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RIP: John Ashbery

All poetry seems to mention itself unconsciously And for some time it mentioned you like nerves Branching out from one another in the spiral of time That is now, at least for now, in stasis   You told us how afraid it all made you Either to give us liberty or to enclose us I could never tell, none of us could It was the dawning of the age of action   But now it’s time to put aside the wait again And make this thing of scalloped words and Curdled thoughts, of fresh-brewed angst, of Omelet ideas and opinions on rye with mustard   I can’t figure you out – the whole gestalt, not just The bit about surface …

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I’ve done better with real estate than with any other category of investing…

And I’ve done it with everything from limited partnerships to buying and flipping properties to rental real estate and land banking. By far the safest and most lucrative has been buying buildings into which I put businesses that I (and often my partners) own. There are many advantages to this. The primary one is having control over how much rent your tenant pays you. Generally speaking, my investments have been in office buildings. Some as small as 3000 sq ft and some 30 times larger. Recently, I’ve invested in a few parking lots/garages. That has turned out to be even better from an ROI perspective. Plus, when rented to my businesses and/or their employees, there’s virtually no risk. Here’s a …

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Beauty and the Brain

Numerous studies demonstrate that good looking people have a measurable advantage in life. How do we determine what is “good looking”? According to neurologist Anjan Chatterjee, it’s because of the way our brains evolved. We are, he says, wired to see as beautiful “the average of all the physical factors that determine reproductive success.” In men, for example, muscles and high cheekbones are attractive because they indicate strength. In women, an hourglass body shape is attractive because it indicates the ability to bear children. Conversely, wrinkled skin is unattractive because it indicates old age. And physical deformities are unattractive because they vary from “average.” Interestingly, what we think of as beautiful is actually the average look of a healthy body. …

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Approach a Job Interview as a Life-Changing Opportunity… Because It Just Might Be

WW, a reader, asks for tips on interviewing for a job…

Hi Mark,

 I recently learned about your amazing success through the Mike Dillard Self Made Man podcast (Episode 2). Coming across this episode this week was very serendipitous for me because I have the exact big opportunity that you talked about in this episode.

 You said, “The way to become rich as an employee is to go to work for an entrepreneurial company that’s growing.”

 A digital agency that I’ve been doing contract work for over the past three years has asked me to come on board as a team member to help grow the company and help especially with client retention.

 Early talks have revealed that I would be getting a salary (~80k) plus many benefits that are important to me.

 I would be employee #5, but I don’t want to just be an employee because I don’t want a hard limit on my potential income.

 I have already proved to be a “valuable” employee as a contractor, and as an employee, I would on the “right side of the ledger” because I am currently involved in digital strategy for clients but will soon be involved in client retention efforts. 

 My question to you: What is the most important question that I should ask in my negotiation for joining this small but growing company? 

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Back Pain?

I could not walk more than five minutes without having to sit down. Some nights I barely slept because I couldn’t find a position that would lessen the pain.

I went to two doctors: a neurosurgeon and an orthopedist. Both back specialists. They admitted surgery was not “guaranteed” to solve my problem, but they recommended it. I decided to put it off until I did some serious physical therapy.

I talked to a few therapists and read a few books. Then I developed my own program. (I’ll show you that program in another blog.) It was based on the theory that my pain was caused by a lack of oxygen in my bones and surrounding tissues… and that was caused by “muscle tension syndrome.” (See “Kennedy and his back pain,” below.)

The idea was that if I could attain certain levels of flexibility, the blood (which carries the oxygen) would get where it needs to. If and when I achieved those levels and still had pain, I’d get the operation.

I gave myself four specific goals. By the time I reached 75% of those goals, my back pain was gone. And today, so long as I maintain that flexibility, I have no pain.

I am proud to be the publisher of Independent Healing, the best natural health newsletter I’ve ever read. It covered back pain, in detail, in the current (September 2017) issue. Here are some excerpts:

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The Fastest Way to Grow Rich… (and Not Risk Everything Else)

    You’ve probably heard this story… When I was 33, I decided to become rich. And I made that my supreme and overriding goal. There were plenty of other things that I wanted to do – like reading books and playing sports and traveling. But I made them all distant secondary objectives. The lion’s share of my time and mental energy would be devoted to getting rich. This decision radically changed my life. I went from broke to kinda rich in about 18 months. I became a deca-millionaire about six years later. Having a single supreme and overriding goal gave me laser-sharp focus and shark-like ambition. Day-to-day business decisions – once complicated – were easy to make. I simply …

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How Often Should You “Hit” Your Customers With Advertising?

  It took us nearly 17 years to recognize a fact about marketing that we already knew. I’m talking about frequency: how often you should “hit” your prospects with ads. Instinct tells us it should be not too often. (You don’t want to burn them out.) And that instinct is what was behind the early formulas for sending ads to Internet prospects and buyers. The first rule was the most conservative: Only one email out of five could be a sales piece. Some of our bolder marketers did more. And before long, the rule was to send out seven emails a week, one a day. Four of them editorial; three of them advertising. That became the dominant formula for at …

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Trying to Love a Bullfight

It’s not the death that really upsets you Death is, after all, a practical whore It is not the midday sun that scorches you That is what all the wide-brimmed hats are for It is not the cold, stone bench that hurts you Cheap cushions can be purchased by the door It’s the ritual death in small degrees That brings you down, with the bull, to your knees