How to Say No

Support Donation

To support the time and effort in producing this blog, please make a small one-time donation. I will totally appreciate your contribution, but I only want you to make a donation if you think this is the very best stuff out there. Otherwise, fuhgeddaboutit.



How do you say no effectively?

Suppose someone comes to your door and bothers you to contribute.

Or suppose a telemarketer butts into your life at 8 PM and wants you fork over ten bucks for their cause.

How do you get them to go away as quickly as possible?

Do you be nice; do you be rude?

Do you hem and haw and say, “Well, I’m not really sure.”


Listen to their spiel, then calmly gather your resolve to deliver a one-inch Bruce Lee punch to their gut – metaphorically speaking.

Say, “No.”

Stay silent as they melt away.


Support Donation

Did you like the column? How about a buck? Thanks much.



Copyright 2019   Archer Crosley   All Rights Reserved


Fixing Your Bayonet

Support Donation

To support the time and effort in producing this blog, please make a small one-time donation. I will totally appreciate your contribution, but I only want you to make a donation if you think this is the very best stuff out there. Otherwise, fuhgeddaboutit.


What do you do when you’re talking to a wall?

What do you do when the tree you fell in the forest you own makes no sound other than to yourself?

What did Van Gogh do when the only painting he sold was to the sister of  a friend?

He must have laughed at his predicament. 

Somewhere in his soul he had sold himself that what he was doing was important.

Day after day, he must have quit, then roused himself from despair to paint that one last painting and to do it more vibrantly than the one before.

Yes, we might ask, but what if we’re a fool, deluding ourselves of our uniqueness? Or the quality of our work?

Where is the line between foolishness and the bold stroke of genius?

What are the clues?

Clearly mass appeal can never be on the list.  If we were rich and famous, we wouldn’t be asking the question.

Can we ever know?

If we could, success would be a cakewalk.

Many years ago, the owner of a famous home improvement store related a story of the first day that his store opened. He stated that a person came up to him and said, “I drove all night to get to the store.”

“At that point,” said the owner, “I knew we had a winner.”

What this means is that the day before he opened his store, he didn’t know he had a winner. He was just like everyone else.

He was scared.

He was lonely.

He was insecure.

What drove him then to stay the course, to spend the enormous capital that it took to open that store?

Somewhere down deep in his soul, perhaps unarticulated to the conscious mind, he said to himself: This is where God wants me to be.

This is where my home is.

I will defend this rock to the death.

I will fix my bayonet.


Copyright 2019   Archer Crosley   All Rights Reserved

Giving Yourself a Chance

Support Donation

To support the time and effort in producing this blog, please make a small one-time donation. I will totally appreciate your contribution, but I only want you to make a donation if you think this is the very best stuff out there. Otherwise, fuhgeddaboutit.


When I was young I wish I had known that you could make a living doing anything.

In grade school, I would watch these kids in my class draw obsessively.

I couldn’t figure out how anyone could make money out of that.

I thought I had to be a doctor.

Well, as it turns out you can make money drawing, and a lot of it.

You can even make money by playing video games.  I saw a documentary the other day of a guy who makes $500,000 a month playing video games on line.  People watch him play.

Can you believe it?

Now, had I realized this as a kid, would it have made any difference in my life?


Maybe I would have started a band.

As a kid, I played a little piano.  I remember my best friend’s mom encouraging us kids to start a group.


I also used to make fun of my teachers by doing impressions of them to my mom.

She told me I might want to consider being an impressionist or a comedian.


I couldn’t see it.

Seeing it seems to be important in choosing where we end up in life.  It seems that if the vision comes to us, we can more easily move down that path.  It gives us comfort and helps to stave off worry and insecurity.

There is a lot of negativo out there, most of which is self-manufactured.

Where do I want to be in five years?

Where can I see myself?

Spending a little time dreaming seems to be as important as running around like a headless chicken “getting things done.”

Einstein said that imagination was more important than knowledge.

We don’t often think of imagining ourselves, or better yet, re-imagining ourselves.

We spend more time on other problems external to ourselves.

Yet what could be more fun and more important than assuring our future success?

Take the time today to do nothing and see yourself where you would like to be.

Make it a habit for one day a week.

I’m going to start today.

Turn off that droning television set where everybody’s voice tends to merge into one monotonous hum.

Put aside that device that you reflexively scroll through every two minutes to check on Google News.

What, no change?  You mean it’s the same news as there was two minutes ago?

Yes, it’s the same.

Jettison that restlessness you feel.

Give yourself an opportunity to relax and enter a better world.

You’ll be glad you did.


Copyright 2019 Archer Crosley.  All Rights Reserved








Finding Yourself

As Clint Eastwood would say, a man has to know his limitations.

This is a lesson lost on the human potential movement that encourages you to become a superman.

There you are, standing atop a skyscraper, the wind blowing in your face.

Theories and technology abound fooling you that such is possible.

The personal computer began it  all by allowing people to publish their own works with the same professionalism as a New York publisher.

Who could resist the notion of competing with Hemingway’s publisher?

Not I.

This trend continued as the Internet developed. Now, it’s possible for anyone to run their own mini-television station within the confines of their home.

It’s very seductive and  also very dangerous.

Sometimes  a person’s horizons can be broadened too widely.

A person can spend years walking down a false passage only to realize that these technologies don’t exist to make amateurs professionals but to make already existing professionals better.

In other  words, you’re better off getting some basic training in that field.

Just because I can go out and buy a microphone and a boom does it mean I possess the basics of communication science to be a successful broadcaster.

Publishing is more than writing, speaking and printing.

Publishing also involves selling, which is tougher than it looks.

In other words, a man needs to know his limitations.

Compounding this is the theory of psycho-cybernetics that asks you to become a master of the universe.  If you imagine something fiercely enough, it will come to pass.


Or maybe such a path takes decades to travel.  Maybe you would’ve been better off in the field in which you were originally trained.

Worse is the idea that if you follow your passion money will follow. I would like to believe so but maybe there is no money in your passion.

Maybe your passion is creating not selling.

Selling is what brings home the bacon.

Is this dispiriting?

Yes, but it’s always better to know the truth.

If you can’t sell, it doesn’t mean your work is bad; it just means you don’t have the talent, passion or time for selling.

In that event, you’ll have to find someone who can, or you’ll have to wait for someone to find you.

Don’t despair. Vincent Van Gogh had to wait.  He knew his limitations and poured his energy into creating.  As did Vivian Maier.

So are you the next Van Gogh?

How can you know?

Ask yourself this question:  Are you prepared to do what you do for nothing for a long, long time?

Are you willing to limit yourself?

Or are you going to get frustrated at the lack of cash and move into opening a pizza joint?

How to Sell

If you want to be a great actor, you have to commit.

Commitment is the key to success. 

There can be no wavering if you want to make it to the top.

Wavering is tantamount to death.

People need to have faith in you.

Imagine if a chair was unsteady.  

Imagine if that chair teetered when you sat upon it.  

Why, you’d get another one.

For you to sit  in a chair you must accept its stability.  

You do this so often you forget that you make this assumption.

People must feel the same about you.

They have to accept you as stable.

They need to know that you’re the real thing, not a cheap imitation of someone else.

To achieve stability, you have to be believable.

To achieve believability, you must believe in yourself.

The best way to achieve that is to be yourself.

A great actor is quiet in his soul.

A great actor isn’t afraid of himself.

A great actor doesn’t try to be somebody else.

A great actor essentially plays himself playing someone else.

Mickey Rooney, the actor, said that he could teach anyone to be an actor by asking them to accept their individuality.

What he is asking you to do is not be afraid of yourself.

You have to accept yourself, the good, the bad and ugly.

Don’t be afraid of your defects.  

It is those defects that make you you.

It is those defects that give you a rounded three-dimensionality.

Now, some people aren’t going to like you.

Too bad

A great actor understands that he or she can not be all things to all people.

A great actor says, so what.

A great actor says, go see another play.

Let it be, baby.  

That is the key to selling.

Choosing the Right Path

How do you choose the right path for you?

Often in your life you find yourself at a crossroads.  Life may not be working out, or you are are not getting to that better place that you desire.

You’d like to make a change, but you’re not sure how to do it.

Sometimes you’re not quite at the fork in the road.

You want it so bad, you imagine it. 

What do you do?

The choice can be heartbreaking.

Risk is uncomfortable; consequently, you’d like to find some sure way to know what will happen if you jump.

For sure, you don’t want to jump and burn.  You want to land on your feet.

How do you evaluate the risk?

Maxim:  No one can predict the future.  

I’d like to say more about that, but to say more is to say less.

What you’d like to ask yourself is what you expect to gain by going down a particular path in terms of concrete change.

After all, you are contemplating a change because you want change in something – be it money, prestige, social good or personal awareness.  If you are choosing to scale a mountain, what do you gain out of this?  Endorsements?  Prestige?  A nice write-up in the paper?  Money raised for a charity?  Self-satisfaction?

Write that down so you can at least have a goal to reach.

Next, ask yourself if you have the skills or tools to go down that path.  If you don’t have the skills, can you attain them in the time-frame you have chosen?  Can you make the time?  It would be no different than choosing which path to take when scaling a mountain.  Without the right skills and tools, we are more likely to crash and burn.

For example, you’d like to communicate your message to the public.  How will you do this? There are many roads up the mountain.  A book in which a person can communicate through the power of words?  Or visual media where a person communicates by virtue of personality?  One has to know one’s self.  How do you react on camera?  Are you shy and reserved?  Can you compete with others in the arena of screaming and yelling?  Where do you excel?  Because you do want to excel.

God gives us all gifts.  Embrace those gifts.

It is a fallacy to believe that you can have all gifts or develop all gifts.  Now, the human potential movement wants you to believe that this is so, but it is not so.  Some people are ahead of you in a particular game.  In which game are you ahead of the pack?

Preparation is everything for success.  Jumping in just because you read about someone else jumping in is a mistake.  Ask yourself if you have the skills to succeed.  Remember, the media simplifies a person’s success.  They don’t always tell you the backstory to that person’s rise to fame and glory; they often fail to relate that the person in question worked many, many years in a related profession which gave them the skills to succeed.

Finally, what do you want on your tombstone?  This is an expression from the 60s.  A more modern way of saying this is:  What do you want your Wikipedia page to say?  In fact, it may be helpful for you to write out your own Wikipedia page today on your digital device.

So, in summary, ask yourself what you want, whether you have the skills and what you want on your Wikipedia page.

Now, with that stated, and the path chosen, everything in your life must inexorably drive to that end point.  There can be no turning back, no regrets, no wailing over spilt milk. 

Commitment and resolve are key.