only' 30 bucks a pop (or so), but 10 of these failed endeavors is three to four hundred dollars(!) and much lost time.
Joshua E. Reed [No relation]
I very much have enjoyed the books and newsletter. You've definitely
saved me from making some bad mistakes and easily saved me the cost of all the
books I've purchased. Thanks again!
I have read a lot of motivational and business books and your book succeeding touched me. I can totally relate to most of what you said.
Am 25% of the way through the book and loving every page. This is a phenomenal piece of work. I'm 48 and stumbled across some (but my no means all) of these ideas along the way. Sending a copy to recent college grad who has got everything it takes to succeed (discipline, work ethic, integrity), but just needs some deep real world pointers on what it's all about. Thanks for the effort of writing this thing.
I recently received your book Succeeding. While I don't agree with everything you've said, I've found it to be one of the best in it's genre.
I read your book Succeeding, which I bought last year. I have no doubt that I'll get several decades of experience for several hundred dollars--what a terrific benefit for me. Thank you!
I wanted to thank you for producing a wonderful book. I have read many "self help" books over the years and Succeeding is head and shoulders above the rest. Your advice is thoughtful and useful.
You are first author who seriously discusses the pros and cons of setting correct goals and encouraging the reader to think, in advance, about the consequences. Your discussion of fame and the cost of being the top dog, is worth the price of the book. The area on dating is priceless (the roommate test is perfect).
I appreciate what you say about investing. The financially secure person is the one who saves over time and dose not get caught up in the opportunity of the month. Four years ago I was laughed at by mortgage brokers and stock brokers who told me that paying off my mortgage was idiotic. Guess who's laughing now. Despite the teaching of "rich dad" I have done quite well with my 403b....and guess what, 403b's are protected from lawsuits and bankruptcy court....rich dad's biggest worry.
I have underlined 100's of quotes in your book and I review the entire book monthly. Thank you for giving me the tools to make my life a little better.
Walnut Creek, CA
I own several of your books and I've read through most of these.
When I first started reading them a few years ago, I found them somewhat difficult to follow. At that time, I appreciated the information in the books, but it wasn't until recently when I started re-reading them that I became truly impressed.
That's because I figured out how to read your writing. One must pay attention to every sentence. Each one has something important to say. Your writing can't be read like a novel, it needs to be absorbed and reflected. If there is something that I don't understand, instead of glossing over it, I need to take a break, think about it or do some extra research.
With that approach in mind, I'm amazed as to the depth and scope of your material. It seems that almost every paragraph contains an important message, something that a person would not be able to ignore in the pursuit of their goals (real estate or otherwise.) It certainly appears that you have done an incredible amount of research. I can only imagine what your study looks like, the bookshelves must be overflowing.
Anyway, just some belated fan mail.
Michael Martinez in New Mexico
I found the part of your book about trying to become an NFL kicker and finding your own niche interesting.
I spent a lot of time trying to learn to play Chet Atkins style guitar. After I failed at that I tried to learn classical guitar. I spent a lot of years taking lessons and a lot of hours practicing that could have been used more productively.
But when all of this really hit home was when I was watching u-tube productions of Chet Atkins playing. As I watched him play I realized there was no one who could play like he did because what he was doing was reproducing the music as he heard it inside his head. That was the reason I was never able to do it, other than a lack of talent, and why no one else could. His guitar was just an extension of himself and he utilized it much as we talk, sometimes without really thinking about it. Then I saw u-tube productions of other people doing their interpretations of Doc Watson's Deep River Blues. There was some heavyweight talent doing this, yet their efforts ranged from merely bad, to just plain awful. And a lot of these people were excellent guitar players, but they were doing all sorts of pyrotechnics on the guitar that looked great but had nothing to do with Doc Watson's original version of Deep River Blues.
Then I saw Doc Watson do his version on u-tube. It was right then that I could fully understand and appreciate your advice in your book to find your own niche.
Doc Watson's original version just totally blew away the competition. Doc Watson is blind, and he doesn't play the guitar with all of the speed and skill of a lot of these other players trying to imitate him, but Deep River Blues is his, and his alone. No one else will ever do it like he does.
In closing I will take the advice in your book, and find my own niche. Better late than never.
I was a government employee and your point of working for retirement really opened my eyes to my fellow employees. (my own attitude included)
We now own 7 rentals (we sold 2 during the boom to pay off our house and 1 rental)
We just purchased a new rental on 2 lots. We will build two on it when the time is right.
We also used your buyer/builder that never sales. a rental we had on two lots burned down (smoking tenants). the home was on 2 lots. built 2, sold one and rented the other. that property is 60% LTV from the start... nice..
My wife and I have a current net worth of 800K, with a cash flow of $2800 per month. My wife is a real estate agent, and i landlord and maintenance.
Thank you for all you have done for me and my family.
Good Morning Mr. Reed,
I am currently enjoying your "Succeeding" book.
"Succeeding" is a GREAT book. I will probably read it
again after I finish the first run through. I have
enjoyed your website for years and finally bought 3
books last week (I know, I know, "What took you so
This is Suchit Parikh from India. I am in my mid twenties.
I ordered “Succeeding” in March 07. At that time you did not ship internationally it was only in June 07 that I got to read the book.....and what a wonderful book it is....absolutely different form the dozens of self help books available.
The "Sobriety" chapter is excellent and I’m proud to let you know that while drinking socially is becoming a norm in India of late, I have never ever had a drop of alcohol. I also found a lot of sense in what you say about doing things just to prove your disbelievers wrong, I have been guilty of this at times and I consciously realized this on reading your book. The "Career Choice" chapter is really exhaustive and it gave me a lot of new ideas, especially on researching careers. I found the chapter on "Spouse Choice" good too though I have not applied much of what you have written till date.
To sum up I’d like to thank you for writing this wonderful book. This one might sound a bit exaggerated but it’s true, quite a few times I ask myself – “How would John T Reed deal with this situation if he was in it? Most often I get a solid, down to earth and practical answer in a matter of minutes.
Hi Mr. Reed,
I just want to thank you for the prompt delivery of the book "Succeeding". It arrived in three business days after I made the order (I've been disappointed by online bookstores, namely Amazon.com).
Also, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your honesty with PROOF AND CITATIONS! It's very refreshing that someone in the world isn't trying to scam me or sell their products using gimmicks and subliminal messages.
Thank you very much for writing your book(s).
I purchased your book Succeeding about 3 months ago, and I must say that I found it tremendously useful. I am on the verge of graduating college, and I have read numerous self help books to help me figure out what exactly I should do with my life. Your book due to its straight forwardness and your personal experiences, was definitely one of the more helpful ones.
One of the most important realizations in my life so far came through your book as it shifted my whole concept of success. Like most young people, I associated success with being rich and famous. Now I believe that success derives from working to my fullest, being honest, staying true to my values, maintaining close relationships to my friends and family, and having a healthy marriage with good kids.
Thank you for your help! I believe you have helped me become aware of things that may have taken me 10 years to realize or I may never have realized.
Thank you for writing Succeeding. I have had many successes, many “failures,” and have been fervently assembling my next steps (I love my job). My best success was working for myself, 5 years, self-supporting (barely) and loving every waking moment. I have been getting a few new self-employed paths started and your book is one of my best tools right now. If my dad were still alive he would have championed your perspective and advice.
Thanks for taking the time to write this and share it with the rest of us.
Sincerely, Ann Mueller
I ordered some of your book about 4 years ago and gained many helpful insights. Two weeks ago I made another order which consisted of "success" and a couple other titles. Success is a great book I have already recommended to many friends within my circle.
When I was a young lieutenant my father died. At the time he died I thought I knew everything about being a man and manhood. I'm now 39 and realize how much more I had to learn from him. Your book has helped me understand some things and clarify other things. I want to thank you for putting your life out there. If you didn't take that risk your book would have been just another book full of words without content. Your book is a measure of what a young man should know on his journey to manhood. Then again I may like it because I'm the son of a real estate developer, former Army officer and Ranger school survivor.
I have a 6 year old daughter whom I learn from everyday. I have a personal hobby that when something strikes me that I want her to know but think she too young to understand, I end up writing a journal entry that normally turns out to be about 5 pages. Topics thus far have been about friendship, race, relationships, use of talents and many topics you have hit upon in your book. I'm going to keep writing, but I'm also going to have her read your book - that is when she can read.
Thanks again for a great read.
I just finished your entire Succeeding book. I really enjoyed it and have recommened it to a few friends. I’m really proud of you for being transparent and sharing your life experiences.
I just finished your Succeeding book. It was WELL worth it. I'm lending it to a friend already.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Succeeding is Brilliant!!
I just wanted to tell you how much my fiancée and I are enjoying reading Succeeding. We simply can’t put it down. Your insights are wonderful, and your stories are engaging. The world makes more sense, every day, with every succeeding chapter.
Your book is a great read. I am learning a lot and look forward to reading more of your literature.
Dear Mr. Reed,
On November 15, I received the following books from you that I had ordered: Succeeding, How to Get Started in Real Estate Investment, How to Buy Real Estate for at Least 20% Below Market Value (vols 1 and 2) and Fixers. I am 51 years old tomorrow, and am looking to change course and work for myself. I think I have waited way too long, but after 23 years of working for others as an MIS manager, I just can't suffer the fools any longer.
I will say that Succeeding is the best book of its type that I have ever read. While all topics were excellent, the message I took away from Succeeding was about "ooomph." No matter what the bright idea, without enough oomph, nothing happens.
I just finished reading Vols 1 and 2 of How to Buy Real Estate for at Least 20% Below Market Value. For some reason, the section in Vol 2 on "Judgement Investing" struck a chord with me and it fascinates me. I spent the last 2 hours on the internet and found free resources (NJ county clerks association) to look up debtors to see if they own real estate (you get a menu, put in a last name, specify the county - there are 21 in New Jersey, click search and the information pops up for free regarding property owner, assessed value, location, names, etc. I think you are correct where on page 34 you conclude Judgement Investing with remarks that you like the Judgement Investing strategy from a lifestyle standpoint. And as you mentioned in Succeeding, I can clearly see that without enough "oomph," real estate investing is just not going to happen. Like my father always told me, "talk is cheap."
I enjoyed reading your books, going back to the one on Youth Baseball Coaching that I bought several years ago.
East Brunswick, NJ 08816
Your books are proving one of the highlights of my day. I occasionally read some of the Succeeding book to my teens – easier for them to get it from you than from dad.
Author, West Point graduate Harvard MBA, successful real estate investor and real estate newsletter writer John T. Reed has written a book he calls Succeeding.
It may very well become a classic. No hype, no emotional appeals, no motivational gibberish. Instead, you get a lifetime's worth of practical advice and wisdom from a very successful man. You will not get this invaluable guidance anywhere else. Read this book, several times, if you are serious about living a successful life — however you define it.
-W. J. Mencarow, PAPER SOURCE editor
Really like your books. Very eye opening on the whole biz. There is a lot more to it than people realize. Your Succeeding book is really helping me map out my life.
I just finished your book. I really liked it. I ready 20 to 30 books per year. I don't hang on to most of them. I do keep the good ones. I'll be keeping this one in the book case. My 13 year old son and 7 year old daughter will be reading it in their late high school years.
Dear Mr. Reed,
I ordered your book Succeeding and sent it to my son...after first practically reading it cover to cover myself! Great book, and I could see why so many men gave it rave reviews. I am particularly pleased with it as my son [needs that male perspective]. Your book gives the type of information that a great father gives...and he and I thank you for putting it into print.
My 25-year-old son has a natural talent for selling. As you seem to know so many other things, do you know of a school that teaches selling (and all its fine points) to individuals? [I referred her to the Dale Carnegie sales course.]
Thank you for your time, and for writing a valuable book. Your sons are very lucky to have a father like you!
I ordered 3 of your books (Succeeding, How to Write, Publish and Sell Your Own How-To Book, and How to Buy Real Estate for at Least 20% Below Market Value) and I want you to know that they are high quality and very valuable to me. I intend to put some of your real estate ideas to work for me when I invest back in the USA this fall.
I also write professionally and you are one of my inspirations. Thanks for your fresh, no BS, chock full of helpful info books.
Nalini Indorf Kaplan
I bought a book from John T Reed called ‘Succeeding’. Over the last year or so, I have digested its contents and have tried to apply them to my life. Although the advice at times has seemed counter-intuitive, I have adapted it to my own personal situation and have found it to have had a profound influence on my life for the better. Over the course of that time, John and I have corresponded by email. He hasn’t always replied and we haven’t always agreed. But over the course of that period, I have found that he has been invariably right.
Succeeding is a book about how to choose the right career and the right spouse. When you really think about it, these are the two most important decisions you have to make in your life and also the ones where the most misinformation and bad advice is to hand. I write this as a forty-two year old Chinese man living in England and I have to say that I wish someone had written this book twenty years ago and that I had managed to get hold of a copy then. I think my life would have been radically different.
Succeeding is a book about choices. What the pros and cons are of the choices you make. How to be both realistic in your goals as well as how to achieve much more than you thought possible. Where this book stands out from all the others is in its focus on practical tips and strategies based on what has worked for John. John T Reed is by any reasonable measure a successful man. Where possible, I have tried to verify his claims. He has stated that he graduated from West Point Military Academy (he did), and graduated from Harvard Business School (which he also did).
In talking about career choices, what really impressed me about the book is the profound respect he shows for hard work and serious achievement. When I was growing up, I was led to believe that only success at the very highest levels was worthy of respect and that ordinary achievements like doing a job well and being ‘modestly successful’ were things that were to be looked down on. This is, of course, nonsense.
Everything has a price and the higher you set your goals, the less likely you are to achieve them whilst sacrificing everything else that you could have achieved. The book doesn’t set out to either dazzle you with the author’s own success or downplay the downsides of any choice you make. It gives you practical tips and strategies on how to select and advance in the career of your choice. Not every piece of advice he gives is applicable to everyone, but you will find something useful in there that applies to you.
Dealing with the question of career, I found the book helpful in three ways. The first was that it articulated for me one of the fundamental dilemmas in my career – that I often felt forced to compromise my values in order to preserve my job security.
I was very unhappy in the last two firms that I worked for. I did not feel that either firm treated its employees with respect or paid them fairly. In both cases, the senior partners had material aspirations that could only be achieved by paying their employees as little as possible whilst working them as hard as possible.
Succeeding gave me the push to see if there was another way, and I decided to set up my own firm. The jury’s still out on whether I succeed but I have never been happier and have no regrets. I can give my clients the best possible advice without worrying about what impact it would have on the senior partner’s ability to keep up the payments in his expensive BMW (I drive a Ford Ka by the way).
The second way it helped was that it enabled me to put into perspective my own achievements and to learn to value them. I grew up in a very materialistic and achievement-oriented family and society. Whilst criminal lawyers aren’t exactly regarded as the lowest of the low (although not very far off), they are not particularly well regarded either for the kudos of the career and the material rewards.
Nevertheless, it is a honourable profession and one that has enabled me to live reasonably well. The third way that the book helped was the sensible approach to money. It sometimes helps to be reminded that money does not grow on trees and that it is easier to spend it than earn it. John’s discussion on how to manage your finances and that what matters is being debt-free and financially secure was a long overdue wake up call.
The advice on how to find a spouse and make a relationship work was spot on. Had I read this twenty years ago, I would have been much better off financially (divorces cost a bomb) and far happier. Although his advice on dating strategies is a little dated, (which Reed forthrightly admits in the book—he has been married for 31 years) with a little adaptation, they can be applied to the present day.
It made me think very hard about what I was looking for in a relationship as well as to apply my energies to trying to find the right woman. Like most people, I did not spend enough time looking for the right partner, enough time thinking about what qualities the right partner should have, and ended spending a lot of time trying to sort out relationships that were fundamentally flawed.
I spent two decades getting it substantially wrong. Forty is not too late to put a lot of it right. Since reading the book, I have set up my own law firm. My financial aspirations being rather more modest than my former senior partners, I am able to share more of the income with my colleagues as well as to pick and choose my clients to a greater extent than was previously possible. I am happier in my career than I would have thought possible.
I am slowly putting my finances right. I have cut my expenses down. Having got rid of the company BMW convertible, I find that I no longer miss it, or the enormous fuel and operating costs. Oddly enough, none of my friends have deserted me and I am still able to get women to go out with me – some of whom drive much nicer cars than me. Trust me guys – it’s an emotional crutch that you don’t really need.
But I think the most important lesson it’s had for me was understanding that I got the work / life balance wrong and did not pay enough attention to the one thing that matters most – finding and building a life worth living and sharing it with the right woman.
It would be silly to say that this book single-handedly changed my life. I think you need to be in the right frame of mind to take in what it has to say. A lot of the steps that are recommended require both hard work and moral courage to implement. You will need to do things that make no sense to most people. But in every material particular that I could test it, John’s advice has been correct. If you want to be the most successful, most famous, richest person in the world, this book will not help you do it. But if you want to lead a happy fulfilled life having made the most of your potential, there are worse places to start than by reading it.
Jack Reed has asked me to write a testimonial for this book. This I am happy to do. I did hesitate over putting my address and email down but decided to do so because one thing I did learn from Jack is that if you have nothing to hide, there’s no reason to hide.
I recently bought your book succeeding and think it is great. I will be buying several of your other books soon.
Acevedo Robert firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Reed,
I subscribe to your newsletter and have read many of your books. I have recommended your book Succeeding to at least 100 people, and purchased properties at discounted prices using information I learned from your book on buying real estate at least 20% below market. The deal we got on a townhouse that smelled so bad that my wife and the real estate agent could not stand in the living room to talk probably provided enough profit to buy every book and newsletter you ever publish.
Kevin C. Maki, PhD email@example.com
I just finished reading your excellent book Succeeding. What a great read! You brought up so many excellent points. Man, I wish I had gotten something like this to read while I was in my twenties. I WILL make certain that my kids read it at the appropriate time in their lives. As a matter of fact, it struck so many chords with me that I really wanted to ask your advice on my particular situation.…