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Ten Things I Learned from Bill Porter

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  221 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Bill Porter worked for the Watkins Corp., selling household products door-to-door in one of Portland’s worst neighborhoods. Afflicted with cerebral palsy and burdened with continual pain, Porter was determined not to live on government disability and went on to become Watkins’s top-grossing salesman in Portland, the Northwest, and the U.S. This book was written by the woma ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published April 24th 2002 by New World Library (first published April 2002)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  221 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Bill Kerwin
Jun 15, 2007 rated it it was ok

An inspiring account of Bill Porter, the door-to-door salesman who--in spite of cerebral palsy--refused to take no for an answer. If you like this, watch the movie with William H. Macey.
Andy Anderson
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, sales
One of the best books ever about perseverence and sales. Bill Porter is the epitome of perseverence. Awesome book.
Matthew Moes
A few things I learned from Bill Porter are the power of persistence and that there really are no obstacles. Actually, Porter seems to take persistence to the extreme, and as for obstacles, it is not that they do not exist, but that for Porter, they have never been allowed to become the reasons for his failure. In fact, he refuses to let his cerebral palsy define who he is. Rather he insists on being defined for what he has contributed - the service he has given to others through his career as a ...more
Aaron Bolin
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I stumbled across a recommendation for this book somewhere along the way and made a mental note to read it someday. I am glad I did; it is really an inspirational story.

Shelly Brady reviews her years as a personal assistant to Bill Porter, a door-to-door salesman who overcame the challenges of Cerebral Palsy. She condenses her experience into a series of illustrations about timeless principles of perseverance, dignity, and will power.

In all fairness to readers who may buy the book, it isn't part
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I picked up this amazing book in a little bookshop for $3, I had never heard of Bill Porter but the boom seemed interesting enough so I thought 'why not'.

Bill Porter is a door-to-door salesman who happens to have cerebral palsy. His story is incredible. He never saw cerebral palsy as an 'obstacle', he never saw anything as an obstacle, just a day-to-day challenge. Shelly Brady paints the story beautifully of a man who wouldn't let the world's view of him get in his way, he lives his life to the
Jul 08, 2008 rated it liked it
This is an inspiring story, though not a particularly well written book, because she keeps repeating the basic obstacles Bill Porter overcomes as she points out the lessons she learned from him. It is short, so I was able to ignore the flaws of the storyteller and be touched by the story. I look forward to seeing the movie.
May 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and everything it says believing the best in yourself. Not only is it well written, but this fabulously inspirational story is true! Bill Porter is a sterling example that each of us can overcome any adversity, setback, or handicap. I will definitely be reading this one again.
Jul 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who feel the world owes them something
Recommended to Jenni by: Britt World Wide
I really enjoyed this. Sometimes I found the author to be a bit obnoxious but the story of Bill Porter and the strengths that he encouraged in his own life and in those around him are exemplary. He is a true example of heroism in America.
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an inspiring true story about a salesman with cerebral palsy. It's amazing to hear of his accomplishments despite his physical limitations. I found it inspiring to push myself beyond my limits. It also left me inspired to set my goals high and then work hard to accomplish them. LOVED IT! ...more
Bookish Enchantment (Katherine Quirke)
If you want to take a good look at your life and see how you can change it then you must read this book. We are too often the victim and we should not be. Life is a challenge and Bill Porter shows us that.
EJ Johnson
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Good short book. Worth reading. About a man born with cerebral palsy who becomes a top door-to-door salesman.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Good book. Not-so-good author. Some good insights. Easy read.
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A powerful story of a man who had tenacity and never gave up. A great read for any salesperson and anyone else who needs a spiritual boost.
Darlene Hull
Jul 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, biography
A lovely book about an incredible man and his indomitable spirit in spite of huge handicaps. Worth a read whoever you are and whatever you do. It will change you.
Jul 29, 2011 added it
Shelves: 2011
Very inspiring and I was especially touched by some of the letters to Bill at the back of the book.
Adam Scott
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was by far one of the most inspirational books I have read in a long time!
Vince Welsh
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite reads of all time. Bill is my hero and anyone especially people who are faced with a hard time should ready this book. LOVE IT!!!
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Still one of the best one-day reads to enjoy! While the William H. Macy film helped introduce the world to Bill Porter, reading this collection by Shelly Brady is a delight and a great reminder of the little things like perseverance and patience!
Andrew Tolson
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nice story of perseverance.
John Brady
Jun 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Inspiring story. Great book.
Ken Madsen
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The very inspiring true story of Bill Porter, a man suffering with cerebral palsy, who becomes one of the greatest door-to-door salesman in history. His outlook on life - he doesn't believe he has a disability - was formed by his mother. As with all parents, she and her husband loved their only child. Once the diagnosis of cerebral palsy was determined, she took it upon herself to make sure Bill had a "normal" upbringing. She refused to accept the rules that would not allow Bill to attend public ...more
Sep 03, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing story. It was written in a very basic form. The nice part of that is it allowed the experiences and stories to speak for themselves. The not so nice part of that is the fact that I was not constantly wanting to read it. One of the best things I got from this was the mind frame of "I have no obstacles". Bill Porter has cerebral palsy and when asked he will respond "I have no obstacles". ...more
Nov 23, 2009 rated it liked it
I just started this but am loving it so far. My son has Cerebral Palsy so Bill Porter's story hits very close to home. It's an easy read and I agree that the author repeats herself in the different chapters. Looking past that, I enjoyed hearing about all the things that Bill has achieved in his lifetime. Very uplifting. ...more
Feb 20, 2015 rated it liked it
This title was suggested by a faculty member for consideration for our university common read. It is an okay read. I think college students could learn a thing or two from Bill's story. My main issue with the book is the repetitive nature of the information shared in most of the chapters. I'm not sure if this is intentional or caused by Brady's use of repetition of content to make a point. ...more
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am enjoying this book. Bill Porter is really an inspiration. This is my large print book for the Adult Bingo reading challenge our Public Library has for this summer. Bill Porter has cerebral palsy and his in constant pain but he does not consider these obstacles in his life. I want to see the movie made about is life and the 20/20 show he was on.
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the book isn't superbly written the story of the man, Bill Porter, is riveting. Reading of real people that inspire me to be better is one of my favorite genres. This is a "fast read" and leaves you fueled to be better and try harder; and grateful for your personal set of challenges! ...more
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first watched the movie which I found heart warming and inspirational. Growing up my best friend Had CP. I know the struggles they go through and find how they deal inspiring.

I read the book and learned a lot
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not really my sort of book although I found the story of this man inspiring. I skipped through a lot of chapters once I had the gist of the book. I loved the list of the things at the end of the book in summary of what he represented.
Expands on the ten lessons Shelly Brady learned from her boss Bill Porter, a door-to-door salesman for Watkins Products who persevered and succeeds at his job despite the cerebral palsy that affects his speaking and mobility. His story later became a TV movie.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biographies
Saw this and skimmed it; it looks wonderful!
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