J: I'm talking with Ann Marie Sabath today and she is the founder and president of At Ease Incorporated, a 31 year old New York based training firm. And her ninth book ‘What Self‑Made Millionaires Do That Most People Don't’ is based on interviews with 30 US self-made millionaires, as well, as her own expertise. Ann Marie’s international and domestic etiquette concepts have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Magazine, 20/20, and more. Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Ann.
A: Thank you for having me on, Jen, I'm flattered.
J: Do you go by Ann or Ann Marie?
A: I go by Ann Marie, yes.
J: Okay, thanks for being on the show, Ann Marie.
A: My pleasure.
J: Let's start with your favorite quote today.
A: My favorite quote is, “It's your attitude not your aptitude that determines your altitude.” I have always found a pony inside in even the darkest moments.
J: Mm, I love that. Well, then take us to one of your dark moments; we'll start right in there with your low point.
A: Well, let me tell you, my low point becomes my high point. In fact, I really annoy people often because I'm such a Pollyanna. Probably the low point for all of about 10 seconds was when I hit the car in front of me.
A: And what happened… this was maybe 15 years ago, and the prophetic part is immediately, I said to myself… I had always visualized having a certain kind of car, and as soon as I hit that other car I said to myself, “Oh my gosh, this is the beginning of the next car,” instead of saying, “Did I kill anybody?” I knew nobody was killed. It was enough for insurance for the other person to say, “You need to file an insurance claim,” however, nobody was hurt. And so the low point of saying, you know, “You shouldn't glance down for a second,” this was even before the age of texting, that was a low point, however it became such a high point and I indeed, within 2 weeks, had the car that I had visualized; that picture that I had under my mattress, the picture I had in my wallet.
J: Yeah, I love that skill, and lots of people seemed to get there where they find the amazing thing that's coming out of the low point. But did you always have that ability?
A: Always. My sister hates me for that because I…
A: … always see a pos… I mean, I am so pathetically optimistic, I've always felt like that. Example, if my husband says when we go out and it's 300, “It's cold,” I’ll say, “What do you mean it's cold?”
A: “You don't see how gorgeous the lights are? You haven't dressed warm enough? What do you mean it’s cold? I don't believe it!” And so again, I'm very difficult to live with because I only see the sunshine, even with the clouds. If it's raining I say, “This is a perfect day to work indoors.”
J: Yeah, that's really a great idea. Well, so you hit that car, I mean, you call it a low point, what was the low side of that? I mean, you saw the good, but it probably was a little challenging.
A: The low side of it was I never wore that dress again; my kids called it the bad-luck dress.
J: Ah. (Laughs)
A: The low side of it is I had a concussion, and when the policeman went into emergency to tell me, “Your car is totaled,” the first thing I said was, “Enough for a BMW?” and he said, “Are you crazy?” and I said, “Well, I do have a concussion.”
A: So I really don’t… I mean, it’s pathetic. He was Mr. Negative and I thought, “You're giving me an opportunity, bud, get it?” And I felt like a concussion was the beginning of a lot of creativity. So you're really not going to get me to say something negative because my low point becomes a high point. And this is one of the 52 secrets for creating your own success, you turn every quote-unquote ‘failure’ into an opportunity.
A: There's always a pony inside, you know?
J: Okay, well, let's go deeper. I got to ask, any cancer in your life? Any… you know, the big things, how do you deal with those?
A: First of all, no, that's number one. Number two, what I see… other than times… let me say, there have been times that I broke a hip. And the reason I broke a hip is I was so nosy playing tennis, listening to somebody's conversation rather than watching the ball.
A: And there I was there, there I was in the emergency room, refused to take off my tennis clothes. And it had been 24 hours and the person said to me, “You know, they will rip your clothes off. If you don't get them off, the doctor will have a fit,” I said, “Fine, carefully take them off.” And, you know, I found that whole thing having surgery a major opportunity because that taught me that I needed to volunteer to help other people. And so I genuinely, genuinely see the positive situations in life, I mean, without question. And so a low point, you know, yes, I've had my parents pass away, however I knew that we lived a great life, they lived a great life, work ethic values, they passed it on to my sister and me. And my point is, “You know what? Life is really what you make it.” I'm eternally optimistic. I have manifested anything I've wanted in life. And the key is you have to walk the talk instead of telling people how to do it.
J: Yeah, yeah. Well, tell me more about… you said there were 52… what were you mentioning?
A: Secrets for creating your own success; and it was really fascinating. Let me tell you quickly, the reason I ended up writing this book, Jen, is I have trained more than 200,000 individuals in helping their companies increase their bottom lines.
A: And without going into the entire story, I was training about 50 young professionals, so let's say late 20s. Now, they were in the process of being groomed as leaders and I asked them what goals they had, you know, what goals they had accomplished. One young lady said, “I live in Dupont Circle in DC where I've always wanted to live,” and I thought, “That's really nice.” And a young man said, “I drive the car I've always wanted to drive,” I said, “Well, that's good.” And then this nerdy, nerdy…
A: … program participant, I didn't even think he had a voice, he was so quiet, he raised his hand and he said, “I save $1000 a month.”
A: And all of a sudden… exactly, he was the star. And everybody said, “How do you do it?” he said, “Well, I don't live in the fanciest part of town, I live with 4 other guys,” he said, “I drive the car my grandpa gave me. I don't have the hot rod that attracts chicks.”
A: He said, “I pack my lunch, my socialization is volunteering at an animal shelter, because I am going to be a self-made millionaire.”
A: And all of a sudden, I said, “You know what? Stop helping individuals, helping them increase their company's bottom line, I have to help them. So whether they make $20,000 a year or $500,000 a year, I have to help them learn the secrets, and it's not about money.”
J: Okay. Well, so you mentioned one of the secrets was turn every failure… what was the end of it?
A: Into an opportunity.
J: Okay, that's a great one; I like that. One of my guests said her dad sat at the dinner table with them and asked his kids, “How did you fail today?” and they would celebrate it because it meant that they were trying something.
A: That's brilliant!
A: Brilliant, yes, that's absolutely brilliant. May I give you another one that people would not believe assist people in creating their own success?
J: Oh, of course.
A: Thank you; getting rid of clutter.
J: Really? Yeah, tell us more.
A: Well, when you get rid of clutter, what you do is you actually have more room in your mind to think. And so anything you do not use over a period of time, you create the amount of time, you give away, throw away, sell, anything of the above.
J: Oh, that's really good, creating the white space to think; wow.
A: Exactly. And that's the next one (you're so good), taking time to think; whether it's spending 5 more minutes in the shower. You know, a lot of people have children they're raising, they’re on their shirt tails, 5 more minutes in the shower.
A: It’s a big thing; yes!
A: Taking time to think. That's when I know you have had and your listeners have had that aha moment, am I right?
J: So self-made millionaires consistently take more time in the shower?
A: Well, I don't know where they are, I’m not the shower with them; although I probably would like to be, they’re pretty hot ones too.
A: No, no, no, no, no, just, I did… did I say that?
A: I know it's not going to be on the air; oh, maybe it will be. Anywho, no, the key is…
A: The key is people take time to think, whether they get up at 4:30 before anyone's up…
A: … whether they schedule time to think, they create an appointment with themselves to think.
A: And so I create time in the shower. I take those 5 extra minutes and that's my think time.
J: Oh yeah, that's smart, especially for moms, that's the one place you can really be alone. Even the toilet is not always off-limits. (Laughs)
A: Exactly. Listen, when I was raising my children, thank goodness they're grown, they have their children, ah man, I used to drive around the block 3 times on my way home from work because I needed to think.
J: Mm-hmm, that's smart, I like that.
A: So do whatever it takes to get the job done.
J: Well, how many tips are going to give us? Because I want to know them all, but I know we don’t have time. (Laughs)
A: Well, I will… thank you. I will give you the ones that most people don't do if, I may.
A: One of the thing, very important is write down your goals.
A: And the reason I say that is people believe, “Oh, I have them in my head,” and I say, “Big deal, you're only 2/3 of the way there and you're going to work twice as hard.” And I give them the quick overview about 100 MBA students from Harvard (that means they were supposed to be smart), and I love Harvard, they're one of my clients, however 100 MBA students being asked how many have goals, 84 of the 100 had no goals, 13 had goals that were only in their mind, 3 had documented goals.
A: 10 years later… if I may share, 10 years later, the same 100 individuals were found probably on LinkedIn. The 13 individuals who had goals only in their minds 10 years prior were making on average twice as much as the 84 people who had no goals. However, the 3 individuals who had documented goals for making 10 times more than the 97 other people. Is that proof?
J: Yeah, that's really amazing; good. I just wrote down some new goals this week; I'm up to par, baby. (Laughs)
A: Thank you, I love it. And this is essential for people to know, tell no one. Put it under your mattress, put it in your wallet. I don't have a car anymore living in New York, if you have a car, put it in your glove compartment; walk it, don't talk it. And I tell you, you can manifest money, you can manifest people. I manifested the man in my life; I manifested my husband. He said, “Are you a witch?” I said, “No, but I've been called one. Wasn't it you saying that…” I'm kidding.
A: The point is, yes, you can manifest anything you want as long as it's for the good of all.
J: Mm-hmm. So why the walk it, don't talk it?
A: Well, when you talk about it, you're expending your energy, when you walk it, you are living what you want.
A: So the key is, act as if.
A: I met a young lady on a plane about 4 months ago, she could be my daughter easily, and she texted me about 2 weeks ago, she said, “I'm acting as if. Could we meet? I want to be able to help you take me to the next step,” I said, “You have a deal.” So we're meeting next Friday.
A: I want to see.
A: Well, this is the next thing. One of the secrets, 52 secrets, is always pay it forward. Always do something for someone else without a hook.
A: Because I can tell you (you know this, Jen), when you pay it forward… and many people say to me, “So what's in it for you? I always say to them, “Are you kidding? Anytime I want anything, I get it because the universe is always… it's available. Anything I want comes to me because I write it down, and the stronger your character, the quicker things happen.”
J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, I love this. What other secrets?
A: Well, a terrific secret it's to be relentless, to ask until you get a yes. And I'll give you, if I may, a quick scenario. About 10 years ago, I had spent 6 months courting a very well-known pharmaceutical firm. They were looking for the keynote speaker for 1200 of their reps. So long story short, I found out after 6 months that they were ready to sign a contract with somebody with whom they had already worked. So I said to the assistant, I said, “Who's making that decision?” she told me, I said, “Where is he?” she said, “What do you mean?” she's… “he's in Anaheim.” I said, “Tell me where he's staying,” she said, “You think I might get fired?” I said, “Read my lips, you will not get fired. Where is he?” she told me, “Anaheim Hilton.” I swore to secrecy of course. I sent him chocolate-covered strawberries so he'd have them that evening, I knew he eventually had to go in his room and sleep, paid it on my credit card and called room service and it was, “Roses are red, violets are blue, hope you will let me meet with you Friday morning.”
A: And I thought, “What do I have to lose?”
A: I took 6 months to court this man. So next morning, I called, I said, “How are you, Mary?” she goes, “I don't believe it,” I said, “Stick with me, girl.” So he said she had 30 minutes, I had 30 minutes to be with him. Well, you know you turn a no into a yes by meeting people's 5 senses. So seeing, I made sure I had an agenda, hearing, of course I could call him by name, smelling, not too much cologne, perfume, tasting, I had to make sure the people at the front desk where I was staying in the king… in King of Prussia would go get doughnuts for me so that when I left at 7:15, whoever was showing up at 7:00 would have them, and of course I took care of the person who did it. So tasting and feeling, I was going to shake hands with him.
A: Got in there before he did of course because you always want to be a time master; another secret. So I said, “Mr. Canning, how is your Red Eye?” he said, “Whoa,” and there he grabbed a donut, I said, “Good job! I have one of it down.” Long story short, we sat down, I said, “Mr. Canning, I know you're going to sign a contract this morning, is that right?” he said, “Yes.” I said, “You know, do your reps ever hear a no?” he said, “All the time,” as he took a second donut, I said, “Oh I almost have him closed,” it was all the donut. And I said, “Do you want them to continue to her a no?” he said, “Are you kidding? Why would you ask that?” I said, “Well, if you want them to continue to hear a no and accept a no, then I want you to sign a contract with a person who you are ready to work with.” I said, “If you want them to learn how to turn a no into a yes, here's a contract. You ready to sign it?” he looked at it, he threw it at me and he said, “Get rid of this!” he said, “Do another one, I want to buy 1200 books too.”
J: Oh, nice! So you did a seminar for them?
A: I did a seminar for them. The point is you can turn a no into a yes. Even if you do not get business that time, you're always a good sport, thanking people for considering, looking forward to seeing how it did go, etc; turn a no into a yes.
J: Okay, let's take this to the personal level. Say there's a woman listening that wants to do something and her husband's, you know, he has the opinion that they shouldn't, how does this work in a marriage for example or with a child, a teenager, the no into a yes?
A: It's so easy. What you do is you plant the seed months before you want to do something and let them think they thought of it.
J: Mm, like how… do you have an example?
A: Of course! Are you kidding?
A: Well, let me tell…
A: Let me tell you, when I met my husband (well, he wasn't my husband but a gentleman through eharmony), he started to buy me jewelry. Well, the jewelry he bought me, I did not consider jewelry.
A: I mean, listen, at my age, I deserve the real thing or forget it. Anywho, however he really didn't know because jewelry wasn't important to his wife who’d passed away. So, you know, I said, “That's nice,” and I rarely wore it, and so I planted the seed about the name that I loved.
A: And it took 2 years, 3 years, and we were walking by a jewelry store one day, and he said, “Look at that,” and the name Mikimoto was right there, and I said, “Oh.” He said, “Haven't you mentioned that before?” I said, “Oh yeah,” well, there you go, that's what I got for Christmas.
J: Oh, that's great; so plant the seed. You know, that's funny, when my husband and I want to discuss something, he needs way more time to think about it than me so (Laughs) that’s a great idea.
A: Well, the point is (and you’re right, mine is the same) opposites attract.
A: And so example, we're going to see a movie tonight about Mr. Pulitzer who created the Pulitzer Prize, and so again, I talked about it on Wednesday for Friday instead of that day because some people need to map things out, and that's why opposites attract, yin to yangs. And so being a planner, mapping things out is very important. At the same time, reacting, recognizing that you pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and move on, that's the end of the story; use positives rather than negatives. The secret to success… and this isn't even about money, this is what I loved about these people who I interviewed, they don't wear the Louis Vuitton shoes, they don't wear the throw run around with the Fendis, even though I like designer things, however they blend in a crowd, they do not jump out. And so that was big.
J: Yeah So they're not just trying to be flashy.
A: They're not flashy at all.
A: In fact, you hardly notice them.
J: Ah. So who were some of the millionaires you interviewed?
A: Well, it's interesting you ask that. The people I interviewed, you probably would not know; I'll tell you about them. However, when I got this book contract, my publisher said, “I want celebrities,” I said, “Well, then I'm not writing the book.”
A: “I want everyday people…”
A: “… with whom everybody can relate.” So the 75% of the individuals were entrepreneurs. And what was very interesting is, after writing the book, when I came up for air and looked at what the research was, I was shocked to see that approximately 75% of US self-made millionaires are entrepreneurs. Some people, the other 25% musician, somebody who started playing a violin at 9 years of age, practiced 1600 hours, 4 hours a day, and eventually failed, was turned down for an audition or did not make it a chair. And 2 years later, practiced orchestral pieces and Leonard Bernstein hired him and he was part of the universal harmonic for 35 years. So the key is the road less traveled has stones, has obstacles, it's a matter of how you get over them.
J: Mm-hmm. So how would this work for let's say weight loss, if someone is trying to lose weight, how would you apply some of these secrets for that?
A: Well, again, it's very simple. Number one, minimalist, have around you… have food that is… you're not going to have canned, you're not going to have junk, you stay focused, focus on that. That's one of the things, act rather than react. So reacting is, “I'm hungry, I'm going to eat that candy bar,” acting is, “I'm going to map out what I'm going to eat over a week period and that's how I'm going to manage it,” it's the same exact principle. Look at the end result. So the end result is, “I want to lose 5 pounds.”
A: Or 10 pounds or 15 pounds, look at the end, begin with the end in mind; that's a very important thing. Visualize. If you say, “Gosh, this is what I looked like when I was 20 pounds less?” well, then take that picture and put it on your fridge, put it wherever you want. Take that outfit that you liked and you say, “You know, that's my goal.” So again, it's beginning with the end in mind, it's all very simple, the secret is doing it.
A: That's the secret.
A: It's working smart, not hard.
J: And never take no for an answer there, go back to that…
A: Are you kidding?
A: What does that mean?
J: (Laughs) Right, right.
J: Tell us more about finances. You know, a lot of my listeners are, well, 99.999% of my listeners are women, which means they have a lot going on with careers and kids and taking care of all the things. And you know as well as I that a lot of women don't prioritize finances, investing, that… you know, you mentioned that man in the beginning who saved 1000, was it every week?
A: Every month, every paycheck.
J: Every month.
J: Any tips for women who want to prove their finances?
A: Are you kidding? I'd like to get my hot little hands on them, put them in a room, lock the door, and when they're ready to commit, I will let them to leave; yes!
A: Number one… are you kidding me? Number one, fewer than 20% of self-made millionaires are women; I would like to gag. Now, here's the case. Number one, I want you to ask 100 women, in fact, I would love your listeners, men, women, androgynous, I would love them to email you and tell you how many of them write down their goals; that's number one. Number two, living in New York I go shopping every day in my closet.
A: That's what happens. You want to be reactive. So if I go to Nordstrom's, if I go to TJ Maxx, I pre-plan my purchases. Yesterday, I bought a pair of pajamas because mine look like a velveteen rabbit.
A: I love them so much. And I had knew I was going to buy a pair of pajamas, I had to figure out, “When I see a pair, I'm buying them.” And you know what? I didn't buy the least expensive ones, however I will owe them because I will wear them for the next 3 years. I love my jammies, as you do.
A: The point is pre-plan purchases. The shopping therapy is baloney.
J: Right. (Laughs)
A: And when you really need something, you get a gift card from your airline points or from whatever credit card gives you points, and that's your gift to yourself.
A: However, that's essential, put yourself first. So get up a half hour earlier, read things, surround yourself with people you want to be like and unload the people who are not of benefit to you. Now, I don't mean you disinherit your family, however let me tell you, I'd rather be alone. I never even invite… I never invest in a book, I don't care if it's $5 or $50, I never invest in a book unless I would invite that author to my home.
J: Wow, that’s good.
A: Well, remember, the 4 people, you're the sum total the 4 people to whom you spend the most time; same thing with books.
J: Mm-hmm, yeah, that makes sense.
A: So this is what it's about, let people know, people, men, women etc, “You know what? You map it out.” Are you kidding? When I look at these people in Starbucks, I say to myself, “Are you really kidding? I buy at Starbucks once a month.” You know what Kevin O'Leary says? He says, “$0.17 for this cup of coffee, I invest the rest,” and he could buy 10 Starbucks…
J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
A: … and I mean the franchises, not the cups of coffee. So the point is be smart. I saw a great throw that I want to put over my couch looking for something in a fuchsia and I looked at the price and I said to the person (she thought I was crazy), I said, “For the amount that cost, I could invest that and get a good return,” she said, “Pardon?” I said never mind.
A: Think twice. So the key is pre-plan your purchases, pay yourself first, surround yourself with people you want to be like, write down your goals. Listen, do you think I've ever thought I was going to live in New York? It was a 20-year goal. I walked down the street as though I owned the city, and guess what? That was quite a while ago. I did it.
A: Now, again, the chase is as much fun as the catch; let's face it.
J: Yeah. Well, so let's talk a little bit more about manifesting. I think many of our… our listeners (Laughs) you used that word first so we can go there.
J: Many of our listeners have been told kind of maybe different information from yours, and I think I like yours better, but to spend the money as if you already have it. What do you say about that? (Laughs)
A: Are you kidding me? You know what? Think about it. First of all, why would you do that? First of all, why spend money as though you have it? You could make an investment. So when I say that, if I'm going to buy a coat, I'm going to buy a coat that I know I'm going to wear a long time, that I know might have a lining so that I can use it as a winter coat and I can use it as a spring our autumn coat; now, that's fine. However, pretend I'm going to buy… listen, you know, I bought a $400 pair of shoes 20 years ago, I had them rebuilt at least 10 times.
J: Oh, nice.
A: They look like new. The point is, you need to look long-term and you need to map out what you want. You have to be proactive rather than reactive. “I'm going to buy it and then I'm going to figure out how I'm going to pay for it,” are you kidding me? And if somebody says that, you better run as fast as you can, that is not the person with whom you want to surround yourself.
J: (Laughs) It's true, it's true. Well, a lot of people want to manifest greater income or their dream career, any tips on how you were able to do that part of your manifesting?
A: Yes! First of all, I wrote it down. I knew I wanted to start a business, I had no clue what I wanted, and so I said to myself, “It's not the answer, it's the question.”
A: That's what you always, always do; it's not the answer, it's the question. This is essential. It took me 10 years to figure out that I was going to be writing what self-made millionaires do. I'd written 8 books and I really didn't want to write another book, and I thought, “Well, I will know it when I hear it, see it, experience it.” And as soon as I heard that young man say, “I save $1000 a month,” and everyone else went, “Huh?” I said, “Oh my, that's it.” And so I thought about it for about 3 months and then my little fingers, my little inner writing voice keyed, it told me what to key, and boy did I do it. So the key is it's important. Now, if people want to earn more money, if people want more money, it's very easy, they have to start with their time. That means, when you're early, you're on time, when you're on time, you're late, when you're late, you're out of luck. So number one, when you start being early, consistently early for engagements, I don't care if you're meeting family, friend, client, church, synagogue, I don't care what, you're always early, you're never on time. Because when people are early, I guarantee you they can manage their finances. Let me tell you, when I dated a long time ago… well, not that long ago, but however, when I dated, if somebody were late, I’d give them 2 chances. And then if they were late, I'd say, “Next. They don't know how to manage their finances, I don’t want to be with them. You kidding?”
J: Oh my goodness.
A: But this is a fact, this is how it works. You can watch people, notice the people. If I'm calling on a client and I know that client keeps me waiting, I know that that client also does not have enough of a budget for me to work with him or her.
A: Now, do we… do people run late sometimes? Of course, but guess what? That's an excuse. Losers make excuses, winners find solutions. So these are very easy principles, we all have the same amount of time. The key is, I ran late for 35 years and I learn how to do it. I write down the time I have to leave, not the time I have to be somewhere, end of story.
J: Mm, that's smart, I like that.
A: Well, this is what we want your listeners to hear; no excuses.
J: Yeah, exactly. A big theme of this podcast is helping women see that they are absolutely in charge of their happiness and lives and they're not a victim of their circumstances. So everything you've shared has been brilliant, but let me ask you what final tip would you have from your book that would relate to that topic?
A: What I would say is, the big thing is recognize you create your life, your life is not created. Take the most dire situation and turn it into a positive; that's important. And I guess what I would say would be this. I would say to your listeners, I want them to ask themselves, if they were 92 looking back at today, whether they're 20, 30, 40, 50, if they were 92, what would they wish they would have done that they have not yet done.
J: Mm-hmm. What's the answer for you right now? Because I know you're not 92 yet. (Laughs)
A: I’m not 92. Listen, I’m 68 and I don't do Botox, I don't do any of that, I'm just plain old ornery. I give headaches, I don't get them.
A: That's the bottom line.
A: What I want (and I'm doing it), my goal is to help people create their own success; in fact, I will give you a little sneak preview. Three days ago, I turned in my manuscript for my 10th book called ‘Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them; How To Bring It Out.’
J: (Gasps) Ooh!
A: And it's a wonderful book, not because I wrote it, however I included 15 other authors, what they would tell their younger writing selves, how they eliminated those dirty writing doubts from their minds, how they changed genres, what the pluses are, ABCDEFG. And so my goal is to assist people in doing whatever they want, and my goal is to show them, “You can genuinely do anything. You must mind your thoughts because your thought becomes reality, consciously or unconsciously. You are what you eat. If it's healthy, you will be healthy.”
A: “If it's unhealthy…” and I'm not anal about that, you know, I'll have something once in a while. I know if you chew fast, there aren't as many calories. Look, there are all kinds of little rules we can create for ourselves.
J: Mm-hmm, exactly. Well, I love this and this is all in your book, ‘What Self‑Made Millionaires Do That Most People Don't’. And then when is this other book coming out?
A: My book, ‘Everybody Has A Book Inside Of Them; How To Bring It Out’, will be out June 15, and I'd love to come back and tell your readers, your… excuse me, and tell your listeners, I'd love to come back and tell your listeners how to bring out the book inside of them. In fact, I will not disclose it, however here's the rule. You make sure you pass out 10 business cards a day. I don't care what you sell, your product, your service, I make sure 10 business cards. I go to a grocery store, I check out and I say, “You know, I'm helping you pay for your salary by buying here, I want you to take care of me. Here's my book.” And guess what? I did that, I can't even tell you how many times, I mean, probably 5000 cards have been passed out, it became a New York Times best seller. And guess… I got a call 3 days ago, and I won't tell you who, a former NFL football player, and we are working together; he is writing his book.
J: Mm, ooh, exciting.
A: So this is… again, we're helping people be successful to take something. And I said to him, “Look, I know you don't say strike 3. I'm not a football person so I'm not impressed who you are because I don't even know, so this is good.” The point is, treat people like people and then what they do, and that's really the crux of his book, “I'm not just that guy.”
J: Yeah, ooh, that's cool. Well, let's have a quick break for our sponsor and then come back and talk about your favorite things.
Alright, welcome back. And, Ann Marie, let's talk about your morning routine. What do you do (Laughs) routinely; or evening routine, whichever you have?
A: Oh, my morning routine, I get up before anybody gets up, before my husband or the Maltese gets up, Mozart, “How did you know?” Mozart.
A: I get up before anybody does and I think. I put on coffee and I think.
A: That's number one.
A: I will go swimming, and I am certainly not a great swimmer, however I get in there and I get the best ideas you can even imagine. So that's one of the 52 secrets is make a point of exercising a minimum of 5 days a week. I don't care what it is, however exercise. So that's the next thing that I do. And then I know exactly what I'm doing that day. When I was writing, I'm taking a month break from writing before I start my next book, is I go to the attic and I start writing, and nobody's allowed to bother me. I even packed my lunch.
A: I don't want to see a soul, not a dog, not a mouse, not a man.
J: Wow. How long are you there writing?
A: It depends. Usually I get the flow going, sometimes it's 5, 6 hours, sometimes it's 2 hours, sometimes it's on a plane. Two weeks ago, I stayed where I was 3 extra days, I think my husband thought I was having an affair. I said, “I am in seclusion writing,” and I hid myself for 3 days because I had to write those 15,000 words.
J: Yeah. So you do 15,000 words what every week?
A: No, no, no, the average person, the beginning writer will write a minimum, usually no more than 200 words an hour. And so I had to get these finished in order to make my deadline and I made sure my deadline was early. I made sure I was 2 days early because, remember why, when you can manage your time, you can manage your money. And my publisher will do anything for me because I always make sure I'm early. And let me tell you, that's called kita, kicking the tail, you make sure you get whatever you say you do early.
J: Hmm, whatever you say, do early; that's good advice. I've never heard that but it makes sense. And what's your favorite happiness tool; as if you even need tools? (Laughs)
A: Oh, a happiness too. Really, you know, of course over and above loving my children, loving my Alan, of course my dog, I genuinely love helping people be successful. I get such a thrill from that. My heart is so full when I even think about it. I love helping people accomplish their goals; that's where it is.
J: Mm-hmm, yeah. And your favorite easy meal.
A: Salads are pretty easy.
A: And, you know, we found in New York it's very simple, you can get a salad less expensive than you can go you can buy it; easy meal, chicken cashew, Chinese meal.
J: Mm-hmm, yum.
A: Oh, actually we love grilled vegetables with the little teriyaki sauce, and my favorite dessert, biscottis and a cup of coffee.
J: Ah, biscotti, okay. And your favorite life hack; as if you haven't given us about a billion. (Laughs)
A: A favorite life hack, I would say again, always see there's a positive in every single thing, that's the key.
A: That's all I can say.
J: And your favorite book aside from what you've written; I know those are amazing.
A: Thank you. I would say, as of this moment, I love so many books. My favorite book, in fact, the author who is in my living room right now is Rowling, and the reason of course is Harry Potter. Because when I was at Harvard doing a book signing about 6 months ago, I always like to buy something from somebody who was given to me, and I saw that there was a book that she wrote as a result of the commencement speech that she did at Harvard.
A: And it's about how to handle failure and the importance of failure and imagination. So she is right on my couch in the corner, and so she's my favorite because I know how important these things are; there's no question about it.
J: Mm-hmm, yeah, for sure. And an important question I ask every guest, what does it mean for you to be a vibrant happy woman?
A: What it means is I'm in control, and when I'm in control of my life, I can reach out to other people and help them be in control.
J: Mm-hmm, I love that. And let's have a challenge from you to our listeners.
A: A challenge is make sure you're early for the next month. Make sure when you say you're going to be somewhere, I don't care if you're meeting with friends, of course going to work, that's an easy one, you're doing whatever you're doing, I want to challenge you to be the first one there; be kept waiting, do not keep people waiting.
A: 21 days.
J: How early, 5, 10 minutes?
A: Well, I would say… I'd say minimum of 10 minutes; minimum. This way, you… even 15 minutes, you can gather your thoughts, you can choose where you want to be, you can observe.
A: It's so important to be early.
A: Yesterday, I had a client at 4:30, I was supposed to be there at 4:30, I left home at 10:00 AM and it only took me an hour. However, I didn't go there, I lollygagged, I did what I wanted to do, I had time, and I was still there early. And people make so many excuses, “There was traffic,” so what? That's what freeways are supposed to have.
J: (Laughs) Right, it's true, it's true; I love it. Well, Ann Marie, thank you so much, this has been amazing, I appreciate you being on the show.
A: It's my honor, thank you, Jen.
J: Take care.