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Success Newsletters

Volume 4, Number 6 – November – December, 2004 Issue

In This Edition
1. Six Characteristic for Achieving Peak Performance
2. We are all in the Business of Sales
3. Inspirational Quotes
4. Recommended Reading

We hear a lot today about being your best, taking care of business, achieving success, performing at your peak. What we don’t always hear is what it takes to sustain peak performance.

Peak Performance is a commitment to your physical/mental/spiritual being and to your personal growth and development at all times. Peak performance, in my opinion it is not something you can switch on and off; it is what you commit to and strive for always. It is not just about business and achieving goals. It is also about balance between work and family, friends and fitness. Finding the right combination for each of us is personal, but I will share with you 6 Characteristics that have worked for me along the way.

1. Look after your health/diet and exercise. This is one so many of us take for granted. I know I did for so many years. The sad but true reality is if we don’t have good health, the rest does not really matter because the other steps of peak performance will not fall in place and we will not have an opportunity to enjoy the rewards.

See your doctor on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to share personal details. I know for some of us it is uncomfortable at times, but don’t mess around if something is bothering you. Case in point, I went recently for a colon cancer examination, not the greatest test to have to go through, if you have had one you will know what I mean, but the peace of mind afterwards was worth a day of discomfort..

Watch your diet. Educate yourself on eating right. There are lots of wonderful books out there on the subject, or go and see a qualified dietician if you like. Drink lots of water as well, 6-8 glasses a day at least. You will feel better and healthier for it and for those of you watching your weight, it will definitely take those hunger pains away in the afternoon and late at night.

Exercise moderately. I have a treadmill in my basement, for years it just sat there and collected dust, now I use it 3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes, which fits in with my lifestyle and schedule. Do what is right for you. Join a health club, walk, swim, play tennis, golf. Exercising in moderation is wonderful not only for the body but also for the mind.

2. Discipline yourself to get up one hour earlier, or if you can’t do that, strive for even 30 minutes earlier than you do now and invest that time in yourself. I know that is not easy, we all lead such demanding lives and have family obligations. MAKE that time! Trust me, try it for 30 days, you will be glad you did. I started this discipline in 1986, after a successful course I went on to overcome my stuttering disability. I had to find the time for doing my speech exercises to keep my fluency. Do I succeed every single day in doing this, now especially with a young family? Not always, but I do as often as I can. I always feel better for it. There is something about rising early. Maybe it is the tranquility, the piece of mind, watching the sun rise, hearing the birds sing, taking that first cup of fresh coffee or fruit juice and focusing on the day ahead.

3. Challenge yourself to learn. Peak Performers constantly challenge themselves in many areas. They regularly read books, listen to motivational or business tapes to stay up to date. They are not afraid to be wrong. They are inquisitive and ask lots of questions. They spend less time watching television, and more time educating themselves.
“Step into a new you each day. Reach out to greater health, happiness, fitness, friendship, love, and greater pride in yourself.”
Mark Victor Hansen

4. Plan for peak performance. Peak Performers maximize their time. They prioritize, set goals for themselves, analyze their performance, and constantly ask for feedback. They go the extra mile and are single minded in their pursuit of excellence and success. They work hard, but they also work smart and they save and spend quality time with their family and loved ones. Life/Balance sometimes gets lost with people who are obsessive about success, but I believe it is essential for sustaining peak performance.

5. Take quality time off. I know it is not always possible for us to take regular vacations for one reason or another, but at the very least, take a mini vacation, even a day off devoted solely to something other than work or business. Take a walk in the park or woods near you, smell that fresh air. Take your children or nieces or nephews to the zoo. Treat yourself every now and then, it does not have to be grand and elaborate, use your imagination. For example, take yourself to your favorite restaurant. I love to go and explore the great multi-cultural neighborhoods of my home city of Toronto. I go browsing in the shops, treat myself to a great lunch…Find what is right for you.

6. Be comfortable with yourself. Peak Performers are comfortable with who they are. They know that things will not always go their way, they know that life is not always easy, and they know that there will be sacrifices to be made. The bottom line is that people who succeed in the business of life know this. They surround themselves with a support system to help them, and they are comfortable enough with who they are to know that ultimately they will get to where they want to be and they know what it takes to stay there.

With the exception of the people with the word sales in their title, most people I speak to would vehemently say they are not in sales. I would strongly disagree with that, and advise these people to reconsider their response. Let me explain. I believe that we have all been in sales since the time we asked ( cajoled, nagged, or convinced) our parents for that first ice cream cone when we were a kid.

Sales is about influencing someone to consider and follow our recommendation. As children, when we tried to convince our parents to buy us that candy that was bad for our teeth. When we pleaded to mum and dad to buy that bicycle that would be really cool to have. Today it is designer trainers or video games. Get the picture? As parents, sometimes our biggest sales job is with our children, although our power base is a little different.

I profess that as teenagers and adults we are all still in sales no matter what profession we work in. We are constantly trying to influence someone else. Don’t we have to promote ourselves to get that raise we want? Don’t we have to negotiate to get that better deal on that new car, a new appliance, or mortgage or loan? Aren’t we looking for the best deal we can get for ourselves and our family? Have I sold you yet? We are all in sales, maybe not always in the conventional way, but just the same, sales is sales.

Some words of advice for the salesperson in all of us: the number one rule of sales is to ask for what you want. The worst somebody can say to you is NO, and remember that the word no is just another request for more relevant information!!

“Tough Times do not last but tough people do”! Dr Robert Schuler

“The harder you work, the more you give, the luckier you become” Charles Marcus

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance” Vidal Sassoon


The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn
This book is a real gem. It is small book, but filled with many pearls of wisdom. I read this book in one sitting. It took me a couple of hours, but I could not put it down, it was that good. Author and Speaker Mark Sanborn recounts the true story of Fred, the mail carrier who passionately loves his job and truly cares about the people he serves. This book is right on the money and explains how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. No wonder this book is a best seller. You can also visit Mark’s content rich and interesting website at

Psychology of the Hero Soul by Sharif N. Khan
The author Sharif Khan had done extensive research and in combining studies in psychology, human potential, philosophy, spirituality, mythology, and the dramatic arts. He has put a book together that makes you step back, think and evaluate your thoughts and your life. This book is for anyone who wants to embark on the hero’s journey, take examples from many of the world’s most enlightened leaders and who wants to reach their full potential. You can also visit the author’s website at

Movie to Rent: “The House of Sand and Fog”
My good friend John Alston recommended this movie to me, it is not a new movie but will be available on video or dvd at your favorite movie rental store. Be warned though, this is a very powerful and emotionally charged movie, not a feel-good one. It is not for the faint hearted. Based on the book of the same name by Andre Dubus III, the story really shows the twists and turns of life and how life can change in an instant. It also reminds us how not to take our loved ones for granted and to cherish them at every opportunity. I was deeply moved and touched by this movie. It affected me deeply and made me very emotional afterwards which is unusual for me. It will definitely get you thinking about your life. It can be a little heavy going at times but stick with, it is worth it. The acting of Ben Kingsley is extraordinary as is the supporting cast. Please let me know your thoughts after seeing the movie, both positive or negative, I would be truly interested. E-mail me please at

Permission is granted to reproduce this newsletter in whole or in part provided the following byline below appears along with the article and that a copy is sent to me after publication. Thank you: To check previous issues for publication, please go to and click on articles/newsletters.

Charles Marcus is an international motivational speaker. To subscribe to his FREE success newsletter, please send an email to An electronic copy will be sent out to you every month. For more information on how Charles, his book and his programs can benefit your organization or group, please call 905-847-2323. Toll-Free in North America at 1-800-837-0629, or visit his website:

Date Added: November 30, 2004 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Newsletters

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