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James Donaldson’s Book Review – The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo

The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die

I thought this was a fantastic book to read, and it really gets you thinking, especially as your “life’s journey” continues on decade after decade, of what’s most important, and the author, John Izzo, described so well, The Five Secrets he says we must Discover before we die.

Izzo interviewed over 200 people, most of them well along in years, to discuss and discover with them, some of the secrets that they have lived by to have such a rewarding life.

In a nutshell, here are the secrets:

1 – Be True to Yourself

2 – Leave No Regrets

3 – Become Love

4 – Live the Moment

5 – Give More Than You Take

All of these “secrets”, are so poignant, so commonsensical and, almost cause you to have a “no duh” moment, because I think all of us, especially if we are in our 50s and 60s and 70s, realize, that these secrets are indeed the secret to live in a long, rewarding and rich life.

Think about it, how important it is to “Be True to Ourselves”, and, how important it is for us to mend relationships with friends and family and “leave no regrets”, and, the value of loving instead of hating and “becoming love”, and, as the years continue to go on, realizing that there’s nothing we can do about yesterday, and tomorrow is promised to no one, and so we learn to “live the moment” and enjoy and cherish each and every day. And then of course the last secret, in which we learn to “give more than you take”, especially after our early years and early careers are all about personal gain and self-centeredness, we learned in the long run, none of those things amount to anything, and it’s much more rewarding to give than to continue taking.

I myself had a life-changing, serious health scare about a year and a half ago, where I hovered between “life-and-death”, and was in the hospital for two months. All five of these secrets resonated with me so clearly during that time, that I had a whole “new lease on life” when I got out of the hospital, and all of a sudden, life took on a whole new meaning. I think I’ve always been one to enjoy life and to make sure it was filled with quality time, friends and relationships, but everything went up to “the next level” after that close call. I think since then, I’ve been sure to myself, I’ve cleaned up a lot of old relationships and feel I have nothing to be regretful for (for the most part), I’ve become much more loving towards myself and others, I’ve learned to live the moment and cherish each and every day, and I’ve also become much more giving realizing that “I can’t take it with me” anyway.

If you’re into introspective thinking, this would be a wonderful book for you.

I think it will have tremendous meaning to folks who are at the third and fourth quarters of their lives, then for a young teenybopper, simply because with age comes wisdom and experience, and he realized the relevancy and the importance of these five secrets.

Enjoy this fantastic book! I highly recommend it!


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James Donaldson’s Brand New Ebook – Basketball A-Z: What It Takes To Make It From AAU to the Pros – A Free Gift Compliments of James Donaldson

talljames_2_finalI hope that everyone is having great weekend and all is well.

Remember last week when I mentioned to you that it was my birthday? That’s always a great time of anyone’s year to receive a few gifts, cake and ice cream, and in this day and age of social media…. Birthday wishes from all around the world. And of course, all of those things happened to me as well!

But you know what? … every time I receive some nice things, it always puts me into the mind set of giving back.

So, I just happened to finish up my new ebook, “Basketball A-Z: What It Takes to Make it from AAU to the Pros”, and I’d like to make it available to each and every one of you (over the next 10 days) … just because!

The best way to receive your own Basketball A-Z ebook download link, is to click here and submit your name and email address.  I’ll be notified right away and will personally send you an email with the download link information. And yes, it’ll be personally from me to you! How does that all sound to you?

I don’t normally write much about basketball, but I thought that I’d put this ebook together for all of the young basketball players and basketball coaches out there. So, even if you’re not a big basketball fan, I’m sure that you have people in your lives who are. Daughter or son, husband or wife, family member or friends!

The ebook has a lot of information in it about basketball drills and preparation that will defiantly help anyone to be better and better at basketball. From youth basketball, high school, college and all the way to the Pros, you’ll find it here!

It also has some great insight that I share as to how and why I got started in basketball, and how, once I started to dedicate myself to this great game, how it all started coming together for me, and I was actually able to make a career out of it.

I know that you’ll enjoy it!

What do you have to lose!!! It doesn’t cost you a thing (except a name and email submission). Which will also give you a free ”look see” at the great business entrepreneurial opportunities that I’ve been involved in for a while and have been sharing with you for a few weeks now. As I mentioned, once you get started, I’ll be right here for you as well, coaching, mentoring, sharing and encouraging you every step of the way.


My birthday was a nice little time for me to receive and get birthday greetings from all around the world, but now it’s “your time”!

Take care and have a wonderful weekend! Looking forward to working closely with you soon.

I still want to strongly encourage you to click here and submit your name and email address so that you can get underway with the 21 step program that will really help you greatly on your way to financial freedom and be in your own business owner.
There’s still plenty of time for all of that, but just remember, that each day delayed, is a day that you could have been making progress toward your ultimate goals.
Have a wonderful day, as I plan to do as well!
To your good fortunes!
James Donaldson
Former NBA All Star and Small Business Entrepreneur


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James Donaldson’s Brand New Ebook – Basketball A-Z: What It Takes To Make It From AAU to the Pros by James Donaldson

Italljames_2_final wanted to take a moment, to announce the release of my brand-new e-book that I just completed, titled, Basketball A – Z: What It Takes to Make It from AAU to the Pros.

I know that I typically do not write about basketball and sports, but I wanted to collect a lot of my thoughts about what it takes, especially for young people, to compete at the highest levels at school, in the AAU competitions around the country, on their way to high schools and universities, and then hopefully, in pursuit of their ultimate goal, to the WNBA and or the NBA.

There are so many details to pay attention to, that a lot of our young people fall by the wayside because they forget to pay attention to them.

I think this would be an excellent book for not only basketball players, but all young athletes, and the coaches who coach them.

At this moment, I am offering a free download of the book from my website, www.StandingAboveTheCrowd.com and all you have to do is go to the product catalog section of the site, and you will see an image for the ebook, Basketball A – Z. Click on the image, and I believe the website will ask you for your name and email address (where I will safe keep for you, and not distributed out to any other email marketing list…. although I may contact you from time to time with a periodic newsletter), and then submit a coupon code which will be “BasketballA-Z” (without the quotation marks). From that you can proceed on through the shopping cart, and there will not be any charge whatsoever to download the book. You will receive a confirmation email, with the downloadable link in the email.

I know that you enjoy this book, and be sure to remember to pass it on to young people in your life, and also for all of you coaches out there, I think you’ll find a lot of helpful advice in it as well.

Of course, you’ll find a couple of other books that I’ve written as well in my shopping cart, my actual physical book titled “Standing Above The Crowd: Executing Your Game Plan to Be the Very Best You Can Be” (of which I will personally autographed for you when you purchase), and another relatively new e-book, “The 50 Greatest NBA Players: My Personal Experience of Playing against Most of Them” (which I believe will be a very good interesting read for everyone as well).


Take care, and to your success!

James Donaldson
Former NBA All-Star


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James Donaldson’s Book Review – One Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception and Survival at Jonestown by Julia Scheeres

A Thousand LivesWow!… I mean, Double Wow!!!

This was an excellent, fascinating and fantastic book to read.

I know that the story of Jim Jones and Jonestown, has been told many times, in books, made-for-TV movies and documentaries, but this book tops them all!

The author, Julia Sheeres, really helps us to envision exactly what it must’ve been like, for the more than 900 people, who followed Rev. Jim Jones into the Guyana jungles, and then, detail by detail, that I don’t think has been told before, lets us get a glimpse into the frantic, maniacal decline of Jim Jones, as he had all those people, under his spell, and his direction, and led them into mass suicide.

This book mentioned that the investigators were able to discover thousands of notes, handwritten journals, that haven’t been disclosed before, and they were able to piece together a lot more detail than ever has been told.

Even though we know the outcome of the People’s Temple and Jim Jones, this book still has you clinging on every word, and anticipating the next episode as it comes about.

I know this all happened some time ago, and if you don’t know much about Rev. Jim Jones, the People’s Temple and Jonestown, this would be a great time to get up to speed on it.

Because of what happened and Jonestown, “drinking the Kool-Aid” became part of our lexicon, and it refers to anyone who blindly follows another, doesn’t ask questions, and typically ends up with a bad outcome.

I highly recommend this book!


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James Donaldson’s Book Review – Lindbergh vs Roosevelt: The Rivalry That Divided America by James P. Duffy

Lindbergh vs RooseveltThis was a fascinating look at two of history’s most visible and popular characters of the early 20th century. Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and, aviation pioneer, an American hero, Charles Lindbergh.

No one knows why the rivalry grew between the two of them exactly, but there was definitely a rivalry. Maybe it was jealousy, maybe it was their personalities. Who knows?

Insightful and engaging, Lindbergh vs. Roosevelt reveals the untold story about two of history’s most controversial men and how the White House waged a smear campaign against Lindbergh that blighted his reputation forever.

Charles Lindbergh was accused (with help from Roosevelt’s White House) of being a Nazi sympathizer, and also be an anti-Semite. He spent the rest of his career living those accusations down, even though popular opinion in folklore continued to paint him in that light.

Lindbergh encouraged and really wanted America to stay out of the war in Europe, but to no avail.

He was hired from time to time to be an aviation expert, and also to help us develop our US airmail system in its early days.

I thought it was an interesting book, and even though I did not know much about neither one of these men, I found them both to be fascinating characters, and both of them carved out a healthy slice of the history of this country.


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Why Care? Because We Can…. and Because We Must!

Joe Pace, James and Eldridge Recastner (2)Coming on the heels of the tragic events in America this week (Minneapolis, Baton Rouge and Dallas), I thought I would share with you a feel good story, to let you know that there’s still some good in this world.

I’m not sure why there’s so much hate in this world, but I do know that there’s an awful lot of love is well.

This past week, myself and former NBA player, Eldridge Recasner, both of us Board of Directors with the National Basketball Retired Players Association, took it upon ourselves to go out and visit one of our struggling comrades, former NBA player, Joe Pace.

Joe’s story has been well chronicled over the years, Joe Pace Article , Joe Pace Article #2 , Joe Pace You Tube Video , after a short and brief stint in the NBA, he then played overseas for several years, he soon found himself battling substance abuse issues, making a series of wrong decisions, and ending up homeless in Seattle. I actually played against Joe in the European leagues, when we were both upstart young professional basketball players, trying to make it to the NBA.

Eldridge and I went out to visit Joe, on behalf of the Retired Players Association, thinking that there has to be a way for our association to be able to help him and others like him who find themselves cast aside by society. I first met Joe several years ago, in person, when I heard about his story, and found him at this current state, seemingly much better off than he was when I first met him. He was very cognizant, coherent, able to carry a conversation, laughing at all the little jokes that Eldridge and I were running by him, and also very straightforward and honest with his situation. Joe is genuinely a very nice guy, with an easy-going personality and mannerisms, and a great laugh and sense of humor. Of course he feels hurt that people still “hold things against him” for the poor choices he made years ago, but also, in a way that fuels him to stay on track and continue doing the right thing.

NBRPA LogoAs board members with the National Basketball Retired Players Association, Eldridge and I are two of the more vocal board members when it comes to speaking up about benefits for the retired players. We are constantly fighting and pushing for more benefits and opportunities for our former players, especially in light of the greater sums of money that our association is now receiving from the NBA. Sure, we have several programs, but many of those programs require the player to pay a fee of some sort, which many of the players cannot afford to do, and so most of the programs go underutilized.

Joe mentioned to us that he’s quite the handyman and craftsman, where he makes children’s toys, walking canes and several other items that he really enjoys making. When we asked Joe what it is. If he really needs and to give us perhaps a top three list of things that he would appreciate from our association, he told us that he really could use (1) a new bed and mattress (the current mattress he is using has springs popping out the top of it, which he has to cover with a heavy blanket, (2) a portable toolshed/workshop, that he can set up outside of his home and do a lot of his handiwork inside of out of the elements, (3) perhaps a food gift card from his local Safeway grocery store, (4) and, perhaps a little bit of financial assistance with him paying his rent.

The first order of business that Eldridge and I wanted to take care of, was to check with our association, to see if we can grant him a complimentary membership to the Retired Players Association, and with that, he would be able to access some of the benefits that there come with being a member. For all of our members, such benefits include, the opportunity to enroll in an online university, the opportunity to apply for financial aid and assistance, and the great camaraderie that we all have with each other twice a year at our various conferences.

We finally were able to make some progress, and after a board conference call this past week, the board voted to grant Joe a complimentary membership. That was something I was long fought for, but well worth the effort!

I wanted to share that with everyone because in light of the partisan bickering, bitterness, and outright hatred that is so prevalent sometimes in our society, there are still some good things going on. It’s so easy to “dehumanize” those who are not quite as fortunate as the rest of us, whether they be homeless, jobless, addiction issues, etc., but we ought to guard against that type of thinking and realize that as the old saying goes, “if not for God’s grace….. there go I”.

If anybody out there reading this has an extra bed set and mattress (especially here in the Seattle area), we will make arrangements to come by and pick it up and deliver it to Joe’s house.

Thank you very much for allowing me to share all of this with you, I want to thank Eldridge Recasner for taking the lead on this a few months ago, bringing it to our Board of Directors attention, and I also want to thank our board for voting and “doing the right thing”.

All the best everyone out there, have a blessed day!

James Donaldson




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Entrepreneurship – an Insight by Small Business Owner – James Donaldson

James and Brian Duggan from Carnegie Learning - 2012

Greetings everyone, and welcome once again to my All Star Entrepreneur Team!

I hope that you all had a wonderful 4th of July holiday weekend. A little down time with family and friends, and enjoyed a nice relaxing weekend.

But, guess what!? It’s time to get back to it and on top of your game!

I wanted to share with you some tidbits about being a small business entrepreneur, that might just come in handy for you, or someone you know.

As most of you know, I’ve had the great privilege to be both, a “brick and mortar” business entrepreneur (for over 25 years now!), and now, an entrepreneur in the world of internet marketing, and writing and publishing books, and being a professional speaker. Both pathway have their “pros and cons”, but truthfully, I’m enjoying the latter much more because (1) I can work from the comforts of my own home office, (2) I can avoid the terrible traffic and commute, on the roads and freeways, (3) I can utilize my “creative juices” much more than in a typical business, and not having to answer/please a bunch of co-workers, (4) and, probably best of all, I’m my own boss and don’t have to deal with personnel issues from having to work side by side with a team of people, (5) oh, and probably most important, is that I work as many or as few hours as I’d like to. When all of my friends are hustling and bustling in their “9 to 5’s”, I’ve got time for me, the family, friends, and hanging at the coffee shop from time to time.   Yay! James Actually Standing Above The Crowd - 2010

You too can choose which type of business entrepreneur you’d like to be. It’s never too late, but it is important to get started and stay focused and on track.James CFA Speaking Engagement - 2012 (6)

I’m sharing with you some basic, common sense, straight ahead advice to think about, but not only think about, but to implement where you can. I write about these things in my book, “Standing Above the Crowd: Executing Your Game Plan to be the Best You Can Be”. www.StandingAboveTheCrowd.com
If you interested in picking up your own personally signed autograph copy, just click on my website, order your own copy and it’ll be on its way!

Anyway, here is the information that I wanted to share with you! Start your post 4th of July holiday with a bang!!! And dive into the rest of 2016 with a vengeance!

Till now you have read some of the characteristics of entrepreneurship. “Practice makes perfect” is the motto about everything in life and especially if you are a business owner. Bookish knowledge can help you a lot to avoid mistakes but nothing beats the practical hands on experience of seeing what works for you.

You have the right passion, the right business format and all the skills. But before making the leap of faith make sure you are ready in some other aspects as well.

From starting the business to make it run smoothly requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice. Which means young or old, personal life will take some hits. Family and friends must be supportive as they must know what it takes to start a business and its effect on your family life. Lot of you may choose to have a job in the initial days of starting a business; this means all your spare time has to go for running the business.


Entrepreneurship will take its toll on your health. Being lean and mean is great for business but that often means spending longer hours doing yourself what you would pay other people to do. Thus for surviving those 14+ hour work days, seven days a week you must be at the top of your physical and mental condition. Proper nutrition and a regular exercise regime will take care of your health. It’s hard to enjoy the success lying down in the hospital bed.

Know your strong points in business and hire others to do the other jobs. Many owners think that they must be good at doing everything. This is surely not the case. Though at times knowing every aspect of the business is advantageous. Just in case anyone falls sick. From an entrepreneurial point of view having a team where you are the weakest link is not bad.

Along with knowing your strong points you also must know your comfort zones.

Are you comfortable being the boss and having employees who are older than you?

Dealing with the multiple personalities your employees possess?

Handle money and take financial decisions? Getting into debt first for starting the business before seeing profits?

Spare some years before you see enough profit to provide you a steady paycheck with?

All these are just a few things you should keep in mind and keep a back up plan or two ready just in case you run into them down the road.

If, and when you’re ready to join me and my great team of All Star Entrepreneurs, take a look at this link click here to access and sign up. You’ll receive a great 21 step program and excellent coaching every step of the way. And yes, I’ll be here with you as well!


To your good fortunes!
James Donaldson
Former NBA All Star and Small Business Entrepreneur






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