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Talking with Brian Tracy

Achievers know the name Brain Tracy. His audio titles on sales, leadership, and personal development are all-time bestsellers for Nightingale-Conant and have been translated into 20 languages. Tracy, the 58-year-old
success expert, speaks to hundreds of thousands of people every year, coaches top executives around the world, and from his base in southern California coordinates how his learning tools are used in more than 30 countries. His audios are perhaps the most intelligent, practical, and well-organized achievement programs in the market today. “They are how-to oriented,” says Tracy. “I tell people that you can change your life in almost any direction you want to if you take specific actions that others have taken before you to get the same result.”

Tracy’s work is based on a system of living that he learned in the trenches of several different careers. As a young man with no personal advantages or resources other than a love of reading, he worked at entry-level jobs and traveled in Europe for eight years before he started doing the things successful people did and eventually became CEO of a 265-million-dollar development company. Teaching others hadn’t occurred to him until age 35 when he started attending business seminars. “I was appalled at how bad they were. . . so I said to myself, ‘Look at all these people who are here; they’re all very sincere; they’re all very desirous of learning to improve themselves. I can do better than this.’ So I put together a seminar that summarized 25 years of research into human success and started presenting it to people.” In 1983 he turned this seminar into The Psychology of Achievement, a top-selling success audio and the first of more than 300 audios and videos that showcase Tracy’s broad knowledge and gift for teaching.

Asked what makes his audios so effective, Tracy replies, “I start off strong by giving people ideas they can use right now. It’s high value, high content. I use what I call the windshield wiper method of teaching– left brain, right brain. . . left-brain principle, right-brain story. . . left-brain principle, right-brain exercise.” Tracy said he’s always written and taught this way—balancing abstractions and particulars and reaching people through both sides of the brain.

In addition to writing audios, which he usually narrates flat out (“I’m a one-take wonder,” he says), this year he’s written five books, including Focal Point, a complete guide to personal achievement from Amacom. “An audio program is actually slightly easier to write than a book because when you narrate, it you can add emphasis,” he says. “A book has to be written many times because it has no emotive context except what’s on the page.” Tracy’s latest audio, The Power of Clarity, is based on Focal Point and comes with a comprehensive workbook. This and all of Tracy’s personal development resources can be found at his Web site—www.briantracy.com. It’s a virtual catalogue of success topics and a good place to start your own achievement journey.—Thomas Walken

FEB/MAR02

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