In the late 1990s, shortly after the birth of the internet, the little company Mom, Andy, and I had started in 1989, "Totally Unique T-shirts," or TUT, began collecting email addresses from visitors to our retail stores. Shortly thereafter, I sent out my first "Monday Morning Motivator" to thirty-six people. They were simply inspirational poems taken from our bestselling T-shirts. I never added any commentary to those first mailings; I just followed the poem with mention of any retail specials we were having.
In 1999, with T-shirt sales and our own enthusiasm declining, we decided to liquidate our business while we were still ahead financially, regroup, and reinvent ourselves. By the time this was accomplished, all that remained of our family business, which had sold over one milion T-shirts, was its domain name www.tut.com and a database of about 1,500 email addresses. Not wanting to let these go and feeling that the internet could prove to be a salvation yet, I continued sending out the Monday missives, but instead of following each poem with a "deal of the week," I mustered the courage to add a paragraph or two of insight, expounding on the message and lesson of the poem and vo-o-o-o-o-m! The response was instantaneous.
Suddenly, I received confirmation from the voids of cyberspace that my weekly emails were actually reaching human beings, because for the first time in years of sending them, people began to reply with notes of their own, which usually went something like this: "Wow! I hope you're saving these for a book one day!" "You have no idea how much your thoughts this morning meant to me." "I'm looking forward to Mondays because of you!" Of course, as a free service that wasn't offering anything for sale, this was entirely a "nonprofit" venture, but I felt certain that I was on to something.
So, in between updating my résumé and responding to employment ads all over the country, I devoted more and more time to my weekly mailings and the website that would support them, writing about the truths that I most needed to embrace in order to change` my own life. And just as it became apparent how small the demand was for an executive who had just liquidated his own company, TUT's Adventurers Club began sprouting wings. "A philosophical club for the adventure of life," its weekly emails soon became daily emails which finally evolved into the now wildly popular Notes from the Universe. At times, I can hardly believe the swift reversal and rise of my good fortunes. My "nonprofit" venture has become fantastically successful, evolving into audio programs, an appearance in The Secret, book deals, worldwide speaking engagements, and a nonprofit charity organization called Gifts from the Universe.
Even for me, it's almost hard to believe that this turn of events wasn't somehow meant to be, but I know better. I remember all too well the forks that lay in the road just eight years ago and how "career" certainty and monetary gains were virtually nonexistent, tempting me to run for safety down paths that promised little else. But as I now tell my readers, if you understand the nature of reality, that our thoughts unfailingly become the things and events of our lives, and you let go of the past and all the labels you have accumulated while "thinking what you know to think, saying what you know to say, and doing what you know to do," it will always be enough.
Until now, the original "Monday Morning Motivators" that started everything have been collecting dust in a three-ring binder. But as a reader once enthusiastically suggested, I have, indeed, saved them for a book, and this is it.
"Choose Them Wisely speaks so eloquently of the raw power and sheer beauty that lies within us all. It's the perfect book to remind us of our ability to create and the importance of following our hearts."
- Marci Shimoff, New York Times bestselling author of Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul
"I love Mike Dooley's message. Every passage makes me feel instantly happy and empowered. Choosing to read this new book is choosing wisely."
- Cheryl Richardson, bestselling author of Take Time for Your Life
"When I first read your writings I cried. It is just so incredible to me to know that there are people out there, who I don't know (on a physical level anyway) that GET IT!""
"Thank you for sharing your thoughts, for keeping us company in our solitude, for giving hope in times of trouble, and for simply being a friend to all of us."
"Your thoughts are poetic and greatly cherished. You are a special individual with a wondrous perspective on life. I see the world through "rose-colored glasses" and it's nice to know that others do too."
"You are an eloquent master of weaving words not only into pictures, but into feelings of radiant joy and love."