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The Fighting Entrepreneur

October 29, 2023 by  
Filed under blog

Original Salt Lake Tribune article

After giving you my abbreviated history the last couple weeks, I thought you might also be interested in a little battle I had with the US government. This article tells the story. It is from February 1997 and was printed in the Salt Lake Tribune.


Best-Selling Author Wins in Court

The Federal Trade Commission has lost still another round in its fight with Utah businessman Mark O. Haroldsen, author of the best-selling How to Wake up the Financial Genius inside You.

US District Judge David Sam has dismissed the FTC lawsuit against Haroldsen’s FreeCom Communications and other defendants in the case. Sam ruled the government failed to allege in its lawsuit exactly how Haroldsen’s company defrauded anyone.

Last June, the judge turned down an FTC request to freeze the assets of Haroldsen’s companies. He also refused to appoint a receiver to take over the business operations.

“The FTC uses intimidation to cause businesses to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend themselves against ridiculous allegations,” Haroldsen says. “I hope the FTC realizes they have lost and move on.”

The FTC, and a joint effort with the Utah Attorney General’s office, filed its complaint in Utah federal court in June 1996. It contended Haroldsen, three other individuals and six related companies made unfounded claims at seminars and in television “infomercials” to persuade people to buy $495 starter kits to help them launch home businesses.

The government contended that few if any consumers actually earned substantial income from the business ventures FreeCom detailed — ventures that included the resale of distressed merchandise, the operation of vending machines and the sale of vitamins and color-change T-shirts.

Shortly after the government filed its lawsuit, Haroldsen’s attorney Richard Casey responded that company records indicated customers’ complaints were low, less than a fraction of 1 percent.

Haroldsen’s hope that he will be able to go on with business without the cloud of an FTC lawsuit may not be realized.

Although he dismissed the lawsuit, the judge gave the FTC permission to file an amended complaint within 30 days.

“This is a setback, but we are not too concerned about it,” says Jeff Gray of the Utah Attorney General’s office, which has been working with the FTC.

— Written for the Salt Lake Tribune by Stephen Oberbeck


That happened in 1997 but the FTC continued to file suit and, essentially, harass us until July 2001 when the court again found that “the FTC utterly failed to introduce sufficient probative evidence in support of its allegations.” In the end, we sued them for attorneys fees and won.

This whole experience is kind of a lesson in being an entrepreneur who thinks differently than everyone else. When you try something new, and especially when you’re successful at it, people might question what you’re doing. But if you believe in what you’re doing, if you’re offering a useful product or service and are helping people along the way, there’s no reason for you to question it yourself. Believe in what you do, and I think you’ll always come out on top.

Don’t Kill Your Dreams

June 12, 2022 by  
Filed under blog

Over the last few decades, the amount of information we are exposed to daily has increased dramatically. But for all that abundance, we don’t necessarily get a clear picture of what is going on in the world. Most of the news we hear is highly negative, overly dramatic, and designed to inspire fear. So, it doesn’t surprise me that many people are afraid to take risks and go after their big dreams.

However, right now is exactly the time you need to jump in with both feet. Yes, even in the middle of all this economic uncertainty and our unprecedented times. You just need to believe in yourself. If you have that, all else will follow.

I started investing in real estate in 1972, in the middle of the worse recession in the US since the great depression. Fortunately, I didn’t know that and, even if I did, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference because I really believed that I could succeed.

Sure enough, not only did I not lose my shirt, I became a millionaire. That recession didn’t stop me and these crazy times shouldn’t stop you. Not believing in yourself and taking immediate action is the only thing that is guaranteed to kill your dreams.

Remember, all you need to worry about is your life, what you need, what you want, and know that if you keep working at it, you will get what you’re after. If your dreams are that important to you, you will want them bad enough to do whatever it takes. And no fear filled news story should get in your way.

So, turn off the TV, stop reading those dramatic posts, and unsubscribe from all those pessimistic newsletters. Instead, read up on all the great success stories you can find on-line, in responsible and inspiring periodicals, and in books like my classic, How to Ignite Your Passion for Living. The most amazing stories of success are most often accomplished by ordinary people who simply have an extraordinarily strong belief in themselves and what they want. And there is no reason why you can’t be one of them.

Stay Excited About Your Goals

September 22, 2019 by  
Filed under blog

 

I would guess that you remember that great theatrical adaptation of Cervantes’ Don Quixote and that great song “The Impossible Dream”. I think there is great wisdom in the words of that song that has so much to do with goal setting. I think these words are so very important for super success with really big goals. Read the words to this great song and think about its great message:

To dream the impossible dream,

To fight the unbeatable foe,

To bear with unbearable sorrow,

To run where the brave dare not go,

To right the unrightable wrong,

To love pure and chaste from afar,

To try, when your arms are too weary,

To reach the unreachable star–

 

This is my quest, to follow that star,

No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,

To fight for the right, without question or pause,

To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause!

And I know, if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest,

That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to rest!

 

And the world will be better for this,

That one man, scorned and covered with scars,

Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,

To reach the unreachable star!

 

When Don Quixote set out on his quest, he was an old man but he pursued his goal with the energy of a man less than half his age. What kept him going? How was he able to stay so excited about his goal? One thing that made a big difference was his commitment to the goal. He believed with all his heart that he was seeking to do the right thing.

Do you believe in your goals?

Do you really feel that they are the best ones for you?

Do those goals represent what you really want in life?

If you answered no to any of those questions, I’d say you probably should be in search of new goals. Without a strong and positive belief that we are seeking what is best, we simply won’t have the power we need to bring our goals to completion. We won’t have the energy that will take us through every action that is necessary to take us step by step to the goal.

We can learn from Don Quixote. Select goals that you can believe in then work tirelessly to bring them about. Plus, I do strongly believe that if you set very, very big goals, goals that really super charge your brain, then that will give your body and mind more energy to keep pushing yourself until you have achieved that big goal. But we all must make sure that those huge goals are realistic.

Next week I want to talk more about these BIG HUGE GOALS and just how you can make them a reality.