As Prosperity Principle #1 clearly indicates, this is not just another book about getting out of debt and managing your finances. This book of "$ecret$"© represents a paradigm shift in thinking.
"$ecret$"© will profoundly transform the lives of those who READ AND APPLY its concepts. The reason is simple. I have spent the past three decades seeking answers to questions others never thought to ask. And even if some did, I'm sure they never persevered through three decades of financial suffering and three marriages just to find an answer!
Through two periods of homelessness, through abandonment by my former spouses, through spiritual awakening and re-awakening, I never gave up my quest for why it was so hard to climb out of the poverty pit. All around me I saw the broken relationships, the deep emotional scars, the lack of trust and the sense of hopelessness that especially afflicts those who are poor. And as a Christian I couldn't help but notice; many Christians were likewise afflicted. Knowing the victory of renewed faith in God and the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit in my own life, why was it that success in establishing a home-based business was such an elusive goal for so many, even faithful servants of God?
The results of my quest may have been slow in coming, but the wait was well worth what I had to endure. Inside this book you'll learn about the "12 Principles of Prosperity". You'll discover the life transforming power of the "3Circles Empowerment Principle". You'll wonder at the "Nine Character-Based Choices That Keep People Poor". You'll see new meanings in the parables of Jesus as you uncover the "Seven Steps to Breaking the Rich/Poor Barrier". You'll realize the power of faith coupled with action in the "Five Essentials for Transforming Natural Opportunities into Supernatural Successes". And you'll smile knowingly when you read my list of "bootstraps", realizing what you need to give yourself a "leg up" on the competition.
If you read nothing else, PLEASE, read Chapter's 2, 3 and 11. Within those three chapters are the infrastructural ideas for renewing and rebuilding your world: your financial world; the small but oh so important world of your family; your relational world outside your family; your mental and spiritual worlds. And as you change and transform those worlds you live in, you'll begin to see your decisions rippling their powerful currents into the lives of those in the surrounding traditional communities and down through the generations.
Chapter Two covers my "3Circles Empowerment Principle". This was an inspiration from God, appearing to my mind in it's entirety during one of my daily meditations. It is simple enough to understand in one reading, and yet, for those who apply it truths, it will reverberate down through generations, transforming any family that applies this amazingly powerful principle.
Chapter Three covers a concept talked about by many but understood by almost no one. Why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I call this the "Rich/Poor Barrier". My discovery that Jesus identified this as a natural and immutable law of the universe is astonishing enough. Even more astonishing was the discovery that he also provided solutions, through application of his parables, a way to overcome this natural law and rise above one's poverty.
In this third chapter I rightly identify that this natural and immutable law of the universe has two parts, the first part being the current and popular Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction governs the lives of the rich. But there is a second "Law" which governs the lives of the poor and every single person who is preaching or teaching the popular Law of Attraction has failed to identify and teach this "Other Law" taught by Jesus. I call this second law, the Law of Subtraction. Although Jesus never calls these Laws by their current names, you'll discover as you read his words that there is no mistaking their identification and the importance of overcoming nature's Law of Subtraction.
Chapter Eleven covers the vital necessity of community, not community as most people know, but REAL community, a place of shared values built by and for those who live there. Living in such a faith-based community, when added to the first 11 Principles of Prosperity, yields our 12th principle, what I call "Total Life Success". It is our hope that many of you will catch the vision being presented here and will work with us towards it's fulfillment. Those who apply these Principles of Prosperity and participate in the establishment of a 3Circles Church Community will soon come to realize that in such a community everyone truly does know their neighbor and love is not something just talked about and shared a few hours a week (as in tradition church meetings) but is put into practice on a daily basis. I also make a strong case for why living in such a community can mean the difference between life and death when unforseen catastrophes strike. Historically our world is long overdue for a number of major catastrophes, such as: Major earthquakes (in the midwest as well as California, USA); A super volcanic explosion like those that have historically altered the earth's climate for many years, throwing huge amounts of ash into the atmosphere, causing world wide failure of crops and starvation; another plaque and/or killer flu, which scientists tell us is not a matter of "IF" but "WHEN"; and now it looks like we're entering into another Great Depression. Those who choose to live in self-sufficient, sustainable green communities like we are creating, will have a distinct advantage in terms of surviving any such catastrophe.
Obviously, I'm a very spiritual person. But I'm also grounded by the understanding that many who read this book are not. Perhaps you're just looking for simple solutions that require little or no work on your behalf. Perhaps you do not believe in God and see no reason why spiritual understandings should play any part whatever in establishing and running a business. Or perhaps you are a traditional religious person who believes as they've been taught, having few if any personal spiritual experiences and fearful of exploring anything outside the boundaries of thought your religion has presented to you. Regardless of the case, if you're such a person you'll probably find it hard to understand where I'm coming from.
However, for those who want to dig deep into the marrow of life, this book is hearty nourishment indeed. I've gleaned the following secrets from three and a half decades of Christian walk that includes two and a half decades of daily morning meditations. I make these secrets available to everyone, whether you're spiritual or not. They are principles and laws that work for anyone, but I personally believe they'll work more effectively for those who seek to understand their spiritual aspect. The choice of what you do with these teachings is, of course, entirely yours.
To further clarify the spiritual nature of my writing, and in particular my connection with organized religion, let me say at the outset that there is NO connection. Yes, I did experience a rebirth in Christ Jesus. But my inspiration for writing this book was God's doing and God made it clear that I was to write this book so as to reach those who were spiritual, regardless of their religious affiliation. I personally follow the truth wherever it may lead. And that truth has led me to reject traditional religious forms of Christianity, even as I continue to embrace Jesus and his teachings.
It was my struggle for truth, coupled with a deep desire to create a better standard of living for my family, that led to the "$ecret$"© you are about to discover. It also led to the foundation of our ministry called "3Circles Church Communities" ™, a ministry vital to those determined to apply all twelve secrets herein revealed. Those twelve secrets, known collectively as the Twelve Principles of Prosperity™, can help you achieve more than mere financial success. The successes I wanted for me and my family are the successes I want for others. I wanted success in my marriage; success in training up my children in the way they should go; success at making a difference in this world; success in wading through mountains of information and distilling the essence of truth; and yes, I wanted money. I wanted money for the good that it could do, to have enough to live comfortably and still help others improve their financial situations.
"3Circles Church Communities"™ is based on an infrastructure of ideas meant to empower one another. Ideas such as spiritual liberty; an intolerance of hypocrisy and feigned love; universal priesthood; good stewardship of natural resources; individual sovereignty; and finally, consciously choosing to invest one’s time and money in one another rather then in an increasingly decadent world system. This is the essence of a 3Circles Church Community. For those of you who are interested and teachable, who are willing to have your present world view challenged, you'll find more information about our ministry to build these planned, intentional communities in the final chapter.
Ok, that's enough in the way of introduction for this section. But before I launch into the next section I must clarify why there are underlined words in the bible quotes below. All bible quotes are from www.crosswalk.com, which is a great bible study website I highly recommend. When you click on an underlined word you'll be taken to the crosswalk site, where you'll be given more info.
Glory to Glory
In this book you'll truly find some “things kept secret from the foundation of the world”. But as with most secrets, it's not that they were hidden on purpose. Rather it is mankind who has been too dense to see and hear and understand what was there all along. I am not some genius for discovering these prosperity secrets. I am just someone who went through great hardship and believed some good would come out of it… after all, I had this promise in Romans: Ro 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Throughout my times of suffering I refused to believe it was all for naught, believing instead that there was some lesson to be learned, if only I could see it. That is why my first BIG lesson was so important. It is THE foundational principle that led to all these revealed secrets.
In 1983, having been a Christian for 10 years, I was forced by circumstances beyond my control into homelessness. Although there have been many miracles leading to my eventual success, suffice it to say that at this time in my life I was at rock bottom! I was living in my car, in the mountains of the west, and when I wasn’t looking for work I would drive to my favorite place, a quiet rarely used road that led to a cliff overlooking the Goat River.
One day at the river I read a passage of scripture that seemed to leap out of the bible and impress upon me its great significance. Jesus had gone to the Garden of Gethsemane, to ask God to remove the great burden of having to suffer upon the cross. His agony was so great he sweat great drops of blood. Three times he came out of the garden to check on the three disciples, whom he had asked to watch over and pray for him. Each time, he found them sleeping. Finally he said to them, “Could you not pray with me but one hour”? In a sudden flash of insight I realized that Jesus was telling them an hour was the minimum he expected and that it was but little to ask.
By example Jesus revealed to the world this simple truth, that if we desire to pray with power, unto victory over those things that sidetrack the vast majority from their intended purpose, we must spend sufficient time alone with God. So, I put it to the test. I began to meditate/pray for one hour minimum, seeking to listen and understand what God would have me to do rather than just read off a mental list of requests. The results were nothing short of astounding. Each time, about three quarters of an hour through my praying, the usual mental disturbances of thought would suddenly be quieted and I would feel this intense connection, this “peace that passes ALL understanding” (Php 4:7) and a joy like no other.
What I had tapped into was nothing less than God’s glory, infusing me and empowering me in ways I could not have dreamed. This was made clearer when I read this passage in II Corinthians: 2Co 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” I realized that when I meditated, I was letting go of all the social masks we are made to wear (“with open face”) that there is this process, akin to looking in a mirror (“beholding as in a glass”) but instead of seeing myself, I see the Lord (“beholding as in a glass the Glory of the Lord”). This causes me to change (“are changed into the same image”) with the Lord’s glory being transferred to me, all by the power of the Spirit (“from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”). There was no turning back and from that day to this I go before the Lord to seek his guidance each and every morning, for at least an hour, before I enter into my daily activities. To say that it is extremely refreshing would be an understatement, for in truth I find it as important as life itself, no less important than eating or breathing.
That was my first and most important secret, the one upon which all the others have been built. This is the secret that every person seeking spiritual growth and success in life, should know. Too bad that those who do not read prefaces are going to miss this one… hidden yet in plain sight, just as so many of life’s little mysteries are!
As far as I know, at least in this day and age, I am the first to discover many of the truths contained herein. However, understanding somewhat the nature of mankind and mankind’s history, I would have to believe that someone somewhere has seen these truths also, either now or in times past. If that is the case then I can at least lay claim to re-discovering them and making them available for the benefit of all. May they inspire you to reach ever greater levels of success, not just for yourself, but for your family and community as well.
There are eleven additional “secrets” contained in this book, one for each of the following eleven chapters. I call these twelve secrets the Twelve Principles of Prosperity™ because their focus is primarily on prosperity, not just on making money. Within those Twelve Principles of Prosperity™ there are “Seven Steps to Breaking the Rich/Poor Barrier”™. Some are so simple you might wonder aloud, “Why didn’t I think of that”. The truth is, you probably have; you just never wrote them down. Others are so profound, so complex in their ramifications for all of one’s life that they seem beyond man’s natural reasoning ability.
But isn’t that the nature of wisdom, that God reaches down into our heart and plants a divine seed of understanding; profound truths which seem so simple once revealed but which had remained mysteries for thousands of years? You will find such profound truths here, within this book.
Before we continue you may have some questions. At the very least you might want to know who I am and how I came to write this book. So let me give you some background that will add to your appreciation.
My name is Leroy Grey and I was born into a rather rough neighborhood, in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland. Our family lived on a narrow alley street, just off North Avenue. There were no trees, no grass, just concrete, bricks and glass. The street was barely wide enough for one car to fit through. The only thing I liked about living there as a kid was the cemetery at the top of the hill and a nearby park, because I had to learn to defend myself from a very early age. When I was six we moved to the suburbs and I was happier. However, given the fact that my father was an alcoholic, albeit a weekend drunk, having never missed a day of work in his short and rather uneventful life, there would be no peace in our home. Eventually I rebelled, leaving home at age 18, traveling back and forth across the US and Canada for many years. I was looking for something, although I wasn’t sure just what at the time.
There are some rather startling facts about my life but this is not the place for a complete bio. Suffice it to say that I led a very adventurous life, truly one that is movie material. In fact, if I were to tell you all that transpired you would find it hard to believe, thinking some events too weird or too outside your experiential knowledge-base to be true. I’m going to share only one of those events, my heavenly experience, but not in this book. You can read all about it by going to this webpage: http://www.3circles.net/heaven . The reason I'm sharing that experience is because it reveals how God visited me in a special way, preparing me for the revelations that would follow, revelations that led directly to the truths contained in this book.
It was during my many trips across North America that I landed in Canada, found inner peace through a rebirth experience in Christ Jesus, got married, and began a family. I delivered our first baby at home, in a cabin in the woods of Newfoundland because we believed in living life to the fullest. We took matters into our own hands so we would share in life’s most intimate experiences (and delivering a baby is as intimate as it gets!). We had wood heat and I had to haul our water from the river just outside our door. We were, to put it bluntly, dirt poor.
That winter in Newfoundland, after the birth of our first child, Zoe, I worked with a group of fisherman, cutting trees with hand tools and loving every minute of it! They taught me much about life. As an example, when a really big blizzard hit I walked to work as usual, while the blizzard still raged! Because the winds were steadily blowing, at least 40 mph, I was walking at a sharp angle to the ground for the entire hour it took me to get there! And sure enough, they were all there ready to begin the day. Fortunately, the conifers in their woods were very tightly spaced and though the wind and the snow were howling above the treetops, down in the woods it was peacefully still.
Less than a year later we were on welfare and living in a large rented house of 13 rooms, taking in the homeless from the streets of St. John’s. We needed to make money and I wasn’t about to stay on welfare, so we began to think about what kind of a home-based business we could run. We decided to start a mail-order seed business because we believed it to be recession proof. However, there were no books available about how to run a seed business. I had to ask a lot of questions and figure out most things for myself. To start the business we scraped and saved every dime of our welfare money.
If one is willing to make sacrifices, even starting a business on welfare is doable. Of course, we had no TV, no radio, no car, no extra expenses that so many today take for granted and consider necessities. With this “seed” money we began our business. But it soon became obvious that more money was needed. We went to a local bank and asked for a loan. We had no credit so we almost got turned down. But because I was asking for a small amount (I think it was $1,500 the maximum allowed by a local bank without having to go to the bank directors for approval) and because I had a good business plan that I’d worked up, we got the loan. This was in the winter of 1976-77. What we didn’t know at the time was that we were the first seed company to realize the importance of herbs and herb seeds to the seed business. Our business made a 50% profit the first year and we paid the loan back in full. Most businesses don’t expect to make a profit till at least the fifth year.
Our second year, however, I made a big mistake.
We believed our success was assured if we just continued doing what worked: purchase a mailing list of gardeners, continually increase the number of items in our catalog, and send out more catalogs to more people each year. So, instead of sending out a few thousand catalogs, which we did entirely by ourselves, I decided to send out approximately 10 times as many.
We knew from the year previous that we needed to start earlier. Many potential customers wrote to tell us they would have ordered but didn’t because we sent our catalogs out too late, in early February instead of Nov/Dec when most seed companies send out catalogs. So, I made all the plans and went to the bank, confident there would be no problem to get the $13,000 we were requesting. However, because the directors needed to approve a larger loan and because we didn’t have any credit history, we were turned down. I did finally find a local investor to lend me the money, but the catalogs weren't delivered into our customer’s hands until late February.
We had no idea how many boxes on boxes of catalogs we had printed!! We did get some volunteer ladies at church to help, but our “Sower Seeds” catalog still went out far too late. So, was that my BIG mistake? No. The BIG mistake was turning down an entrepreneurial investor who smelled success and offered to loan us the $13,000 way back in November when we needed it! I turned him down because he wanted 10% of our gross income for life. Looking back I have often said, “90% of something is much preferred to 100% of nothing”. And nothing is almost what we got. We had very few customers that year, due to the lateness of getting our catalogs out. We received many, many letters from former customers telling us they would have ordered but when they didn't get our catalog they thought we went out of business. Every year thereafter it was the same: we always had to scramble to find the money we needed. If we had taken up that local entrepreneur’s offer we would have never had a cash flow problem. Instead, we would have maintained our initial momentum with lots of new customers and secured our innovative lead in the seed industry. When customers began to clamor for herb seeds a few years later we would have been at the forefront of that movement with the largest herb seed selection around. Looking at how successful other specialty seed companies were, companies that started years after we did, I know we would have been successful beyond our wildest dreams!
What I didn’t know at the time was that there are secret, money making prosperity principles, secrets that would take me many more years and and a number of small fortunes made and lost before I was able to discover and understand them. I’ve actually started five separate businesses through the years and have even climbed my way back to the top after being homeless.
HERE ARE THOSE FIVE BUSINESSES: 1) Our first
successful business, as mentioned, was the mail-order seed business, and by the second or third year we added a greenhouse business so we could extend our cash flow through the summer and fall months. We had also started seed trials, to verify the hardiness of our seed catalog varieties, and the Greenhouse was needed to jump start those trials anyway. This gave us a competitive edge as a seed business, since we were addressing the neglected northern niche markets.
2) A specialized wholesale
nursery in which we custom grew what was needed by a local retail nursery (far better to know what was needed and grow exactly that amount then to just grow randomly and hope to sell what one grew… this was very profitable). 3) A computer
business during the computer boom of the 80’s in which I contracted local
programmers to create an interface for an external removable drive, allowing us to create one of the first interactive video, touch screen enabled workstations in a kiosk (I went around the country showcasing this at computer shows and closed a lucrative deal just before the computer market was decimated by the late 80's economic melt down; we sold exclusive European rights to our technology, to a company in England). 4) A BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) company that was formed just before the birth of the World Wide Web. I secured exclusive rights to the University of Illinois’s computer based learning modules called “Plato”. This provided us with a complete K-12 curriculum with which to target the burgeoning Home School movement as our niche market. 5) An Internet
Services Provider (ISP) business I called RAVEN (an acronym for Rural Appalachian Villages Electronic Network) which sold Internet access, web design and hosting services, LAN design and installation for local businesses, and server co-location. It proved to be the most lucrative business of all. In each and every
case I started these businesses having no money of my own and no credit with which to borrow money. All I had was a dream and the faith that I could accomplish the impossible, just as I had done in the past. I will show you how you too can start with little or no money and create just about any home-based business of your choice by applying the "$ecret$"© contained in this book.
If you discipline yourself to take calculated risks, to have faith in
yourself, to network with others of like mind, to persevere and never, ever
give up, then in time your success will also be assured. If your goal is to become rich enough to free up your time, enabling you and you family to have the quality of life you’ve long dreamed about, then this book is for you!
1) Our first successful business, as mentioned, was the mail-order seed business, and by the second or third year we added a greenhouse business so we could extend our cash flow through the summer and fall months. We had also started seed trials, to verify the hardiness of our seed catalog varieties, and the Greenhouse was needed to jump start those trials anyway. This gave us a competitive edge as a seed business, since we were addressing the neglected northern niche markets.
2) A specialized wholesale nursery in which we custom grew what was needed by a local retail nursery (far better to know what was needed and grow exactly that amount then to just grow randomly and hope to sell what one grew… this was very profitable).
3) A computer business during the computer boom of the 80’s in which I contracted local programmers to create an interface for an external removable drive, allowing us to create one of the first interactive video, touch screen enabled workstations in a kiosk (I went around the country showcasing this at computer shows and closed a lucrative deal just before the computer market was decimated by the late 80's economic melt down; we sold exclusive European rights to our technology, to a company in England).
4) A BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) company that was formed just before the birth of the World Wide Web. I secured exclusive rights to the University of Illinois’s computer based learning modules called “Plato”. This provided us with a complete K-12 curriculum with which to target the burgeoning Home School movement as our niche market.
5) An Internet Services Provider (ISP) business I called RAVEN (an acronym for Rural Appalachian Villages Electronic Network) which sold Internet access, web design and hosting services, LAN design and installation for local businesses, and server co-location. It proved to be the most lucrative business of all.
In each and every case I started these businesses having no money of my own and no credit with which to borrow money. All I had was a dream and the faith that I could accomplish the impossible, just as I had done in the past. I will show you how you too can start with little or no money and create just about any home-based business of your choice by applying the "$ecret$"© contained in this book. If you discipline yourself to take calculated risks, to have faith in yourself, to network with others of like mind, to persevere and never, ever give up, then in time your success will also be assured. If your goal is to become rich enough to free up your time, enabling you and you family to have the quality of life you’ve long dreamed about, then this book is for you!