What do you fear about retirement?

May 6, 2008

Real Success: What Fifteen Years of Hard Labor Can Do for You!

Edmonton Journal photo of author Thomas Trofimuk celebrating his $200,000 windfall.



Famous Author




In mid-2005, moments after my friend Harvey mentioned how long he had worked for the government, I realized that in October of that year it would be twenty-five years since I was fired from my engineering job at a public utility for taking two months of unapproved vacation. Better still, I realized that it would be twenty-five years since I had a real job. (This led to my writing the book Real Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corportions).

Talk about real success — to me anyway! That called for a grand celebration with my paying the entire bill for a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. I decided the purpose of the event was bigger than me; it was to reward all the individuals who had helped and supported me over the years. Virtually everything worked out when I had the celebration in October 2005.

Indeed, because of synchronistic events, some things worked out much better than I expected. Instead of a small TV set to show tapes of my appearances on national television, my friend Randy Edwards arranged to have his friend Robert come in and set up a DVD imager and a big screen. Twice as many people showed up as I had estimated. Much to my pleasant surprise, three of my friends flew in from Toronto, 3,500 miles from my hometown.

At the celebration, I tried to show a video that Randy Edwards had made of Thomas Trofimuk struggling with poetry and novel his writing at the Bistro Praha, one of my favorite restaurants. Nobody seemed to be interested in Thomas Trofimuk's struggles, perhaps because everyone was having a great time.

Last Thursday (May 1, 2008) I met my friend Robert Hoyles from Toronto at the Bistro Praha, the restaurant where the DVD of Thomas Trofimuk's writing struggles were made. Head waiter Milan told me that Thomas Trofimuk had been in just before to celebrate at the Bistro Braha. "What about," I asked. Milan had indicated that Thomas had just sold a novel for an advance for something like $100,000.

I thought, "This is so cool! The guy who no one at my celebration over two years ago wanted to watch struggling with his writing now gets an advance of $100,000. What was even funkier was reading an artilce in the Edmonton Journal and finding out that the advance was actually $200,000 for a novel that Thomas spent 15 years writing.

See the story at this link: City Writer Hits Jackpot with Third Novel.

I see Thomas Trofimuk's success as poetic justice. It shows what 15 years of hard labor (and the love of writing) can do for you!



Following are some inspirational quotes about the writing life that come from my Real Success website and from my E-book 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work.

You don't write because you want to say something: You write because you've got something to say.
— F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you want to be a writer — stop talking about it and sit down and write!
— Jackie Collings

Write drunk; edit sober.
— Ernest Hemingway

When I had got my notes all written out I thought I'd polish it off in two summers, but it took me twenty-seven years.
— Arnold Toynbee

Writing books is certainly a most unpleasant occupation. It is lonesome, unsanitary, and maddening. Many authors go crazy.
— H. L. Mencken

Writing is a profession in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
— Jules Renard

Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money.
— Louis Untermeyer

More retirement sayings and retirement quotes coming soon from The Retirement Quotes Cafe



Review of Real Success Without a Real Job by Synchronicity Magazine


Career Change Book



Real Success Without a Real Job by Ernie J. Zelinski reads like a conversation with an old friend. The author found success in an unconventional way after losing his job as an engineer and has come to understand that the true path of happiness, contentment, and satisfaction lies in the discovery of one's ture passion or calling.

While pointing out that it may not be for everyone, the author proceeds to tell us of exciting realities that await those who dare to dream of a life lived on their own terms. We, not some faceless corporation, decide on the hours, vacation time, with whom we want to work, and what we are going to do today. To be able to say, "I love what I do and I have my freedom," is priceless to those who are not the corporate type.

Zelinski reminds us that real success is not measured merely by the 'all might dollar' but more so, by having a few good friends and the time to spend with them. He wants us to seriously consider if what it is we 'do', is what makes us happy and if it isn't, why not consider 'doing' that which does make us happy.

The book is 'peppered' with
quotes from people like Henry Ford, Jerry Garcia, Mother Teresa and Mad Magazine that give us an inspiring look into the mindsets of all these successful people and ideas. A quote by William James encompasses the central concept of the book, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life by altering his attitude."

One thing all these people seem to have in common is a committment to their vision. 'Work' isn't where they go each day. The task at hand becomes something to accomplish that will bring their dream closer to fruition. When you have an idea and exert the effort, success will follow.

Real Success Without a Real Job by Ernie Zelinski is a pleasure to read and its positive, up-beat message is full of hope and encouragement for those who are ready to become their own boss.

Careers Book



Download the Free E-book (in PDF format) with the first chapter of Real Success Without a Real Job : The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations at:

Free Downloadable Ebooks at The Real Success Resource Center



Purchase Real Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations by Ernie Zelinski at:


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