Ten The Hard Way; Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy.

Hello everyone, my name is Elliott Eddie and for these few minutes I’d like to share some words that I received from my Uncle Shorty about 40 years ago last month. Uncle Shorty was my father’s twin brother; my father had four brothers and two sisters. Uncle Shorty was the youngest child; younger than my father by two minutes. Although Uncle Shorty never finished high school, he was by no means a dumb person. Actually, he was one of the smartest people I knew, just in ‘life smarts’, you know what I mean? Uncle Shorty knew a little bit about a lot of different things and as a result, he lived a pretty good life. He had his own house, a nice car and he always had money. But to me, what was important was that he always seemed happy; and that’s what I wanted- I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be just like my Uncle Shorty.

I remember one Saturday, Uncle Shorty came to the house to pick me up. My mom had something to do so I was going to hang out with Uncle Shorty for the entire day. As we walked to the train station in New York City, we saw a group of people crowded around a guy using a couple of cardboard boxes as a table. He was playing a game called three card Monte. Some people call it, follow the queen. I’m sure you’ve seen it in the movies; there are two black cards and a red card. The person mixes them up then you bet on which one you think is the red card. I tell you that more people have lost small fortunes on this game that you would imagine.

Uncle Shorty wasn’t a gambler, but it seemed like when he did gamble he won. He was just lucky I suppose. My whole family- from New York to California tried for years to take Uncle Shorty to the casinos with them but he would never go. He would always tell them the same thing,

‘Give me my 10 the hard way, because nothing in life comes easy’.

This made the rest of his siblings mad. Of course no one would say anything to Uncle Shorty’s face, just in case he played a number and won, right, because everybody would want a loan.

I remember this particular Saturday; I walked right up to the three card Monte man as he was taking people’s money. My uncle let me stand there and watch for a minute. I remember being absolutely sure of where the red card was. I was positive. I would bet money on it; if I had some. I looked over at my Uncle and kindness overcame over my heart. I decided that if Uncle Shorty gave me some money to bet on this game, when I won, I’d give him a few dollars out of the kindness of my heart. Since he was taking me out all day, I’d donate a few dollars to the cause.

So I shouted, ‘Uncle Shorty, Uncle Shorty;

I know where the red card is! Please give me some money so we can win. I know we’ll win’.

All of a sudden it seemed like the atmosphere changed. The table owner looked up and smiled;

“Yes, I am sure the young man knows where it ’tis. I can see he is very smart. Tell me young man, where is the red card’?

I pointed with excitement;

“It’s this one, it’s this one’.

The crowded gasped; the man looked at my Uncle;

‘Are you ready to bet sir’?

It seemed like time was standing still, no traffic, no voices, no wind…

Then, out of the silence came this big voice bellowing out laughter…

‘Ha ha ha. Naw baby, you give me my ten the hard way, because nothing worth having comes easy’.

Now, forty years later I think of these words and smile. I smile now because this simple phrase has become truth to me and a measuring stick for all of my goals.

Give me my ten the hard way, because nothing worth having comes easy.

I have learned that it is not enough to dream because progress is only a friend to those that do the work.

I have learned that it is not enough to plan because success is on the side of those that follow through.

I have learned that it is not enough to just believe because growth requires change.

Give me my ten the hard way, because nothing worth having comes easy.

What is the mission? What is that next plateau? What is that project or that business or that effort of love that you are hoping to share with the world?

It’s easy to get caught in a trap of waiting for and wanting to take the easy way.

We can no longer afford to convince and wait for others to do the work that we must do because true passion commands action.

We can no longer afford to listen to the opinions of nay-Sayers nor let them win simply because we deem the work too hard or we fear that if we miss the mark- the fall will be too painful to recover from. That is a lie.

Just because others speak doubt, we cannot afford to also doubt ourselves and our ability to blaze a new trail; simply by letting our light shine.

But today we can change everything.

We can change our future right now by re-envisioning the vision; including every last detail you can see.

We can set the path to our future- right now -by making the decision to plant our feet and not be deterred no matter who it is that speaks doubt; even if that person is ourselves- we continue on…

We solidify our future by putting our hands to the plow and doing the work that it takes to reach our goals every single day. You are in good company; neither passion nor love ever takes a holiday.

That one sentence my Uncle Shorty spoke all those years ago has turned into a life-long battle-cry for me.

When the road gets tough and the way seems dark.

When the wind is blowing fiercely and the thunder all around is deafening. When I stretch out my hand for help and jealousy and greed slap my hand away,

I have learned not to fret.

I have learned not to succumb to stress and dismay.


Because those are the moments to dig deep within yourself, to fortify your heart, to look your opposition in the eyes and say,

That’s ok.

I’ll take my ten the hard way, because nothing worth having comes easy.

If you are ready to soar, email me at ceo@eespeaks.com


Who am I?


My wife said something to me that helped frame a way of thinking when we first met. Someone told my wife about a comment another person made about her. She did not respond to the “messenger” and later made a comment to me when I asked her how she felt about what was said. My wife responded, “My question is, what’s her motivation for telling me that story?”

Over the years I have thought of that response in many different situations. What is a person’s motivation for the things that they say or do. I don’t believe that we are very altruistic as human beings; there always seems to be a reason for our thoughts and actions.

As a Motivational/Inspirational/Informational speaker, I have to judge my motivation for each piece of information that I share. What is the motivation? A friend and confidant asked me after attending a workshop I was speaking at, “Do you remember what you said your speaking goal was when you attended my workshop? Do you believe you are sticking to that goal?” I appreciated that, because somewhere along the line, I got off track. Among the books I penned that I wanted to sell and the new businesses I was opening and all of the other things that were going on, I had gotten away from the basis of why I speak. That basis is: TRUTH.

I speak because I want to share Truth with others. I speak because I have learned some painful lessons that taken years to bounce back from. I speak because there is something within me that must be shared with the world; you can dare to dream and you can reach that dream. We can rise above our challenges knowing that is we do the work and do not give up we will reach the goal, live the dream and walk in the vision.

This is why I speak. I speak to motivate, educate and inspire the world to greatness.