Article About Me in Napoleon Hill Foundation Weekly Newsletter

I Have Experience with That! By Tom Cunningham

Tom Cunningham

My name is Tom Cunningham. I have had 4 hips replaced, 4 knees replaced, 2 shoulders replaced, one ankle fusion surgery, cataract surgeries at age 13, and have been in hospitals over 40 times. I am 46 years old and was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 5. Rheumatoid Arthritis, at least mine, affects every joint in your body from your jaw to your toes. Despite these challenges, nothing keeps me down. A positive attitude has definitely helped me throughout my life. As a kid, I always said I was fine when people asked me how I was, even when I was hospitalized from a severe arthritis attack. Today I always say ‘amazing’ when people ask me how I am doing. When people ask why I tell them that about 50% of the world’s population doesn’t eat every day and about 40% of the world’s population has very inadequate housing. Most things that North Americans complain about would make no sense to people living in a third world country.

One of the events that really cemented my positive attitude was after my ankle fusion surgery in my mid 20's. That was the worst surgery I've ever had. I had 6 posts sticking through my ankle area holding various pieces of metal together. I was not able to drive for about six months. This was a real challenge for someone who was used to driving, and thanks to great parents, having a car, or access to a car, from the age of 16. I had to take the 'Wheel Trans' buses for 6 months. These were buses equipped for anyone with a handicap. When I started, I was having a very difficult

It's Not What Happens To You That Counts, It Is What You Do About It.

time staying positive, however after 6 months, my positive attitude was cemented forever. I do not use a wheelchair and when I used Wheel Trans I was using a cane, crutch or walker, depending on the day, to stay off my bad ankle. I met many people in wheelchairs and with various physical challenges that were on the bus every day going to work. Many, if not most, of those people were amazing, friendly, kind, hard working, contributing people. If you are in a wheelchair, it's very likely takes you 2 or 3 times longer to do things that able bodied people can do without effort. Wheel Trans was also not a direct route to where you were going. You picked up and dropped off people along the way. To be on time for work these people had to get up very early to get ready, take a bus and allow LOTS of time to get to work and be ready to repeat the process on the way home. I am so thankful now for the time I had to take Wheel Trans for 6 months. I have always remembered from that experience that there are always people in much worse condition that I am in and those individuals always encouraged me to stay positive and be grateful for what I had. As my friend W. Mitchell says: "It's Not What Happens To You That Counts, It Is What You Do About It.”

In my 20’s I started a goal setting program and also wrote out my definite chief aim in life and I still love setting, and achieving, goals. I started with a VICTORY book where I wrote my goals in the present and positive tense (example: I sold 100 Law of Success books). When I achieved a goal, I wrote VICTORY beside it. Some of the goals I have achieved include meeting our (Canadian) Prime Minister, while he was the Prime Minister. I achieved that by writing to his office and telling them that the first goal I wrote was to meet him. I, along with Shane Morand and Derrick Sweet brought Mark Victor Hansen to Ottawa, Ontario to speak. That was before his “Chicken Soup For The Soul” books were even published. I have also done some paid and unpaid talks on goal setting and maintenance of a positive attitude to network marketing companies.

One of my first entrepreneurial ventures was getting a great price on the single edition, leather bound book “Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill. I would drop the book off to sales managers at car dealerships, real estate offices and insurance offices and leave it with them for a week. I would return and either pickup the $50 or the book. During that time, I participated in a weekly Master Mind breakfast meeting every Saturday morning. We discussed business opportunities, motivational books we read and real estate investing. Those Master Mind members were a great source of inspiration, encouragement and ideas. Currently, I am working with my old friend Shane Morand at OrGano Gold to spread the word about Think & Grow Rich to the next generation of readers.

Professionally, I am Head of Research for George Media, publishers of the digital publications, The American Business Journal (over 370,000 unique visitors to the website in December, 2009 and ranked by Alexa in top 48,400 most visited websites worldwide) and The Canadian Business Journal (average of 700,485 unique monthly visitors over past quarter and ranked in top 34,037 most visited websites worldwide).

If your company has over $30 million in annual revenues and would like to be featured in a 6-8 page article in one or more of the publications that I work with, and you are willing to provide a list of 30 of your top suppliers to us for potential advertising within your feature, contact me at 617-830-1998 or

Thank you Tom. To submit your own Guest Column to be included with Napoleon Hill Yesterday and Today, please contact Gill Kilcoyne via email or call 704 333-1112.