Dear Valued Customers and Friends:
On Thursday, February 11, 2010, Nightingale-Conant will celebrate its 50th year in business. Yet, for me, these past 50 years have been about far more than just "running a business." The millions of lives we've touched, the scores of testimonial letters and personal visits I have received from great customers like you have convinced me that our true celebration is "50 years of changing lives!" Having published hundreds of bestselling authors — from Brian Tracy and Denis Waitley, to Wayne Dyer and Marianne Williamson — and works on thousands of different topics in the arena of personal development, I am humbled by the daily opportunity I have to lead a business that I love and to serve a group of customers who are inspiring leaders in their professional and personal lives.
So, for this unique edition of our AdvantEdge E-newsletter, I wanted to share with you a very special letter that literally started an industry. It's a personal letter, written by my father Lloyd Conant to his friend and business partner — the legendary Earl Nightingale. Fifty years ago, when I was just an energetic and boisterous 14-year-old, my dad stayed late at the office to work on his small, new business — Nightingale-Conant Corporation — and its very first full-scale audio program — Lead the Field. He was so filled with excitement about his positive vision for the business, that he wrote these words late on September 22, 1960:
I stayed at the office tonight to do some work on the brochure, but as I worked, my mind kept drifting to thoughts of you and me and our business, so I gave up work on the brochure to do something I consider more important—this memo to you.
You and I are a couple of the most fortunate individuals on Earth. At least I think so, and I believe the feeling is mutual. I'm grateful for the opportunity of having you as a partner; of the privilege of working with you in the most fascinating and rewarding activity I can imagine.
We are on the threshold of an opportunity which staggers my imagination; so near to the fruit I can taste it; in a work that is so "right" that I'm thrilled just to be a part of it. All the ground work has been laid, the seeds have been planted … all that remains is for us to nourish and cultivate it as we are thoroughly capable of doing and we will be on our way to accomplishments of which we'll both be proud and find most rewarding.
I know you know these things, but I want you to know that I know them, too. I know that if we will both put out of our minds everything but this one major project—LEAD THE FIELD—if we will forget the production of books or records or anything else that does not contribute toward the success of this program, we can't miss.
If we make it an obsession with us to develop the finest product of which we are capable, our LEAD THE FIELD program will bring our customers, friends, associates, and ourselves and our families the greatest rewards of anything we can do—at least in the forseeable future.
Let's really go. Okay?
As you read this letter, you can sense my dad trying to inspire Earl and himself to focus—to totally commit to what he felt was their most important opportunity. All of us, no matter what our situations, are being pulled in many directions. Lloyd was saying, "Let's pick this one direction over all the others and commit to it!"
And, as they say, "The rest is history." I know that many of you who are reading this newsletter are entrepreneurs, executives, professionals, parents, and leaders of all kinds. And, in this extremely difficult economic environment, it can be a challenge to remain optimistic about your personal future and the future of our nation. Yet, as you read my late father's words and see the incredible harvest that resulted from that initial "seed" of his imagination, I want you to know that you too can create a future that is just as compelling, just as profitable, just as beneficial to others … just as rewarding. And, in so doing, you can help to create a bright future for America.
In short, some 50 years from today, commit to making such a difference that others will publish your letter!
To your success,
P.S. If you've never listened to Lead the Field, I encourage you to do so. It's message is simply THAT powerful. You can get started by clicking here.