95 things they said I could NOT do

You can do thatPurveyors of conventional wisdom have told me for years I couldn’t do this or that. I’ve kept the list of the things they said I couldn’t do but did. These are listed also in my book "Your First 100 Million". The message, of course is, "You CAN do that". You will definitely encounter lots of resistance on the road to super success but don’t let others stop you from reaching your goals. If you can dream it, DO IT!

  1. You can’t take 26 units in one semester (1/2 year) of college/university
  2. You can’t take 15 units during summer school at two universities simultaneously when 6 units is the max
  3. You can’t leave Bear Stearns and go in to the oil business, a business you know nothing about
  4. You can’t play 72 holes of golf in one day
  5. You can’t run 1,000 miles in one month
  6. You can’t run 100 miles in one day
  7. You can’t run 38 miles on your 38th birthday
  8. You can’t build the 50th largest exploration and production company from scratch in a collapsing market
  9. You can’t buy a castle
  10. You can’t build the fastest growing natural resource company during the worst recession the energy business has experienced in 50 years! (GWRI grew at 67,000% per year for eight years, or over 500,000% in total!).
  11. You can’t convince the Kuwaiti Investment Office (KIO) to a restructuring that will sell in The City (The London financial district)
  12. You can’t hire the Kuwaiti Investment Office’s (KIO) own brokerage firm and use them as a mediator to negotiate a restructuring with the KIO
  13. You can’t convince the KIO to back a long-range plan to build a natural resource company
  14. You can’t go public using a $60,000 option on property you don’t even own and turn it in to $50,000,000 in 3½ months
  15. You can’t buy Bow Valley USA ("BV"); it’s too large. It’s 5 times larger and owned by one of the largest energy conglomerates in North America.
  16. You can’t get financing to buy Bow Valley in such a short time frame! (Seven weeks)
  17. You can’t tell the Financial Times journalist he has faeces for brains
  18. You can’t marry a virgin
  19. You can’t leave the US to raise your kids
  20. You can’t move back to the US and back again
  21. You can’t change your social economic milieu
  22. You can’t go to college/university!
  23. You can’t finish 3 years of college/university in 1½ years
  24. You can’t change your major area of studies over and over again and still graduate
  25. You can’t live an outrageous life and ever amount to anything
  26. You will never reach the age of 21…30…40…50…55
  27. You can’t get quality people to leave their jobs for less money, no contract, and relocate at their expense
  28. You can’t do $50million in revenue your first year in business with only one employee (me!)
  29. You can’t get a major contract with the US federal government (FDFC) with no employees, no office or money, and only a leased fax machine
  30. You can’t be engaged to be married for 2½ years
  31. You can’t marry, and stay married, to a woman whose parents loathe you
  32. You can’t plot to overthrow a communist government (Haiti) in the western hemisphere in 1980
  33. You cant’ do a major equity offering on the back of a major restructuring of Great Western Resources Inc (GWRI)
  34. You can’t get the KIO to participate pro rata in restucturing
  35. You can’t get the KIO to put up money pro rata in a major equity offering a week after Desert Storm
  36. You can’t get The City to participate in the growth of GWRI when your persona is so outrageously controversial
  37. You can’t take GWRI public when you have no experience in the energy business
  38. You can’t get the most prestigious law firm in the UK to represent you for the public offering\
  39. You can’t get the Israeli government to choose GWRI over major oil companies to drill in Israel
  40. You can’t sell your first drilling fund in 1982 with an injunction against Great Western Energy Corp. ("GWEC")
  41. You, an unknown, can’t compete in a drilling fund market that is already saturated
  42. You can’t get a New York Stock Exchange member firm to sponsor your drilling fund
  43. You can’t get a "Fortune 200" size firm to affiliate itself with your drilling fund sales
  44. You can’t build a refinery with no engineering experience, fighting the unions
  45. You can’t get Orthodox Jews to sign a contract for the Israeli government on the Sabbath, while in Israel
  46. You can’t resurrect the Bow Valley negotiations once they’ve left the table and headed on back to Canada
  47. You can’t convince Bow Valley you can perform
  48. You can’t get a bank to put up $85 million to buy Bow Valley’s coal operations when you have no coal experience
  49. You can’t get Citicorp to back you when no one at the bank has ever done business with you
  50. You can’t get City Stockbrokers to guarantee the Bow Valley transactions
  51. You can’t get the KIO to underwrite GWRI while in the acquisition mode
  52. You can’t get a major accounting and law firm to carry GWRI like a bank during the growth mode!\
  53. You can’t turn down $30 million for your shares in GWRI! (the 1989 attempted takeover).
  54. You can’t be one of the highest paid energy executives in the US (Top 5, 1986 – 88)
  55. You can’t get a multi-million dollar rent free lease in Houston when your company is still in the "minor leagues"
  56. You can’t pay an extra $1 million for a acquisition when the deal is already cut
  57. You can’t honour an acquisition deal when oil prices collapsed before funding and when the price of oil dropped in half
  58. You will never get the KIO to back you after your mole’s departure
  59. You can’t get a court to issue an injunction to stop the issuing of the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s October Marathon first place award to a bogus winner
  60. You can’t get blue-blooded advisors in The City when you first come to London
  61. You and your wife can’t go to the Cotton Club in Harlem in 1978! (The only white attendees).
  62. You can’t out-drink (1981) the biggest drinker in The City
  63. You can’t change the way you think about raising children
  64. You can’t change the way you think about being a husband
  65. You can’t volunteer for the draft at the highest point of the Vietnam War (June 1966)
  66. You can’t continue to lift weights with a torn rotator cuff and double hernia
  67. You can’t go public the same day as Jaguar (a UK government-owned legend) and finish the day at a premium
  68. You can’t change the investment direction from the public offering prospectus so soon after receiving the money
  69. You can’t cut the overhead (senior sales (40%), benefits etc.) so soon (90 days) after a public offering
  70. You can’t go public in the UK
  71. You can’t buy a foreign company over the phone on New Year’s Eve
  72. You can’t buy a foreign company for less than it has in the bank
  73. You can’t have a dream come true unless you have a dream
  74. You can’t restore Guthrie Castle in less than one year
  75. You can’t live off-post (against Army regulaions) as a single junior officer
  76. You can’t buck the Mafia…and win
  77. You can’t find anyone that will take GWRI paper in an acquisition
  78. You can’t double GWRI’s share price (in a few weeks) in order to make an acquisition in December 1985
  79. You can’t grow GWRI without giving up control
  80. You can’t shove a major energy company out of an acquisition deal while you were a non-player
  81. You can’t run GWRI from Guthrie Castle
  82. You can’t continue to out-trade KIO
  83. You can’t write a Seminar manual in less than four months
  84. You can’t do a Seminar entitled "You Can’t Do That"
  85. You can’t start a Wall Street financial planning seminar (TFC) from scratch! (1975)
  86. You can’t interest people in the "You Can’t Do That!" philosophy
  87. You can’t double GWRI share price in four months from the initial public offering
  88. You can’t write a book (first of a trilogy) in less than 100 days
  89. You can’t build a 18 hole golf course at Guthrie without planning permission
  90. You can’t sue The Financial Times newspaper (arguably one of the most influential financial papers in the world) and win
  91. You can’t coach unsophisticated neophytes to acquire and consolidate fragmented ("cottage") industries
  92. You can’t coach individuals with no financial acumen to engage international accounting and law firms to act on a strict "success orientated" fee basis only
  93. You can’t teach unsophisticated neophytes to finance deals at 100% (or more) using debt/equity financing with other people’s money (OPM) entirely! And you can’t use the same methodology with top 25 world companies.
  94. You can’t spread your Quantum Leap Advantage methodology throughout the UK and Europe
  95. You can’t rent Glamis Castle (The Queen Mother’s home) for your 50th birthday!

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