After graduating from high school in 1958, I started my business career in our family business in South Texas—the Laredo Poster Advertising Company. Selling advertising to local companies. Within two years, I sold the business to a conglomerate in San Antonio. Big bucks. Then I went to college. Majored in Management. BBA from University of Texas at Austin. Then, MBA in Marketing from University of California at Berkeley. After getting drafted and serving 2 years in the army, I was a sales rep for a consumer products company, calling on grocery stores. Made a lot of sales. Guess I was influential!
Eventually, I was promoted to a marketing management position at corporate headquarters in New York City. Good money, lousy place to live. Decided to teach and influence students instead. So I went back to the University of Texas to get my PhD in Marketing. Got it, then started teaching at UNLV, way back in the 1970s. The only guy who’s still at UNLV when I was there is Economics Professor Bernie Malamud.
I loved teaching, but only a small percentage of students seemed very interested in what I taught. The majority seemed to want to get by with as little work as possible, get a passing grade, graduate, and then start making money.
I found I was good on the platform, speaking to audiences of college students. I figured I would be even better doing the same, talking to business executives. They wouldn’t pay me money to hear me speak unless they were motivated. So I started doing seminars and talks during my three month vacations. I started doing them in Australia, of all places. (I was a visiting professor during my summer vacations at four universities there—in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and even the small country town of Armidale in New South Wales.) I was right! I was good at doing this—very, very good!
And I got even better at influencing my audiences because I was more motivated. Not only because of the good money I made. But also because the people who paid money to attend my seminars wanted to use the information I gave them to be successful in their jobs and to make a lot of money. They were motivated to learn. And their motivation was catching! And so I became even more motivated to keep on doing seminars and consulting. And to influence my clients. Lots more fun than trying to influence unmotivated university students. And lots more profitable.
And so over the years, I have given talks and seminars and done consulting in 36 nations on six continents. Not that many in the US, though. Mostly in southeast Asia. Here’s why:
In the early 1980s, I remarried—a Filipina. We met when she attended one of my seminars. I stayed at her parents’ home in Manila for three months every summer. And so I generated a lot of business in the Philippines and eventually in nearby southeast Asia. (This is still my biggest market. I go there two or three times a year. My wife and I own a house in Manila.)
After 35 years as a university professor, I retired. I accepted a few visiting professorships for a year at a time overseas—Malaysia, Canada, Mexico, 3 Middle Eastern nations. My overseas students were much more motivated than American students. (This does not apply to the Middle East. They were even less motivated to learn.)
Eventually, I moved to Mesquite, Nevada. Have been here since 2003. Commute to Asia from the Vegas airport. Still love doing seminars in Asia, influencing Asians. To them, I’m the “great American guru.” Good for my ego, and good for my pocketbook. After writing 365 Powerful Ways to Influence in 2010, I started writing a monthly column for the Mesquite Local News. You’re reading it. It’s called “Hendon on Influence.” (I’ve written 9 other books on influence-persuasion-sales-marketing. And I’m writing several more.)
It’s been fun putting my thoughts down on paper for you readers here in Mesquite. But I’m disappointed because I think my column has influenced hardly anybody. That’s because there have been zero comments posted for most of my columns. And most of my columns have generated zero likes on facebook, twitter, pin-it, google-plus, and linked-in. It takes me only about a half hour each month to write this column. That’s not very much work. Even so, this is my last column. Why? Because I think it’s influenced hardly anybody. Don’t know if it’s even read by hardly anybody. That’s ego-deflating. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you disagree.
Dr. Donald Wayne Hendon is a consultant, speaker, trainer, and author of 14 books, including his latest—Fractured Fairy Tales: Political Monkey Business. It has 35 political satires, each around the length of this column. Similar to Saturday Night Live sketches—but a lot funnier! Other books: The Way of the Warrior in Business,Guerrilla Deal-Making (with Jay Conrad Levinson) and 365 Powerful Ways to Influence. Jay Levinson recently passed away. He specifically chose Don to be his final co-author—the person most qualified to carry the torch of guerrilla marketing into the 21st century. Deal-Making contains the 100 most powerful tactics from 365 Powerful Ways—along with 400 winning countermeasures. There are 121 aggressive tactics, 92 defensive ones, 24 cooperative ones, and 16 submissive ones to get what you want from other people. Plus 81 dirty tricks to watch out for and 31 tactics to prepare you for your interaction with them. Download Chapter 1, free of charge, at www.DonaldHendon.com. Play Don’s free online Negotiation Poker game by going toGuerrillaDon.com. Apps will soon be available.