HOUSTON — Author Thomas Fellow’s eighth book entitled “After The Shampoo, Condition For Excellence” questions whether or not we have free will. There is a quote by Baruch de Spinoza, where he basically says “Men are deceived because they think themselves free…and the sole reason for thinking so is that they are conscious of their own actions, and ignorant of the causes by which those actions are determined.”
Fellows says this book was inspired by “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell and says it is interesting how we are conditioned by certain things, and that is basically what the book focuses on.
“This is the book where if you are a grandfather and you have a lot of money, do you tell your grandkids, about the money they’re going to get? Or do you want them to have it now?” said, Fellows.
“If you want it to be a surprise you have them working hard in their twenties and they won’t realize that they’re getting the money until they’re in their thirties,” added Fellows.
In this book, there is a quote where it basically says the worst thing that could happen is to be conditioned by someone good or great. Thinking in the back of your mind that they are conditioned by someone who’s excellent.
Like his other books, Fellows uses other books and movies. In “After the Shampoo”, he uses “Finding Forrester” in this movie, starring Sean Connery, it focuses on an African-American teenager who grows up in a pretty bad part of town, and ends up getting a scholarship to an elite private school in New York. He plays basketball very well but is a better writer than an athlete.
Fellows says in writing all these books, he has heard that CEOs want to know what the candidates they are interviewing jobs, what they were like at age six.
“You know, I was always selling lemonade. I had a baseball card business in fifth grade. I sold bottled water. And a lot of the kids that I went to school with were members of a country club, but I wasn’t,” said Fellows. “So I understood the value of money at an early age because whereas some kids would say, you know, give their number at the country club, I would have to, you know, use cash. My brother worked in high school, my sister worked in high school and I worked in high school, which was very rare considering we came from the upper 1%.”
Fellows also credits his mother for a good job of parenting early on, “I had a time when I was four years old where I basically wanted some army men from an Ace Hardware store. She could have spoiled me and said, Hey, hey, you can have this, you can have anything you want or she could have said, No, you know, you can’t have them.”
“Not to spoil me, but she empowered me and she said, ‘Hey, you can work for these if you rake four bags of leaves you can get the army men’.”
Fellows says that is why he has such an impeccable work ethic today because of the conditioning. He was always conditioned to ask for help because he struggled so much in school and now doesn’t have a problem asking for help.
“I have so many mentors that I talk to on a daily basis. The number one, you know, the biggest one being Bill McDermott and his chief strategy officer Nick Tzitzon. He’ll probably tell you, I ask too many questions, I ask for too much advice. But he himself probably, you know, makes $1 or $2 million a year and has been very successful in his career. And it’s so important to pick good mentors out. And luckily, I’ve had them to inspire me and lead me the last six or seven years.”
“Basically, you’re only as good as your mentor and a lot of people have no mentors whatsoever,” added Fellows.
More about Thomas Fellows here.