Tom Hoobyar: Farewell to a Friend

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Tom and his wife Vikky. Photo by Richard Schwachter

I’m sad to report, my dear friend, mentor and father figure Tom Hoobyar passed from our midst this past Sunday, 71 years young.

Tom and I first met at a Gary Halbert seminar ten years ago. If you’ve never been to a Halbert seminar, it’s kind of like a Dan Kennedy seminar except everyone is on LSD.

Not literally, mind you, but figuratively. Gary attracted a wooly, wild, creative bunch and that event was no exception. Halbert fans were advertising astronauts.

Tom was a CEO of a hi-tech company, hoping to parachute out someday. I’d just parachuted out of a hi-tech company so he was naturally interested. Tom and I stayed up and talked into the wee hours of the morning.

Later, we were in a coaching group together and we’d always split a hotel room. We’d stay up till 3am, solving the world’s problems. Talking about marketing and humanity and religion and quantum physics and whatever other strange thing we happened to be reading about lately.

We would sometimes have convos about Tom doing something outside of his company. Tom was fiercely loyal to his firm, with a paternal responsibility to focus his full energies to the company which he had founded. He felt having an outside business would be a diversion, and his protective sense of care for the employees and direction kept him focused.

One day out of the blue the top shareholder decided to throw him out. It’s not clear to me why, but that’s what he did. Tom was one of the founders and he’d had a successful run, but such things happen as you know.

So now he was out on his own, with an urgent need to become a renegade entrepreneur. Like, really fast.

He says, “Perry, you’re ahead of me in the entrepreneur game, could you coach me?” He asks if we can talk once a week.

For a moment I hesitate. Once a week, that’s a lot of time commitment. But Tom’s a good friend so I agree. He begins to coach people, do consulting projects and sell courses on Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) on which he was a world-class expert.

Tom had literally 40 careers and 5 marriages. An utterly adventurous, boundless, hard-headed guy who learned by experience and who’d been unafraid to make every mistake in the book. And I’m really serious about every mistake in the book. One of his marriages had been to some chick in Morocco, a relationship that lasted mere days.

He was a sailor and a private investigator, he was in real estate, politics, hi-tech, cattle rustling, hypnosis, medical investigation, advertising, martial arts. He’d made and lost fortunes several times…. every now and then you’d bring something up and find out about yet another career he’d had for six months or a year and a half. There was almost no subject Tom wasn’t conversant about.

The guy was blazingly smart. IQ of 170 or something. Did a stint in Mensa which he found rather pointless; held patents on valves he’d designed. His best design came from imagining himself to be a bacterium flowing through a pharmaceutical tank, asking himself what kind of valve that he as a bacterium would like to travel through.

He went into a trance-like state driving his car in southern California and when the valve design was done he realized he was 30 miles past his exit.

He was a self-taught therapist too, and every one of those marriages and relationships had a story with important lessons. When he married Vikki 14 years ago he absolutely positively resolved that he was going to get THIS relationship right. He’d made a ton of mistakes and he was sick and tired of learning the hard way.

He committed himself to change and learn and be a great husband, and that he did. He and Vikki were lovebirds.

And yeah, Tom and I would talk for about an hour a week.

What I didn’t know as a guy in my mid 30’s, when Tom asked me for this time, was that I had major mid-life stuff waiting for me just around the corner. I didn’t know how badly I was going to need those conversations with a guy who was 29 years my senior. Tom’s sixty-odd years of life experience were about to become priceless.

One day – literally at ten o’clock on a Thursday morning – all my unresolved issues hit me like a ton of bricks. That was about four years ago. I was suddenly erratic, wildly emotional, teetering on the edge.

What kept me sane was a couple of close friends and therapists, and Tom.

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Suddenly Tom and I weren’t talking once a week, it was twice or even three times. And it wasn’t always for an hour, sometimes it was two or more. Tom completely tracked with everything. Every step of the way, he’d either been there before or knew someone who had. Tom told me something few others would have the breadth of insight to tell me:

“Perry, you’ve dated Laura since you guys were 17. You’ve grown up together since young adulthood. You get through this stuff you’re slogging through now, and when you’re my age you’re going to have a connection with each other that is exceedingly, wonderfully rare.”

Tom knew that not from his experience, but from his mistakes. And from other peoples’ experience. He kept me from doing a lot of stupid stuff and in the midst of that trial, our relationship grew.

He had his baptisms of fire too. Vikki had a bout with breast cancer, which she fought victoriously. That came with insurance nightmares and financial challenges and Tom and I were allies in all of that. They were the storms of life that forge powerful relationships. I lost my father at age 17 and Tom was the closest thing I had to a dad.

In early August I got a text from Tom: “Hey Perry, sure would like to talk with you soon. Got some scary news and need your prayers and friendship.”

He’d been to the doctor with some digestive problems and found out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I prayed for him and pledged him my support.

No good prognosis from US doctors, so he spent a couple of weeks in Mexico. Then two weeks ago today Vikki got in touch with me and said, “Perry, Tom’s on life support, I think you need to come to Reno.”

After eight surreal days with Tom and his family, he was gone.

During this time, I witnessed a stream of close friends come to his room in Intensive Care and talk to him. He couldn’t talk back, couldn’t respond much, but he could hear. I heard story after story that closely resembled mine, in-person and even on speaker phone:

“Tom, buddy, you were like a father to me, and you kept me from jumping off a building a couple of times.”

Tom came to my Roundtable meetings and I recently found out that one guy, who’d hit some sticky wickets earlier this year, was getting coached by Tom on a weekly basis. I don’t know that he was even charging for it. Tom was capably steering him through a financial crisis and righting his ship.

Tom hadn’t said a word about the cancer to most people because he knew it would make most people panic. He thought he had a shot at beating it (and hey, if anyone could it would be Tom) so he conducted business as usual.

The time I spent with Tom and family last week was the most intense I have ever experienced. A dizzying tour of powerful emotions, spiritual epiphanies, outpourings of love, assurance from my Heavenly Father that all was truly well with Tom.

Tom Hoobyar, you’re a totally unique man. We’ve had a totally unique relationship. I love you and I’m gonna miss you. Blessings to you today.

I’m reminded of a song I love, Time and Motion:

Time and motion
Flesh and blood and fire
Lives connect in webs of gold and razor wire
Spin a thread of precious contact
Squeeze in all that you can find
Spontaneous relations
And the long enduring kind

My friend, blessings to you. In a world where most relationships are transitory, my wish for you is a few friendships… of that long enduring kind.

Perry Marshall

P.S.: It’s Friday. Do yourself a favor and listen to me and Tom having one of our famous conversations. It’s called “Navigating the Storms of Life.” You can hear it, along with Tom’s manifesto called “12 Laws of Life,” below.

P.P.S.: Tom’s memorial service is Saturday October 29 in the Bay area. Details will be posted soon at www.TomHoobyar.com. If you have Tom stories you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. Post in the comments below.

Navigating the Storms of Life:

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Tom Hoobyar’s Manifesto of Accumulated Wisdom: 12 Facts of Life

“People Reading” – Tom Hoobyar on Body Language

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

42 Comments on “Tom Hoobyar: Farewell to a Friend”

  1. Hello Perry!

    So sorry to hear about Tom’s passing.

    He was a good friend. I met him and Vicki at a Dan Kennedy Seminar in Phoenix right after 9/11.

    We quickly became friends. I revealed stuff to him that i hadn’t revealed to some of my closest friends. He said he did the same.
    And he did me a big favor that took a lot of pressure in my life. He did it on his own accord. He made some contacts that blew me away.
    For those of you who knew Tom you will know what i am talking about.

    Quite an amazing man…i will miss him much.

    God Bless and goodbye Tom:-)

    Thanks,

    Mark J. Ryan

  2. Perry,

    I was emotional after reading your heart-felt history with Tom. As you know, I was in the mastermind with you and Tom for several years and witnessed and admired the friendship you had with him. He was a special man and cannot forget his sage advice. He was very giving with his input and I always listened when he talked.

    You are a better man as a result of your friendship with him.

    Mitch

  3. Thanks Perry for sharing this inspiring story of a remarkable man.
    strength to you and my best wishes, Jorke

  4. My Deep and sincere sympathies are with you Perry.

    To lose anyone is difficult but to lose such an inspiring and supportive person must be unbearable.

    Perry I know, as a man of deep faith, you will trust in your God to lead you through.

    Take care and God bless you, your family and Toms family & Friends

  5. Condolences on the passing of your friend.
    Tom Hoobyar

    Those 12 rules are extremely powerful, it is incredibly how we all go through life and each of these statements brings up a memory or an action. That make you nod your head, like chapters in your life.

    3. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MOST IS WHAT YOU GET.
    5. GUILT ENSLAVES YOU. RESPONSIBILITY LIBERATES YOU.
    6. “OBLIGATIONS” ARE A FRAUD.
    7. EXPECT LESS FROM OTHERS AND MORE FROM YOURSELF.

    I’m left humbled that somebody could go through so much and re-invent himself, despite the curve balls of life. The most powerful thing a human being can do is identify his own short comings and act differently-positively, not repeating the same mistakes. It sometimes takes a lifetime to change just one character flaw. It seems Tom turned his wisdom around to help all he met on his own terms, so many people can benefit. I feel fortunate that you posted this eulogy to your friend. Thank You Perry.

  6. Perry,
    I’m truly sorry for your loss. And thank you!! again for your transparency, now with your relationship with Tom. Although I am sad for your loss, a part of me is happy for you that you got to experience such a close, supportive, inspiring and long lasting friendship. Those types of friendships are pure gifts.
    Bill C

  7. Hi Mr. Perry, it’s me Swapnil again from Mumbai, India. This sure was an unexpected email from you. I was riveted to reading this mail undistracted. I hope that this empty space in your mind for this friend will soon be filled with peace, stability & happiness. You’re 1 of the very few God-believing emotional online marketers who would share his/her feelings with his audience. May God bless you Mr. Perry & Mr. Tom. It’s quiet tragic that he passed away when things had started to get smooth in his life. I guess the drill broke right after the hole was complete.

  8. Thankyou Perry for a special email about a special guy. If you don’t want this comment, please delete it. I won’t try again.

    I flicked through his “12 facts of life” and came to numbers 11 and 12, both of which I understand quite well now.

    If he had this attitude to his life, there is little problem for him now; Heaven is made for people who look to the bright side, cheer people up and have put fears aside so that they can breath freedom. It is what Jesus would wish of us all. It is easy, it is free, it will set you free.

    It was an inspiration and one I will return to for advice!

    Knowing he is up there with the Angels, I sent him a prayer to remind him of he beauty of the world I live in, and wish him much happiness where he is now. If you can be happy here, you can be happy anywhere.

    Rejoice, Rejoice, Rejoice!

    A friend of mine kept asking what I wanted of the future. I said that I didn’t, because if the future was as good as my life is today, then it will be a good future. Why bother wanting something for tomorrow when you can have it right here and now?

    A Good Man, Tom H

    “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”

  9. I am sorry for your great losse, your good friend Tom Hoobyar.I think thate was a special man,like you are.

    Blessings.

  10. Dear Perry,

    I am very sorry to hear about your good friend Tom’s passing. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

    What a beautiful and touched tribute! I can see how much love you have for Tom.

    Tom has now a new eternal life and he is joyful to be with our Heavenly Father. No pain, no suffering, but only joy, peace, and love with the Lord.

    Thank you so much for sharing with me! May the Lord shower you and your family with countless blessings!

    In His Unending Love,

    Viviane

  11. Perry,

    This was first time I’d heard about Tom – I was actually on this tele-call listening to both of you. I was really impressed by both of you and did some research on Tom shortly thereafter. Turns out it was just a few weeks before he was to open his first mastermind group.

    Since I also live in the Bay Area, I joined his group and have been there ever since. It is a wonderful mix of business folk with awesome chemistry. I’m not sure what form this group will now take, however I’m certain it will continue. Tom drew the best out of all of us and we are all the better for it.

    He and I were both ex-Navy service members…and that was just another reason why we connected so well.

    I’ve been a solopreneur for a long time and because of Tom – I wasn’t alone.

    So, thank you. For even though we’ve never met, you were the one who introduced me to Tom via this tele-seminar – and I will be forever thankful.

    Warmest regards,
    Robin

    P.S. Tom spoke of you often and always with love. He was very proud of you.

  12. Perry,
    My deepest thoughts and prayers with you and all of your family. I have a few emails from Tom sent to me a while back. There is one in particular that has helped my family continue fighting through some trials. And I have all the faith in the world that WE WILL SUCCEED. Your words tell how much Tom meant to you. We know that is is in a better place with our Father. His legacy will sure continue although he is gone. Perry,

    I’ll leave you with a chapter of Scripture that ministers to me so much:

    Romans 8

    1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

    3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

    4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

    6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

    8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

    9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

    10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

    12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

    13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

    17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

    19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

    20For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

    21Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

    22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

    23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

    24For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

    25But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

    26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

    28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

    31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

    32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

    33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

    34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

    35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

    37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

    38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

    39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    My prayers are with you brother. I just sent you a brotherly hug, I know you’ll accept it.

    Edwin Soler

    P.S. Remeber Tom’s plant Lazarus? We will see him some day, oh how we will!

  13. A beautiful tribute Perry and a testimony of your bond with Tom. You were blessed to have that time with him. Best wishes on your journey and fir how you pay Toms legacy forward.
    Wayne
    Sydney. Australia
    Sent from my iPhone

  14. Perry,

    Tom always spoke glowingly, and enviously, about your ability to write clearly and help people understand stuff. He often called you a “writing machine.” In his most recent “career”, he began to think of himself as a writer, and thought of you as someone he hoped to emulate.

    In this piece, you’ve gone beyond writing clearly. I, for one, appreciate this heart-felt and heart-warming tribute to Tom. I’m sure those who were lucky enough to know him join me in thanking you for adding some “Perry Marshall Magic” to his legacy.

    -Denny

  15. Perry,
    I am saddened by the news of Tom’s passing;reading his 12 Laws made me feel such a strong connection to him.
    Tom’s philosophy-summed up in the 12 laws- is such a powerful statement of the heights we humans can reach when we act out the roles given to us by our maker.
    As I read and agreed with Tom,I felt encouraged and hopeful because of his spirit.
    Thank you so much for sharing this powerful testimony of a life well lived,even though he,like all of us,made his share of wrong turns; it’s obvious that he got it right,and as a result, his philosophy is one that I will adopt.
    Perry, I live in River Forest, Illinois, off of Harlem and Lake Streets; I am just a stone’s throw from your Marion Street office.
    Is it possible for me to come in to say hello sometime?
    Thanks again for sharing this moving message with us.
    Sincerely,
    Barbara J. Henry

  16. So sorry to hear about Tom.

    I knew from how highly you spoke of him that he was a special man, but I didn’t realize just how important he was to you.

    It’s nice that you were able to spend that time with him at the end…it counts in very important ways – both to you AND Tom.

    Blessings
    Owen

  17. Very sorry to hear of Tom’s passing.

    My interaction with him was brief but meaningful and helpful.

    He was a great guy and I still read and listen to his materials from time to time.

    He will be missed by all that knew him.

    Phil

  18. Perry, thank you for this share and the stories you’ve shared in the “Tom’s Healing Journey” Facebook group. I wanted to let everyone here know that the group is public – just do a search on Facebook for it to read the endless good stories and testimonials from those of us who knew Tom.

    Thanks also for what you shared about Zander’s angels. Profound wisdom comes from the young and the aged – we tend to go a bit soft in the middle of life and forget wisdom’s true wellspring. Give Zander my appreciation for a lesson well-learned and the timely reminder. What a joy he must be to you!

    Also, a turnaround: One of the things Tom and I did together as partners in an NLP Cafe exercise was to write our own eulogies, then write one for each other. Several others in the inner circle who were there, silently handed their “eulogy for Tom” to him as they left. I watched tears gather in the corner of his eyes as he took in all that he meant to us. That was years ago now, but suffice to say – he knew. He really did know.

    And fyi, not a meeting went by with Tom, not a lunch, phone call, friendly afternoon coffee, or a co-coaching session without mention of your name – did you know that? His stack of “Well, Perry always says….” or “Perry Marshall has this great idea about…” grew longer the longer I knew Tom. He held you in as great esteem as you hold him and always spoke of you like a proud father.

    Blessings to you Perry, and a big strong hug – I’m with you in feeling it was too fast, too soon and our loss has been incalculable. But we will survive and thrive. The hurt will probably never go away entirely, but time will heal what it can, and we will grow ourselves and our businesses and lives all the stronger for having had Tom’s beautiful presence in our midst. We will never forget, but be forever enriched.

    Thank you Perry, for all that you do.

  19. Hi Perry,

    My mom died of pancreatic cancer 20 months ago,
    so your email totally got to me.

    It seems like it was yesterday and i totally sympathize with you and wish you to take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, remember the good moments, take it one day at a time, and all that stuff..

    My mom was almost my whole world.

    I suffered from a lot of anxiety since i was pretty young. I quite school at 15 because of it.

    Im now 31 and spent all of that time since, half my life, not doing much. My mom the most important part of my life.

    She had issues of getting her life back together, and
    we were both on that road to getting out lives together.

    I watched how, on thw cusp of going on that road,
    all of her dreams and aspirations of a nomal life with friend and more, was taken right off her feet. Such sadness.

    I have many memories of key moments in her battle
    where you see how she wanted and deserved to live and be happy but couldnt.

    Such as this moment when she bought a new car, finally, several months before she died – and we went to see my brother, he didnt know, and on the way there we got to a red light next to my brother in his car, my mom waved him, and we cranked the song my mom loved “I will survive”, and she was singing loudly over it, with a smile on her face hinting how much
    she so desperatly wanted to live – but she had lots of water streaming down her face, expressing how it could possibly not happen and scared she was.

    Sorry about that.
    You brought me right back to this period of my own.

    And i thought you might appreciate a little read from someone whose been there quite recently.

    As for myself, ive been cooking this anxiety internet business on my drawing board for a while, and hoping i will eventually have a good product to sell.
    Ive always thought you/ken mccarthy/schefren were the best people to follow.

    And often thought i should probably get a 1 hour consultation with you, as i see you as the king of positioning. I might do it eventually.

    Right now im a little lost as to content/angle etc, and am focusing on creating an authority seo site in the mean time. Your bobsled sound like the best thing ever btw. I just dont think im ready for it (i need to fine tune content and have people test my anxiety content, although im not sure how best to do it).

    All of this to say that i want to help others enjoy and fully live life (this applies to me as well)
    so they can at least have that peace of mind that they actually lived and their lives was worth however long it was.

    Anyway, hope youre doing ok, considering the circumstances.
    Your friend was also lucky to have you in his life, rememeber that.

    Very importantly, remember he also enjoyed life fully from what you said, something my mom (And even I) didnt.

    Maybe itll bring some comfort and peace reminding you of this fact from
    time to time.

    Have a good day, rent a funny movie, eat a super meal,
    and just take it easy.

    Olivier from Montreal,
    Someone who greatly admire you and wish
    to find his own lil bits of happiness and success
    as quickly as possible…after having wasted all of his 20s.

  20. Sorry to hear that you have lost a dear friend.
    It brought a smile when I remembered Tom’s potted plant parable you shared a while ago with us.

    Best Wishes,

    Michael

  21. Hey Perry,

    Can you write my eulogy? Go ahead with it now and send it to me…I’ll make sure the right people get a copy.

    Well done…Tom would be proud and thankful that you were his friend.

    Rod

    1. Rod,

      The sad thing about eulogies is they usually only get delivered after the person who most needs to hear them, can’t hear them anymore.

      How about non-Eulogy recognition right now?

      How about, perhaps, a recognition that Mr. Rod Brant is one of the most tenacious and conscientious guys I’ve ever met? Chip away the stone, chip away the stone, and suddenly one day it cracks wide open. Which chip did it? The first one, the last one…. or all of em?

  22. Perry,

    Thanks for your tender words about your good friend. Your words reflect the deepness of your relationship with this wonderful man. You were truly blessed to have that kind of friendship. Thanks for sharing.

    I met Tom at a Dan Kennedy seminar many years ago in Phoenix. He was everything you said he was. Even though Pamela and I had no pervious contact with Tom; meeting him was like bumping into an old friend. He made us feel comfortable and was open to sharing his knowledge with us.

    I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you and his family. I know you will think fondly of him and the things you shared often.

  23. Hi Perry,

    Just wanted to say this letter was beautiful. What a great reading this would make at Tom’s memorial service – by you of course.

    Thanks for sharing Tom’s story, and sorry that you lost such a good friend…

    Jim

  24. Tom was one of my mentors briefly, until we determined it wasn’t a good fit for either of us. That in itself was an important learning experience. Your words touched me deeply Perry, resounding in that deep place of gratitude on Rosh Hashanna today. Thanks so much for sharing your words, but more importantly your spirit and your soul. So precious…

  25. Perry,

    I’m sorry to hear about Tom’s passing.

    My experience of him was through your sharing. I had hoped to have the chance to work with him directly. I valued that he would be so open about his past and his mistakes. And I appreciated the wisdom he had gleaned by learning from those mistakes.

    Unfortunately, my own circumstances kept me from taking advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself. (As a mentor of mine says, ‘opportunities pass’).

    I didn’t know that he had test-drove Mensa. That he didn’t see the point only endears him to me more. My grandmother was very active in Mensa, she would have Mensa materials around her house. I even had the chance to see the test they put out once. I remember the argument she and I had. Me wondering what the point of it was.

    When I heard in a call last week that you were in Reno visiting him, I had an inkling. Perhaps I heard something in your voice.

    He was a gift. Thank you for sharing him with Planet Perry.

  26. What a very moving tribute. While I know the loss is substantial and will be hard to adjust to, be thankful that you had such a friendship. Far too many people live their entire lives without ever experiencing such a close connection.

    It has often been said that we don’t truly appreciate what we have until we have lost it. Your close friendship with Tom seems to have been an exception. I could truly feel how much you appreciated and gained from him.

    There are so many valuable lessons in your tribute. You are a shinning example of the best way to live ones life – that no matter how we look to the outside world, everyone has struggles in life. We would not be able to survive without friends.

    I suspect that we all dream of a friend like Tom.

    Thanks so much for sharing such deep personal feelings. It shows us all the path we need to follow when dealing with life’s problems.

  27. Perry, I got one of your talks with Tom a couple years back and listened to it many times. Tom’s larger than life personality resonated loud and clear and I often thought “there’s a guy I’d like to meet”.

    I’m sorry to hear of his passing. Having had my mother pass recently I can say as sad as these moments are, they are offset by the discovery of how many people have been touched by that person. That is uplifting at a time when we need help to get through it.

    Thanks for sharing with us, Perry.

  28. Perry, I understand.

    My friend, mentor and former boss, Chan, passed last month. I had not talked with Chan (retired in Steamboat Springs and I’m in Chicago) for quite awhile and the Lord nudged me to call him 8 or 9 weeks ago. I thought I was calling for no more reason than to say ‘hi’.

    Chan let me know with indirect but very clear messages that he would not be on earth much longer. It was something like Parkinsons but more aggressive.

    What an opportunity for me to tell Chan! He was one of the most influential people in my life and I was granted the time to tell him.

    I will never forget a dinner 17 years ago. Chan shared several of his life principals with me. The one that shines the strongest is,
    “Be completely honest with yourself, even painfully so, and you will double your iq in ways you didn’t think possible.”

    Chan has an eternal position on my internal board of advisors.

    These people change our lives. And now I see that we have an obligation to share the riches, like Chan gave me, with others.

    And Perry, thank you for sharing your recent email.

  29. Beautifully said, Perry.

    Tom was one of a kind.

    I feel privileged for having known him and forever grateful to him.

    These are the thoughts I have about Tom (already posted on the Facebook page.)

    I remember about a year ago I reported to Tom a particular breakthrough I’d had in my thinking patterns. (He’d been my coach for about six months at that time.)

    The phone line from Reno to Toronto started brimming with enthusiasm.

    “Isn’t that marvelous!” he exclaimed. “That’s wonderful!”

    I could feel how happy he was.

    I think that Tom got a huge kick out of seeing people such as myself grow – seeing the fruits of our work together. I got the sense he felt he had hit a groove as a coach. I got the sense that, in some ways, this surprised him…but judging by the posts on this page, Tom has been a coach and mentor to so many for a very long time. There should be no surprise that he was good at it.

    I knew Tom for less than two years. And I never met him face-to-face – our only contact was on the phone and by email. But he had a profound, positive effect on my life.

    When I first heard of Tom, I saw him as an experienced businessman with a good understanding of the challenges – external and internal – that entrepreneurs face. His Mastermind coaching – group calls and one-on-one consultations with Tom himself – was a case of the right person appearing at the right time. I thought I was getting access to an experienced mentor. But what I got was so much more than that.

    You need to understand that I’m an introverted Englishman – we don’t like to discuss our thoughts and feelings. Stiff upper lip and all that. So it is a huge testament to Tom’s qualities that he got me to open up and start on a journey of personal growth.

    Tom really listened – completely and without judgment. He really understood. There was genuine empathy. And he did that all with such a great sense of caring, of love.

    People have already said on this page that Tom was the wisest man they knew. I agree. Others have said he was like a second father. I agree with that too.

    Of course, he had already experienced pretty much everything that I was experiencing. He had got through to the other side, wiser and stronger. So he had the solution to everything I asked him, coupled with a healthy dose of perspective.

    But Tom wasn’t just a wise, experienced guy who sat back and dispensed advice. He continued to be on a journey of discovery – and delighted in sharing those discoveries with our group. He once said to me that a way to overcome a problem was to turn that fear or anxiety into curiosity. To ask, what is going on here? Many of our conversations ranged from politics to the nature of the universe and our part in it. Tom was on his own exciting journey of learning and I was delighted – in my small way – to be able to follow him on that journey.

    I’m not going to describe in detail the positive changes that Tom brought about in my life. But I can tell you that I benefited enormously from his wisdom, his encouragement of meditation and his mastery of NLP. One particular change he helped me with is making a massive, positive difference to my overall happiness.

    As I said, I knew Tom for only a short time. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the privilege of spending time with Tom and enormously grateful to him for what he has done for me.

    He passed too soon. But he’s still here in the hearts and minds of countless people.

  30. Hey Perry,

    Please accept (and extend to Tom’s wife, family and friends), my heart felt condolences. My family and I have suffered such great losses to the exact cancer that Tom dealt with (amongst other types).

    Thank you kindly for sharing your amazing connection. This type of relationship is very unique and the kind of thing that keeps us going, as you clarified throughout your rendition below.

    I wish everyone in the world could experience this type of relationship, even if it were for just a moment, it lasts a lifetime.

    Wishing you peace for a lifetime.

    Warmly,
    Rosemary Gullo.

  31. Perry thanks for sharing. Tom was a wonderful man with a wonderful voice. We met him at our first round table meeting. What I remember first of Tom is that he said he had a product that could help but not to buy the more expensive version. That report of his that we have changed how we write everything. His voice is always what my brother and I remember.

    I would write him back to his e-mails that came from his auto responder to tell him it was a great e-mail or that my brother and I mentioned him to a client and told them the same advice “buy the report but the less expensive one because that’s what you need right now.

    It was his honesty, caring, insight and gift with words that made reading his e-mails and hearing his voice so great.

    When showing up to Roundtable meetings and he wasn’t there his voice was missed however his wisdom will live on forever.

  32. Perry,

    Your story brought big alligator tears to my eyes. Tom sounds like such a wonderful man and somebody I would have liked to have known. Please know that I will be keeping Tom and his family in my prayers as well as you and all the other people who are suffering from the loss of a dear friend.

    May God bless you for all that you do,

    Kevin

  33. What an amazing tribute to your friend – your words describe a fridge magnet that reminds me of the important things when the crap gets in the way – “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all” and I reckon Tom lived that fridge magnet to the full and left a wonderful legacy of friendship and wisdom. I had a friend pass from cancer this week as well and the lessons learnt from her courage, strength and grace are immeasurable – I trust your positive memories support you through this tough goodbye.

  34. Perry,
    That is quite a wonderful tribute to Tom! He was a good friend and mentor and collaborator for about 28 years and it’s still surreal that he’s gone. Thank you for “really” being there for Tom – over the past few weeks and for years — in a way that few of us could be! I’m quite sure he deeply appreciated your help, sharing, and the ultimate in caring.
    ~ Diane

  35. Perry: What a wonderful description of your friend Tom. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes remembering my friend Paul who was also an older mentor, although only 7 years older. Paul was the CEO of a software company that wound up being the best 18 month job of my life and later after we both left that company become best friends. For the last 5 years of his life, we used to eat dinner together every week. Sadly Paul lost his battle with prostate cancer about 3 years ago.

    Perry, I can’t thank you enough for your business advice and also your postings on your life view. You never fail to help me. Blessings on you and yours. Keep up the great work.

    George

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