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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 career.

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 friends.

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 <>.


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