From The Asian Reporter, V13, #26 (June 24-30, 2003), page 16.
Author tells how to get what you want
How to Use What Youíve Got to Get What You Want
By Marilyn Tam
Jodere Group, 2003
Hardbound, 208 pages, $20.00
By Pamela Heckinger
Marilyn Tam enjoys going to work every day. "Youíll never make
great strides in anything you donít care about," she says in her
new book, How to Use What Youíve Got to Get What You Want. Tam
rose to prominence in the business world after life dealt her a
less-than-perfect hand of cards. In her book, she urges people to focus on
the gifts they have received to maximize their potential.
Born into a Chinese family that really just wanted a boy, Tam was
unwanted and disadvantaged from the start. "According to common
wisdom, I didnít have the advantages you need to get to the top,"
she says. But she used the struggles of her childhood ó abuse, neglect,
loneliness, and grief ó to propel her toward success. Merely surviving
her childhood gave her the skills she needed for a successful life and
She learned to listen to and trust her inner voice, envision what she
wanted, plan for and anticipate challenges, and other vital skills that
have made her what she is today.
Throughout her book, Tam tells stories of her journey through business
and life and how she has become successful by following her four life
principles: Truth, Partner, Mistakes, and Sword.
Vital to success, she says, is always telling and believing what is
true. "Speaking the TRUTH simplifies your life, gives you
credibility, and opens the path to new learning and fresh
possibilities," she says.
Tam also emphasizes the importance of partnering with others in any
undertaking. Partners could include co-workers, supervisors, family, and
Mistakes are the natural result of taking big risks, and Tam is a fan
of both. "The most successful people," she says, "are those
who make the best use of their mistakes."
Lastly, she believes in living and dying by oneís personal
convictions. "Itís a sure way to feel comfortable and at peace
because youíve done the best you can."
When Tam was 11 years old, she realized her lifeís mission was to
help others. "When your mission corresponds with what you really want
to do, you open doors to greatness," she writes. Her family laughed
at her when she said she wanted to work in Africa assisting natives in
creating healthier, more prosperous environments. "I just bit my
tongue and kept pursuing my dream," she says. Eventually Tam did have
the opportunity to work with the United Nationsí Habitat II in creating
sustainable settlements around the world.
Though Tam received neither an Ivy League education, nor a positive and
affirming upbringing, by operating according to her personal mission and
following her four life principles she has forged a career including
executive positions at several internationally recognized companies. She
is a sought-after speaker and widely recognized author and philanthropist.
Her advice is worthwhile for the businessperson as well as individuals
looking to maximize their potential. "If you tap into your inner
resources and listen to what your heart really calls for you to do, you
can find ways of making it happen."
How to Use What Youíve Got to Get What You Want is
now available for purchase in bookstores. For more information on the
book, visit <www.howtousewhatyouvegot.com>.