Never Assume it’s a Done-Deal

No matter what your “deal” is, never assume it’s a done-deal while it’s still a work-in-process.

Case in point: This morning I was advising a real estate broker friend on re-submitting a purchase offer on a piece of land in the Hamptons (a popular seaside resort in NY with some of the most expensive residential properties in the US) when I said, “Never assume it’s a done-deal”. He responded by explaining that last week the listing broker said the property owner accepted an offer from someone else, and that his bone fide buyer should just “wait and see”.

Wait and see…forgettaboutit!

How about speaking with your buyer and determining whether or not they could sweeten their bid by changing a deal point – like the deposit money or contingencies or closing date – I said. Because a real estate deal is never done until title to the property transfers and the money is in the bank (or better yet, your bank, since that means the deal closed and you got paid).

So whatever you do, Don’t Make Assumptions. It doesn’t serve you well and only leads to futurizing, i.e., obsessing over something that hasn’t happened yet and quite possibly may never happen. Focus on the present, and don’t defeat yourself with a done-deal attitude.

Enjoy – R

PS – Audio-Book for my memoir COMING SOON!

Avoid Complacency Like the Plague

When you look up the word complacency in the dictionary you’ll learn the following meaning:  self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation or condition.

So whatever you do in life, AVOID it like the plague! Because in order to improve upon your existing situation – or physical well-being, for that matter – it’s always best to “stay hungry” for perfection so you can better yourself and your condition. And never be smug about it!

Regardless of your situation, always strive to better yourself and seek the higher ground.

As a kid growing up in a poor Sicilian family, my parents taught me to always strive for perfection and to believe in myself in whatever I did. Whether it was playing baseball on my unbeaten 12 year-old All-Star team, or attending auditions in the “nobody makes it here world of Hollywood”. I do my best and never get complacent with my abilities or achievements.

That’s why over the past six years since I arrived here in February 2007, I’ve been creating and innovating as much as I can. Like my more than 100 free Yoga & fitness videos posted to the Internet and new Audio-book for my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood. I didn’t just settle with the paperback and digital versions. No. I wanted to make my life’s wild and inspiring journey about pursing my Hollywood calling and persevering against the odds – however great they may be against you – available on all platforms, including Audio.

So in two weeks I’ll be the proud father of another creation narrated and produced by me. Here’s a preview of what’s to come:

Enjoy – R

Mindful Meditation in Everything You Do

Have you read the recent articles about how mindful meditation can improve test scores?

Mindfulness studies were done at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where “researchers found that after a group of undergraduates went through a two-week intensive mindfulness training program, their mind-wandering decreased and their working memory capacity improved. They also performed better on a reading comprehension test — a section from the Graduate Record Examination, or G.R.E.”

And if you know a thing or two about meditation – it can be done anywhere. Although the best results may be achieved by following the secular pillars of the practice, including sitting in an upright posture with legs crossed and gaze lowered, you can incorporate mindful meditation into all aspects of your life…including your workout regime.Rich Tola

Because when it comes to clearing your mind and strengthening your body with a Daily Fitness Program, it’s always best to keep your thoughts – and feelings – focused on the exercise at hand. Don’t obsess about the past or futurize about what you have to do later that day.

Make it a moving meditation. Stay purposeful, focused and relaxed (breathe), and BE PRESENT in everything you do.

Enjoy – R

RIP Margaret Thatcher

Sit Tall in the Saddle

COMING SOON in AUDIO BOOK
COMING SOON in AUDIO BOOK
The past few days I’ve been in the studio recording the Audio Book (coming soon) for my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, and had a chance to reflect on one of my favorite lessons learned on Wall Street.

Chapter 21 – Sit Tall in the Saddle, tells about when I interned with a top broker at Prudential Securities:

“The day I arrived, the first thing he did was hand me a framed picture of a cowboy sitting on a horse looking sternly off into the distance. Beneath the picture the caption read, ‘When you ride alone, you must sit tall in the saddle’. I just looked at him and smiled, while he looked at me with a serious face and said, ‘Always remember that and you’ll be fine.’ To this day, I can’t help but think how the little things I learned from some of Wall Street’s million dollar men continue to inspire me.”

So Sit Tall in the Saddle in whatever you do today…and don’t forget your Daily Fitness Program!

Enjoy – R

Add some IRON to your Diet

If you haven’t done so already, then add some IRON to your diet. And I do mean the chemical element with the symbol Fe. That is to say, IRON in the form of dumbbells and free weights. Because a well-balanced Daily Fitness Program includes weightlifting to keep your muscles tone and strong.

All it takes are some dumbbells and a flat bench – or an ottoman will do – which you can likely buy on CraigsList or eBay for a ‘song and dance’. The dumbbells you can store under your bed and the bench or ottoman becomes and part of the decor. Then off you go…with a fool-proof way to spend a quick 30 minutes on a great workout…without ever leaving your bedroom. Who can say NO to that?

Rich Tola teaching Weight Room Yoga
Rich Tola teaching Weight Room Yoga
No BS here folks. Just another way to respect yourself with another one of my sure-fire ways of getting your daily workout in without spending a lot of time and money. A mouthful, I know, but it’s true.

And if you need some expert instruction on proper posture and technique when exercising with dumbbells and a flat bench, check out Lesson #9 – Weight Room Yoga and my Yoga Survival Guide.

There are 30 fun lessons about 5 minutes each, filmed throughout the streets of Hollywood including Walk of Fame Yoga, Shower Yoga, Bus Stop Yoga, Zoo Yoga, Traffic Yoga, Beach Yoga and the advanced balancing class I call, Prison Yoga, dedicated to Lindsay Lohan the day she went away.

Enjoy – R

Beware the Secret Affair

Here’s a follow-up to my recent blog – or rather Rant – about helping Ladies to stop wasting their precious time with bad-boys who just wanna have fun. Because for the most part Ladies, guys can be quite ruthless when it comes to dating.

Case in point: last night I was hanging with a bunch of twenty-something year-olds who were enjoying themselves over numerous Vodka Cranberries and Whiskey Sours. So this drunk guy starts talking to me about this gal he’s been secretly sleeping with for the past month. Interestingly, about 20 minutes earlier I specifically asked him if he was dating the hot party gal sitting across from me. Because as the wily veteran that I am, it was obvious she was smitten with him. He said no, of course, and proceeded to flirt with her until he asked me to join him for a smoke outside. And once outside, he started spilling the beans about his wild love affair with her – including ALL the sexy details of their romantic dalliances.

But wait, it gets better. As soon as we return to the table, his covert gal announces her departure and quickly leaves (and she was definitely hoping he would accompany her, but he didn’t). And not only did he stay, but as soon as she left he started hitting on her friend sitting right next to him. At which point I leaned over and said three simple words, “Don’t do it”. He just smiled at me and kept on pursuing. Until I finally pulled him aside and said “Hey buddy, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”, and if he continues with his stupid pursuit he’ll certainly screw-up his torrid love affair and “be left holding his own d— in his hand”. He just smiled at me and said, “No chance pal, they’ll never know.”

Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out, but there’s NO CHANCE this wanna-be Gigolo gets away with it. Fortunately for his sake, the unsuspecting friend denied his advances and soon left the bar. And fortunately for my sake, I didn’t have to be this chucklehead’s therapist since he didn’t say another word about it and was immediately hitting on other babes at the bar.

So there you have it Ladies – another disrespectful bad-boy who thinks he can score with two friends at the same time. Yes, I completely understand this mindset because 20 years ago I was this guy (go figure, right). So heed my advice and Beware the Secret Affair. And more importantly, when it comes to amateur Gigolos trying to be your Mr. Right Now, employ my favorite 4 letter word…NEXT.

And until next time…don’t forget to get your workout in! Enjoy – R

Ladies Smarten Up

author, Rich Tola
Call this a Rant, but the following commentary is meant to help you ladies SMARTEN UP when it comes to men. That’s right, smarten up, because you can be quite stupid when it comes to wasting your precious time obsessing over the wrong guy. And since most women are like little girls who never grow-up and believe their Prince Charming in shining armor is going to swoop them away – sorry ladies, that only works for Julia Roberts & Richard Gere – they fall victim to bad-boy Gigolos wanting to score as their Mr. Right Now. I should know – I was one of them.

Let me explain with a real life example. This weekend I spent an hour with my sexy cool 33-year-old friend who’s also a really sweet gal whom I never slept with – which makes it easier for me to be her therapist (something I advise never to do, by the way, in my memoir Chapter 15 – Just Say No). She told me last week she met a really hot guy who she spent 3 days texting and talking to before they met for coffee on the 4th day. Sparks were flying and they talked about “meaningful relationships” and how they were both “done with the party scene” and all that.

So her 29 year-old Prince Charming talks like he’s “the one” and asks her to dinner the following night. The next day he never called or anything. So she texted him. No response. Now it’s a week later with no communication whatsoever and she’s whining to me about how she’s getting older and she’s not that attractive any more, and how she feels totally rejected by this chucklehead she really thought was the one. And of course she’s obsessing about whether he’ll still call, and if he does, should she say anything about him blowing her off for dinner or just leave it alone. Now I would call that wasting your precious time, wouldn’t you? So what did I suggest to my love-smitten friend? Forgettabout him!

Ladies, take heed of my favorite 4 letter word…NEXT. Because Mr. Right Now definitely got my friend’s text and choose not to contact her. He’s playing her for a fool and only wants to secure the power – don’t let him do it. Move on to better and brighter pastures and remain open to meeting Mr. Right. It’s not this guy, that’s for sure. Because if a guy doesn’t follow through, then he’s got something or someone else he wants to pursue that takes priority over you. Not good. Be strong and kick him to the curb. Better yet, run! Because Gigolos will only chip away at your self-confidence and self-respect. Something you should NEVER let happen. Respect yourself, just like you would with a Daily Fitness Program. However impossible it may seem, you CAN do it – if you just try and never give up! Because ANYONE can workout every single day and drink from the Fountain of Youth, as explained and simplified by me in Chapter 67 – Self Correct, for when the right man (or woman) does come along.

I have – for the past 40 years.

And for anyone looking to expand your mind – or change careers – here’s what Erica Lamberg with media giant Gannett writes about my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, www.mycentraljersey.com (click link to read article).

There’s 386 pages packed full of 69 bite-sized Chapters detailing the fascinating journey of this street-smart Sicilian kid from “Jersey” who grew up poor then forged his way through the Wharton and Kellogg Business Schools, to Wall Street juggernauts Goldman Sachs and Drexel Burnham Lambert, to signing contracts with Donald Trump and reaching a net-worth of $10 million. Only to lose it all in the blink-of-an-eye, leading to an Epiphany (Chapter 47) that led to Yoga and enlightenment.

A mouthful I know, but it’s sure been a wild ride with tons of witty and heartfelt stories about growing up Sicilian with “Goombata Sal” and “representing the family”, to the “cute-boy syndrome” that fueled romances with a bevy of engaged and married women (and NYC strippers), to the plethora of major US cities and exotic locales where I lived, worked and played including NYC, LA, Philadelphia, Chicago, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, to the “nobody makes it here” streets of Hollywood.

You’ll also learn about domestic violence and why I founded a charity, The Boulevard Zen Foundation, to teach the benefits of Yoga to women and children living in domestic violence shelters. A portion of all my book and DVD sales are donated to this cause.

Enjoy…and don’t forget to get your workout in! – Rich

You Can Do It

This was the last thing I said to the twenty-something year old subway rider I met on the Red Line in North Hollywood last night. I was returning home from a day at the beach with my friend Sara (a rather impromptu visit, thus my jeans and Calvin’s) when this really large dude started speaking to me.

As soon as this guy sat down he looked over at me and said, “So what’a ya bench 350 pounds or something?” I smiled and said no, and then I asked if he ever tried yoga. I already knew the answer, but it was a way of breaking the ice about his size. He was at least 50 pounds overweight, and after a few facts about yoga I asked if he was trying to lose weight. “Yeah”, at least 50 pounds”, he said, “and I think I know what to eat and all that, like fruits and vegetables and no cakes and fried foods.” Cool, I thought, he’s on the right track. Then I asked if he had 20 minutes every morning to go for a brisk walk. “Walk right out your front door and keep going for exactly 10 minutes, then stop, turn around and walk back”, I said, “and there’s your mile of cardio to start every day.”

“But that’s not the problem”, he said. “I think I can’t lose weight because I drink a lot of beer every day.” Then I asked, “Like what…two six-packs a day?” He answered, “Yeah, that sounds about right”.

Now if you’ve read my sexy new memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood, you know I also liked my beverages until I quit 5 years ago. Because 12 drinks a day is a lot of alcohol for any one of any size. And I told this guy so, then I gave him a suggestion. I recommended the following: Take ½ of everything you are going to eat or drink – every single time you eat or drink – for the next 30 days and give it to a homeless person. That’s right – wrap up half your food and half your booze, every day for the next 30 days, and give it to a homeless person. “You’ll be helping them and helping yourself”, I said, “and I bet soon into the 30 days you’ll be eating and drinking a lot less; and I guarantee you’ll lose weight.” Somewhere between 5-10 pounds I surmised, and for the New Year that’s only 3 months away, I told my large friend he should set his sights on 3 beers a day for all of 2013. He just looked at me in disbelief and said, “Wow, wouldn’t that be cool.” Yes it would, which I sincerely reinforced with my final four words of encouragement, “You Can Do It”.

Anyone can, if you STOP feeling sorry for yourself and BELIEVE you can! Get started today with a new attitude and a new look on whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish. Especially the impossible.

And my special thanks go out to NY and NJ’s “Entertainment Bible since 1988” Steppin’ Out Magazine for featuring my poem on page 32 of their September 26th edition. A little something I wrote to help the ladies differentiate the good guys from the players called, “10 Ways to Avoid a Gigolo”.

Enjoy – Rich

I thought you were 30

I received the nicest compliment at my gym this morning from one of the best built bodybuilders I’ve ever seen. For the past two months I’ve been working out everyday at Richie’s Gym in Brooklyn, and this guy’s physique is amazing. And if you’ve ever been to Richie’s, you know that it’s hard-core.

So when I went up to this twenty-something year-old monster to say goodbye and to say he reminded me of my days working out with Champion Phil Hill in the 80’s – which you’ll read all about in my memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood – he looked at me and said, “Shit man, you’re old, I thought you were 30”. Nice. Then I said thanks, but add another 20.

And in case you were wondering what I looked like at age 30, here’s a picture featured in my book. Oh, and the secret to drinking from the ‘Fountain of Youth’ starts with these three simple words: DAILY FITNESS PROGRAM

Enjoy everyone…and have a great day! – R