A Master of Meaning: Ken Blanchard’s 75th Birthday Tribute

One of my most influential mentors, teachers, and dear friends is Mr. Ken Blanchard, who celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday!

I am so grateful to have gotten to know Ken personally over the years and am proud to call him a friend knowing that people all over the world credit him for their business success.

His book “The One Minute Manager” has sold more than 13 million copies and has been translated into 37 languages.

Ken is truly a luminary in the field of organizational leadership, financial fitness, and business mastery, but what I admire most about Ken Blanchard is his unique ability to master the meaning of any and all events and life conditions that he is presented with.

With Ken, there are truly no bad days.

Ken has a deep love and respect for his creator and that reflects powerfully in the way he shares his love of life in every moment with unequivocal gratitude. This passion for life is what has made him such a mentor for me both professionally and personally.

I first met Ken when I was 24. I didn’t play golf then, but I showed him how to make the mental shifts that shaved a few strokes off his game. Ken is crazy about golf and was extremely grateful for the tips. We developed a friendship.

At that time I was writing my very first book. It went on to land a spot on the New York Times Best Seller List and I was gaining momentum and building my business. Like most people, I had already heard of George S. Clason’s 1926 classic, “The Richest Man In Babylon the day that Ken pulled me aside for a talking to. I was aware of a central concept in the book– the simple idea of paying yourself first. That is, taking 10 percent of your income and setting it aside to grow and protect you in the future. But Ken connected with me and imparted a message at this critical time that I was coming into myself as a young business man. He taught me something that many business owners don’t realize.

He said, “Tony, any amount of money that you feed your business, it will eat.”

Ken continued:

“So in writing a book, you are doing something here that is outside of the business. You are doing something that is going to support the company hopefully by bringing in new fans of your work who then maybe engage with your brand, and do business with your company, maybe they attend your seminars, utilize your products and services. Since the company is getting that benefit, make sure you take the profits of your book and set them aside and never allow them into your company’s account. This is the most important career advice given to me by another man and I want to pass it on to you. Heed my call because if you create products or services or things that if you take these pieces and put them aside you will have financial independence over the long term. Put it in some place that’s secure. Maybe it grows as slow as grass. But the bottom line is it won’t go away when you take a big risk and it won’t get eaten up by business. Especially when a business is growing.

Remember Tony: A business is always hungry.”

Decades have gone by since Ken Blanchard spoke those words to me. I now have 24 companies and I’m actively involved in running eight of them. I have authored other books and my world has expanded massively, and yet — those words never left me, in fact they became the basis of financial independence as I know it. Ken Blanchard

Today, I’m able to turn it around. I’m writing my next book as we speak. It will hit shelves this fall and it’s entirely dedicated to the principles of financial mastery.

I’m so grateful to say that I have done well enough at this point in my life to be able to donate all the profits of the book I’m working on — 100 percent — to charity. I don’t need the profits for me, and I don’t need them for my company. And none of that would be possible without the advice from my friend, Ken Blanchard. I want to help as many people as I can master their finances no matter what age or their economic situation they find themselves in.

Years ago, I took Ken Blanchard’s advice to heart and today, on Ken’s 75th birthday, I celebrate his his spirit, his emotional wisdom, and his financial awareness and I share that same advice with anyone who’s listening:

You must set up your business to pay yourself first AND become the master of meaning no matter what life conditions are presented to you.

The knowledge Ken Blanchard shared was quite simple but the impact is extraordinary when acted upon.

… Oh by the way, you might read this and say to yourself, “Yeah, I knew all this. I’ve read those books, I’ve heard those principles before.”

But ask yourself. What’s the value of knowing this?

Knowing a concept is nothing but potential value.

Knowledge is NOT power.

On the other hand, what is the value of doing this?


The EXECUTION of knowledge and concepts is where your power lies.

So you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss out on freedom just because you already knew a concept. Understanding the fundamental distinction between knowledge and execution will make you a leader in the field.

Don’t just know it; do it.


Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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