STORIES & TESTIMONIAL LETTERS
me unstoppable!" said the animal
lover. "I had no idea where
to start, even where I wanted to
go. I just loved gorillas, that
was all I knew. Eveybody told me
I was foolish, except Sher. Now
I work with gorillas every
day! I've been to Borneo twice working
with the apes, I've helped raise
baby gorillas. It's better than
I ever imagined."
-LM, NY who became
a gorilla keeper
who turned off the critics inside
my head, and became proud of who
I am. I learned how to create a
support team for myself, and now
my products for children are in
three major catalogs, and I'm designing
new ones all the time."
-Reported by Melinda
J., the Success Teams Facilitator
helping her when she started her
own baby products business
always known my dreams, but I was
really afraid to go after them.
This program is like having Barbara
right beside you, talking you through
every crisis, showing you what to
do everytime you're about to trip
over those familiar old habits that
always stopped you before. Now I've
talked to some important producers,
got some great talent to help me
with costumes and filming and I'm
producing my own one woman show."
just wanted a social life. My job
is okay, but I was shy all my life
and grew up without many friends.
I have a good husband, very sociable,
but I always held back Didn't know
how to start. The program made it
happen one, two, three, like clockwork.
Now I have a big circle of really
nice friends, we have great times
at each other's homes, we all joined
a cooking class last week."
always wanted to go to college,
but I'm no intellectual and I'm
so much older than the students.
But she made me take my dream seriously,
showing me how much I was going
to bring to the project. Everytime
I wanted to give up, her voice made
me excited about my goal again and
gave me new courage.This year I
took my first class at a local college"
57 year old construction worker,
knew what my dream was, it had to
do with dolphins, but it was so
crazy and would require moving to
Florida. My husband would just stare
at me, as if I had lost my marbles.
It took a little while, but with
support I created a practical plan,
and followed it step by step. First,
I became an expert in dolphins!
People call me for information,
I run a small class at the local
library. Then I contacted everyone
who works with dolphins and got
to know them over the phone. Now
I've been offerred two jobs and
my husband can't wait to move to
woman attending the Boston workshop
wanted to start my own business,
but didn't have the time or the
money. [Sher] taught me how to start
small, so I could get started right
away. And with no financial risk
at all. I took one small step after
another until I was solid on my
feet, and started a low-maintenance
service business that's doing so
well that I had to hire two people
to help me. By the time I quit my
job, I was doing fine in the new
(teaches computer skills to families
husband talked me out of everything.
I just didn't remember who I was
anymore. I was ready to leave him
when I got the Dare to Live Your
Dream tapes and realized I should
try to build what I wanted right
in the marriage if I could. And
not leave unless he really stopped
me. Because maybe I would leave
and not know what to do. So I went
after my dream without making a
fuss about it, and built a wonderful
practice as a knowledge broker.
I got so much respect for what a
great researcher I am, and had such
interesting people over to the house,
asking my advice, that my husband
did a complete turnaround and started
admiring me. He wants me to come
work for him in his office. That's
a real compliment from a man who
could never give a compliment. But
I think I'll stay on my own. I like
having a world that belongs only
to me, though he's always welcome
to visit. "
wanted desperately to live in Italy.
I speak Italian, I love to study.
But I have an MBA and felt obliged
to come back to the states and use
it. I wasn't happy though. Through
the program I set up idea parties
and got great advice and connections.
Now I'm building a program to teach
young Italian women how to start
their own businesses! I've never
been more excited!"
T., New Hampshire
an actress but I wanted to direct
and I didn't want to live in New
York. Now I'm going to start a non-profit
regional theater for at-risk kids
in my home town of Kansas City.
-Kim in L.C.'s
kept my job, which was okay but
not very inspiring. Now, on my own
time, I buy funny, ugly stuff and
paint it until it's hilarious and
beautiful, and I sell each piece
to a boutique or local department
store. Everybody want's my stuff,
I'm making very good money, and
I'm having a wonderful time."
was an arts administrator and created
great, successful projects but I
was treated — and paid — like
nothing more than a secretary
because my personality is a bit
retiring. Because of Sher's program
I have started 4 programs on my
own, including travelling art shows,
and now I'm called on to be a
consultant and I've been written
up in a major arts magazine."
a long time looking for an executivel-level
job, I found one, but I was scared
I'd screw up. As a woman, I never
was sure how to get along with all
the male games, even when the men
were basically nice guys. Because
of the program I went over my skills
one by one, I checked out my feelings
and found out where they were coming
from, and I began to listen very
carefully to the clues I was getting
from the men. And I figured out
exactly how to act! It was fantastic.
I laugh when I think about it, but
I can't tell you my secrets. Everything
is great now."
always wanted to travel, but somehow
I never had the courage to actually
do it. I didn't know dumb little
things, like what to wear and where
to stay and what to do. Travel books
overwhelmed me. I felt like I should
have started years ago and I was
too old to be so stupid about it.
But a friend gave me Sher's tapes,
and I started reading articles in
the newspapers about travel, and
talking to people about it. Then
one day a woman in the bookstore
invited me to join her travel club,
just a group of friends who get
together and talk about travel.
Now I've gotten all the advice I
needed, and I've taken two trips,
one with a person from the travel
club and one alone! I'm very happy!
just love to teach, but I didn't
want to go back to school. Now I've
learned how to be a speaker on the
lecture circuit, and I'm writing
a book! And I'm making good money
too. I never knew you could do things
was stuck in a dead-end job, for
more years than I want to admit.
I just couldn't get myself motivated
to get out. The program gave me
a completely different viewpoint,
and let me start small, with small
steps, to look around and test the
waters. I got three job offers,
took one, and though it's not the
perfect job, it has built my self-confidence
enormously because everyone's so
appreciative of what I do. I'm now
looking for the perfect job!"
dream was somehow to affect the
world, to make it better, to help
stop violence. I just didn't know
where to begin. I belonged to lots
of organizations, but didn't feel
I was making a difference. Now I
have developed a presentation, and
I take it to all the schools. It's
full of games and simulations, and
the kids really seem to listen to
I was embarrassed to admit it, because
I have a great job and I've always
been independent, but I wanted to
find a good man and get married.
I felt like admitting that was being
desperate and stupid. Sher taught
me to respect every wish, and made
me see that I had the right to go
after what I needed and wanted without
ever feeling ashamed. Now I'm much
more open, and I'm meeting some
wonderful guys, and joining things.
My friends keep pulling available
men out of somewhere and having
us over for dinner. They never did
that until I dared to go after my
Testimonial: How I Became a 40+ yr old
met you several weeks ago at DeAnza College.
I thanked you for helping me become a dancer
in my 40's, and you asked me to send you my
story. Here it is.
have held mostly clerical jobs most of my
life. I have always known I was smart and
could probably do anything, but never could
figure out what that might be. Several years
ago I mustered the courage to go to graduate
school in sociology. I got A's but was miserable
and finally dropped out after 3 years. I went
back to word processing, feeling more dissatisfied
than ever. I read several "do-what-you-love"
type books, but they didn't help at all because
I couldn't figure out what I loved except
dancing, which was of course out of the question
because I was too old.
had been too old my whole life. I wanted to
be a ballerina when I was 5, but my parents
didn't let me take lessons for financial and
other reasons. By the time I was 9, I believed
it was too late, because I had heard that
ballerinas had to start their training very
young. When I was 18, I met some dancers who
had started at 9 or 10, and I realized I had
been wrong.. But I knew 18 was too old. When
I was 25, I met a dancer who had started in
college. I wished I had started in college;
but now I was too old. And so on. I was always
too old. I even signed up for a ballet class
in my late 20's. When I didn't catch on right
away, I chalked it up to my age and dropped
out. In graduate school I started folk dancing.
This was wonderful, and it didn't require
years of training. But the fact that I liked
it and was good at it only increased my resentment
about the great ballet career I never had.
whenever I would get depressed by my work
situation, I would start feeling sorry for
myself that I never got ballet lessons and
that now it was too late. I put lots of energy
into trying to think of other types of work
that would make me happy, but I always drew
a blank. I knew I had to "get over"
this ballet idea and move on, but I was stuck
regarding what to move on to. I thought about
teaching folk dancing or ballroom dancing,
but I didn't want to teach.
think I was 40 when I read your book, I Could
Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was. (The
title told me I had finally found help.)
In my word processing job, I had become somewhat
interested in computers. My partner had offered
to help me go back to school in computer science,
but after my graduate school fiasco, I was
reluctant to plunge in again. I couldn't bear
to try something new and be disappointed again.
I was commuting by train to my job in San
Francisco, about 50 minutes each way. I spent
my commute reading your book and writing and
reflecting. I had "aha's" in almost
every chapter. Your assertion that I probably
already knew, secretly, what I wanted to do
made me realize I would have to deal with
this dancing thing. I had always thought that
if I were somehow miraculously to become a
dancer, it would require dropping everything,
risking everything, and plunging in. I wasn't
about to do that, since I expected zero chance
of success! But you urged a would-be writer
to write a little before or after work, not
to quit his job to write the Great American
Novel. I don't remember the exact process,
but in working through the book, I began to
formulate a plan.
would go back to school for one year and take
computer classes — and dance classes "on
the side". So I did. The computer classes
were lots of fun, and the dance classes were
life saving. I started with jazz and modern
dance, then began studying ballet. I found
that, as I had suspected, I seemed to have
some talent. At first, this only increased
my pain as I realized that maybe I really
could have been a ballerina. I was grieving
the life I never had. I had never felt so
much pleasure and so much anguish over the
same thing. But as time goes on, the pain
has become much less and the joy of dancing
has filled my life. This is a miracle!
I am 43, and I have been dancing for 2 years.
I call myself a dancer because that's who
I am, even though I don't do it for a living.
The amazing thing is that I don't mind not
doing it for a living. The fact that I am
finally actually dancing has broken the bitter
spell and freed me to enjoy my new field,
computer network administration.
plan was to hedge my bets — study computers
and dance, and hope one or the other would
work out. Instead, I have both !!
you for inviting me to tell my story. And
a ***million*** thanks for writing that wonderful
yellow book which changed my life!
from Washington 10/98
hope you never get tired of hearing stories
about people whose lives have been changed
by your book Wishcraft, because here's another
1984 someone gave me a copy of your book (I
forget who it was). I read it and did
the exercise and was very excited by the whole
couple of weeks later I was going to my bank
and saw on the wall a poster for a local amateur
orchestra concert. The ticket price was only
$6, but at the time I was in extremely bad
shape financially and couldn't even afford
that low price. So I called the number and
asked if there was anything I could do for
them as a volunteer to earn a free ticket.
They offered to let me be an usher. which
I accepted, and got to hear a very nice concert
you need to know that I was at one time a
student at Juilliard back east, a composition
major, but had never had an orchestral piece
of mine performed, although 18 years had gone
by since leaving there. I had a vague dream
of someday having an orchestral piece performed,
but had not done anything concrete about it.
Had I not read your book, it would never have
occured to me to try to get a free ticket
by ushering, or to turn an ushering job into
a dream, but I did.
18 months I was general manager of that orchestra.
By the time I had resigned eight years later,
they had performed three full-length orchestral
pieces which I composed for them, and that
in turn led to many other opportunities. All
thanks to exercising a little "Wishcraft."
You cannot possibly have any idea how thankful
I am that somebody gave me your book, and
that I read it and did the exercises. I know
it's a cliche, but it's true: you literally
changed my life.
you more than you can know,
the Artist in AZ
think you're going to enjoy this letter.
just completed my 3 months of a "practice
dream" and here's what happened.
Art will be in museums and galleries throughout
the country....big art success"
heard about my pursuit and gave me 5K for
this goal — it was a friend of a friend.
I entered the 2nd biggest show in the country
at the L.A. ArtExpo and was voted 2nd best
this show a Japanese dealer bought 18 pieces
of my Art — I'm now showing in Japan...
the show, months later someone bought a piece
for $2600 — nice start..
offered me 30-40K for my career — as a partnership
A piece of art was bought for Sedona, AZ permanent
A new friend gave me 10K for my career.
I'm showing in Vail, CO and Los Angeles, CA
and Scottsdale AZ and some individual pieces
are priced at 5K.
for the Real Life dream I was going for: It
was Organic Farming.
book was the most valuable book I ever read.
I became a professor in Mexico and lived a
beautiful life for 2 1/2 years as a result
of a Success Team."
Goes To Rome
picked up my first copy of "Wishcraft"
shortly after it was published. I was looking
for something to read on the beach, and your
book was the most promising of the choices
on the drugstore rack. At the time I was a
full-time caseworker in Child Protective Services
in the South Bronx. My dream was to become
an art historian, but from my family background
that seemed as unlikely as saying "I
want to go to Hollywood and become a movie
was a difficult time, too--family illness,
and the death of two friends left me depressed.
I was attending graduate school part-time,
but funds were very tight. One simple idea
in that book hit a responsive chord. I realized
that I could be an art historian by doing
the things that art historians do. It was
a new thought to me.
the very next day I began to write reviews
of exhibitions, organize shows, and give gallery
talks at the local museum. At first I did
all of this without any pay, just for the
experience. Eventually I got my first university
1987 I began to think that I would like to
live in Rome and open an art gallery there.
Of course I didn't know anything about how
to do this. So I started an online "Wishcraft"
group on the old SOURCE network. Two years
later, with the help of a lot of friends,
I moved to Rome and started a small, non-profit
exhibition space not far from the Spanish
Steps. Another biggest bonus of that first
online Success Team was that I met my life
companion, who followed me to Rome.
years in Rome were the best in my life. It
is hard to imagine anyone
being as happy—doing work that I loved, and
in a supportive relationship. There were hard
times, too—the worst was when my companion,
David, died. Three years ago, I returned to
the States, largely because of family reasons.
Now I am the Director of an art gallery at
a major university. This period, too, has
been deeply satisfying, because I am doing
work that I love.The next step, I think, will
be to have my OWN gallery. This will be a
big step, but autonomy and risk-taking are
important to me right now. When I can, I would
also like to buy a small pied-a-terre in Rome,
the city that captured my heart.
again, for the help and support that you have
given over the years.
I In the Press I Buddy