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58 Reviews
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I HAVE LEARNED!
When I heard from Barbara Walters that Bill Porter�s story which was featured on ABC�s 20/20 generated the most viewer response in television history, I was inclined to know more about this modern day hero. In �Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter�, this courageous man, despite his physical setback- recognizes there are no obstacles. And in...
Published on May 18, 2002 by Rosanna L.

versus
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this book about Bill, or about Shelly?
I wanted to learn more about Bill Porter, which I did, but this book seems more about Shelly than anything. Her constant ramblings about how hard her life could be to manage (who told her to have six kids?) while still living her dream of being in the spotlight really annoyed me. I have no doubt that she and her family feel genuine love for Bill, and vice versa, but I...
Published on September 21, 2002


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I HAVE LEARNED!, May 18, 2002
By 
When I heard from Barbara Walters that Bill Porter�s story which was featured on ABC�s 20/20 generated the most viewer response in television history, I was inclined to know more about this modern day hero. In �Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter�, this courageous man, despite his physical setback- recognizes there are no obstacles. And in his optimism he will not allow his limitations to interfere with his daily course of living and ultimately succeeding. In the book, Bill mentioned his special friend (and author of this book) Shelly Brady as his �angel�. Beyond doubt, Shelly and the Brady family epitomizes how human beings should aspire to be. This book is an absolute inspiration to read and makes excellent gifts. I am going to read it again and again!...
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loads of inspiration; quick and easy read, May 15, 2002
By 
J. Lizzi (Costa Mesa, CA) - See all my reviews
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This is a story about Bill Porter, a man with cerebral palsy who became a successful door-to-door salesman through persistence, sincerity, hard work, and just plain good business practice. Author and professional keynote speaker Shelly Brady does a good job of recounting the character of this incredible man through her interaction with Mr. Porter as both friend and business associate. Though the book is small, its impact is wide-ranging. Aside from being drawn in by an inspirational story, I also found myself thinking often of how the "ten things" could apply to my life.
I'm not knowledgeable about cerebral palsy, and I don't even know anyone who has CP. Nonetheless, it sounds to me like a major handicap. The biggest impact that Bill Porter's story had on me was that everything the typical person would consider to be a handicap, an obstacle, a disability, or a setback, would not only be written off by Mr. Porter as unimportant, but instead considered to be a springboard to something better or more positive. There's a lesson here for everyone.
The engaging story covers 132 pages, followed by another 30-plus pages of letters received mainly in response to a 20/20 television feature on Mr. Porter that aired in December of 1997. I didn't see the show, but I'm convinced it had a profound effect on a multitude of viewers. There's also a brief afterword by Mr. Porter himself, so heartfelt that I wondered whether or not a first-person account might have made the book even better. There may not be philosophical "words to live by" on every page, but Ms. Brady just might prove to you that your life is better than you think.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to just about anyone.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profoundly Inspirational: BUY THIS BOOK!, July 7, 2002
By 
David N. Weinstein (New York, New York USA) - See all my reviews
The story of Bill Porter is presented with great love by his friend and associate Shelly Brady. You can not read this book without gaining a small sense of the pride and perseverance of a truly great man who, along with his loving parents, refused to accept the limits that others would impose upon him. Bill Porter is just another version of John Wayne in one of his great western movies. He is heroic in his determination, his work ethic and his optimism and decency. The story of Bill Porter is plainly also a story of his Mother, Irene, whose greatness is evident in the life her son has lived. So buy this book to read about a truly great and good man. But, also, buy this book as a gift to give to your Mother, and buy this book to give to your kids or to a recent graduate so they can learn about setting goals and refusing to give up on those goals. And, by the way, anyone in sales, from Wall Street (where they obviously have much to learn!) to main street should own and read this book!
Shelly Brady has written a wonderful book that belongs in every library. She and her family have been deeply blessed by their relationship with Bill Porter, and it shows in every plain-spoken word of this book.
Bill Porter is a great man, a great American and a symbol of achievement. READ THIS BOOK ABOUT THE AMAZING BILL PORTER!!!!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational story of a remarkable human being, July 16, 2002
Ever since I saw the story of Bill Porter was aired on 20/20 for the first time, I have been unable to forget about Mr. Porter. I went so far as to purchase the story directly from ABC so that I could view it over and over. Days when I thought I had too many problems, or if I was just having a bad day compelled me to watch this story again. Watching this inspirational man made me realize how easy I truly had things. I've learned not to complain about the small things and to appreciate what I have. This is quite simply the loveliest person that I've encountered through television. I was thrilled to learn that a book about Mr.Porter was available, and I was happy to catch up with him and learn more. This book filled in the gaps that were not covered by the 20/20 piece. The friendship between Mr.Porter and Shelly is a very special and rare thing, and should be celebrated. I'm so happy to have found someone like Mr.Porter to inspire me when I need it. This is a great book, and be sure to catch the TV movie as well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth an afternoon., September 26, 2003
Forget all the mean-spirited reviews from people who totally missed the reason for the book. It was NEVER touted as a biography of Bill. (Would you petty naysayers please read the title of the book again!) It was about the profound effect Bill's life had on Shelly Brady. As one astute reviewer noted, the word "I" is in the title. Read the book, take its' many uplifting messages to heart and enjoy the journey of a true American hero and know that anything is possible with enough belief. Both Bill and Shelly have enjoyed a friendship without any barriers that we all wish we had. A remarkable book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd Read It Again!, July 17, 2002
By 
Harriette Hankel "Cowboy" (Columbia City, Or United States) - See all my reviews
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A very moving and motivating story. I litteraly cried each time
I read chapter six (I read the book 3 times). I appreciate knowing there are others with tests and trials in their lives and Bill's courage and belief in himself motivates me to try harder. I have to smile when I read a couple of the reviews critizing this book. Perhaps Shelly isn't a professional novelist, newspaper journalist, or magazine writer - perhaps the pictures in the book are not "professional" - but, this book is 'for real'. I love it as does everyone I've loaned it to...after which they went out and bought their own copies. Thank-you Bill for letting Shelly into your life and thank-you Shelly for taking the time to share your knowledge, experience, and heart felt inspirational thoughts of Bill Porter's life and the influence it is on you and can be on the rest of us!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 Things I Learned from Bill Porter, July 18, 2002
By A Customer
This is a wonderful piece of literature. It talks alot about Shelly, but soon you realize that Shelly and Bill's lives are intertwined. It should be required reading. Anyone who reads this book and doesn't walk away feeling uplifted has no heart. Bill Porter is a man who literally beat the odds. How many of us without disabilies can say that? It is a truly spirtual and uplifting read. It makes you realize how much you have been blessed with. However, it also makes you realize how much you have been given and don't use to the full potential. An excellent book.
Amy from California
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational book that will move you, October 6, 2002
Read and loved TEN THINGS I LEARNED FROM BILL PORTER
by Shelly Brady . . . this is the door-to-door salesperson in Oregon, born with cerebral palsy, who didn't let that fact prevent him from becoming his company's top producer.
Porter's life moved me when I saw the recent movie about him
on TNT (DOOR TO DOOR), starring William H. Macy . . . look for it on that channel and/or see if your local video store has it as a rental . . . you won't be disappointed.
But in the meantime, get hold of this inspirational book . . . Brady, who first worked for Porter as a teenager and now shares his story with various organizations and corporations, helps you
see that each one of us can make a difference . . . and as
Bill says, "Never doubt that your life is important."
You'll further become convinced that you can change the
world--one door at a time!
There were many memorable passages; among them:
According to the MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY, the word "no"
is an act or instance of refusing or denying something. For instance, a customer's refusal to purchase goods or services from a salesperson is generally expressed via the word "no." For some reason or another, Bill Porter doesn't hear it that way. Bill hears the word "no" differently; he hears it to mean that the customer will be glad for Bill to return at
a more convenient time or please to be shown another, more
necessary product.
After talking with Bill about his dependence on others to complete his dressing, I wondered if under the same circumstances I would have had the courage to ask others to help. I quickly realized that we all need help, we all lack skill of some sort or another. It's just that
most of our inabilities aren't so visually evident as Bill's; they may be psychological rather than physical, and, often, we create them ourselves. And, as we all know, some of our self-imposed mental disabilities can be more difficult to overcome than physical ones. All Bill Porter needs is someone to button his cuffs and clip his tie; it's the rest of us who need attitude adjustment, R&R, and pep talks. In my clearest moments, I am able to see Bill Porter as he sees himself and truly say "What disability?"
And so with the aid of family, friends, and a few employees, I am better able to appreciate the time I spend with my family, while the joy I get form traveling to share Bill's story lasts until our next adventure. From Bill, I learned to accept the help of others without feeling less of a person. I also learned that others are just as capable as I am of doing many tasks that I thought only I could do perfectly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, May 17, 2002
By 
I am amazed not only by the incredible journey that Bill Porter has embarked upon throughout this life, but also the amazing journey that his mother and father anxiously and fearlessly chose to take. In a day and age that would have preferred and accepted a much easier way out than to confront Bill's disability, his parents were determined for Bill to see that his greatest obstacle could become his greatest strength. It is evident in the life of the author Shelly Brady that Bill Porter's story has impacted the lives of many, and it is certain that his example will continue to have a great influence on generations yet to come. This story truly exemplifies the phrase "Each life that touches ours for good, reflects thine own great mercy Lord." Some people come into our lives and go as quickly as they came, others leave footprints, and we are never the same. Bill is one of those people!!!! Shelly Brady--You are Bills angel here upon this earth!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice light read, but a very powerful story, May 5, 2003
By 
A. Lutz (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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I fell in love with the story of Bill Porter when I was in high school. I saw the piece on 20/20 and something about it just stuck with me. I was extremely excited when the movie with William H. Macy came out, and eventually came across this book.
The book itself is a light read. (I finished it in one sitting). Some people have complained that Shelly Brady centers too much on herself, and that caused them not to enjoy the book. I felt the opposite. At some points while I was reading, it felt as if I was sitting down to lunch with Shelly and she was just telling me about Bill.
I definitely reccommend this book, look into the movie, "Door to Door" as well.
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