How To Become A Mail Order Millionaire

special price for you

$29.95 & FREE USA Shipping

Become A Mail Order Millionaire - Paypal Buy Now

Favorite Distractions
Join the Conversation
 Follow us on Twitter Become our Facebook Fan
Get a Free Chapter

Archive for June, 2012

In 1942 Another Mail Order Millionaire Started From His Home

Diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1939, Norman Edmund was quarantined in a sanatorium, where he watched eight of his 10 wardmates perish from the disease, But he turned the gruesome experience to his advantage. Unwanted by employers, who feared the young accountant could still be contagious, Edmund started an Army salvage business in his New Jersey home.

At the time of Edmund’s retirement in 1975, the company had sales of about $10 million.

That business became Edmund Scientific, publisher of the famous Edmund Scientific catalog. The catalog—loved by science geeks for more than half a century—still sells you-build- it telescope kits, antigravity devices, solar-powered gadgets of all sorts, and goofy-yet-instructional items like a brew-your-own-root-beer kit. Edmund saw the catalog as a much needed tool for science education, particularly after the Soviet launch of Sputnik in the late 1950s.

The Russians were beating us,” recalls Robert Edmund, Norman’s son. “You had to get your people involved in science.” Norman Edmund died January 17. he was 95 and had enjoyed good health since beating TB.  He started his first company, Edmund Salvage, in 1942 at the behest of friends who worked at the Frankford Arsenal, an Army supply depot in nearby Philadelphia. Edmund began taking in surplus military equipment, tearing it apart, and selling the components, including lots of lenses for amateur photographers and for industry.

Edmund Salvage became Edmund Scientific, whose flagship was the scientific catalog. “Edmund scoured hundreds of magazines a month looking for products and ideas“,  Robert recalls, “As a kid, stacked up, the magazines looked like a skyscraper to me.”

Later, Edmund Scientific operated a retail store from its headquarters in Barrington, New Jersey, attracting science buffs worldwide. Salvador Dali, during a period of interest in optical illusions, stopped by to examine prisms and lenses, says Alex Husted, a grandson of Norman’s. “Norman would buy train cars full of war surplus to get binoculars, and you’d get all this other stuff you didn’t  want—motors, gear boxes, random lab equipment.” Much of it went into  a space known as “the mad scientist’s room.” An annual tent sale—people camped overnight to get first crack at the oddball offerings—would clear the stuff out to make room for new shipments.

At the time of Edmund’s retirement in 1975, the company had sales of about $10 million. Robert took over, expanding the optics business and manufacturing lenses in-house. In 2001, Robert had to break some news to his father. He had sold the scientific catalog to an educational company. “The  world  was changing,” says Robert. “People weren’t buying kits. They were finding their science elsewhere.” His father took it hard.

New owners have kept the catalog going. Edmund Optics, as the family business is now known, has grown to $120 million in sales. And Robert is eager to describe a grant program he started two years ago, giving $80,000 annually to fund promising ideas of the sort his father might have championed. There is one grant in particualr. It went to a Peruvian who had developed a rapid diagnostic kit for tuberculosis.

Norman Edmund, 1916-2012.

This article first appeared in INC. The Magazine for Growing Companies under the byline of Jeff Bailey.

It’s never been easier or more necessary in these difficult economic times where our unemployment rate seems permanently stuck at around 8% to consider starting your own business. No other business I know costs less to get started in than Mail Order and with the help of the Internet allows beginners to run their own businesses from anywhere.. It can be started part- time to help your family ‘get over the hump’,’ put some bread on the table’ and when the profits come rolling in, it’s easy to make it a full time career like Norman and his son Robert Edmund.

The book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE contains all you need to know to make a go of this exciting and rewarding business. It’s sold on a complete money back guarantee of satisfaction. You can order it from Amazon for $39,95 plus s&h or as a reader of this blog direct from the publisher for only $29.95FREE shipping and handling. Send check or money order to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1032, Chicago IL 60601.

Simple Things Can Make Your Life Easier, Better and Happier

45 really simple things you can do in an hour (or less).

  1. Start smart:  Dive into the day with a super healthy, super delicious breakfast. How about the Apple and  Cheddar Tartine a la REAL SIMPLE Magazine: Split a baguette lengthwise, then crosswise (extra points for whole grain); broil until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Dividing evenly, top with 2 tablespoons apple butter, 1/2 thinlly sliced apple, and 2 ounces sliced Cheddar. Broil until the cheese has melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Tackle just one drawer: Pick the one drawer that gets stuck nearly every time you yank it open because it’s too darn packed. Line up three shoe boxes, and start sorting. One is for saving, one is for giving away, and one goes straight to the garbage.  In less than an hour, you’re on your way to a leaner, meaner abode.
  3. Do it now: If a task can be completed in less than a minute, do it on the spot. So instead of putting a glass in the sink, put it in the dishwasher or wash the darn thing.
  4. Hide your keys: Buy a magnetic key holder. Put a spare car key and a spare house key in it, and place it under your car. You will lock yourself out of your car, and doing this will make you feel like the smartest person on the planet.
  5. Waterproof your shoes.
  6. Organize your documents: Learn how to organize your documents and photos on your home computer so you can find files when you need them.
  7. Clean your microwave: Get rid of the funky smell. Martha Stewart likes to put a tablespoon of lemon juice into a micro-safe cup of water, then let it come to a boil (roughly one minute). That loosens the goop on the interior surface so you can sponge the mess away.
  8. Make vinaigrette from scratch: Mix one tablespoon, red wine or white wine vinegar with four tablespoons olive or vegetable oil. Add freshly ground pepper, a nice pinch of salt, maybe a snip or two of fresh herbs or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  9. Buy instant blooms: Buy a soon to bloom plant (maybe a tiny hyacinth) to bring the feeling of spring into your life.
  10. Clean out your T-shirt drawer.
  11. Purge your email: Be ruthless
  12. Reconnect: Send a quick email to one person on your reconnect list.
  13. Get kids organized too: Put some sticky labels on shelves so your kids can put stuff away where you want it.
  14. Create a new contact: When someone sends you an email create the contact right away (or later that day) so you don’t lose their information ever again.
  15. Learn to make a house drink: Find a quick recipe using what you have in your cabinet, practice twice to make sure they are good. Done.
  16. Count to 10: Suddenly overwhelmed by clutter and/or general messiness? Return just ten things to  their rightful places–and yes, the trash can counts as a rightful place, but it also helps to have a bag always at the ready for thrift store donations.
  17. Go for the burn: The Beat-Burn exercise apps deliver amazing workouts in 15-minute increments. A treadmill/outdoor training app and an elliptical app are $4 each on iTunes. lolofit.com
  18. Open a junk e-drawer: Open up a new email account for all the retail, frequent shopper and otherwise less-than-urgent emails. Visit it once a week and dispatch everything you don’t need to the recycle bin.
  19. Add a shelf to your closet: Just one of those white-wire shelves in your closet will reduce the mess.
  20. Do breakfast on the go: Cook your oatmeal in a paper cup. It’s easy to transport to car or bus, and cleanup is a snap–just dump the empty cup in the trash.
  21. Iron tomorrow’s shirt and trousers tonight.
  22. Cook extra rice: Use the leftovers as a base for fried rice.
  23. Organize your bookmarks.
  24. Create a simple filing system for take-out menus.
  25. Get rid of your home phone: If you go with just a cellphone, you have only one set of messages.
  26. Clean out your medicine cabinet: This is a huge boost because chances are you look into your medicine cabinet at key points of the day–early in the morning and before you go to bed at night. It’s amazing what a lift it is to reach for eye cream in a space that’s clean and organized.
  27. Organize your jewelry: Put all of your jewelry on a hanging rack. Seeing all of your necklaces and dangling earrings means no time wasted trying to find accessories in the morning.
  28. Pull wire hangers out of closets and take them to dry cleaner.
  29. Reconcile your Tupperware drawer: Dump the lids and/or containers that don’t have a mate.
  30. Alphabetize your spices: It will make it easier to find them when cooking.
  31. Turn your cans label first.
  32. Sew a button.
  33. Take shoes to a shoe repair.
  34. Write a thank-you note.
  35. Make lunch the night before.
  36. Clean around light switches and door knobs.
  37. Call your mom.
  38. Give your dog a bath.
  39. Do some push-ups.
  40. Polish your nails.
  41. Organize your book shelf: You may find a favorite title you haven’t checked out in a while or a book you just plain forgot to read.
  42. Say goodbye to old bras: Clean out that bra drawer and take the ones you don’t wear anymore to a local shelter.
  43. Create a new playlist.
  44. Celebrate your memories: Put that photo sharing folder to good use. End each day by looking at a photo you haven’t seen for a while. Guaranteed to bring a smile.
  45. Instant recycling: Put a pretty basket near the entrance to your home, and deposit the junk mail and unwanted catalogs as you pass by.

Ray Bradbury – The Passing of the Space Age Prophet

Ray Bradbury, Age 91, died peacefully in his sleep June 5. I don’t remember being as saddened as I was by anyone who was not a family member or an acquaintance but I felt as if I knew him well because I grew up with him through his books, short stories, TV shows and movies. He’s finally gone at 91, the last titan of the era when sci-fi fandom was a way of life. The maestros of that tight world were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein–and Ray Bradbury. You had to put Bradbury in that rank, even though your mom read him in the Saturday Evening Post. That could get embarrassing to those of us in the Sci-fi hard core.

Ray Bradbury was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, IL and used his memoires of this small town for settings in some of his best stories.

So begins a eulogy to Ray Bradbury by Bruce Sterling in the Saturday June 9th Wall Street Journal. Mr Sterling continues; His pedigree was impeccable, though he came from “Lassfuss”, the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, a primeval caldron of sci-fi geek culture, founded in 1934. In my own caldron of Austin, our literary mentor, Chad Oliver, came to us from Lassfuss. He told how he and Bradbury and the “Twilight Zone” screenwriter Charles Beaumont would hunt for all-night burger joints, talking sci-fi until dawn.

It sounded so wondrous that we never understood that we were hearing a hard-times story. This was depression-era California and the real Bradbury was displaced from the Midwest to Hollywood like a Steinbeck Okie, one of countless thousands who went West and inadvertently created a big chunk of postwar culture.

Ray Bradbury was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, IL and used his memoires of this small town for settings in some of his best stories. In 1934 his family settled in Los Angeles. There as a young boy he roller skated through Hollywood trying to spot celebrities. From 1938 to 1942 he was selling newspapers in the streets of L.A. He published his first paid work in 1941 a short story entitled “Pendulum” in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories. By the end of 1942 he had become a full time writer. That same year he married Marguerite McClure whom he met at a bookstore a year earlier. They had four daughters and eight grandchildren. He first shot to international fame after publication of his short story collection, The Martian Chronicles which was partially based on an idea from Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology.

His best known work Fahrenheit 451 was published in 1966. The film adaptation by director Francois Truffaut was a major hit starring Julie Christie. Many other novels and stories had been adapted to film and TV as well as radio, theatre and comic books. He wrote episodes for the Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV series. Total literary output is close to 600 short stories, more than 30 books and numerous poems and plays. It’s easy to forget that Bradbury wrote a lot of horror stories, too. Having been  through the Depression and war to emerge in the anonymity of postwar America, how could he not? An emptied world where the smart machinery grinds on, yakking inanely, as the mainstream consumers are nuclear blast shadows stenciled on the outside of their suburban home— a vision from a smiling guy in short pants who spoke reverently of Buck Rogers comics. People elided his dark, mournful side, because his affect was so brisk and boistrous. He was the sharpest of social critics, but never mean-tempered like Orwell or Huxley. He was rather, like that other great portraitist of hard–life Middle America, Edward Hopper, painting horror with an effect of stillness, bleakness, loneliness, bereavement  and deprivation.

He used to speak of a mystical experience: instead of attending a family funeral, he ran off to a carnival. He found a sideshow huckster named “Mr. Electrico,” who told him that he was not a 12-year-old but a reincarnated spirit. He hit him on the head with an electrical wand and told him to aspire to immortality. If it sounds like a half-hour fantasy TV episode, it’s probably because Bradbury wrote so many of those, years later. But as a way of life: departing a funereal mainstream culture to play techno-trips with the tattooed sideshow weirdos.

Mr. Sterling concludes: But if that was Bradbury’s origin myth, it’s also what he became. Wine from Dandelions, lowly yet highly evolved, borne by the wind into the last places,you’d expect to find them blooming. Exotic, yet common as the soil.

In 2004 he received a National Medal of Arts. Also a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An asteroid is named in his honor “9766 Bradbury” and the Apollo Astronauts named a crater on the moon “Dandelion Crater” after his novel “Dandelion Wine“. Many of his short stories were published in PLAYBOY MAGAZINE and even a TV commercial for Sunsweet Prunes ran in the 1960’s. John Huston, a huge fan of Bradbury’s work asked him to write the screenplay for Huston’s film adaptation of “Moby Dick“. He submitted a working script to Huston in early 1954. By the time the film came out in 1956, Huston had listed himself as co-author. Bradbury protested Huston’s action to the Screen Writers Guild and initiallly was successful in having Huston removed as co-author but the powerful film maker had the decision over turned.  

 Ray Bradbury remained productive until the end. He has now departed and the world as he worried in 1979 is a much madder place. More reason to re-read Fahrenheit 451 including the afterword and oppose political correctness with the courage of the master himself.

For an overview on his 50- plus years career read “Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction” published by the Kent State University Press.

12 Search Tips: How To Successfully Search the Internet

TRYING TO NAVIGATE the World Wide Web without help is like trying to do research in a library that has no librarians, a  jumble of card catalogs listing just a fraction of the collection—and 320 million books. To flounder less and learn more in your Web voyages, follow these search tips.

For a more accurate search, be sure to use phrases instead of single words.

  1. IF YOUR SUBJECT IS BROAD (cancer, archaeology, politics), start with a directory—such as Google or Yahoo—that categorizes Web sites by subject. Just pick the most likely subject, then drill down through layers of subcategories until you find what you want.
  2. IF YOUR SUBJECT IS NARROW (such as  a particular bed-and-breakfast you want to try), choose a search engine: Alta Vista, HotBot, Excite, Infoseek or Northern Light.
  3. FOR COMPREHENSIVE RESEARCH, use several search engines or try a meta-search engine such as Meta-Crawler.
  4. BEFORE USING A SEARCH ENGINE, read any instructions it offers. Yes, these documents can be snoozers. But each engine has its quirks, and knowing them will help you craft a more accurate search.
  5. WHEN CHOOSING KEY WORDS for a search engine, select six to eight words to help narrow your search. If you type just one or two words, you’ll likely get thousands or even millions of documents. use nouns whenever possible, and put most important words first. Put a “+” before any word you want to include and a “-” before any word you to exclude. (this works with most engines).
  6. TO INCREASE YOUR search’s accuracy, use phrases instead of single words. Put quotation marks around the phrase.
  7. MANY SEARCH ENGINES will let you refine the results of your initial query. Do it.
  8. WHEN YOU FIND a good Web site about your topic, check whether it provides links to similar sites.
  9. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO GUESS the address of specific sites. Many are “www,” a period, the name or acronym of the site’s operator, a period and three letters denoting the site’s type. Thus www.microsoft.com (commercial). www.fbi.gov (government) and www.harvard.edu (education).
  10. DOUBLE-CHECK your spelling. You’d be amazed at how many people misspell words in their queries.
  11. KEEP IN MIND that even if you type a precise query, many of the documents returned won’t be applicable. Computers (and search engines) aren’t perfect.
  12. REMEMBER: THE INTERNET does not contain the sum of all knowledge. You may still need to hit the library.

These helpful hints to make your searches easier and more accurate first appeared in an article Bruce Maxwell wrote for USA WEEKEND.

If you have an interest in starting a business of your own, the knowledge of how to use the Internet is a most important ingredient for success. As a reader of my blog, I’d like to offer you a FREE copy of Denny Hatch’s 22 Rules for Internet Success. It’s yours for the asking; just send an email to: Send me a FREE copy of Denny Hatch’s 22 Rules for Internet Success

Sears, Roebuck & Co…. The Facebook of 1924

When Sears, the Facebook of its era, launched its IPO it Sold Preferred Shares at $97.50. That’s more than $2,000 today.

Even people who don’t play the market thought about buying stock in Facebook’s initial public offering of shares. One hundred six years ago, Sears was its era’s version of a hot tech company. Like Facebook, Apple or Amazon, it wasn’t just a corporation–it  was a revolution. “the catalog was the internet of the day“, said James Schrager, a University of Chicago business professor. “Sears was Amazon“.  The young Chicago mail-order company selling its shares at more than $2,000 in todays dollars wasn’t for the common man. But the purchase of even one share would have been lucrative. Counting from 1924, when Sears entered the Dow Jones index, to 1996, and adjusting for stock splits, the Wall Street Journal calculated Sears shares soared 434,552 percent. The skyrocketing value was rivaled only by the young Midwesterner who founded it.

Sears retired in 1908 with a fortune estimated at $25 million. He died in 1914 more than a decade before the company he founded opened a single store.

Richard W. Sears was hailed in his Chicago Tribune obituary as a man “whose career typified the romance of Amercian business“. Mix the youthful risk-taking of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the marketing instincts of Apple’s Steve Jobs– that was Sears. It started in 1886, when Sears was a railroad station agent in backwoods Minnesota, wrote historians Boris Emmet and John Jeuck in “Catalogs and Counters: A History of  Sears, Roebuck & Company“.

A shipment of gold watches arrived for a local jeweler, who refused them. The rebuffed wholesaler told the 22-year-old Sears he could have the watches for $12 apiece. he said yes, pivoted, and offered them to agents along the line for $14. With that type of watch retailing for $25, there was room for the agents to profit, and Sears pocketed $2 for every one he sold.

Within six months he had made $5,000, and his watch business started to outstrip his railroad salary. “The tail had begun to wag the dog“, he said in a 1906 Tribune article. Sears moved to Chicago, set up at Dearborn and Randolph streets, and hired a watchmaker “thin to emaciation“, Alvah Roebuck. Their watch company grew rapidly into a general mail-order company that used high volumes to enable low prices.

It was a recipe perfect for the time, when millions of rural Americans were disgruntled with their general stores. A barrel of flour in 1899 was $3.47 wholesale, according to the company, but $7-plus at a country store. Sears, Roebuck used comforting ads to overcome farmers’ fears. “Don’t be afraid  that you will make a mistake“, read one catalog. “We receive hundreds of orders every day from young and old who never before sent away for goods“.  The company adopted a money-back guarantee and “send no money” became a famed tag line. Richard Sears delighted in writing his own ad copy and, typical of the time, often pushed the envelope. One offer advertised a sofa and chairs–“beautiful plush for 95 cents“. (By comparison, a John M. Smyth ad in a 1906 Tribune offered a single chair for $1.50.) Only when Sears furniture arrived did the customer discover it was for dolls. Later, Sears would tone down the ads and was said to have concluded, “Honesty is the best policy. I know because I’ve tried it both ways“.

By 1905, Sears’ sales had surged past $39 million, passing Montgomery Ward, the Chicago company that had invented the mass mail-order catalog. Sears needed more capital to grow. Julius Rosenwald, who had joined Sears as a partner, asked old banker friend Henry Goldman for a loan, according to Rosenwald’s grandson and biographer, Peter Ascoli. Goldman suggested an IPO instead, leading to Sears, Roebuck’s sale of its stock in 1906. It aimed to raise $40 million, which proved crucial for surviving the Panic of 1907. For Goldman, co-managing the Sears IPO is still touted as a landmark for his bank, Goldman Sachs.

Only the rich could afford to buy stock in 1906, but Americans’ disposable incomes was growing, and the company took full advantage. Its catalog the “consumers bible”, made available everything from sewing machines to Encyclopedia Britannica to ready-to-assemble houses. “The story is the coming of the middle class“, Schrager said, “and the desire of the middle class to have more things“.

Sears retired in 1908 with a fortune estimated at $25 million. He died in 1914 more than a decade before the company he founded opened a single store. Sears leapt into the retail store business in 1925, as rural customers moved to the cities. A December 1924 Tribune, in announcing Sears’ branching out into brick and mortar stores, made note that “several mail-order houses have considered” such a move, “but heretofore they have confined themselves to their own method of merchandising“. Sears promoted the new store at Homan Avenue and Arthington Street in the Homan Square/Lawndale area as “easy to shop for men” with a “whole square block of free parking“.

The first Sears store on State Street between Van Buren Street and Congress Parkway opened to great fanfare in March 1932. By  1950, Sears had 650 stores nationwide, including eight major department stores in Chicago and stores in Joliet, Waukegan and Gary, according to the Tribune.  By the mid-1950s, Sears would be international, with stores in Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Peru and Brazil.

Sears opened mall stores after World War II as customers headed for suburbia, teaming with Marshall Field to build the Oakbrook Shopping center, which opened in 1962. “Rosenwald and others had an uncanny ability to see which way things were going to go“, said Ascoli, who lives in Hyde Park, blocks from the University of Chicago’s Rosenwald Hall. By the 1970s, Sears was still the No. 1 retailer but Wal-Mart and others were on the horizon. Today Sears Holdings is No. 10 and its CEO acknowledged recently that “you change or you die”.

Sears still will probably have fared better than a company like Amazon when all is said and done, said Schrager, who likes to ask his students why Sears built the Sears Tower, which opened in 1973. “Because they could“. he said. “They were unbelievably successful. I don’t know if Amazon is ever going to build the tallest building in the world“.

Footnote to this nostalgic article which ran in the May 11, 2012 Chicago Tribune is that when Sears decided to consolidate all their employees in one location and moved them to a Chicago suburb, the Sears Tower was renamed the Willis Tower after their largest tenant. Another interesting factoid. Sears many years ago started their own radio station which quickly became one of Chicago’s major succesful radio stations with the call letters WLS, which stood for WORLDS LARGEST STORE.

Another true story on a start up company with very little capital chose Mail-Order, as a way to build their business and whose founders became MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRES. Can it still be done today? One of the largest and most successful On-Line companies still sells only by Mail-Order. Any guesses as to their identity……AMAZON! And speaking of Amazon if you have the desire to start a business of your own, a business you can run from anywhere in the world and one that has little cash requirements, you can get started by ordering a copy of my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE from Amazon. Cost is only $39.95 plus s&h, or as a reader of my blog, save $10  and order direct from the publisher. Send check or money order for $29.95 plus $3.50 (total $33.45) to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, Il 60601 Book is sold on a money-back guarantee of satisfaction.

Worthwhile Books