Richie Norton

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For the Love of Books

Photo Credit: Amelia-Jane

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” 

― Marcus Tullius Cicero


However, they’re not easy to write. No sir.

Ernest Heminway once said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Robert Frost said, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” F. Scott Fitzgerald explained, “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.”

Writing is a beast.


When you hold a book, you hold a work of art. An artifact of someone’s ideas. Ideas which have been carefully crafted, honed and researched for over a year or two (six years in my case).

“I cannot live without books.” 

― Thomas Jefferson

When you look at a book, you are literally looking at something that someone (actually, probably an army of people if it’s traditionally published) slaved over, cried over, stressed over, poured over. You’re looking at something that took many sleepless nights and an ocean of courage to put into the world. Something someone took a chance on. Something someone was willing to take a risk for. Something someone felt so strongly about they left themselves vulnerable and exposed to critique and perhaps ridicule.

I don’t consider myself a good writer. I’ll leave that to Twain. However, trying to write has given me the greatest respect for writers.

Writing takes guts.


I haven’t revealed much yet about my new book The Power of Starting Something Stupid. So here’s a little something I’m really excited about. Before a book goes to press, you send out your manuscript to people you admire in hopes they’ll give you an endorsement–a blurb. It’s been thrilling to receive endorsements. In fact, they make my mom cry. (Hi, Mom!) Here’s one from one of my heroes Jack Canfield:

“Once in a great while a new author bursts on the scene to light a fire under us.  Richie Norton is that rare spark.  His certainty that the secret to success is to start something stupid is right on and will alter your future.  Thirty publishers thought Chicken Soup was stupid before it sold over 100 million copies.  This new book could not have come at a better time and Richie’s urgent and authentic style is readable, convincing and a compelling blueprint for success.  Be smart: read The Power of Starting Something Stupid.”

— Jack Canfield, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Success Principles, and cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series

I’m humbled that Jack would give such a glowing blurb. My goal is that the book will be a source of inspiration for some of the coolest things you do in life and business. I hope The Power of Starting Somethings Stupid helps you to live a life of adventure. To turn those crazy ideas (dreams) inside your head into reality, help you influence the world for good and help your career / business thrive.


(Cell phone picture of the digital version of the galley on my laptop.)

The book is at the “galley” stage. I’ve written it (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!), with the help of my beautiful wife, Natalie.  A couple weeks ago the book was typeset at the publishing house. The fonts were chosen. The pages were numbered. The artwork and models were polished and placed. The cover art and dust jacket were refined. I received the digital copy and thanks to the hard work of my gracious publishing team at Shadow Mountain, the book looks gorgeous.

All I want to do now is curl up in my bed and finally get some sleep. But I can’t. I’m too excited. I can’t wait for you to read it. Actually. Not really. I can’t wait for you to read it and then go and do something you’ve always wanted because you feel inspired and armed with principles and tools to make stuff happen.

I wish I could just get the book in your hands right now! But alas, traditional publishing is a slow process. There are a million steps between the time the book goes from an idea, to selling the idea to a publisher, to writing the book (yes, I sold it before I wrote it), to being edited, to rewriting, to going to press to hitting the shelves. Perhaps I’ll write a post on the book process another day, but I digress…

A very limited run of galley copies have gone to press and are being sent out to the media for review. SO EXCITING!

Note: Galleys (or “uncorrected proofs”) are rare, privately released copies of the book. They are an expensive pre-publication—also known as an advance reading copy (ARC). The galley is unique because it may still contain errors. Also, changes will most likely be made after the galley is printed and before the book is finalized for retailer distribution.

Birthing a book is an interesting process to say the least.

16 Comments post a comment
  1. Marc allred Dec 22nd 5:39 pm

    COngrats bud! Hope you get to pursue some of those ideas we talked about. i’m still interested in helping if needed. good luck!

    • Richie Norton Dec 22nd 5:41 pm

      Thanks, Marc! I’ll be in touch for sure.

  2. Kent west Dec 22nd 9:14 pm

    I’d love to flip through this! Looking forward to the release and hearing success stories (and stories of failure for that matter excuse that is when we learn the most!)

    • Richie Norton Dec 22nd 9:29 pm

      Thanks SO much, Kent!

  3. Kent west Dec 22nd 9:16 pm

    * because…not excuse, dang small iPhone keyboard

  4. Jesse Jan 05th 10:56 am

    This post was really inspiring. I am in the first stages of writing a thesis and seriously overwhelmed right now. this was a good boost. Thanks Richie.

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How to Start a Revolution of Heart: RAD, akin & 7 Fast Tips

“The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart.” ― DOROTHY DAY 

Update on Résumés Are Dead

I never planned on writing Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It (RAD). The book was born of necessity—as a way to answer questions, in short form, about money and meaning. Unexpectedly, and all thanks to you, the book hit #1 for Business and Investing, #1 for Careers, #1 for Job Hunting and broke the Top 100 of all free Kindle books on Amazon. This work turned out to be a powerful manifesto, both for myself and for others who were eager to start playing to their strengths and working toward their dreams.

The book’s success has been highly gratifying. However, I have been infinitely more excited by the hundreds of stories of how the RAD principles have been embraced and employed in the lives of readers from all over the world.  Nothing has thrilled me more than hearing how readers are succeeding as they lean into their crazy ideas and actually start something, now. A perfect example of the type of story I am describing is found in Ben Howells.

I recently received a message from Ben, which said in part, “you have changed my life…and I mean that.” When someone writes something of that nature, you tend to take notice.

Ben’s story, in his own words, follows the video below.

(Watch Ben Howells’ akin video.)

“The first time I came across the term ‘Social Entrepreneur’ was when I read Résumés Are Dead. I guess all I can say is I felt as though I finally had a word for what I wanted to be. I saw a documentary about children in Bolivia working in mines and using their small wages to buy the school uniforms they had to have to be able to attend school. I took a piece of paper and just wrote T-SHIRTS!! (I still have that piece of paper.) I thought somebody should do something about that so why not me? I wanted to start a company that could provide school uniforms for children by raising funds through t-shirt sales. I had met with Richie in a business meeting in which he said something that really stuck with me. ‘When starting a business the most important thing is to prove it as quick as you can.'”

(Pen to paper: where it all started.)

 “I found a school in Northern Peru of 60 kids that needed help and I remember just thinking if I can prove that this works and provide uniforms to them as quickly as possible then I know I can really grow this. So I literally made and sold just enough shirts to raise the money and within a month of starting things I took a backpack and a camera and jumped on a plane to Peru. The project went even better than I had hoped for.”

“Coming back to Hawaii and being able to show people photos and videos of how this projects words rather than just trying to explain a concept was far more effective – within a couple of weeks I had found people wanting to donate and invest in the company. Shortly after I entered a business contest and was more able to ‘prove’ that this business worked on a small scale and with the right resources would work on a larger scale and we actually went on to win that competition.”

“The team that came second in the competition was a team from the Congo teaching entrepreneurial skills back home. I just thought they would probably benefit from the extra prize money more than we would, so I asked the judge if he would switch checks. I honestly had no idea he would then announce that, but I learnt a strong lesson that day. I can say it was meant genuinely but it also turned into a huge marketing tool for us as word traveled fast.”

“Since then we have been able to deliver uniforms in Ghana, Samoa, Tuvalu and Cambodia in addition to Peru. We have more deliveries planned for Thailand and Indonesia in February and the Hawaiian Immersion schools this December.”

“Things have really started to take off. I suppose I did it in a really strange, backwards way. We only just officially launched as a business this week – I really wanted to get a number of projects done first before we tried to really grow the business so we have really limited the sales and growth to just enough per project. Now we have the tools and proof we need to fully market what we do and hopefully to be able to put a lot more children in school on a much larger scale.”

Get One or Prove It

That’s my advice. If you want to make dreams happen, start small. Get a small success under your belt or start proving that your idea is viable by employing relevant research and/or mini-tests. You don’t have to start from an “all or nothing” frame of mind. Start mini-projects, like Ben did, that have the potential to turn into larger ones. Remember, small success leads to big success.

Here’s a video (I’ve shared before) that discusses this principle in greater depth.

(Watch the Get One or Prove It video.)

7 Fast Tips to Start Your Own Project

1. Write it down.

Even if you think you couldn’t possibly forget your brilliant idea, write it down anyway.  This isn’t about memory-jogging. It’s about putting action to ideas—even the smallest act can create the greatest change.

“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum. The most important rules that I ever adopted to help me in achieving my goals were those I learned from a very successful man who taught me to first write down the goal, and then to never leave the site of setting a goal without firs taking some form of positive action toward its attainment.”  —ANTHONY ROBBINS 

2. Believe you can.

Sounds simple enough, but disbelief is Enemy #1 and must be destroyed.

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” —NORMAN VINCENT PEALE

3. Tell someone.

Vocalizing your dream holds you accountable.

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ―ERNEST HEMINGWAY

4. Think big.

Think bigger than big. MASSIVE. No fear.

“Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.” ―TONY HSIEH, Co-founder, Zappos

5. Start small.

Very small. Tiny. Start with something you know you can do that will lead you along the path toward your ultimate dreams.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” ―LAO TZU 

6. Keep going.

Never stop. Keep doing the tiny things, and you won’t be able to help but build toward big momentum.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going”. ―WINSTON CHURCHILL

7. Spread your success. Help others succeed.

People want you to succeed. Believe that. Share your wins. Receive and offer support. Build credibility. Simultaneously, do all you can to influence others for good and to help them succeed.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” ―NAPOLEON HILL  

Bonus Tip: Be grateful. Be humble.

Even when you’re down and out, express gratitude for all that is good, and learn from all that is bad.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” ―BRIAN TRACY

Special Note

Many creatives that I’ve worked with are far too quick to get down on themselves. Their art inspires them but that inspiration is fleeting. Bursts of confidence and passion are commonly (and quickly) followed by bouts of doubt or discouragement. To you who fall victim to this tendency, I say: Don’t tie your happiness to the success of the project, rather tie your happiness to the journey toward it! Just keep moving, no matter what. You’ll get there. Truly, you will.

Happy project-starting!!!

– Richie

Written by on October 13, 2012 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) Topics:

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This Trick will Help You Land Your Dream Job

Cowboy Jason Stanley performing a riding trick at the Round-Up, Pendleton, Oregon


It’s not really a trick; it’s a skill. Something simple anyone can do, but they don’t. It’s common sense, not commonly practiced. However, when people leverage this skill correctly, it’s amazingly effective. It took this person 5 years to finally figure out this skill and it paid off big time. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to watch it all unfold.

Here is a Play-by-Play of An Actual Hiring Interview that I Witnessed

Hiring Manager:


Shake hands with Applicant.


Here is a copy of my résumé.

Hiring Manager looks for 2 seconds and puts on clipboard.

Hiring Manager:

I hear you know Bobby.

(Names changed for privacy and because it’s fun to change names…and Bobby is a cool name, so is Steve.)


I actually know Steve, who introduced me to Bobby.

Hiring Manager:

That probably helps you more!


Hiring Manager and Applicant talk about this new “discovery” of common friend(s). Interview then goes on as normal for several questions. Then, the Hiring Manager starts previewing the résumé.

PAUSE! I need to point something out. This is the FIRST time the Hiring Manager has seen the résumé. This fact will become more important to you as the interview goes on.

Hiring Manager:

Why did you leave Company X?

Chit chat goes on. The applicant lets the Hiring Manager talk a lot. They get side tracked.

PAUSE! Letting the Hiring Manager talk, as long as it builds rapport, is a good thing. It helps the Hiring Manager know (at least subconsciously) that he or she can get along with the Applicant during the day-to-day craziness at work.

Hiring Manager:

Why do you want to work at this company?


I’ve been applying here for 5 years.

Hiring Manager:

I’m sorry we missed you for 5 years. You have to do something to get in here in this day and age. We get 10-15 applicants a day. Name dropping got you in. I’m not above name dropping.

PAUSE! Let that one soak in. Here’s that quote is one more time:

“I’m sorry we missed you for 5 years. You have to do something to get in here in this day and age. We get 10-15 applicants a day. Name dropping got you in. I’m not above name dropping.”

Do you see what happened here? The applicant had been applying for FIVE YEARS and was “missed” by the Hiring Manager. Oops! Sorry about that. However, finally when Bobby introduced the applicant to Steve (who worked at the store), the Applicant suddenly got in.

Then why did the Applicant provide a résumé?

The résumé is a formality.

Something to check off the list and put in the file for HR.


Do you know why Hiring Managers have paper shredders? To throw away the 10-15 résumés they get a day. Note that 10-15 résumés a day in a 6 day workweek is 240-360 résumés a month! Think that’s bad? Google got 75,000 résumés in one week!

  • ACTION: Instead of getting tossed out like rubbish, find a way to get referred to the Hiring Manager. This is the difference between fishing for a job an hunting for a job. You can watch a video about the difference between fishing for a job and hunting for a job here: Resumes Are Dead: Should You Be Hunting or Fishing for a Job?


Guess who takes the heat if the new hire fails? Guess who might get fired if the talent isn’t talented? That’s right: the Hiring Manager. Not fun.

Many times, when you’re on the line trying to get a job, the Hiring Manager’s job is also on the line. He or she is staking his or her reputation on you. Especially when you consider that they have hundreds of other people to choose from! For example,

  • Instead of playing the Russian Roulette Résumés Game and randomly hiring from a stack of papers, Hiring Managers go to sources they can trust to choose who they will hire. They trust trustworthy referrals. That’s why Hiring Managers use the résumé to filter people out and then go around the accumulated stack of résumés to hire those they feel they can trust most–someone that was referred.
  • The Applicant in the above interview was able to bypass all the hundreds of other people waiting in line to get interviewed and go straight to the top–in this case, the Hiring Manager was the top.
  • Plus, if something goes wrong with the new hire, guess who the Hiring Manager can blame? That’s right, the referrer can become the fall guy.

Hiring Managers want a no-risk proposition. It’s like back in the days when IBM computers were the most trusted computers. It was a career risk for a purchaser to buy any brand computer other than IBM. The phrase “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM equipment” became commonplace. IBM was safe. Likewise, today it could be said “nobody ever got fired for hiring the bosses referral.”

  • ACTION: If possible, get a referral from someone high on the totem pole or someone that has credibility with the Hiring Manager. I teach ways to meet people in an authentic, trust-building way in my book Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It – this link will take you to get your free PDF and/or Kindle – (free status subject to change).


It took the Applicant in this true story five years to realize that sending in a résumé wasn’t working. (Don’t let that be you.) When the Applicant finally got a referral, magic happened.

  • ACTION: If you’ve been applying for a job, but haven’t heard back, and you really, really, really want to work there: apply again. This time however, apply differently. You can watch eight different videos that I made with all sorts of ideas to help you get your dream job here: Mightybell: Résumés Are Dead (Teacher 2.0).

Keep making waves!

Enjoy life!

Written by on June 19, 2012 | Permalink | Trackbacks (0) Topics:



10 Comments post a comment
  1. Shelly Jun 19th 2:57 pm

    This was fantastic reading, Richie! I get so motivated as I read your words of wisdom!

  2. Jan Jun 19th 3:23 pm

    Thanks for the great advice Richie!

  3. Gabriela ramirez Jun 19th 11:47 pm

    This is great advice! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Tommy J Jul 12th 11:25 am

    great stuff! love the the contrast between fishing and hunting. They don’t call fishing “catching” for a reason.

  5. Marc Allred Aug 14th 2:39 pm

    I like that I can see you have used these ideas yourself and aren’t just talking about principles you’ve read. Nothing is a bIgger turn off than feeling like someone is being disingenuous. Great ideas richie and great example. thanks.

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