Author Interview "Donald E. Lewis"
The author has indeed used the principles in his book to achieve significant personal and business success. He has set multiple age-related world records in two disciplines for sports activities and has achieved significant business success. His primary business grew from a startup to over 100 employees in 17 years and returned 4,300% to initial investors when it was sold.
Tell me a bit about your book The Book of Don-693 Principles of Personal and Business Success. Is this your first book?
Now that is a hard question about a book that took a lifetime to research and to write. I started the research in 1966 as just a process of documenting principles and it ended up with a book that could be considered to be the missing operating manual of life. Of course I am totally biased but I think it should be a reference book for how to get ahead in life.
I have contributed to other books but this is my first book of substance.
Where do the principles come from?
For the most part they came from lessons learned over many decades or are principles that I have learned from others as I have struggled with real world problems and have found better ways of doing things. Some come from my personal focus on life that I recommend to others. If I had to pick a single principle to recommend to others it would be: “Commit to a lifetime of self-education.” It seems to me that what we learn in high school and even college are mere tools to assist a lifetime of self-imposed learning which is the learning that makes the world function.
I tried to share many of my personal real-world struggles including every embarrassing story that I could recall. Some of my lessons cost tens of thousands of dollars and I even had one that cost me over a quarter of a million dollars out-of-pocket.
What was your first documented principle?
It for sure was the principle of diminishing returns of effort in any project which was taught to me by my engineering supervisor on my first day of professional employment. It was an eureka moment for me in that I not only learned that principle but I also learned that there were principles for improving one’s personal and business success. It just kind of stuck to my ribs.
Why did you continue documenting them?
I continued to document them because I became a student of principles themselves. I would have “this must mean something” moments then try to figure out what it meant. Even all of my employees knew that I had many principles which they called “Don-isms.” They even once surprised me with a poster of “Don-isms” which hangs on my office wall even today. As a funny story I found that I would document a principle and write up the same principle many times since I was working on them for decades. It was hugely difficult to find the multiple documentations.
What inspired you to consolidate your catalog of index cards of the principles into a book?
It started on index cards before the age of personal computers and then it became a computerized document. I decided to turn them into a book while on a hike in California. It was again another eureka moment. I then looked through my trip log (I document every trip that I take) and I figured out that it was in 1992 as I recall. Of course, the process never stops and at some point, I had to decide to publish the book before I personally perished. I figured that a really good book now is way better than the perfect book that never gets written in the future.
Would you say that your life accomplishments are the sum of the principles you’ve accumulated?
Absolutely. I live my principles every day. I am always asking myself what it the most productive thing to do nest. I drive my car on the road as if it were an uninsured sports car. I live them day in and day out. I can say with absolute certainty that they were the reason why I had a very successful business.
What do you want your readers to take away from your book?
I really really really want the readers to remember me on their death bed as they have used these principles very successfully every day. I have one reader, a friend, who says that the used the “rule of three sentences” every day and thinks of me when he does. And he is the kind of friend who hates to admit it.
You've broken records as a motorcycle racer. You've broken records as a mountain climber. Are there any other records you are working toward breaking in the near future?
As I type this, I am within three weeks of attempting to be the oldest motorcycle racer to have finished the Mexican 1000 Rally, a five-day 1,275-mile-long cross-country motorcycle race in Baja, Mexico, solo, on a motorcycle. Beyond that I have no crazy-as-a-coot projects in process.
How do you feel this approach to life ties in with the message in your book?
Well, that would be my very first principle of believing that you can do more, far more in life than you think you can. I have to practice what I preach and figure out how I can do more than I think I can. We all think about something before we go to sleep at night and I frequently think about what I can do that I haven’t thought of yet.
About the book:
The Book of Don: 693 Principles of Personal and Business Success
This book contains 693 principles of personal and business success that will improve reader’s personal lives significantly. Think of it as the missing manual of creating a successful life for those who want to achieve more. It will be life-changing for some readers. It is timeless and it will provide powerful tools for everyone from a street urchin in Mumbai tomorrow to a Fortune 50 CEO in Manhattan a thousand years from now. It should be given to all high school or college graduates as they set out on the grand voyage of life.
A Must Read !! Amazing !
This book is like having a coach giving you all the best advice in life, valueble wisdom past down from real life experience.
Super simple and easy to read.