Anne Bruce, Best Selling Author, recommends SECOND CHANCES – Chuck Gallagher’s new book on Transforming Adversity into Opportunity

November 6, 2010

Chuck Gallagher’s book, Second Chances, offers every reader hardhitting, no-nonsense life tools that each of us can manifest into the power of choice intelligence and its many benefits. This is not another, “Here’s my story and what I’ve learned” book. It’s much more. It’s a book that says “Take what I’ve learned and apply it in your life. You will transform your destiny to a higher level of consciousness through better choices and higher purpose!” It’s a call to action that doesn’t mince words.

Chuck brilliantly demonstrates in this book that life is full of grit that can become imbedded in our soul—just like the grain of sand that embeds itself within the oyster’s shell—the grit of life, its challenges, heartbreak, and pain, also can be transformed into a beautiful pearl within us all.  Second Chances guides the reader through Chuck’s personal story of triumph to finding his or her own rare, one-of-a-kind pearl within. Chuck’s story illustrates how imprisonment of the soul can take place behind bars or outside of them. It’s a choice we can make and then change the trajectory of life when we make it.

As Chuck says so eloquently in this book, “You may make a mistake, but you are not a mistake.” Not to read Second Chances, in my opinion, would be a mistake I strongly recommend avoiding.

Anne Bruce
International speaker and bestselling author of
Discover True North: A 4-Week Approach to Ignite Your Passion
and Activate Your Potential; Be Your Own Mentor;
How to Motivate Every Employee; Speak for A Living; and more.

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Two of Chuck Gallagher’s new book described as inspirational and groundbreaking!


I was at a breaking point, feeling that I had no control and no value. In my current state, I was useless to my partners; in fact, I was a severe detriment. Everything my wife and I had worked for was about to vanish; only she didn’t know that. Furthermore, the career that I had worked so hard to craft was going to disintegrate in just a matter of hours. I had no control. I was powerless. The only rational action I could think of was ending my life.

Thank God for that major phobia of mine─fear of pain. The problem with suicide was that everything I thought of involved pain. I even considered jumping off the building, but the distance between the leap forward and the final impact caused me some serious worry. What would I be thinking during those few seconds? More importantly─“Good Lord, that would hurt!”

At 7:11 p.m. that evening, I grabbed the Yellow Pages and began calling clinics─anyone who I thought might help me. Frankly, I don’t recall what I was looking up. I do remember that there were no listings under “suicide”─in fact, that wasn’t a category. So I looked up physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, anything that started with a “P”. Honestly, I don’t remember who I did call─a proctologist, as far as I knew. The only thing that flooded my mind was I needed help.

“You’ve reached the office of Drs . . . Our office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Our office is closed. But if you’ll leave your name and number, we’ll be happy to call you first thing in the morning. Have a nice day!” Somehow, when you’re thinking of ending your life, “have a nice day” just doesn’t seem appropriate. And unfortunately, that’s the message I got over and over.

Calling became an obsession. It was the one thing I could do, one action that I felt in life I had some control over. “Just one more dial,” I would say to myself as I pressed the buttons on the phone, listening to the ring, hoping for an answer.

“Dr. Benson’s office.” That was the second time that day I was stunned. After getting recording after recording, I was somewhat unprepared for the possibility that someone would answer. Yet someone did.

“I need to talk with someone. I’m from out of town,” I somehow stammered.

“Actually, our office is closed. I was just walking out the door and thought this was my wife. Give us a call in the morni . . . ”

Before he could finish his sentence, I blurted, “I’m thinking of committing suicide!”

Silence─then the voice said, “Let’s talk.”

For the life of me, I can’t recall what was said between us as I lay on that lonely hotel bed. We could have talked for two minutes, twenty minutes, or two hours. I just don’t remember. What I do recall is that this total stranger, a man who I had never met, took the time to help me see past the grand illusion I had created and uncover the real me inside.

That night was the darkest night of my soul. That call that I shared didn’t make it better. It didn’t eliminate the consequences. It didn’t remove the pain. Rather, it gave me hope, hope that if I could make poor choices that would, most certainly, bring painful consequences, I also possessed the power to make positive choices with positive results.  His comment to me still resounds in my heart today. He said, “You have made a terrible mistake, but YOU are not a mistake! The choices you make moving forward will define your life forever and provide the foundation for your children’s lives. Think carefully as you make this choice!”

When he said to me, “YOU are not a mistake,” it hit me─while the past cannot be changed, the life we are given and the choices we make moving forward are the only things that count. I felt a burden lifted. I could not change the past; all I could do was face the consequences. It was within my power to make good choices, now and in the future, that would produce a fruitful outcome. That was my destiny!


For more information on Anne Bruce and her many books visit here!

The Success Two-Step: Sales Trainer Chuck Gallagher Defines this Dance!

June 5, 2008

Well, as a group of Texan’s, we (at least most of us) are familiar with the Texas Two Step.  Maybe we can’t do the dance, but – at least we’ve heard of it.  For successful people there is a similar numerical equation that is the mantra for success folks.  I’ll call it the Success Two Step (plus).

Now, the average person will find that take one step forward and end up taking two steps back.  You hear excuse after excuse for why they don’t have successful results.  Gas it too high, the economy is stagnant, money is tight, and the excuses go on and on.  That is not the standard for success.

Successful people do what unsuccessful people don’t or won’t.  Regardless of the situation, successful people are always moving forward – taking steps forward.   Sure, we all find that circumstances or situations provide challenges.  This is true for everyone.  But, successful people view the challenge as an opportunity to find an effective solution and that is one key foundation for success.

So then next time you look in the mirror or hear yourself talk – ask yourself this, are you taking two-steps forward and one step back?  As long as the success dance has more forward than back…you’ll find that regardless of circumstances your success will be assured.

Chuck Gallagher – Sales Trainer – signing off…

Sales Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – Discusses 5 Key Steps to Success for a New Manager

June 5, 2008

You dream of success!  Instead of being the one managed, you dream of being the manager.  Then one day, due to your focus and accomplishment (or maybe somebody unexpectedly quit) – either way, you’re tapped on the shoulder – you’re named the manager.  Great!  Then what?

Those last two words represent a profound question and are often the two words that can define failure or success. Sure, there are consultants, speakers, lots of books, bunches of articles, and many seminars on leadership and management. But do they really understand what you’re facing?

Do all of those glossy, $30 hardback books at Barnes and Noble have the answer.  Do they really know the obstacles you face and how difficult it is to make this transition?

Having conducted seminars and worked with corporate executives and managers for many years – big companies and small – I can speak from experience.  Each time you step up the food chain you’ll face the same challenges.

Here are 5 simple success tips that can help with this transition:

1.    Understand on the front end, you are not prepared.  More times than not, the opportunity comes before you are given all the training needed to truly succeed.  In fact, there’s a good chance that the reason you were chosen is the belief that you can figure it out and succeed.  Therefore, understand that you are in a new role – take it seriously.
2.    In the book, 13 Fatal Errors that Manager’s Make – one rule that must be followed is – Be a Boss, not a Buddy.  By setting boundaries you are establishing a framework for your success.  Your new role requires different responsibilities and with that comes a new way of being.  Hanging out with those you manage is a fatal error.  Success comes from respecting the role and acting accordingly.
3.    Associated with #2 – get out of the gossip loop, the coffee/social breaks, don’t hang out with the folks at the after work happy hours.  The reason that companies often bring in outside managers is that they have no relationships and have no habits to break.  Break social habits and pave the way for success.
4.    Listen.  Ask questions.  Be interested and know that those you manage often have the answers, it’s up to the successful manager to find them.  A good listener dramatically increases the likelihood of success.
5.    The last and perhaps the most important – and one that our Dallas Blue members should know – leverage your relationships.  The most successful people are those who know the value of building and maintaining relationships.  You may be brilliant, but most often it is not what you know but who you know that makes the difference between fair performance and success.

Want to succeed?  Great, then recognize that success is the consistent application of learned behavior designed to get a positive result on a predictable basis. Simply decide you want to succeed, set your course and take the steps necessary to create your success.  Remember – every choice has a consequence and the choices you make today are the very same choices that shape your future.

Sales Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher – signing off…

Hannah Montana Tickets and A Heart Warming Positive Ethics Story!

January 10, 2008

No doubt most people have heard of the terrible incident where a Dallas area mother made up a story for her child in order to win prized Hannah Montana tickets. The story entitled “My Daddy Died This Year In Iraq.” Of course, the story was later found to be false and the tickets were withdrawn.


Showbiz tonight (part of CNN) has reported a truly touching story – in fact a polar opposite story compared to the which made headlines across the country. Here (as reported) a five year old girl – Jada Carlson – donated her Hannah Montana tickets to another for a truly selfless reason.

According to the report, Jada received expensive Hannah Montana tickets for Christmas from her mom Faith. While Jada was excited about going to the show, there was a story about one of Jada’s school mates – Gabby. It was reported that Gabby had been in and out of the hospital and people in her community have held fund raisers for her family to help with doctor bills.

Jada felt that Gabby needed one more thing to help her with the difficult time she was facing. So, in an act of selfless love, Jada gave Gabby her tickets so that “Gabby would know that Jada really did care!”

According to Jada’s mother – the only thing she asked of Gabby was that sometime in the future 30 years from now, she would remember and “pay it forward.”

Watching that video story was heart warming. To see the video click here:

Kudos to a child who saw past the personal value of self-gratification and enjoyed the greater value of “giving!”  As a teen ethics speaker and founder of the Choices Foundation, you bet that this story will be used to contrast the difference between the consequences that come from right acts.

Every choice has a consequence.  I speak about the “Truth about Consequences.”    In the first example the consequences for lying were humiliation and loss of the tickets.  In this example the benefits for right actions have been incredible publicity and benefits that are yet to come.

What do you think?  Feel free to comment!

Hannah Montana and An Ethics Meltdown – Anything For Success? Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher Comments!

December 31, 2007

A sad story out of Garland, Texas (not far from my home in Southlake, TX). A story of Iraq, a little girl, compassion and all for Hannah Montana tickets.


The little girl was six years old who won Hannah Montana tickets to a sold out concert for the touching essay she wrote. What a special reward for a girl who touched the hearts of those who read.

The essay was a fake – the story told a lie! All done to influence the judges and win the tickets. Ethical choices gone bad and at six years old (and get this) with the knowledge (and likely help) of her mother.

The Associated Press story featured on CNN is shown below:

Here’s what took place:

  • Club Libby Lu, a store that sells clothes, accessories and games intended for young girls based out of Chicago, sponsored a contest which included airfare for four to a sold-out Hannah Montana concert on January 9th in Albany, NY.
  • The little girl who won had an essay whose first line began with: “My daddy died this year in Iraq.”
  • The story wasn’t true!
  • Priscilla Ceballos, the little girls mother, told an interviewer with KDFW (a Dallas, TX TV station), “We did whatever we could to win.”

Mary Drolet, the CEO for Club Libby Lu stated, “We regret that the original intent of the contest, which was to make a little girl’s holiday extra special, has not been realized in the way we anticipated.” The company is considering taking away the girls tickets.

What should the outcome be?

I seriously doubt that a six year old girl could come up with a deception that contrived on her own. She had to have had help and her mother has as much admitted her part in the overall deception.

If the little girl were allowed to keep the prize, including the tickets, it would send a clear message that unethical behavior (regardless of who made the decision) is alright. It’s not alright!

If the little girl had the tickets revoked, while she would likely be hurt, it would demonstrate at a very young age, something that I state to groups all over the country, that every choice has a consequence. Reality is, by your choices you determine the consequences you receive – negative consequences (loss of the tickets) or positive results (enjoyment of the prize).

Either way, her mother, through national attention, has been exposed as a liar and a person who was willing, as she put it, to do “whatever we could do to win.” The likely outcome for their family will play out in many ways for time to come.

What do you think the outcome should be? Your comments are welcome.

Do you think that children and teens are taught ethics or is ethical behavior instinctive? Again, your comments are welcome.

For now, Motivational and Ethics Speaker, Chuck Gallagher signing off.

Success and Ethics – Can They Co Exist?

November 11, 2007

In today’s world there is a wide gap between success and ethics. Ethics violations seem to have dominated the news over the past five year. From Enron, to Worldcom, to a Wal-Mart VP, to Martha Stewart, everywhere we turn we seem to be bombarded with the faces of “successful” people who have been vexed with ethical issues and suffered the consequences. They certainly were not the first nor will they be the last examples of the consequences of unethical behavior.

The big question that seems to go unanswered is what happened? What happened that caused these people to choose unethical behavior? Were they naturally unethical? Was it the desire for more money too great? Were they inherently “bad” people? Were they ignorant of their own value system?

To understand success and ethics, we must first examine the two so take a minute and think about success. Write your thoughts down on paper. There is no right or wrong answer, just your thoughts. Take your time and make your notes on paper. What does success mean to you? Is it the accumulation of material wealth? Is it being happy? What makes you happy? Is success measured in your life by the lessons learned on life’s journeys? Is success, for you, that you tried or is it that you achieved? Does success come from a disciplined life? How was success modeled for you in your home?

Now, let’s think about ethics. Close your eyes for a moment and think about what ethics mean to you. When you return to reading, write your thoughts down. Do you believe the you were born inherently good? How did you learn ethics/values? Were they taught to you by your parents, church or school? Were they taught to you at all? Was what you were taught exemplified in your environment at home, school or church? Would you be willing to compromise your ethics for success? Are you successful because of your ethics? How do you feel when you operate apart from your sense of ethics?

I was adopted at birth by my parents. My adoptive father died when I was two years old and my mother became a single parent which created in it some financial woes. My mother worked hard to feed and clothe us. I grew up in the projects. My mother always said to hold your head high and be somebody and when I grew up I would be somebody.

When I grew up I went to college and received my masters in accounting and became a CPA. Success to me meant having a lot of money, a beautiful home, a Mercedes, and all the benefits that go with wealth. I achieved it. I had it all. I was happy. I had a wife, two children. I was highly respected in the community. My articles were published in accounting journals. I traveled throughout the country teaching accounting seminars. I couldn’t be happy.

Ethics? At that time, I didn’t think much about them. I did what I thought was morally right. I went to church. I was even the music director. I was an embezzler. I didn’t give much thought to it as I was just “borrowing” from one client and replacing it with another client’s money. However, I wasn’t asking their permission. As is true in most cases where unethical behavior reigns, it fell apart around me. I ended up in Federal Prison, which, I am grateful to say, became my wake-up call.

During my prison time I evaluated the success at the cost of ethics. I evaluated what success was, and I came to understand that I manifested the illusion of success compounded by unethical behavior resulting in negative consequences. I came to understand that success or being somebody began inside myself. It was who I was regardless of the environment I am in. Success, for me, became the positive choices I made and how I lived my life throughout its journey. The external manifestation of success then came about because of my ethical choices. I left prison and became gainfully employed. Now, 11 years later, I am an executive in a publicly traded company and an international keynote speaker.

It took for me prison time to clarify for me what success and ethics are and that they can co-exist if you choose to allow them to co-exist. I found success with integrity. I chose not to compromise ethics for success. The journey has its ups and down, but I walk it with my head held high looking forward to the future.

Success is best measured by the choices we make on the journey of life. It is not only the attainment of material items, but also it is the process of attaining those items. It is how we treated ourselves and others on that path. It is the decisions we make on the journey to choose right or to choose wrong. It is what we do with the outcome or the consequences of our decision. Success and ethics can co-exist and must co-exist to be truly successful. It is when they do not co-exist that problems occur.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were tempted to compromise your integrity and honesty for success?

Every choice has a consequence. You might not see it immediately, and some feel that there might not be a consequence. Just because the consequence doesn’t materialize immediately doesn’t mean there are no consequences as there are consequences for everything that we do. If you want positive results, than choose the right path. When all is said and done, the materials of success can be taken away from you, but they can never take away your integrity. It is never too late to choose the integrous (ethical) pathway. The rewards are amazing and I am living proof of it.

What are your thoughts?