Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hard-earned lessons in life boiled down to bite-size nuggets of wisdom in human relations

“Why not learn from the mistakes of others? You can’t afford to make them all yourself.”

When J. R. Parrish went from being a milkman to becoming a self-made millionaire in 1974, he learned what it takes to survive and thrive in the real world the hard way. The single most important thing that helped him along the way was finding a mentor who told him he would grow twenty years in just one year.

The education and insights he received were in the one area in which he never took a single course in high school or in college—human relations.

Now 35 years later, he shares all the vital knowledge he developed over the years so that others may avoid the pitfalls. His award winning book, You Don’t Have To Learn The Hard Way, contains crisp and hard-hitting advice offered with a single goal: to convey what J.R. wishes someone would have given him when he was starting out—a no-nonsense blueprint for personal and professional success. The book is simply a treasure chest filled with wisdom and golden nuggets. Here is a hearty taste of the gems he offers:


“You never know when your opportunities will come or what form they will take. A fundamental secret of success is to be ready for your opportunities when they appear. Opportunity does you no good if you’re not in a position to take advantage of it. Don’t ask if – ask Which!”

Human Relations

“Practicing good human relations skills means giving another person what he or she wants in order to get what you want. It means keeping the other person’s ego intact at all times. Learning human relations skills is the fastest way to improve every aspect of your life.”


“Life is not always neat and clean. Mentors are human and subject to the same temptations as others, but their wisdom is priceless. Don’t expect that your mentor will be perfect. None of us are. I have made many mistakes. Learn the lessons mentors can teach you, always remembering that they are also human.”

Everyone’s Greatest Need

“Everyone’s greatest need after food, clothing and shelter is the need to feel important. You will win or lose with people in direct proportion to your ability to satisfy their need to feel important.”


“Self-discipline means doing what you should when you don’t feel like doing it. The habit of self-discipline is the underpinning of making your life turn out the way you want.”


“It’s a sign of confidence to be decisive and displaying confidence breeds confidence. If you’re indecisive, someone else will grab the gold ring while you’re mulling things over. To learn decisiveness, you must practice it.”

Being in the Present

“Learn to accept whatever the present moment contains and work with it, not against it. If you find yourself complaining, you are not accepting what is. Stress is not caused by being here but by wanting to be somewhere else. Learn to stay present and watch your life transform.”

Saving Money

“Money in the bank gives you courage and allows you to make rational decisions. The sooner you get the savings habit and your money working for you, the better you future will become.”

A Healthy Relationship

“To obtain the most gratifying and fulfilling relationship you can have, don’t be a doormat, keep your relationship fresh and respectful, make sure to have a life of your own, and encourage your partner to do the same.”


“If you choose a profession you’re passionate about, you’ll never have to work a day in your life, because you’ll be doing what you love to do.”


“If you want financial peace of mind, make it a practice to live below your means.”

Realizing Your Dreams

“Within a dream is the seed of a new reality. To make your dreams come true, they must be specific and backed by absolute commitment.”

The Real Secret of Success

What’s the difference between those who succeed and those who fail? Simply this: Successful people are willing to do the things that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do. Small efforts repeated will complete any task.

Parrish says that your success or failure will be determined first and foremost by how effectively you deal with others. The way other people treat you will depend on your human relations skills. Every facet of life requires the support of others. The fastest way to achieve your own goals is to help others achieve theirs. Helping others is the unconditional element you need to have a bright future.

Available at bookstores nationwide and online. For more information please visit

With simple clarity and vision, J. R. Parrish offers up a wealth of heartfelt and experience-based wisdom covering six key areas of life: human relations; habits; making your dreams come true; dating, marriage, and parenting; career and finance; and love and truth.

His observations are so commonsense and genuine and he carefully explains and offers guidance that’s easy-to-understand and use. His ideas are of immense help to each and every high school or college student and someday graduate and are particularly valuable to those who find themselves unemployed and are looking for a new job or career.

Chock-full of practical advice on everything from how to nail that first big job interview, avoid dangerous relationship mistakes and master the art of managing your finances, to circumventing the typical pitfalls of adjusting to the adult world, this valuable guidebook synthesizes a life's worth of wisdom into one engaging volume.

Told with self-deprecating humor and grace, this book is never preachy. It features irresistible self-discovery quizzes and answers that guide people to deeper self-understanding and realization.

What People Are Saying

You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way is filled with proven advice on how to develop crucial people skills, avoid relationships that can derail one’s goals, establish financial health, find mentors who can be dependable guides, and create good habits to further one’s success.”
— An Alan Caruba Pick of the Month

“…I found the lessons to be a refresher course of Life 101 because, come on, we never stop learning.”
— Psych Central

“It is well written with applicable advice, is just over 280 pages long, and is easy to read.”
— Orato

“…You Don’t Have to Learn the Hard Way… provides a blueprint for the graduate to lay the groundwork for not only a successful career, but a successful life.”
— Bella Online Career Training

“The true gift of this book is the lessons in thoughtfulness that may make you, or your son or daughter, a more loving and caring person.”
— Blog Critics

“Whenever I need a little advice and my mother is busy, I will definitely pick this up.”
— Grace’s Book Blog

“J. R. Parrish's “You Don't Have To Learn The Hard Way” is more than a guide for recent graduates. It’s a blueprint for all for success in life, work and personal goals.”
— Suite 101 Career Coaching

“J. R. Parrish has written a no-nonsense guide for grads; his book should be handed out with every high school and college diploma!”
— Joe Mama blog

About the Author

J. R. Parrish went from being a milkman to a multimillionaire. In 1974, he founded J. R. Parrish Inc., a commercial real estate company in Silicon Valley. He ran the company based on the premise that to succeed in life, you must treat people with fairness and respect, a premise that not only won him friends, but made him a fortune. J.R. spent the next 25 years studying and teaching his employees and brokers about human relations. The company grew to be a huge success and one of the premier real estate brokerage firms in Silicon Valley. J.R. retired in 1999. Today, he and his wife, Lisa, live on their own coffee plantation in one of the most idyllic spots in the Hawaiian Islands. He continues to support the ideals he believes in through his foundation. He is also the author of If I’d Known Then What I Know Now: Why Not Learn from the Mistakes of Others?—You Can’t Afford to Make Them All Yourself.

For more information please visit

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